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Thread: How many types of NBA players are there when you break it down beyond the usual five positions?

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    Default How many types of NBA players are there when you break it down beyond the usual five positions?

    Obviously we usually describe players as point guards, shooting guards, small forwards, power forwards, and centers.

    Obviously we all know it's more complicated than that.

    I'm interested in trying to assemble the 'definitive list' of NBA positions.

    Off the top of my head, I can think of:

    Distributing point guards (Kidd, Mark Jackson)
    Scoring point guards (Rose, Westbrook, Parker, DC)
    Jump shooting point guards (need a better title here; I'm thinking of backup PGs you usually just take jumpers offensively; AJ Price, Toney Douglas, CJ Watson)

    Spot-up shooting guards (Korver, Rush)
    Slasher or scoring shooting guards (Marquis Daniels, Wade)

    Spot-up small forwards (Stojakovic)
    Slasher or scoring small forwards (LeBron, Melo)

    Stretch / spot-up power forward (Troy Murphy, Rashard Lewis)
    Finesse power forward (Dirk, Pau)
    Banger power forward (Zach Randolph)

    Stretch / spot-up center (Sam Perkins, Raef LaFrentz)
    Finesse center (Roy Hibbert, Rik Smits)
    Banger center (Shaq, Dwight Howard)

    Honorable mention to players who fit into multiple positions (combo guards, general "wings", guys who can play 2-4, tweener forwards, forward-centers)

    What's missing? What's a better title for what I've thrown out here?

    I don't want to get too picky, but I thought the above was a reasonable amount of sub-division beyond the usual PG, SG, SF, PF, and C.

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    Release Psycho T pwee31's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many types of NBA players are there when you break it down beyond the usual five positions?

    I would like add defense into the mix somewhere, like shot blocking center (Mutombo), or defensive stopper wing (Tony Allen, Bruce Bowen)... something along those lines

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    Default Re: How many types of NBA players are there when you break it down beyond the usual five positions?

    Paycheck Eaters: (Eddie Curry)

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    Default Re: How many types of NBA players are there when you break it down beyond the usual five positions?

    The point forward, played by the one and only Magic Johnson. But others included Odom, Mcroberts, and of course Lebron. Really the point forward is the most devastating position in basketball. I would love to see McRoberts really develop as a point forward.
    Last edited by graphic-er; 05-24-2011 at 10:52 PM.
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    Default Re: How many types of NBA players are there when you break it down beyond the usual five positions?

    I consider Magic a point guard, but of course he could play anywhere, including at forward, and at which point he'd be a point forward.

    Still, with both point forward and defensive specialist, I'm having trouble thinking of someone who fits either of those titles without also being one of the already-listed positions.

    LeBron is a point-forward, but he's also a scoring/slashing small forward.

    Brandon Rush is a defensive specialist, but he's also a spot-up shooting guard.

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    Default Re: How many types of NBA players are there when you break it down beyond the usual five positions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    Still, with both point forward and defensive specialist, I'm having trouble thinking of someone who fits either of those titles without also being one of the already-listed positions.
    Dudley Bradley was an example of a defensive specialist who wasn't good for much else.

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    Default Re: How many types of NBA players are there when you break it down beyond the usual five positions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    I consider Magic a point guard, but of course he could play anywhere, including at forward, and at which point he'd be a point forward.

    Still, with both point forward and defensive specialist, I'm having trouble thinking of someone who fits either of those titles without also being one of the already-listed positions.

    LeBron is a point-forward, but he's also a scoring/slashing small forward.

    Brandon Rush is a defensive specialist, but he's also a spot-up shooting guard.
    Magic is 6'-8" LOL! You ever see a 6'-8" Point Guard? He is a Point Forward, just alike Lebron James is a point Forward. Lebron and Magic are nearly identical players in terms of skill. Lebron is more physical though. While Magic was smoooooooth.

    Oh yeah and wasn't Byron Scott the Lakers Point Guard during Magic's heyday?
    Last edited by graphic-er; 05-25-2011 at 12:01 AM.
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    Default Re: How many types of NBA players are there when you break it down beyond the usual five positions?

    Quote Originally Posted by graphic-er View Post
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    Magic is 6'-8" LOL! You ever see a 6'-8" Point Guard? He is a Point Forward, just alike Lebron James is a point Forward. Lebron and Magic are nearly identical players in terms of skill. Lebron is more physical though. While Magic was smoooooooth.

    Oh yeah and wasn't Byron Scott the Lakers Point Guard during Magic's heyday?
    Byron Scott was a 2. Magic played point guard.

    Their forwards were James Worthy and Jamaal Wilkes.

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    Default Re: How many types of NBA players are there when you break it down beyond the usual five positions?

    There are "General" point guards who aren't distributors or scorers, like Chauncey. He's more of a pacemaker and someone who keeps the game in a good flow.

