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Question for basketball experts re: the #3 spot - SF or SG?

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  • Question for basketball experts re: the #3 spot - SF or SG?

    Obviously every team has someone on the court that plays the 3.

    However, I notice that in starting lineups, some list this position as a guard and some as a forward. This confuses me.

    Like tonight, Brandon Rush is listed as a forward, at 6'6" and Chris Douglas-Roberts is listed as a guard at 6'7".

    Likewise, even if listed as a forward, isn't someone play the 5 spot? Why not just list them as a center?

    I have complete faith that someone on this esteemed forum, steeped in basketball knowledge will offer an explanation that even I can understand.

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    I'll take a shot. When teams play three guard lineups they don't really have a SF. So they won't be listed as such. Even though someone plays the 5 (someone has to) that doesn't necessarily mean they're a center. I think the descriptions are more of the player than the position. In my opinion, CDR plays like more of a guard than does Rush. So I can see why CDR is listed as a guard while Rush is a forward. This may be a small technicallity but I understand it this way and it makes sense to me. I've even seen teams listed with four guards and one forward. It is what it is. And I'm sure this post doesn't make great sense. Maybe someone can put it into better words for ya. TMH?
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    • #3
      You seem to want a "black and white" answer to something that's fairly subjective.

      Many teams play with at least 3 players that are able to handle the ball and shoot from the outside, as well as 2-3 players that can post-up in the paint. To strictly define positions around those skills, does not reflect the evolution of the game or the skill sets found among many modern players.
      "Don't measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should accomplish with your ability."
      -John Wooden

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      • #4
        The other night, they did introduce Brandon Rush as a guard, and not a forward.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by SubGod22
          I'll take a shot. When teams play three guard lineups they don't really have a SF. So they won't be listed as such. Even though someone plays the 5 (someone has to) that doesn't necessarily mean they're a center. I think the descriptions are more of the player than the position. In my opinion, CDR plays like more of a guard than does Rush. So I can see why CDR is listed as a guard while Rush is a forward. This may be a small technicallity but I understand it this way and it makes sense to me. I've even seen teams listed with four guards and one forward. It is what it is. And I'm sure this post doesn't make great sense. Maybe someone can put it into better words for ya. TMH?
          Seems fairly well stated to me. In most cases, as Sub mentions, it has to go with the style of the individual player.

          Players come into the program out of high school and get assigned the designation of "guard" or "forward" or "center" for things like media guides, etc. based on how their style of play and skill set is evaluated, not on how they may ultimately be utilized. These designations are rarely changed.

          The differentiation between guard and forward (aside from height) generally refers to A) whether a player has a finesse game or a power game and B) how much does a player play facing the basket compared to playing with his back to the basket.

          The problem with the 3 is that whoever plays there is often called on to be both a finesse and power player and asked to play both facing the basket and with his back to the basket. This means that the more capable a player is of playing the 3, the more he has both guard and forward traits in his game, thus making the assignment of the title guard or forward more difficult.

          In some cases, like Crouch at Bradley when he played the 3 when Ruffin and Franklin played the 1 and 2 a year ago or Jamar Howard, it is easy to decide what to call the 3 man, because his skills are skewed in one direction or the other.

          It is much harder to do with players like PJ for us, Douglas Roberts, or Rush, who are much more balanced.

          I must admit that I understand the distinction between power forward and center less than I probably should.
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          • #6
            Re: Question for basketball experts re: the #3 spot - SF or

            Originally posted by ABC
            Obviously every team has someone on the court that plays the 3.

            However, I notice that in starting lineups, some list this position as a guard and some as a forward. This confuses me.

            Like tonight, Brandon Rush is listed as a forward, at 6'6" and Chris Douglas-Roberts is listed as a guard at 6'7".

            Likewise, even if listed as a forward, isn't someone play the 5 spot? Why not just list them as a center?

            I have complete faith that someone on this esteemed forum, steeped in basketball knowledge will offer an explanation that even I can understand.

            Thanks in advance.

            Many teams have nodistinction between the 4 and the 5 in any of their sets, so in fact, there is no "center" ...just 2 bigs running interchangeable roles in each set.

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