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View Full Version : What is a shooting guard?



Anthem
04-27-2004, 02:03 AM
I've been wondering this recently.

I keep hearing people say "Artest is a great player, but he's not really a shooting guard." The biggest criterion, in my opinion, is that you have to be able to guard a shooting guard. Artest does that every night (Kobe, TMac, Carter, and PP all consider themselves guards).

Don't agree? Fine. Define your terms. How do you define the 2/3 positions? Or, for that matter, the 4/5 positions? I maintain that Jermaine is as much a center as he is a forward, and Artest is as much a guard as he is a forward. For that matter, here's another question. Could Bender ever be considered a shooting guard?

If you were to play Artest and Bender at the SG/SF combo, which one would be the shooting guard and which would be the small forward? Outside of voting for the All-Star game, would it really matter?

So here's the whole point of this post: While Artest and Bender will never be considered prototypical shooting guards, could the two of them in tandem provide everything you need from a SG? Slashing? Defense? Post-up? Shotblocking? Outside shooting? Midrange shooting? What attributes would that tandem not possess?

I'd really like to see a lineup of Foster/JO/Bender/Artest/Tinsley get some burn.

Kstat
04-27-2004, 02:22 AM
The point guard is the quarterback of the team. Its the hardest position to learn in the NBA. You must know the plays, know where veryone ELSE is supposed to be, and be an accurate passer and an above-average ballhandler. An ideal point guard is quick, smart, and a threat to score himself off the dribble and from the perimeter.

A shooting guard and a Point guard, skillwise, are occasionally essentially the same player. The difference? One is unselfish, the other isn't. A shooting guard's job, as the name implies, is to SHOOT. Its an important position from that standpoint, because the SG is often the first man downcourt in transition, and the guy defenses can most easily double the post off of. The ideal attributes of a SG are shooting range and quickness, while secondary attributes like court vision, defensive ability and rebounding also apply.

The small Forward is primarily the jack-of-all-trades player. If you follow stats, small forwards fill up the stat sheet more than any other player. They rarely do anything exceptionally, but of all the players on the court, they have the fewest holes in their games. The attributes that make a SF are Strength and athletisism, because the average SF is usually small enough to be able to handle the ball, but big enough to take the ball inside aginst the big guys..

The Power Forward is typically the enforcer, but the biggest attribute of the PF is post scoring, and then rebounding. The PF is the guy you want to run pink n' rolls with, and the guy that you want to come up with the big rebound at the end. Some of todays 4-men are more perimeter-oriented (Dirk, KG, Malone) but if you look closer they can ALL take the ball inside when need be.

The Center is a defensive position, and its the position most often confused. The center isnt just a name for the tallest man on the court. Look at Ben Wallace, the 3rd-tallest man on his own STARTING 5. Yet Ben is the Center, because he is the last man defending the basket. The ideal attribute of a center, obviously, is shotblocking, with secondary attibutes rebounding and then post scoring.

Now as it pertains to Ron, the jump from the 3 to the 2 may not seem like a big one, but it is. There's a reason Artest isn't allowed to guard Rip Hamilton. Ron is the rare throwback SF that can dominate without leaving the floor. To do this he uses he makes up for his lack of true speed with EXCELLENT lateral quickness, and his superior strength is usually a big advantage on both ends. But the average 2-guard is a little quicker than the 3-man, so Ron's lateral quickness on D is nutralized, and his lack of end-to-end speed will be exposed. Ron will become more of an offensive threat, because he will be playing a smaller man. But he will not have the same impact on the game at SG, because playing against players 3-4 inches shorter and 20-30 pounds lighter than he's used to, he will accumulate fouls MUCH more easily trying to fight through picks, getting beat to the rim, and in transition.

Many of the players you mention (TMac, PP, Carter) are small forwards masquerading as shooting guards. If their teams HAD compitent SFs, they wouldn't be playing there themselves. WHat do they all have in common? They rely on size and strength, which is where Ron excels. The average NBA 2-man relies on SPEED and QUICKNESS, which is not Ron's forte.

I also stress that Ron;s move to SG would force him to play closer to the 3-point line to space the court, and we all know that is NOT where he is best off playing.

Millerartest
04-27-2004, 02:35 AM
I don't think positions matter so much. What's essential is to have an inside/outside game. Bender can drain threes. He can play inside and outside. Artest has an average shot. He's shown that he can play both inside and outside. Croshere can shoot. He can play inside and outside. The others usually stick to one or the other.

