The shooting guard
position, also known as the two, comprises half of a basketball backcourt
, along with the point guard
. The position is generally looked to for scoring and three point
shooting, and while the point guard is the primary playmaker
, the shooting guard is expected to have some passing skills as well.
Some of the NBA's greatest players have been shooting guards, such as Michael Jordan. Up-and-coming shooting guards include Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant and Ray Allen. The shooting guard is generally between 6 foot 4 and 6 foot 7 inches tall, and weighs 190 to 220 pounds. In today's NBA, the positional distinctons are somewhat blurred, and most small shooting guards also can play point guard, whereas most large shooting guards can play small forward. There are a few basic types of shooting guards, as follows:
1. The Deadly Shooter who can't do much else: Reggie Miller and Allan Houston are examples of this type of player. They don't rebound, defend, or pass very well, but they can score from anywhere on the floor, and they can hit the big shots. Some Deadly Shooters, such as Ray Allen, have other facets to their game, which makes them even more dangerous.
2. The Slasher: Latrell Sprewell, Clyde Drexler, and Jerry Stackhouse are excellent examples. The Slasher isn't particularly accurate with his shot, but is an expert at driving to the basket, either to draw fouls, or to make sick-looking layups and dunks. Players who can slash and shoot, such as Kobe Bryant, are nearly impossible to stop when they're on.
3. The College Shooting Guard: Most players at the college level change their position when they arrive in the NBA. Small forwards become shooting guards. College shooting guards become point guards. Sometimes the transition works, and sometimes it doesn't, and what you're left with is an undersized player who shoots the ball at every oppurtunity. Allen Iverson is an example of how this type of player can succeed. Tony Delk and Bobby Jackson are more modest success stories. A lot of these guys don't last in the NBA, and those that do, unless they're "The Answer", come off the bench.
4. The Defensive Specialist: There aren't alot of defensive-minded shooting guards in the NBA, so a player can carve out a pretty good career by being able to stop the other team's shooting guard. Dan Majerle in his later career is a good example.