What Does a Shooting Guard Do in Basketball?

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Would you like to know the roles of shooting guards? Would you like to know what a shooting should be doing while on the court? Many players would like to know a lot about the shooting guard position for one reason or the other. We know that some of the greatest players to have ever played basketball were/are shooting guards, and many of us want to know how to become a good shooting guard.

Many of us would like to know what it takes to be a great shooting guard so we can play like our basketball heroes. There are so many things that go into being a good shooting guard, and luckily for you, we will be discussing them in this article. This article is a comprehensive guide to help you understand the shooting guard position.

Why is a Shooting Guard Called a Shooting GuardWhy is a Shooting Guard Called a Shooting Guard?

Surely we are not the only ones that have wondered why the five positions in basketball were given the names that they now have. Some names are a bit more straightforward than others e.g., Center, a center traditionally plays in the center of the court on both offense and defense.

We say traditionally because the game is evolving to positionless basketball. Some names are not as easy to figure out, such as shooting guard. So, what is a shooting guard? Why are they called shooting guards? Let’s look at the word “guard.” Why is the word guard in the name of this position? Isn’t a shooting guard a position that focuses mostly on scoring? Well, it’s a little more complicated than that.
At the beginning of the development of basketball, the players that we now called guards, we expected to be good defenders as they would be more mobile than their teammates. Also, being matched with opposing players in the same position, they would have more opportunities to play on-ball defense. With this in mind, they were labeled as guards.

Now on to the shooting part of the name. As you may surmise, they got this word in the name because players at this position were tasked with shooting the ball more often than any other player on the court. Shooting guards were expected to take more mid-range and long-range shots than their other teammates. For the majority of pro basketball teams, this concept remains true.

What are the Types of Shooting GuardWhat are the Types of Shooting Guards?

There are a few different types of shooting guards. Many people aren’t aware that we can break down the shooting guard position into even smaller groups. Shooting guards can be categorized by their style of play.

Some shooting guard are viewed as better than others and this is either based on their capabilities or how efficient they are with those capabilities. Let’s look at some of the different categorizations of shooting guards.

Bare shooter

Some Shooting guards or 2s are just bare shooters with nothing much to bring to the table. What makes these players highly successful is the fact that even though they can only shoot, they can do that one thing exceptionally well. Successful bare shooters can shoot from anywhere on the floor quite comfortably. Mike Miller and Reggie Miller are two examples of Bare shooters.

Defensive specialist

What are the Types of Shooting Guards

These shooting guards offer the most value on the defensive end of the court. They pride themselves on stopping or slowing down the opponent’s best scorer, usually the PG, SG of SF. Defensive specialists in the NBA now include Andre Roberson and Marcus Smart.

Three and D

Three and D shooting guards are hired and known for their ability to shoot the three ball, and they play pretty good defense on the other end of the court. A few notable Three and D shooting guards are Klay Thompson and Ray Allen


Shooting guards that are considered are not necessarily the best shooters, however, they make up for that with their sheer athleticism. Slashers are normally tasked with getting to the rim or at least in the key, with or without the ball. That’s where they do the most of their damage. Dwyane Wade was one of the best slashing shooting guards in the history of the game.

All Rounder

These shooting guards are extremely handy as they have a combination of skills that they perform very well. Often they share control of the offense with the point guard, similarly to what James Harden is doing now with Russel and what Kawhi is doing on the Clippers. Kobe and MJ are Historical shooting guards of this nature. 

What are the Responsibility of Shooting Guard in BasketballWhat are the Responsibilities of a Shooting Guard in Basketball? 

Shooting guards usually do not have too many responsibilities in basketball. These responsibilities will be weighted differently based on the types of shooting guards in question. The first responsibility of a shooting guard is to be a primary scoring option from a shooting position. Shooting guards are usually expected to find a way to get open and then knock down shots from long or mid-range.

Shooting guards that are slashers are expected to get to the rim to put pressure on the defense or slash to open pots for short floaters or jumpers. The next role of a shooting guard is to stop the opposing teams shooting guard from being too much of a threat.

