There are five basketball positions that correspond to the five players on the court. Some players are only able to play one basketball position while others are more versatile and can play several. Some teams also use specific names for the positions, while others number them from one to five.
- Point Guard (1) The point guard is the leader of the offense. This is the person that typically brings the ball down the court and starts the offense at the top of the key behind the three point line. In order to get things going, he calls out a play so that the players in all of the other basketball positions know where to go and what to do. The point guard is traditionally the best ball handler and possesses leadership skills.
- Off Guard (2) The off guard begins at the right or left hand side of the point guard. He may receive the ball in a pass from the point guard to get the offense started or he may look to screen and have someone else come up to their spot. He assists with bringing the basketball down the court and in a fast break and are usually headed as quickly as possible down the side of the court to the basket, looking for a possible layup if the defense is outnumbered,
- Shooting Guard/Shooting Forward (3) Just knowing that there are several names to call this basketball position should tell you that this is one of the most versatile players out on the court. This person might be a ball handler that helps bring the ball down the court, participates in the offense and might be an important shooter. In the same way, he might be just like a regular forward, able to post up and get the ball in around the key. When it comes to basketball positions, you are going to need a strong number three in order to get things moving.
- Power Forward (4) This player is found begin the offense on one of the blocks at the bottom of the key. They have the option to run screens for other players in the other basketball positions or they can post up, attempting to place the defensive player completely behind them in order to get the ball and make a shot in or around the key.
- Center (5) The center is a basketball position typically taken by the tallest player on the team. Much like the power forward, he begins the offense on the block at the bottom of the key. He has the option to post up and run screens like the other post (4). Depending on the height advantage and the offense the team is playing, he may look to get the defensive player in front of him and then look to have a pass lobbed to him in the center of the key.
Each of the basketball positions is important in their own unique way.