What Position Should I Play In Basketball?

Basketball is a fascinating sport that is capable of keeping an audience engaged till the end. It becomes even more delightful when every player is genuinely involved in the game and knows their role quite well.

Since every player's position has its own weaknesses and strengths, it is essential to choose the correct position, lest you waste your talent. 

This article will provide a detailed analysis of each basketball position along with their positive and negative points. In the end, we will figure out which position best suits your playing style. 

Basketball Positions

A basketball game has several players, but only five players can play the game at a time.

All the players have their designated positions according to their size, style of playing, and strengths. The unique skill sets of the players earn them a prominent position in the game.

Here is a list of all five main positions used in a basketball game; we will also discuss two extra positions in basketball. 

1. Point Guard

Whoever is the best at handling the ball and controlling the game’s tempo gets the point guard position. He is usually the shortest player on the team.

It is the most crucial position because this player is the best shooter and passes the ball well. It is safe to say that the player in the point guard position is usually the smartest one in the game.

point guard basketball
  • Controls the Pace

Every team has a different way of playing the game. Some like to play at a fast pace, while others like it to be slow. The point guard of the team is the person who decides the speed of the team.

He judges the scenario and promptly controls the game’s pace according to the requirements at that particular time. 

  • Facilitator

The point guard usually acts as a facilitator because he does not score often. He is excellent at shooting the ball; thus, he passes the ball to other players. He decides which player is capable of getting the ball to the basket. 

He is often great at dribbling as well and does not let the opponents get the ball. The point guard is the one who sets up the offense and makes smart decisions by judging the defense of the opposing team. 

  • Ball Handler

The point guard handles the ball well, especially when the other team is guarding the ball. He leads from the front and makes his team strong enough to win the game in such situations.

  • High Basketball IQ

A high basketball IQ is crucial for the point guard position because he is usually the decision-maker of the team. He promptly responds to all opponent moves and saves his team from mistakes.

In addition, the point guard keeps the whole team together during each offense and defense as he believes in teamwork. 

2. Shooting Guard

Another notable position in the basketball game is the shooting guard. The player who plays off the ball and on the wing achieves this position in the game. His exceptional skills get him an important place in the team.

  • Best Shooter

As the name suggests, the shooting guard has to be the best shooter on the team. The ball-handling or passing skills of the shooting guard might not be as great as the point guard’s, but they still need to have a good scoring percentage overall.

shooting guard
  • Defense

The role of the shooting guard is to guard the moves of the opposition’s shooting guard. He plays as a defense for one of the top scorers of the opposing team. 

3. Small Forward

The small forward is also a wing player, just like a shooting guard. His skill sets are very similar to those of a shooting guard, indicating that he is versatile enough to play at any position.

He is the most competitive player on the team because he is capable of playing in various positions. 

  • Strong Rebounder

A small forward player is usually tall and fast, so he is a solid rebounder. He can easily grab rebounds under the basket because he responds quickly. Such players are equally good at defense and offense; hence, they are essential to the game.

  • Versatile Player

The small forward player is a whole package that can deliver whatever he is asked for; he can take up any position. He is a great all-rounder that helps the team to win their games. 

4. Power Forward

The power forward player is the powerhouse that defends the team against the biggest opposing players. They are tough competition for the opposing team because they keep the players under pressure throughout the game.

  • Rough and Tough Players

Power forward players are usually tall and broad, which is why they are great defenders. They act as a shield between the players of his team and the opposing team’s players. They are also quite versatile in their actions, and they often lead their team to win.

power forward basketball position
  • Role as Rebounders

Just like small forward players, power forward players are also good rebounders. Since their height and strength are excellent, they show outstanding performance as rebounders. 

5. Center

The center is the player who stays close to the basket and is the tallest on the team. He is excellent at protecting the rim and rebounding the ball. He is highly efficient in the game and is mostly the high scorer because of his proximity to the rim. 

center basketball position
  • Protection of the Rim

The center ensures a high score for his team. Being the tallest player on the team, the center protects the rim like no other.

A high basketball IQ is essential for this position because the center has to be smart enough to move the rim around. He tries to give his teammates the best angle for a score. 

  • Rebound Basketball

Another primary responsibility of the center is to rebound the ball. He forces the opponent team to change their style of playing by blocking their shots. His role is quite essential for winning the game. 

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6. Sixth Man

Another position in the basketball game is the ‘Sixth man.’ A player who does not play; instead, he goes on the court as a substitute for any player. It depends on the match scenarios whether he gets on the court or not.

He is a highly-skilled person who handles all the positions reasonably well, an all-rounder who knows his duty.

In addition, he brings a fresh vibe and energy to the team that recharges all the players whenever he enters the court. 


Most of the time, the versatile sixth man sits outside the court and waits for his turn patiently. Even though he rarely plays the game, his skills are exceptional, which shows when he enters the court. 

7. The Bench

The remaining players sit on the bench and wait for their turn. They are given variable minutes to play the game on the court, depending upon the team’s situation.

Even if their playtime depends on the match scenario, they still need to stay positive and encourage other teammates on the court. 

Which Position Should You Choose in Basketball?

We discussed each basketball position’s duties and concluded that each position plays a crucial role in the game. All positions are equally important, and it is the team effort that leads to its victory.

To choose the perfect position for yourself in the game, you must consider a few factors:

Height: Your height plays an essential part in determining your position in basketball. If you are at least 7 feet tall, you will get the center position. If you are relatively shorter in height, you might get a small forward or power forward position. 

Strength: A basketball player should be strong enough to handle the ball firmly throughout the game. Your body strength will help in determining your best position.

It will be to your advantage if you do not let go of the ball easily when the opponents are chasing it. However, each player has unique strengths and weaknesses.

Skills: Another essential thing to consider is your skills. Your skill sets will distinguish you from other players and earn you a prominent place in the team.

Analyze your game, whether you are an excellent ball-handler or a guard. This is a key factor in determining which position you should play. 

Playing Style: Every player has a unique style of playing. Some like to play a fast-paced game, while others might want to slow down a bit. It is good for the player to understand his playing style before choosing a position for himself. 

Once you judge all the above factors, you will clearly understand which position is best for you. If you select the right position according to all these factors, you will perform successfully. There is no use in trying for a position that does not suit your skillset.

So, you must spend time analyzing your own game and figuring out the best position for yourself. 

Conclusion: Which Position to Play

Each position in basketball has a huge reason and importance. Though the players sometimes have to switch their roles according to the scenarios, the main positions are still five. 

All players must have a designated position to showcase their actual skills. However, they must be trained for other unforeseen circumstances where they must perform other teammates’ roles. 

The position should be chosen based on each player’s height, skills, and playing style. All these factors determine the right position for a player. 

So, after going through the article, which position is your favorite? Which position will you prefer while playing a basketball game? We would love to hear your thoughts.

Joshua Bast

My name is Joshua Bast and I have been playing basketball ever since I was 7 years old. I love the game play, I love the feeling whenever I score a basket, but what made me fell in love was the camaraderie with my team mates. This blog is dedicated to help any up-and-coming basketball players maximize their potential.

Joshua Bast