When developing as a point guard you need to understand what kind of point guard you want to be. There are a lot of different point guards out there that do different things. There are point guards that don’t score and only set people up and there are the direct opposite point guard that looks to score all of the time and pass only out of necessity. Point guards come in different shapes and sizes, like anything else there isn’t one mold that every point guard should come out of.
For evaluation purposes I put every NBA player in different positional categories. This helps me when not only evaluating but player development as well. Every point guard should try to emulate other NBA player that has similar traits. This doesn’t mean that you are as good as this player, but at least identify the type of player that you want to develop into. When working with NBA Draft hopefuls or younger pro players I always size them up and compare them to other established NBA players. Like I previously stated this helps me in mapping out what type of skill sets to implement in workouts.
In this article I am going to take three different point guards in the NBA. They are different players that play different styles altogether. I will give a brief breakdown of their game and show a highlight video of them. These edits are edits over a three game period instead over a long stretch of games. I do this intentionally to give players and coaches an understanding of what types of shots that positional players get on a nightly basis. Instead of highlighting only the outstanding plays made I want them to understand the nuts and bolts of a specific player’s game. I find this to be helpful in their development not only for scoring but also what types of passes are made as well.
BREAKDOWN- Steve Nash is the best point guard in the game today, because he can not only run a team and set the table early, but he can also be a viable scoring option from all over the floor. He understands his personnel and knows where and where not to give them the ball. He understands where to give them the ball to make them successful. As you can see in the breakdown he is always pushing in transition looking for scoring opportunities for himself as well as his teammates. In the halfcourt he looks to run a lot of pick and roll using the roll man very effectively. This forces the defense to shift opening up players on the weakside as well. He does a great job playing off defenders on screen and roll. If his man goes under he’ll make them pay with the ability to make shots easily from NBA three point range. He’ll stretch the screener’s man out if they decide to show. He’s great at getting to spots and scoring from deep, mid range and finishing. On his finishes he does so with both hands and both feet. He does a great job at staying low and changing speeds. Steve is one of the only point guards in the league that can totally control the game with his ability to set up his team, but also take a game over with his scoring. If defenders force him away from the screen on side/slot screen and roll and play him to the baseline Steve does a great job at spacing out the screeners man to the baseline setting up kick back jump shot opportunities for his big as well as splitting defenders and getting into the lane. He sucks defenders in and makes them pay by finding spot up players and cutters off of the ball. If they decide not to help off he’ll take the ball to the rim or pullup in the mid range pullup
BREAKDOWN- Rajon is more of a pass first point guard that looks to get all of his teammates involved before scoring. His ability to change speeds and change direction makes him such a tough player to guard. He can get in the lane and finish or force help side defenders step up and try to stop the ball and find open teammates. He’s a different player than Steve as he’s a below average shooter but has better physical attributes in speed, length,and athletic ability. He looks to push in transition to score himself or find open teammates. Because of his quickness, versatility, and athletic ability Rajon is such a tough guard to prepare against. I’ll show edits of him to a lot of the quick penetrating guards that can get in the lane but lack shooting ability. His ability to get in the lane and effectiveness on screen and roll makes Rondo a great guard to emulate. Rajon is a pure point guard that can take over a game with his athletic attributes and vision to find open teammates.
BREAKDOWN-Stephen in shooting guard in a point guard’s body. Stephen’s best attribute is his ability to make shots from deep. Not only can he spot up from deep, but can pullup off of the dribble. Curry does a great job at changing speeds and playing off of defenders. With his ability o make shots at the level that he can defenders will play for his jumper most of the time opening up driving opportunities. Stephen has developed into a very good finisher with his ability to shoot an array of floaters and finishing shots in the paint. His ability to score in transition and on pick and rolls makes him very tough to guard and prepare for. Golden State can also play him off the ball and play him at shooting guard. His ability to score off of the ball as well as play on it gives his coaches a lot of options in which to use him. I’ll have a lot of combo guards, especially those with shooting ability watch a lot of Curry.
In Closing- I think emulating similar players is such an important tool for players as well as coaches who train players. It’s very important not only to work on the court ,but also watch a lot of tape to emulate players that have success at that position. Again, don’t just watch the great tings that they do but also the simplistic plays that they make. Understand that its not just about scoring but also finding players when you force defenders to help off of their man to stop you. I hope this article helps. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow us on Twitter @hoopconsultants if you have any questions.