How To Be A Good Point Guard – Next Level Hoops

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Point guards have the most difficult job on the floor, no doubt about it. They’re responsible for getting the ball up the floor, getting their teammates in positions to score, running the plays, knowing when to score themselves, making sure everyone knows their role, and so much more.

Great point guards like Chris Paul, Steve Nash, John Stockton, etc… They were all major factors in helping there team win, and without them, their team wouldn’t have been as elite and proficient as they were. All coaches know that, to win championships it starts with a good point guard.

As you read on, I explain to you in detail on how to be a good point guard.


Getting Players Engaged

Good point guards have to be able to get their teammates engaged, putting them in the right positions to be affected and contribute to the team. Everything facilitates through the point guard so they have to know their teammates weaknesses and strengths, and set them up to where they only play to their strengths.

For example, if you have a knock down shooter on your team but he’s not a good dribbler. You would attack the gaps to make the defense sink in, and pass it out to the shooter for the open shot. You get the assist, and he gets the bucket. It’s a win-win situation. That’s getting your teammates involved and putting them in positions where they would be most effective.

Point guards must know and be able to do these things in order for the team to win.


Extension Of The Coach

Point guards are so important because their an extension of the coach. They must know all the plays, be able to execute them without even thinking, and correct their teammates if they’re not where they supposed to be.

If the opposing team is playing a man-to-man or zone defense, it’s the point guard job to recognize it, and call the right play so they can score. Also, they have to be able to make plays on the fly, just in case if the play breaks down and the possession won’t be wasted.

Coaches place their trust in their point guard to be able to run the teams offense and make sure everything is going accordingly to the game plan.


Low Turnover Rate

Good point guards rarely turnover the basketball. If they do it’s because something they thought it was open but closed up, a player wasn’t where they should be, or they just made a bad play. But like I said, it happens rarely.

Basketball is a game of possessions, and every possession matters. A coach can’t trust you or give you the freedom to make the plays you want if your turning the ball over every every time you touch it.

Good point guards take care of the ball, making good passes and plays for themselves and teammates, to put the team in the best position to win.



Ball-On-String Handle

Point guards have to be able to handle the ball while keeping there head up, especially under pressure.

They have to read the defense, avoid traps, and get ball pass the half-court before the 8-second violation. The opposing teams defense shouldn’t even phase a point guard, they should be confident enough to know that no one can take the ball from them and that they can get to any spot they want to on the floor.

Handling the basketball should be almost 2nd nature for a point guard. So if you want to be a good point guard, you have to work on your handle.

Read “Advance Dribbling Drills


High Basketball IQ

Good point guards are able to play fast while the game is moving slow in there head. They know how a play is going to unfold before it even happens, which gives them the advantage. This is called having an high basketball IQ.

While everyone around you is playing checkers, your playing chess. Strategically making moves and plays to keep the defense guessing and helping your team win. Just always being two steps ahead of the competition.

Read “How To Get An High Basketball IQ“.


Knowing When To Score

A good point guard just don’t always pass the ball, they also recognize their opportunity to score the ball. They don’t force it, but just let it come on it’s own, and it will come. Whether the defense is giving them a lane to the basket, they’re open for the shot, one on one opportunity… however it may come, they see it and capitalize on it.

Passing is good, but over-passing can do more harm than good, it can lead to a turnover or a bad shot.

So when you have a good opportunity to score, let it fly.


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Great Passers

Well we all should know this, but it needs to be stated for the people who don’t know. Point guards have to be great passers.

They have to recognize what pass is needed in different situations. Some situations cause for lob passes to the big man or athletic teammate, may need to use a bounce pass for tight spots, or need an bullet pass while the defense is off guard, whatever the situation calls for… the point guard must be ready to make the pass with no hesitation because it could possibly lead to a bucket for your teammate and a assist for you.

So you should practice all types of passes and know when to use them.


Must Be In Great Shape

It’s no good if you can play well for 5 minutes, but play poorly the next 10 minutes because your fatigued.

If your a point guard or trying to be a point guard, you have to be one the most conditioned players on your team. Your position is to important for you to be having to take a break every 5 minutes. You have to be able to play at a high-level throughout the entire game with minimal breaks. The offense starts with you, so you can’t get winded so easily, or you might lose the game.

Players like Russell Westbrook, Isaiah Thomas, John Wall, they condition their bodies in the off-season to play long minutes. Because without them, their team doesn’t score as well and not as proficient as they are with them on the floor.

So condition your body to be able to play at an high-level throughout the entire game.


The Bottom Line

It’s a lot of things that goes into to being a good point guard, but if you implement and work at the qualities I shared with you into your basketball game, your heading in the right direction. Your not going to be a floor general overnight, like with anything worth having, it’s going to take some time.

I hope you enjoyed this article on how to be a good point guard, and encourage you to share this article and leave an comment below on what you think it takes to be a good point guard.


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6 thoughts on “How To Be A Good Point Guard – Next Level Hoops

  1. The “Floor General”! Great breakdown of what it means to be a great point guard. I grew up a big Duke basketball fan in the 90’s. They had Bobby Hurley running the show during those two championships. He was truly an extension of Coach K. Hard to be a championship caliber team without a strong presence at point.

  2. Hey, Garrett,
    For a fact with how basketball over the last 10 – 15 years has evolved to more of a guard-driven sport and without a reliance on the center as being the vocal point of a team’s offense makes it imperative that a point guard be able to direct the 4 other players on the floor.

    Being old-school I remember Magic Johnson back in the day at 6’9″ tall and being the LA Lakers’ point guard revolutionized the position. Magic came out of college not really a great shooter, but had a high IQ when it came to his knowledge of being able to set up his teammates for easy baskets. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar one of the 2 – 3 greatest centers in the history of the NBA could not win a title with the Lakers, (he won early in his career with the Milwaukee Bucks) that is until Magic was drafted by the team. For a fact, Abdul-Jabbar is the league’s all-time leading scorer -thanks mostly to Magic.

    Today’s point guards have an even more responsiblity of setting up teammates for wide-open 3 point shots coming off of plays that are based on screens and deception. By the way, I consider LeBron James to be the fulcrum of the Cavalier’s offense as Kyrie Irving is more of a shooting guard; not a classic point guard like Chris Paul.

    AS you also stated as defenses especially in the NBA have become more sophisticated due to the fact that zone defenses to an extent are now allowed, it puts even more pressure on the point guard to be able to analyze the opposing team’s defense and set up teammates for wide open shots, and in areas on the floor where they would be most comfortable shooting.

    Your article summed up very well the key qualities that make for a superb NBA point guard.

  3. Good breakdown of what it takes to be a great point guard.
    I love watching youtube videos of Magic and his no look passes, truly lived up to his name.
    I personally love watching combo guards like Wade, Curry and Westbrook, Westbrook this season was phenomenal.
    I wish you had also mentioned Isiah Thomas, he was the catalyst that led Detriot to back to back championships.

    1. I grew up watching Isiah Thomas, he was great point guard and was key piece on the pistons. He paved the way for the point guards today.

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