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A Combo Guard is a basketball player who combines the attributes of a shooting guard and point guard, but does not fit the prototype of either position. Such guards usually play a shooting-guard-type game (looking more to score than to pass) but lack the height to guard opposing shooting guards effectively and some of the skills to direct an offense that a "pure" point would display. Such players are also known as "combination (or combo) guards". But after the success of Dwyane Wade during the 2004-05 NBA season, there has been less of a stigma attached to the term and many current elite prospects are combo guards, such as Randy Foye, Eric Gordon, O. J. Mayo, and Russell Westbrook. Most commonly, shooting guards are called "tweeners" when considered too short for NBA-level starting competition at the position. This generally is applied to shooting guards that are 6'4" and below in height. Conversely, they are unable to play point guard successfully at the highest level of professional basketball due to a lack of the mental specialization and understanding of the game that this position requires. These players are often referred to as being "a shooting guard trapped in a point guard's body." Some good examples of this are Allen Iverson, Stephon Marbury, Delonte West, Monta Ellis, Gilbert Arenas, Jason Terry, Ben Gordon, Juan Dixon, Steve Francis, Eddie House, John Paxson, Steve Kerr, Danny Ainge, Aaron Brooks and Luther Head. This is in stark contrast to pass-first type point guards who traditionally play the position such as Jamaal Tinsley, Jason Kidd, Andre Miller, Deron Williams and Steve Nash, among others.

There are also the rarer type of combo guards that are able to play both back court positions almost interchangeably because of a unique ability to play each position equally well. Such players are generally a bit shorter than the average shooting guard but are equal to other players at the position in terms of strength and athletic ability. While they are also generally bigger and stronger than most point guards, yet still have the ball handling, passing and play making skills of points. They may be forced at times to play as a point guard on the defensive end if they have to guard a bigger than average shooting guard on defense in the low post. They also may be forced at times to play as a shooting guard on offense because of the nature of their offensive style of game lending itself to a propensity to commit turnovers.

They possess both good scoring and play making ability. They dominate the ball and often play as a primary ball handler, much like a point guard, but typically they prefer to attack on the offensive end to either score a bucket or break down the defense in order to pass. This is in contrast to a pure point guard that looks to run the set offense at all times. However, if need be they can also play in the mode of a pass first point guard. Dwyane Wade is an NBA combo guard of this type, being able to play as a pass first guard and also having the abilities of a pure shooting guard, because he can play both positions effectively. A great example of this particular type of combo guard in the Euroleague is Vasileios Spanoulis and Igor Rakočević.

Guards Basketball half-court 1. Point Guard Combo Guard (PG/SG)
2. Shooting Guard Swingman (SG/SF)
Forwards 3. Small Forward Cornerman (SF/PF)
4. Power Forward Point Forward (PG/SF, PG/PF)
Center 5. Center Forward-Center (PF/C)
Captain | Head Coach | Referees and officials
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File:Allen Iverson
Allen Iverson is one of the NBA's top combo guards.

A combo guard is a basketball player who combines the attributes of a shooting guard (2) and point guard (1), but does not necessarily fit the standard description of either position. Such guards are usually within the 6'2" to 6'4" (1.88 to 1.93 m) height range.

Combo guards became prominent in the 90’s, when players such as Iverson were switched between playing point guard and shooting guard depending on offensive and defensive situations. Combo guards use their ball-handling skills to bring the ball up the court and set up teammates, while also being able to create their own shot.

The best combo-guards use their "in-between" height and athleticism to their own advantage: smaller shooting guards will use speed and quickness to run past bigger players, while bigger point guards will shoot over the top of smaller players with their jump shots.

Historically, combo-guards have been viewed as difficult for coaches to fit into an offensive system; however, combo-guards have more recently become an important part of basketball, especially in the NBA. Dwyane Wade, a shooting guard who also dominates ball handling, led the Miami Heat to their first ever NBA Championship, as well as taking home the Finals MVP. In addition, the shift in the sport from a fundamental-driven style of play to one more scoring-orientated means that the inferior passing ability of such guards is not viewed as a serious detriment. This shift is in part explained by hand-checking rules instituted by the NBA in 2007, which makes it a foul for a defender to use his hands to impede an offensive player. This allowed many smaller, weaker combo guards to use their speed to drive around stronger, taller players. players[1]. In fact, many shorter young players (i.e. 6'2"/1.88 m or less) focus on developing their scoring abilities, whereas previously they would have to be proper point guards with the innate ability to pass to succeed in the professional leagues.

This is in stark contrast to 'true' (or 'pure') point guards such as Jason Kidd, Deron Williams, Steve Nash, Tony Parker, and Chris Paul. These players exhibit a pass-first mentality, value assists and steals over points, and revel in the responsibility of playmaker rather than finisher. They conform to the perception that a point guard's duties are to direct the offense, distribute the ball, create scoring opportunities for others, and attempt the shot only if there are no open team-mates to be found.

Prominent combo guards include Iverson, Wade, Stephon Marbury, Steve Francis, Gilbert Arenas, Jason Terry, Monta Ellis, Ben Gordon, Mo Williams, Stephen Curry, Tyreke Evans, Eric Gordon, Derrick Rose, and Russell Westbrook. Jannero Pargo and Devin Brown have played point guard unless Chris Paul was on the floor at the same time.

Great examples of combo guards in the Euroleague are Vasileios Spanoulis, Igor Rakočević and Sergio Llull.

Basketball positions
Guards 1. Point Guard Combo Guard (PG/SG)
2. Shooting Guard Guard-Forward/Swingman (SG/SF)
Forwards 3. Small Forward Combo Forward/Cornerman (SF/PF)
4. Power Forward Point Forward (PG/SF, PG/PF)
Center 5. Center Forward-Center/Bigman (PF/C)
Captain | Head Coach | Referees and officials
  1. ^ http://www.nba.com/features/stujackson_bogpresentation_070503.html

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