To be an elite point guard, you either have to be crazy athletic or immensely fast-paced. There’s no in-between at all because if you don’t have those abilities, it’s hard to be a threat in the court. However, the question still remains whether point guards always need to be fast or not.
You don’t have to be super fast on the court if you have good ball handling, jumpers, or any other skill set. Usually, point guards are very athletic or extremely good at shooting. Some are great at dribbling and pacing. So, you just have to have the skills to support your team from behind.
While the debate will rage on, there’s definitely a need for speed in point guards. Let’s check out the importance of speed!
Why are Point Guards Generally Fast? Do point guards need to be fast?
There are many reasons for point guards to be fast and agile on the court. If a point guard is fast, then he/she can add these certain benefits for the team-
Make Space for Attack:
With fast speed, comes the ability to penetrate and disrupt the opponent’s defense. Your acceleration can make your opponent wary and create space for forwards to move freely to score.
Dribble Past Your Opponent:
Well, more often than not, speed is the difference that makes a point shine when it comes to one-on-one play. Even without a teammate’s screen, you can just break the opponent’s ankle with your pace and dribble.
Total Lockdown in Defense:
Because of the pace, you can recover faster and move to the defense side to hold down the fort. In clutch situations, speed is paramount and you can’t overstate the value it adds to the momentum.
So, that’s the overall benefit of having acrobatic legs in basketball. However, is there no way to overcome this speed barrier for a point guard? Well, there are definitely ways to compensate for the pace with other great skills!
Know the best basketball shoes for quick guards.
Which Skills Do You Need If You Don’t Have Speed As a Point Guard?
From dribbling to shooting, there are many ways to perfect your role as a point guard. Don’t be so down by the fact that you don’t have the fastest speed in the game. There are many ways you can contribute to the winning spree of your team!
Spatial Awareness & Tempo Control:
Just by being aware of your teammates’ positions and tempo, you can cover a lot. Not only can you control your half-court but you can pressurize the opponent to make mistakes.
Like Steph Curry, Damian Lillard, and tons of great players, you can be the master of three-pointers as a point guard. If you can shoot from the outside, opponents will be tackling you more and open up space for direct attacks.
Passing & Screening:
Without having a wide build or being fast, good positioning and screening can be a lethal weapon on the court. Also, having great passing skills make you more vigilant and aggressive.
Leading & Handling Pressure:
For a point guard, leadership skills can go a long way. Not only will it help you to handle pressure on the court but also you can cool your teammates off the court.
In conclusion, while speed can be a valuable asset for a point guard on the court, it is not the only determining factor in their success. Other skills such as court vision, passing ability, shooting accuracy, leadership, and decision-making can also play a crucial role in a point guard’s performance.
While fast point guards have had success in the past, there have also been many successful point guards who were not known for their speed. Ultimately, a point guard’s abilities should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, taking into account a variety of factors rather than just speed.