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Power forward (basketball): Wikis


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Power forward is a position in the sport of basketball. The position is referred to in playbook terms as the four position and is commonly abbreviated "PF". Power forwards play a role similar to that of center in what is called the "post" or "low blocks". They play offensively with their backs to the basket on offense and position themselves defensively under the basket in a zone defense or against the opposing power forward on defense in man-to-man defense.

The power forward position entails a variety of responsibilities at higher levels of play. Many power forwards are noted for their mid-range jumper, and several other big men have become very accurate from 12 to even 18 feet. These skills are more typically exhibited in the European style of play. While Dirk Nowitzki is not noted for his strong inside game or his physical post play, many of his skills, particularly his strong reliance on the jump shot, compare favorably to those of a typical small forward. Other power forwards who add long-range shooting to their skillset include Antawn Jamison, Rasheed Wallace, and Troy Murphy. In addition, some "natural" power forwards often play the center position and have the skills but lack the height that is more closely associated with that position.

As the position runs the gamut of offensive and defensive capabilities for players usually ranging from 6' 8" to 6' 11" and 240 lb to 260 lb or more. Despite the average heights and weights, their have been a variety of players fit "tweener" roles where may find them in the small forward and/or center position depending upon the matchup and coaching philosophy. One example of an effective power forward who did not fit the standard physical description for that position was Dennis Rodman, who was able to out-rebound and defensively shut down rival power forwards despite being listed at 6 ft 8 in and only 210 lb (2.03 m and 95 kg, although around 225 lbs later on his his career) but his real height was closer to 6 ft 6 and 3/4 (1.99 m). Likewise, Charles Barkley was widely considered as one of the most dominating power forwards of all time, despite being officially listed at only 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) and reportedly closer to 6' 5" or 6' 4" (1.96 to 1.93 m) or 6' 4" 3/4 (1.95 m). Barkley's playing weight of roughly 260 lb (117 kg) was typical for the position, despite giving up close to four inches on the average height in many matchups. Likewise, Shawn Marion annually ranks among league leaders in rebounds while of similar size to Rodman; he is often listed as a small forward while assuming the defensive duties of a power forward for many matchups. Power forwards are not necessarily undersized; the duos of David Robinson / Tim Duncan & Ralph Sampson / Hakeem Olajuwon are a notable pairs that could play either position, called Center-Forwards (CF).

Power forwards who were named to the NBA's 50 Greatest Players list include Charles Barkley, Dave DeBusschere, Elvin Hayes, Jerry Lucas, Kevin McHale, Karl Malone and Bob Pettit.

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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