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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. Having the ball in the point forward's hands increases offensive mobility by allowing guards to move without the ball and create plays when they receive the ball. Point forwards also need to be competent ball handlers and passers. As such, the point forward is a particularly viable option for teams with offensively skilled shooting guards or combo guards playing on the 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. [1] 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. [2]. [3] Perhaps the most notable NBA point forwards are the 6'9" Earvin "Magic" Johnson, who orchestrated the Lakers' offense in the 1980s and was actually the team's point guard, which allowed his teams to have a dominant size advantage over opponents and allowed Johnson to play all five positions on the floor at various times in his career; the 6'8" Scottie Pippen, who played with the Chicago Bulls, Portland Trail Blazers and Houston Rockets and ran the offense; 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; and the 6'8" LeBron James, who is also described as a cornerman and swingman. An 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.

LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers is the most well known point forward in the current generation of NBA players. Other notable point forwards include: Rockets forward Tracy McGrady, Hedo Turkoglu, a Turkish player on the Toronto Raptors, the French player Boris Diaw, Pistons forward Tayshaun Prince, Thunder forward Kevin Durant, Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko, Lakers forward Lamar Odom and the Sixers forward Andre Iguodala. On top of that, many players can opt to run the offense through the post or from positions differing from the key--Tim Duncan and Detlef Schrempf were both known to do this at various points in their careers.

Alternatively, a point guard playing like a conventional forward can also be considered a point forward, although this usage of the term is uncommon. 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 (who had the size of many small forwards in his era) and Jason Kidd are examples of NBA players, who have averaged near career triple-doubles including both rebounds and assists. An example of this type of player from the Euroleague is the Greek player Dimitris Diamantidis.

At the high school level, since height can sometimes be an issue, a point forward is often used as a guard on offense and as a big man on defense. At this level of play, the typical size of the point forward would be very tall as well as skinny and lengthy. On some high school teams where size is an issue or they have a great player who is too big to be a guard, the player will trail behind the point guard and be a secondary playmaker. On defense the point forward may be asked to defend bigger guys such as the power forward. On offense and defense they will use their speed and length to their advantage.

References

Guards Basketball half-court 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 (PF/C)
Captain | Head Coach | Referees and officials
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