Playing shooting guard in basketball is a position that requires a lot of speed and precision. Shooting Guards must be able to find openings, make shots with a high percentage, and play defense. The fundamentals of shooting guard in basketball will be covered in detail in this article, along with some outstanding players who have made this position renowned.
Why is a Shooting Guard Called a Shooting Guard?
A shooting guard is called a shooting guard because they are usually the best shooter or scorer on their team. Many teams have two separate guards for each position. Which allows them to play different styles of offense against other teams.
What is a Shooting Guard Supposed To Do?
Shooting guards must be able to play defense and make shots with a high efficiency. The opponent will find it simple to score against their squad if they are unable to do one of those things!
Nobody wants to watch their best shooter play defense the entire game! That is absurd. Also, it would make it much simpler for other players on the opposing side to earn numerous points because they would only have half of your squad defending them and no assistance from anybody else. A terrific coach who appreciates the player’s importance in striving to win games is required for a good shooting guard!
How To Become a Better Shooting Guard
Get Good at the Opposite Hand
One of the easiest ways to become a better shooting guard is by becoming adept at using either hand. This will help you get around defenders and create scoring opportunities for yourself as well as your team.
The next time you practice, try doing all drills with your non-dominant hand! You can also watch videos on YouTube or read books about how to play basketball using both hands. So that it becomes second nature no matter what type of defense an opponent uses against you during a game.
Master the Mid-Range Jump Shot
The mid-range jump shot is one of the most common shots in basketball. So it only makes sense to master this type of shot. It can be difficult though because you have to get very close to the basket and take a high percentage shot from within 15 feet!
Athletes need to understand how much space they need to shoot a mid-range jump shot. Because if you approach too closely, your opponent may block your shot or attempt to force a poor one. Being too far away will make it simple for an opponent playing defense on you to take the ball, which will allow them to quickly score two points before anybody else notices!
A good drill would involve repeating it while having a guard on your side. It forces you to consider all the potential strategies for getting a decent shot off.
By doing this, you’ll improve your mid-range shooting skills and, ideally, your team will score more points.
Learn to Score without Dribbling
Many shooting guards are so used to taking shots with the ball that they have a difficult time scoring without dribbling. It is important however that you learn how to score even if your opponent forces you into taking a shot using only one hand!
Ray Allen, Reggie Miller, and Klay Thompson are just a few of the great players that excelled at shooting after just one dribble. After a practice or before a game where no defenders are required, an excellent drill would be to practice these kinds of shots by yourself. In order to prepare your muscles for when it actually occurs during a game, do this first.
Learn How to Read Space When You Have the Ball
Another important aspect of being a shooting guard in basketball is learning how to read space as you have the ball. If your defender plays off of you then shoot. But if they play close and take away that shot immediately pass to an open teammate who has plenty of room for movement!
This way of thinking can help you create scoring opportunities and will train your teammates’ shooting, which could help them win games as well!
Simplify Your Shot
Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, you must learn how to simplify your shot. Shooting guards in basketball can be complicated with all the different types of shots that are required. Depending on where you are located when shooting the ball.
Keeping track of every shot you make and what kind of shot it was—whether a lay-up or a jump shot from within five feet—is a terrific exercise to complete. After every game or practice, count these off by yourself to make sure you have ample margin for mistake. There is therefore no excuse for delaying the beginning of this process!
Sample Shooting Drill
- 1-Hand Form Shooting Drill – 20 shots. Shoot 10 shots from 2 spots.
- 1-Hand Form Shooting With Guide Hand – 20 Shots. Shoot 10 shots from 2 spots.
- Set To Go – 40 shots. Shoot 10 shots from the distances of 3 feet, 6 feet, 9 feet, and 12 feet.
- Tuck To Set Drill – 20 reps each leg. You will do 20 reps with left-right footwork and 20 reps with right-left footwork.