There are a few shooting guards that make their money on the defensive end, and there are even fewer like Kawhi that can play both ends quite well. There are also a few teams like the Huston Rockets that allow or require that their shooting guards from time to time be primary ball handlers and help the guards with the offense. 

What is the Difference Between a Shooting Guard and a Point GuardWhat is the Difference Between a Shooting Guard and a Point Guard?

A point guard and shooting guard may have a few similar roles, but the majority of the times, their roles are different. On both offense and defense, these two players on the court will be tasked with various responsibilities based on their skillsets and also based on the capabilities of their opponents.

On the defensive end of the court, a shooting guard is most times tasked with being the primary backcourt perimeter defender. There are, of course, exceptions to this as some teams will use their point guard in this capacity. The shooting guard is usually best suited for this role because they are bigger in stature and can provide a bigger but still mobile body for the opponent to go up against.

What is the Difference Between a Shooting Guard and a Point Guard

On the defensive end of the field, the point guard, often being smaller in stature, is tasked with guarding the less potent guard of the opponent’s offense. Patrick Beverley is a notable exception. On the offensive end of the court, the point guard is normally responsible for facilitating either by breaking down the defense and dishing out dimes like a Chris Paul, initiating quick offensive plays by using superb court vision and passing skills like Lonzo Ball, stretching the defense with incredible shooting like Stephen Curryand then opening things up for the rest of the team or using a combination of all the skills above like a John Wall to lead the team.

Shooting guards, on the other hand, usually are focused on leading the team through scoring. They play off the point guards and focus more on scoring than facilitating. 

What Skills Does a Shooting Guard NeedWhat Skills Does a Shooting Guard Need? 

This question is not as cut and dry as it sounds. Some shooting guards are capable in a lot of skill sets, and this makes them extremely great players. On the other hand, some shooting guards excel in one or two areas, and they are also really great.

The skills that a shooting need depends on the type of shooting guard that they want to become. Potential shooting guards need to work on their ball handling, speed, agility, athletic abilities, court vision, and, most importantly, their shooting skills.

How Do You Become a Shooting GuardHow Do You Become a Shooting Guard?

To become a shooting guard, players need to work on their agility for both offensive and defensive efficiency. Becoming a shooting guard, just like any other position, requires a lot of work.

To become good shooting guard, players should identify the skills that they are good at and then work at them to make them great. The weaker skills should also be developed but focus more on the ones that will make you great.

How Many Points Do Shooting Guards Typically ScoreHow Many Points Do Shooting Guards Typically Score? 

This will depend on the league being played in. The age of the players in the league, the minutes of playing time in the league, the experience of the players in the league will all determine the amount of shot attempts taken by the shooting guard. The safest way to say this is that the shooting guard typically scores between 20% to 35% of the team’s points.

Who is the Best Shooting Guard of All TimeWho is the Best Shooting Guard of All Time? 

This is a very controversial question. The answers you will receive for this question if you ask it at a local rec center will highly depend on who you ask. As you know, everyone has their favorite players based on their own preferences.

We will throw out a few names that we think can make anyone’s top five list:

Michael Jordan averaged 30.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 5.3 assists throughout his career.
Dwayne Wade averaged 22 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 5.4 assists throughout his career.
Kobe Bryant averaged 25 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 4.7 assists for his career.
Hal Greer averaged 19.2 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists for his career.
Oscar Robertson averaged 25.7 points, 7.5 rebounds and 9.5 assists in his career.

Wrapping Things Up: What Does a Shooting Guard Do in Basketball?

Shooting guards are an integral part of any roster. They are primarily responsible for the teams shooting in most cases, and they also play major defensive roles. Some shooting guards are also capable of helping the point guard to manage the team’s offense.

Until next time ballers, keep training and keep shooting.

Did you find this post helpful? Then you may also like our post on the best shoes for guards here

We also answer other frequently answered questions on basketball here:

> What Basketball Position Are You?

> What Position Did Michael Jorday Play?

> How to Playing Shooting Guard in Basketball

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Hoops Addict

Hoops Addict was created to help basketball fans of all ages learn more about the sport and find the best basketball gear to improve their ability to hoop. He has been a huge basketball fan for decades, watching thousands of basketball games through the years to learn the ins and outs of the game.

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