But, when you have Tinsley, Artest, Bender, Oneal and Harrington/Foster, that's not enough outside shooting to sustain. They all have potential with their outside shot, but other than Bender, they still have aways to go. Look at a team like Sacramento where everyone can shoot. Or San Antonio which has a range of dangerous three point shooters. So again, I don't think position really matters, but you should always have 2-3 people on the court who can drain open jumpers every time.

Kstat
04-27-2004, 02:41 AM
I maintain that Jermaine is as much a center as he is a forward, and Artest is as much a guard as he is a forward. For that matter, here's another question. Could Bender ever be considered a shooting guard?

If you were to play Artest and Bender at the SG/SF combo, which one would be the shooting guard and which would be the small forward? Outside of voting for the All-Star game, would it really matter?

In the respect that he protects the basket, JO is INDEED a center. However, he has not proven he has the upper body strength to guard many starting NBA centers, so Jeff FOster is sent out there to do the job. But yes technically, Jermaine IS the Center on Indiana, because he's the guy that protects the hoop.

Jon Bender is a PF with the mentality of a SF. While he's avery good jumpshooter, I think he would be best served getting stronger and using his excellent footspeed against slower PFs. But right now, Bender is a SF. He plays out on the perimeter more often than not, and is not expected to provide rebounding or post scoring. And not under ANY circumstances could I envision Bender ever playing SG. He's not quick enough, nor can he handle the ball well enough.

The SF Jon Bender could be an NBA starter someday. The PF Jon Bender could be an all-star someday.

Anthem
04-27-2004, 02:50 AM
Starting shooting guards (mostly per RealGM, some minor modifications)

Atlantic:
P.Pierce
E.Jones
K.Kittles
A.Houston
D.Stevenson
A.Iverson
L.Hughes

Central:
B.Sura
J.Crawford
L.James
R.Hamilton
R.Miller
M.Redd
D.Wesley
V.Carter

Midwest:
M.Finley
V.Lenard
C.Mobley
M.Miller
T.Hassell
H.Turkoglu
G.Giricek

Pacific
M.Pietrus
K.Dooling
Q.Richardson
K.Bryant
J.Johnson
D.Anderson
D.Christie
R.Allen

Okay, so Artest guarding Iverson is a difficult matchup. Artest guarding RIP is difficult as well. Any other players that you think Artest would have trouble defending?

I'd LOVE our chances against any of these guys. Sure, Rip/Ai are difficult covers. But I'd like to see Ai guard Artest in the post. Same with RIP.

Kstat
04-27-2004, 02:50 AM
I don't think positions matter so much. What's essential is to have an inside/outside game. Bender can drain threes. He can play inside and outside. Artest has an average shot. He's shown that he can play both inside and outside. Croshere can shoot. He can play inside and outside. The others usually stick to one or the other.

But, when you have Tinsley, Artest, Bender, Oneal and Harrington/Foster, that's not enough outside shooting to sustain. They all have potential with their outside shot, but other than Bender, they still have aways to go. Look at a team like Sacramento where everyone can shoot. Or San Antonio which has a range of dangerous three point shooters. So again, I don't think position really matters, but you should always have 2-3 people on the court who can drain open jumpers every time.

When you look at NBA clubs, the ones that have the most defensive problems, are the ones starting guys OUT OF POSITION.

Dallas is the IDEAL example. Here you have a SF, Michale Finley, playing the 2. Dirk Nowitzki, who should be a 3 man, is defending the 4. Antoine Walker, who is a pure PF, isneeding to guard centers. Sure offensively, it creates mismatches. But it creates mismatches on DEFENSE as well. Though Ron and Bender aren't as defensively challenged, they will often me matched up on D with guys that are quicker, can beat them to the basket, and that breaks down the whole foundation of your defense. Ron would be able to hold his own on msot nights, he's a great defender. But he wouldn't be the DOMINANT, lock-down defender he is at SF.

Anthem
04-27-2004, 02:51 AM
In the respect that he protects the basket, JO is INDEED a center. However, he has not proven he has the upper body strength to guard many starting NBA centers, so Jeff FOster is sent out there to do the job.

This is crap. You think Jeff Foster has more upper-body strength than Jermaine? No way.

