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Basketball: The Point Guard

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Point guard dribbling
Source: US Navy
The Leader

The point guard is the leader on the floor. He takes the ball up the court and gets the offense started. The point guard can score, but his main job is to distribute the ball to the other players and get the rest of the team involved in the offense. Point guards should be unselfish, smart, and good leaders.

Skills Needed

To be a good point guard you need to be an excellent dribbler and passer. Quickness is important as well, so you can get the ball up the court as well as play defense against the opposing team's point guard.

Dribbler: If you want to be a great point guard, the first thing to work on is your ball handling. You need to be able to dribble with either hand, at full speed, with your head up. You can't be looking down at the ball while dribbling because you need to be ready to make that quick pass when a teammate is open.

Passing: A point guard must be able to pass the ball with accuracy. This includes getting the ball into players posting up on the blocks, hitting the wing man for an open shot, or a perfectly timed bounce pass on the fast break. You have to think pass first, shoot second.

Quickness: Speed and quickness are great assets to the point guard. With speed you can get up the court fast on a fast break. Pushing the ball off the dribble can put pressure on the other team and get them on their heels. Quickness will allow you to dribble around the defense and find open players.

Smarts: Point guards should be smart. They have to be the coach on the floor, calling out plays and keeping the offense under control.

Important Statistics

Although statistics don't tell the whole story about the point guard, assists and turnovers are generally important stats. Also important is the assist-to-turnover ratio. This is how many assists the player has per how many turnovers. The higher the number the better, showing that the player has many more assists than turnovers.

Top Point Guards of All Time

Some of the top NBA point guards of all time include: Most people consider Magic Johnson to be the greatest point guard of all time. He was 6'7" tall and redefined what a point guard was in the NBA.

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