    I would differentiate that from "playmaker" point guards that make the play happen on their penetration, but not to set up the play after that. Both are scorers, but I think Tyreke and Westbrook totally fit that bill. TJ Ford fits that bill too.

    James Harden shows a different type of shooting guard. He's a "General" shooting guard, who keeps the offense flowing.

    There's "Point Forward". I think Mike Dunleavy fits that better (or would fit it perfectly if that's how we played him) than shooting or slashing forward.

    "Facilitator Power Forward". Josh McRoberts .

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    Default Re: How many types of NBA players are there when you break it down beyond the usual five positions?

    Most interesting thing that I heard was something Jalen Rose said not too long ago.

    He said something along the lines of people have to remember that positions were something created so that fans could categorize players, he said that most of these guys just play basketball and have different skills.

    I guess I never really think about it that way but I think if coaches start to think about things this way then it could really help out a team.

    So instead of your initial categories of various types of pg, sg, etc, what about just listing them by a combination of their skill sets.

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    Default Re: How many types of NBA players are there when you break it down beyond the usual five positions?

    Quote Originally Posted by graphic-er View Post
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    Magic is 6'-8" LOL! You ever see a 6'-8" Point Guard?
    Yeah. His name was Earvin Johnson. Actually, he was 6'9".

    He is a Point Forward, just alike Lebron James is a point Forward.
    The only time Magic played SF that I recall is when he briefly made a comeback in the mid 1990's, years after he retired due to his HIV diagnosis.

    Lebron and Magic are nearly identical players in terms of skill. Lebron is more physical though. While Magic was smoooooooth.
    LeBron is more of a hybrid between Jordan, Magic, and Karl Malone. Jordan's scoring ability and athleticism, Magic's versatility/skill, and Malone's power/size.

    Oh yeah and wasn't Byron Scott the Lakers Point Guard during Magic's heyday?
    Shooting guard.

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    Default Re: How many types of NBA players are there when you break it down beyond the usual five positions?

    Quote Originally Posted by imawhat View Post
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    There are "General" point guards who aren't distributors or scorers, like Chauncey. He's more of a pacemaker and someone who keeps the game in a good flow.

    I would differentiate that from "playmaker" point guards that make the play happen on their penetration, but not to set up the play after that. Both are scorers, but I think Tyreke and Westbrook totally fit that bill. TJ Ford fits that bill too.

    James Harden shows a different type of shooting guard. He's a "General" shooting guard, who keeps the offense flowing.

    There's "Point Forward". I think Mike Dunleavy fits that better (or would fit it perfectly if that's how we played him) than shooting or slashing forward.

    "Facilitator Power Forward". Josh McRoberts .
    Actually, wouldn't Mike Dunleavy be a "Facilitator Small Forward" moreso than a "Point Forward"? At least in Indiana, that's how I viewed him. I vaguely recall they experimented with him at the point in Golden State, though, so maybe you're right. Or maybe he's both.

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    Default Re: How many types of NBA players are there when you break it down beyond the usual five positions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Really? View Post
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    Most interesting thing that I heard was something Jalen Rose said not too long ago.

    He said something along the lines of people have to remember that positions were something created so that fans could categorize players, he said that most of these guys just play basketball and have different skills.

    I guess I never really think about it that way but I think if coaches start to think about things this way then it could really help out a team.

    So instead of your initial categories of various types of pg, sg, etc, what about just listing them by a combination of their skill sets.
    But is Jalen factually correct, though? I have to imagine (and it's been a while since I've read a book that touches on the creation of the game, so maybe I'm wrong) that it's more likely those positions were born out of different positions on the floor and then later molded by the different player skill sets.

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    Play McRoberts and Price! BRushWithDeath's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many types of NBA players are there when you break it down beyond the usual five positions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    LeBron is more of a hybrid between Jordan, Magic, and Karl Malone. Jordan's scoring ability and athleticism, Magic's versatility/skill, and Malone's power/size.
    It is truly remarkable that a comparison like that could be made without sounding like a lunatic. A hybrid of the best SG in history, arguably the best PG in history, and arguably the best PF in history. But it can be made and be done logically.

    And barring the next CBA breaking them up, I see no reason why the next 5 titles don't go through Miami.
    "I had to take her down like Chris Brown."

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    Default Re: How many types of NBA players are there when you break it down beyond the usual five positions?

    Can anyone think of an example of a point forward who played at the power forward position?

    I've read/heard Anthony Mason was considered a point forward, and what I remember of him was when he played the 4, but wasn't he actually a 3 for the Knicks? An enormous 3.

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    Default Re: How many types of NBA players are there when you break it down beyond the usual five positions?

