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Basketball: The Power Forward

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The Bruiser

The power forward is often one of the most physical players on the court. Hence the name "power" forward. They play close to the basket, fighting for rebounds and posting up on offense. Power forwards should be tall, strong, and aggressive.

Skills Needed

Rebounding: The primary skill for a power forward in basketball is rebounding. If you want to be a good power forward you should build up your strength and practice rebounding, especially boxing out techniques. Being a good rebounder is also a state of mind. You need to believe that every ball is yours. So having the right attitude is important for the power forward.

Posting Up: Power forwards work mostly inside on offense. They play with their "back to the basket". This means that they often have their backs to the basket, facing the player with the ball. Defenders are usually behind them keeping them from having an open lane to the basket. Power forwards need to post up. They muscle their way in for position under the basket, receive the input pass, and then make a post up move to shoot.

Jump Shot: Some power forwards also develop a jump shot. This helps keep the defense honest. They can't just stay under the goal and wait for you if you can make a 12-15 foot jump shot. This skill has helped many average power forwards become great. Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks has made himself into a premier NBA power forward by having a nearly unstoppable jump shot.

Shot Blocking: Although not as important a skill as for centers, power forwards also need to have some shot blocking ability. They are generally the second tallest player on the court and need to keep the little guys from getting easy shots off inside the lane.

Important Statistics

Rebounds per game (RPG) is usually the most important stat for the power forward. It's their main job and if they are getting rebounds, then the team is likely suffering. In some cases the power forward is so strong in other areas, like scoring, that lower rebounds are okay and the rest of the team must pick up the slack.

Top Power Forwards of All Time Other names for the Power Forward


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