Monday, March 08, 2021

Jack-Of-All-Trades: What Does a Point Guard Do? by Paul Challen

"The point guard on a basketball is the player often called the leader of the offense. Point guards have the important job of the leading their basketball team, just as a general leads the army. Most plays start with the point guard."

What does a point guard do? A LOT--a lot of the other positions' specialties in plays and shots, while also acting as floor leader of the whole team,"the coach on the court." The point guard is the one whose "court vision" must read what is going on at a given time all over the court and calling the plays for his or her own team, while also watching the coaches on the bench and the clock for direction. While each of the other players have abilities in individual skills, the point guard has to be good at them all, making defensive and offensive calls, while making the best use of each position player's best skills.

It's a tall order, as written in Paul Challen's What Does a Point Guard Do? (Basketball Smarts) (Power Kids Press) describing the specialized roles of each of the other players, the shooting guard, the small forward, the power forward, and the center, and analyzing how the point guard uses his particular abilities of speed, mobility, dribbling and passing skills, and reading the other team in the way he takes the ball down the court and chooses different passes of the ball to his teammates.

Attention is given to the skills of dribbling, passing, and different scoring shots--such as the jump shot, layup, three-pointers, and floaters, as well as floor moves such as the fast break, pick-and-roll, and the give-and-go. Challen is particularly good at describing why and when a point guard directs the movement and flow of the game for the rest of the team. With thirteen short, pithy chapters, illustrated with many color photographs of assorted moves, this book is well suited for middle-grade newbie players. Added attractions are the glossary of terms, a short bibliography of books and websites, and index, this focused examination of the point guard position is great for players who aspire to that position, but also for others to learn how to best work with their "coach on the court" on their own teams.

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