    Quote Originally Posted by BRushWithDeath View Post
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    It is truly remarkable that a comparison like that could be made without sounding like a lunatic. A hybrid of the best SG in history, arguably the best PG in history, and arguably the best PF in history. But it can be made and be done logically.

    And barring the next CBA breaking them up, I see no reason why the next 5 titles don't go through Miami.
    It is. And I forgot to mention his speed/quickness.

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    Default Re: How many types of NBA players are there when you break it down beyond the usual five positions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    Can anyone think of an example of a point forward who played at the power forward position?

    I've read/heard Anthony Mason was considered a point forward, and what I remember of him was when he played the 4, but wasn't he actually a 3 for the Knicks? An enormous 3.
    Chris Webber? Vlade Divac (really a center)

    JMac could project to this at a lower level, I think.

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    Default Re: How many types of NBA players are there when you break it down beyond the usual five positions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Speed View Post
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    Chris Webber? Vlade Divac (really a center)

    JMac could project to this at a lower level, I think.
    Correct if I'm wrong, but I really don't recall Chris Webber bringing the ball up the floor that much. I'm not trying to be a homer, but I really belive J-Mac may be the exception of a point-forward playing from the power forward spot. I don't get scared or worried when he brings the ball upcourt.

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    Default Re: How many types of NBA players are there when you break it down beyond the usual five positions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Speed View Post
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    Chris Webber? Vlade Divac (really a center)

    JMac could project to this at a lower level, I think.
    They're all great passers, but did any of them actually run the offense, or did they just handle the ball more often because they were good passers?

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    Default Re: How many types of NBA players are there when you break it down beyond the usual five positions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    They're all great passers, but did any of them actually run the offense, or did they just handle the ball more often because they were good passers?
    Right, that is a good distinction.

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    Default Re: How many types of NBA players are there when you break it down beyond the usual five positions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    Can anyone think of an example of a point forward who played at the power forward position?

    I've read/heard Anthony Mason was considered a point forward, and what I remember of him was when he played the 4, but wasn't he actually a 3 for the Knicks? An enormous 3.
    Lamar Odom

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    Default Re: How many types of NBA players are there when you break it down beyond the usual five positions?

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaas0532 View Post
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    Lamar Odom
    Has he ran an offense?

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    Default Re: How many types of NBA players are there when you break it down beyond the usual five positions?

    Quote Originally Posted by BRushWithDeath View Post
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    It is truly remarkable that a comparison like that could be made without sounding like a lunatic. A hybrid of the best SG in history, arguably the best PG in history, and arguably the best PF in history. But it can be made and be done logically.

    And barring the next CBA breaking them up, I see no reason why the next 5 titles don't go through Miami.
    Absolutely. All drama aside, we are witnessing someone who could displace Jordan as the greatest of all time. Not DRose, not DWade, not Kobe --- LeBron. He has a long way to go in terms of championships, but it's something he can achieve. Your statement is absolutely spot on --- his comparisons to 3 of the best players in history at different positions is astounding. But it's true. I've never seen anyone like him, athletically. His physical combination of speed, quickness, size, strength, leaping ability, lateral movement is something this world hasn't seen before. Best player ever, Jordan, was athletic, but he can't match LeBron's strength and size.

    Then you consider the mental aspects, he's got the smarts, he's got the complete package in terms of skillset, he can rebound, he can pass, he can get to the rim with ease, he can hit 3 pointers from 30 feet like they're free throws, he's good in transition, he's good in the half-court, he can run the point, he score in the paint with his back to the basket... I've never seen a more "complete" game. He literally can do almost everything, and extremely well.

    Then you throw in the fact that he can be the best defender in the league at times... it's just unbelievable to think of.
    Last edited by Kid Minneapolis; 05-25-2011 at 12:00 PM.
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    Default Re: How many types of NBA players are there when you break it down beyond the usual five positions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    Actually, wouldn't Mike Dunleavy be a "Facilitator Small Forward" moreso than a "Point Forward"? At least in Indiana, that's how I viewed him. I vaguely recall they experimented with him at the point in Golden State, though, so maybe you're right. Or maybe he's both.
    This is just in my head, but the difference between a facilitator forward and a point forward is that a facilitator does a majority of their work in a half court setting and almost no work in transition or full court. That's where the distinction is made, imo. Nobody was passing the ball to Josh so he could bring it up in transition where they would've passed it to Mike. Josh's transition work came solely from his own rebounds or bailouts from backcourt traps.

    I think that also helps with your question further below about point power forwards. The offense was facilitated and in some cases initiated in Sacto with Chris Webber, but he was not a true point forward. And by my definition, I cannot think of a power forward that was intentionally given half court and full court "point" responsibilities.

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    Default Re: How many types of NBA players are there when you break it down beyond the usual five positions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    Has he ran an offense?
    sure. back when he played for miami, the offense ran through him.

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