Jermaine's problem isn't his upper body strength... it's that he needs a bigger butt.

Anthem
04-27-2004, 02:53 AM
But, when you have Tinsley, Artest, Bender, Oneal and Harrington/Foster, that's not enough outside shooting to sustain.

It's at least as much outside shooting as we've had from our starting five this year, and we've done all right.

Kstat
04-27-2004, 02:54 AM
Starting shooting guards (mostly per RealGM, some minor modifications)

Atlantic:
P.Pierce
E.Jones
K.Kittles
A.Houston
D.Stevenson
A.Iverson
L.Hughes

Central:
B.Sura
J.Crawford
L.James
R.Hamilton
R.Miller
M.Redd
D.Wesley
V.Carter

Midwest:
M.Finley
V.Lenard
C.Mobley
M.Miller
T.Hassell
H.Turkoglu
G.Giricek

Pacific
M.Pietrus
K.Dooling
Q.Richardson
K.Bryant
J.Johnson
D.Anderson
D.Christie
R.Allen

Okay, so Artest guarding Iverson is a difficult matchup. Artest guarding RIP is difficult as well. Any other players that you think Artest would have trouble defending?

I'd LOVE our chances against any of these guys. Sure, Rip/Ai are difficult covers. But I'd like to see Ai guard Artest in the post. Same with RIP.

see my above post.

Unless you want to become Dallas, and say "yeah, we'll get scored on more, but we'll score even MORE on the other end," I suggest playing guys where they can defend their man.

Ray Allen is a guy that will hurt Ron off screens. Ediie Jones is an outstanding 3-point shooter. Derek Anderson I could see giving him problems. Michael Redd has ALREADY been a nightmare....

Honestly, I only see maybe 2 or 3 SFs in the entire NBA that could even score their average in a series vs Artest. I see 16 or 17 Sgs that would do that or better.

Anthem
04-27-2004, 02:56 AM
Ron would be able to hold his own on msot nights, he's a great defender. But he wouldn't be the DOMINANT, lock-down defender he is at SF.

Except that Ron doesn't guard small forwards or shooting guards, he guards the other team's best perimeter threat. This series, that was Paul Pierce, a shooting guard. If you look down the list I put up, all of the best offensive players (with the exception of Rip) are EXACTLY the kind of guys that Ron guards well. Ron ALREADY guards most of these guys when we play.

You don't waste your best defender on someone who's not a threat to score anyway.

Anthem
04-27-2004, 02:57 AM
Honestly, I only see maybe 2 or 3 SFs in the entire NBA that could even score their average in a series vs Artest. I see 16 or 17 Sgs that would do that or better.

Sixteen or seventeen? You're kidding me.

I'm going to bed, but I'd like to see you name ten.

Tomorrow, folks.

Kstat
04-27-2004, 02:58 AM
Ron would be able to hold his own on msot nights, he's a great defender. But he wouldn't be the DOMINANT, lock-down defender he is at SF.

Except that Ron doesn't guard small forwards or shooting guards, he guards the other team's best perimeter threat. This series, that was Paul Pierce, a shooting guard. If you look down the list I put up, all of the best offensive players (with the exception of Rip) are EXACTLY the kind of guys that Ron guards well. Ron ALREADY guards most of these guys when we play.

You don't waste your best defender on someone who's not a threat to score anyway.

Rip is out best perimeter threat, so why is ron "wasted" on Prince very game?

And as I said before, Pierce is a SF. If the Celtics EVER played with a true SG, Pierce would never play that position again.

Anthem
04-27-2004, 02:59 AM
Rip is out best perimeter threat, so why is ron "wasted" on Prince very game?

And as I said before, Pierce is a SF. If the Celtics EVER played with a true SG, Pierce would never play that position again.

Leave Rip and Ai of it, I've already conceded that Ron will have extreme difficulty guarding those two players. They're hardly typical of shooting guards in the NBA.

And now I'm going to bed.

Kstat
04-27-2004, 03:03 AM
Honestly, I only see maybe 2 or 3 SFs in the entire NBA that could even score their average in a series vs Artest. I see 16 or 17 Sgs that would do that or better.

Sixteen or seventeen? You're kidding me.

I'm going to bed, but I'd like to see you name ten.

Tomorrow, folks.

