Point forward

Point forward is an unofficial playing position in basketball for those who share the attributes of both a point guard and a forward.

A point forward is usually described as a forward (either a small forward or a power forward) who possesses the ball handling skills and court vision to bring the ball up the court and to initiate the team's offense. The player's size also causes match-up problems as bulkier forwards may not want to guard a point forward around the perimeter constantly. Also the point forward can cause problems for the opposing defense by posting up smaller guards. As such, the point forward is a particularly viable option for teams without a true point guard and also for teams that have small shooting guards or combo guards playing in their back court.

One of the first examples of an NBA point forward was John Johnson, who played the point forward role for the Seattle SuperSonics of the 1970s, alongside two guards who were more scoring-minded in Gus Williams and Dennis Johnson. cite web|title= John Johnson: Point Forward|url=http://www.nba.com/sonics/history/johnjohnson.html|publisher=NBA .com|accessdate=2008-04-23.] Some other notable examples are Marques Johnson and Paul Pressey, who were both played that role while under Head Coach Don Nelson for the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1980s.cite web|title=Basketball U on Swingmen|url=http://www.nba.com/canada/bu_swingmen.html|publisher=NBA .com Canada|accessdate=2007-09-06.] . cite web|title=Original point forward|url=http://hoopshype.com/articles/johnson_ferranti.htm|publisher=hoopshype .com|accessdate=2008-08-23.] Perhaps the most notable NBA point forwards are the 6'9" Earvin "Magic" Johnson,who orchestrated the Show time Lakers' offense in the 1980s and often played the point guard position, the 6'8" Scottie Pippen, who played with the Chicago Bulls, Portland Trail Blazers and Houston Rockets and ran the offense and the 6'9" Larry Bird, who while playing as a small forward or power forward often ran the offense for the great Boston Celtics teams of the 1980s. An excellent example of a Euroleague point forward of this type is the 6'7" Greek player Theo Papaloukas, a player that brings the ball down the court, runs the offense and creates plays.

One current NBA star that has this ability is LeBron James; he is originally a forward but he is well-known to bring the ball down the court like a point guard, to run the offense and often to create and initiate plays. Lamar Odom is also a good example because he is often entrusted to become the primary play maker and ball handler of his team at the power forward position. Another notable point forward in the NBA is the French player Boris Diaw.

Anthony Mason, Grant Hill, and Antoine Walker are other well-known players who have demonstrated the ability to play this position in the NBA in the past. The Italian NBA player Danilo Gallinari is also a point forward.

On the other way around, a point guard playing like a forward, can also be considered as a point forward. Guards playing as forwards, going for the rebound, scoring points, giving assists, able to post up guards and even with the ability to guard bigger wing players. Oscar Robertson and Jason Kidd are very good examples of NBA players, who have averaged near career triple-doubles in both rebounds and assists. A very good example of this type of player from the Euroleague is the Greek player Dimitris Diamantidis.

References


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