- Tuck To Go – Start With Ball – 60 Total Shots – 30 Each Leg. You will do 3 sets of 20 shots. Each set will have 10 shots with right-left footwork and 10 shots with left-right footwork. Start the first set from about 8 to 10 feet away. Depending on the strength, coordination, and age level, move further away from the basket on each set. For younger players, you might do all 60 shots from 8 to 10 feet. Advanced players may move back 5 feet after each set.
Average Height For a Shooting Guard
The average height for a shooting guard in the NBA is around six feet, three inches.
Best Shooting Guards in Basketball History!
We could only start with the most obvious pick here which is Michael Jordan. He’s considered by many to be the best player in NBA history and was a shooting guard throughout his career! Michael Jordan played for the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards in his 15-year career where he won six NBA championships.
He won five scoring championships, two Olympic gold medals, the Rookie of the Year award, the Defensive Player of the Year award, and 10 All-Star selections. and was admitted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as well as the Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.
Not only that but Jordan is also one of only three people to have ever achieved over $300 million in earnings throughout their life from basketball! He’s truly an amazing player who will always be remembered by fans young and old for decades to come.
During his regular-season career, Jordan averaged 30 points per game, which ranks second all-time behind Wilt Chamberlain (who averaged 30.07 points per game). Over his playoff career, he also scored an astounding 33.45 points per game on average!
Also, Jordan is the only player to have won all five of the regular season MVP awards which are given out each year by different news sources throughout North America and Canada based on voting from fellow players as well as coaches for that respective season!
He’s truly an amazing basketball player who will never be forgotten. No matter how many years pass us buy so I think it’s safe to say he deserves this spot on our list of best shooting guards in history!
Next on our list, is the late great Kobe Bryant who played for the Los Angeles Lakers in his entire two-decade-long career.
He participated in every game of his rookie season, scoring an amazing 15.0 points per game on average, which was good for third place on the Lakers that year. It’s easy to say that Kobe gained a lot of momentum during those early years because Bryant’s scoring average grew by five or six points per season over the course of the following three seasons, reaching 23.0 ppg in 2001-2002.
Kobe ultimately played 35 minutes each game for the remainder of his career. Kobe managed to win two championships together despite having limited playing time due to injuries before Kobe proceeded to win back-to-back championships from 2009 to 2011 season
Kobe averaged 25.0 points per game over his career! In terms of individual accolades, Bryant is a five-time NBA champion, 18-time All-Star, 15-time member of the All-Defensive team and he won an MVP award back in 2008 to round out his impressive resume!
Kobe is also the one of two players to ever play 20 consecutive NBA seasons while playing for one franchise throughout all of them. The other was Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas Mavericks.) This is an incredible achievement and should be recognized!
Our final pick is Dwayne Wade who played for the Miami Heat in his entire 13-year career.
He was drafted by the Heat with their fifth overall selection back in 2003 and didn’t disappoint! Over his first three seasons, he averaged 16.0 points per game which were good enough to rank him third on the team. But then things really started taking off when Shaquille O’Neal came into town during that same season. As they both helped each other win a championship together later on!
Dwyane continued racking up individual accomplishments throughout his career. Including being an All-Star every single year since 2005 except one. So it’s safe to say he made quite an impression while playing for Miami. Even though they haven’t had the most success in the playoffs since he went there.
Dwayne averaged 23.0 points per game! He also won three championships with Miami before leaving for Chicago after the 2013-14 season. And eventually coming back to play out his final few seasons in South Beach again where he remains today at age 34 which is pretty impressive when you think about it!
Wade’s another player that helped shape how shooting guards are typically seen by fans these days. He has the most career points in heat franchise history (21,556 points) and an even crazier record with the most career blocks (885 blocks) by a player 6’5″ or under. Thanks to all of his accolades throughout his career. So don’t forget him either when discussing some of the best players ever!
I hope this blog post was helpful for anyone looking to learn more about what a shooting guard is or who they should look up if they want someone great playing their position in basketball!
Got any other mentions for the best shooting guards in basketball history? Let us know below!