Kittles, Hamilton, Allen, Redd, Iverson, Jones, Anderson, Bryant, Crawfowd, Houston.

All players that rely on either running off picks, getting to the FT line, shooting the three or scoring in transition. Artest can guard the three-pointer better than most, but coming off picks and chasing his man down in a footrace are NOT things he does exceptionally well. And his strength would work AGAINST him, because he'd much more easily be sending players to the floor on accident.

Suaveness
04-27-2004, 03:20 AM
But, when you have Tinsley, Artest, Bender, Oneal and Harrington/Foster, that's not enough outside shooting to sustain.

It's at least as much outside shooting as we've had from our starting five this year, and we've done all right.

But with Reggie there is the real threat of it. So even if he doesn't make anything, he still scares the hell out of everyone.

I don't think that lineup will work.

Hicks
04-27-2004, 10:27 AM
Wait, why do you say Pierce T-Mac Vince etc. are SFs but not Kobe? Kobe's 6-7"

Kstat
04-27-2004, 03:28 PM
Wait, why do you say Pierce T-Mac Vince etc. are SFs but not Kobe? Kobe's 6-7"

Jordan Was 6'7 too......

Height isn't what makes a SG. Look at Magic, he was a true PG at 6'9"... sometimes you have incredible skills despite your height. Kobe at 6'7" (probably 6'8" now) has the skill set of a SG. He's incredibly fast, doesn't play to his size, has an exceprional jumper.....he doesn't have the physical game of a SF.

Steve Smith is another Prime example of a 6'8" guy that played like a 2-guard.......

DisplacedKnick
04-27-2004, 03:59 PM
Wait, why do you say Pierce T-Mac Vince etc. are SFs but not Kobe? Kobe's 6-7"

Jordan Was 6'7 too......

Height isn't what makes a SG. Look at Magic, he was a true PG at 6'9"... sometimes you have incredible skills despite your height. Kobe at 6'7" (probably 6'8" now) has the skill set of a SG. He's incredibly fast, doesn't play to his size, has an exceprional jumper.....he doesn't have the physical game of a SF.

Steve Smith is another Prime example of a 6'8" guy that played like a 2-guard.......

Add Allan Houston. When the Knicks first got Spree they tried him at SG and AH at SF. Didn't work.

Spree is a much more versatile player and even though he had trouble getting boards, was much more effective there than Houston. In spite of Spree being 6-5 and AH 6-7.

Unclebuck
04-27-2004, 04:47 PM
Rigit now Kobe is the prototype.

But it depends on the players you have on your team, especially the type of point guard you have and type of small forward you have. They have to fit together.


I thought Houston and Sprewell fit well together. You would not want Reggie and Houston, that would not work. Reggie and Jalen were excellent together on the offensive end.

Kstat
04-27-2004, 04:49 PM
Rigit now Kobe is the prototype.

But it depends on the players you have on your team, especially the type of point guard you have and type of small forward you have. They have to fit together.


I thought Houston and Sprewell fit well together. You would not want Reggie and Houston, that would not work. Reggie and Jalen were excellent together on the offensive end.

Jalen is (and should be ) a natural small forward. He's more versatile than most players, but if you look at his skill set and where the majority of his success has been, it has been at the SF spot. Reggie at the 2 and Jalen at the 3 was a natural lineup.

Sprewell and Houston often crowded the court for each other.

sweabs
04-27-2004, 04:51 PM
Jalen is (and should be ) a natural small forward. He's more versatile than most players, but if you look at his skill set and where the majority of his success has been, it has been at the SF spot.

And he should NOT be a PG!!!!!!! Turnover mania!!! I see all the Raptor games, and man is it sad to see him play the point. :cry:

Kstat
04-27-2004, 04:55 PM
Jalen is (and should be ) a natural small forward. He's more versatile than most players, but if you look at his skill set and where the majority of his success has been, it has been at the SF spot.

And he should NOT be a PG!!!!!!! Turnover mania!!! I see all the Raptor games, and man is it sad to see him play the point. :cry:

And thats why Jalen will NEVER reach his potential as a player. He's not a PG. He can't defend the PG spot, and can't penetrate the lane at a PG shoul. Jalen is a post-up forward with good passing skills. That does NOT make him a PG.

Jalen is a CLASSIC example of what happens when a guy plays out of position. Compare the Jalen of 2000 to the Jalen now, Its not even CLOSE.