Learn the Positions that Make up a Basketball Team

A strong basketball team is like a machine that is well-oiled. Five players move onto the court, each occupying a different position, working toward its true objective: winning. 

In general, a basketball player falls into one of five roles: point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward, and center. But what is required in each of these positions?


Although teams recently have many combinations in team structures and unique kinds of players, this article will revolve around the typical five positions that each player can be categorized.

Learn the Positions that Make up a Basketball Team
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The center is typically the tallest and strongest player of the team and is positioned under the basket. With more physical strength and agility, he also needs to be technically gifted. 

The majority of centers do not usually score mid-range or beyond the arch on the offensive play. Alternatively, most of their points should come from offensive rebounds and are often needed to block defenders to free up other players to drive to the basket.


On defense, by blocking shots and passes in the critical zone, the center is responsible for stopping the opponent from shooting. As they’re usually taller physically, they’re also supposed to fight for rebounds.

Power Forward

In terms of physical attributes and playing style, Power Forwards are generally the second tallest in the team and are the nearest to the center, but with more speed. They are often the most dynamic player. 

If they’re able to consistently land a three-point, it will be more effective. They are needed strategically to have the ability to guard bigger players close to the basket.


Small Forward

The Small Forward is generally the shorter of the team’s two forwards, but out of the main five positions, it plays the most flexible role

Comparable to a shooting guard, he must have the height and the ability to play on the inside and the agility to play on the outside. Small Forwards are typically the team’s second or third best shooters.

Learn the Positions that Make up a Basketball Team
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Shooting Guard

The Shooting Guard is the team’s best outside shooter, potentially the shortest player on the team. In addition to being able to shoot well, by seeing the court, the shooting guard needs to be good at dribbling quickly, passing, and having court vision

He is also accountable for driving the ball and setting up offensive plays down the court. As he is able to score from anywhere on the court, a strong shooting guard would be a challenge to his opponent.

Point Guard

Traditionally, the Point Guard is the shortest but the best ball handler on the roster. A point guard is essential for directing plays, also known as the ‘coach on the court‘ or the ‘floor general.’ 

In order to create open shots for the receivers and also drive the ball down the court and execute offensive plays, he needs to have a clear court vision.

Point guards should also have superb long-distance shooting, but some point guards take as many shots as shooting guards, although it’s not as critical as for shooting guards.

Sixth Man

The first player to come off the bench and enter the game is the 6th man. The sixth man is often as talented as the five starting players with respect to skill level. Possibly more competent than several of them (starting with the 5 best players on the court is never a good idea). 

Normally, they’re a flexible player who can fulfill a lot of different basketball positions. Usually, who they replace off the court would rely on matchups and which player begins the game unsuccessfully.

Learn the Positions that Make up a Basketball Team


Each role in a team has its own capabilities, physical traits, and complexities of play. You will get better at projecting where players are going to be and what they will do when they get there by acquiring this knowledge.