In a basketball game, each team has five players on the court that are playing. These players have different positions depending which they are best capable of. The five regular positions are point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward and a center. Each of them is designated with different roles also depending on their position.

basketball positions

Here are the different basketball positions and their roles:

Point Guard

The point guard or also known as “one” is usually the shortest player of the team. He/she is the ball handler and the passer of the team. This person is also the one who facilitates the offense of the team. A great point guard should have a high basketball IQ, high shooting percentage and quickness because the team is relying on him to facilitate the ball movement most of the time. They are considered as floor general or the coach on the floor.

Shooting Guard

Shooting guard or “two” is often referred also as the wing. As what the name states, shooting guards are high percentage shooters on three-point and midrange. Shooting guards also have good ball handling skills like a point guard because they will use it to create their own shots.

Small Forward

The small forward or the three is like a shooting guard but much bigger usually. They are referred also as the wing and have some quickness and strength inside. Although their position is inside, small forwards can also pass and shoot outside in the three point area. Most small forwards are defensive specialists and are great on taking offensive fouls.

Power Forward

The power forward is also called as the four. Power forwards are the most versatile scorer of the team because they can either shoot the ball from midrange or score it near the rim. Other exceptional power forwards extended their range to three point range so they are called stretch fours because they can easily stretch the defense because of this skill. They are needed to be strong and quick as they are required to guard the quick players away from the basket or the strong players near the rim. They are the help defense of centers.


The center is also known as the five and sometimes named as the “pivot” that plays near the baseline of the court. They are the tallest and the biggest players on the court most of the time. Their usual scores are made near the rim through dunks, layups, hook shots and other scoring styles near the rim. Great centers can also shoot in the perimeter. Centers are best known for rebounds, setting the screens and making ferocious dunks and layups. The center position is very important especially during defense because they are the one who will defend the rim most of the time. They will defend the big players of the opponent so they should be really strong. If a team has a good center, the opponent’s offensive techniques will really be difficult to facilitate.