Playing the point guard position in basketball comes with a lot of responsibilities. The position comes with an added leadership role, getting the team organized on the offensive and defensive end, and being a skilled player. A lot of point guards are considered the coach on the floor or the general of the team. If you look at the elite point guards like Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo, you will see that they lead their team and look to make every player around them better.
Since being a basketball point guard requires so much of the player, it can become a challenging position. That is why we have created a list of things that every point guard should know about playing this position. So whether you have just started playing point guard or have been playing it for a while and are looking for ways to be a better player, this basketball article is for you.
Take Care of the Ball
As a point guard, you must be able to take care of the basketball. If you are throwing the ball around the gym and frequently turning it over, your team will struggle, and you will most likely end up on the bench. So you need to make sure that you are making good basketball passes and staying out of situations with a high turnover probability. Stay out of spots on the floor where you can get trapped and where there is a lot of congestion, and don’t force the action. A good point guard can see the floor and stay out of situations where there are a lot of hands and people. Just recognizing these types of places on the floor will help you limit your turnovers drastically.
Be a Leader on the Floor
Some players are more naturally outspoken than others, and it is easier for them to be leaders. With the point guard position, though, you will need to get out of your comfort zone and be a leader, whether you are a natural leader or not. It is your job to get the team organized on offense to run set plays and be the leader of your team defense. You are an extension of the coach on the floor, and you need to know the offense and the game plan better than anyone else out there on the floor. This will require more time on your part studying basketball plays, learning the defense, etc., but if you want to be a great point guard, then this is necessary. This starts in practice too. So whether you are doing basketball drills, running 5 on 0 offense, etc., make sure that you are a leader on the floor.
Make your Teammates Better
You will have the basketball in your hands more than anyone else on the floor, and you will be running the team offense. One of your jobs from this position is being able to help your teammates get great scoring opportunities. Great point guards can set their teammates up for good shots in places where they are comfortable with the ball. So whether it is driving the paint to kick out to a down ready shooter for an open shot or running a play to get the ball into the post player, you need to make sure that you are helping your teammates out.
If you see that one of the better scorers on your team is struggling to get going, you need to run a play that gets them a high-quality shot. You must be able to keep your finger on the pulse of your team and know your teammates.
Pressure the Basketball
As a point guard bringing the ball up the floor, you know how annoying it is to get pressured and not be able to get into the offense as easily as you would like. Well, the same thing goes for the ball handler on the other team. If you can provide good ball pressure, you can add a lot of value to your team. The other team’s point guard will be so nervous about the pressure that they won’t be able to get their team into the offense.
Pressuring the ball does not mean reaching, gambling, and getting out of defensive position (unless that is your team’s game plan). You must keep your man in front of you, or they will get into the paint and carve up your defense. Be able to pressure while also being able to contain the ball.
Play at Different Speeds
A basketball player with the ball that plays at the same speed the whole time is easy to guard, but a player that mixes up their speeds and is unpredictable becomes a lot harder to guard. It is not always about being lightning quick with the ball, but you need to go from slow to fast and fast to slow while handling the basketball. This will keep the defender guessing and off-balance when they try to pressure you on defense or trying to keep you out of the paint.
The harder you are to guard off the dribble, the more value you bring to your team. If you can get into the paint to kick the ball out for a shot or dump it off for a layup, etc., you add a lot to your team on the offensive end. You need to get into the paint within the offense, not by using 10 dribbles to break your man down.