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What is a Point Guard in Basketball?

Last Updated July 15, 2024 Last Updated February 22, 2024 by Brian Aquino

In basketball, each player on the court has a unique role and responsibilities contributing to their team’s success. One of the most critical positions on the basketball court is that of the point guard. But what’s a point guard, exactly?

What Is the Meaning of Point Guard?

What is a Point Guard in Basketball?

The term “point guard” originates from the idea that this player is the key point of contact between the coach’s strategies and the team’s execution on the court. The “guard” part of the name reflects their role in guarding the opposing team’s point guard on defense.

Why Is a Point Guard Called a Guard?

The term “guard” in basketball positions like point guard and shooting guard originates from the sport’s early days. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, basketball positions were classified as “guards,” “forwards,” and “centers.” Guards were responsible for handling the ball and preventing opponents from advancing. Over time, the roles within these positions evolved, leading to the specialized roles we see today.

What Does a Point Guard Do in Basketball?

A point guard is often called the “floor general” of the basketball team. This title is not bestowed lightly; it signifies the player’s pivotal role during a game. So, what exactly does a point guard do in basketball?

  • Ball Handling and Distribution: A point guard’s primary responsibilities is handling the basketball and initiating offensive plays. They are responsible for bringing the ball up the court, dribbling through defenders, and making precise passes to teammates. A skilled point guard possesses exceptional ball-handling skills, allowing them to easily navigate the court.
  • Playmaking: Point guards are often considered the playmakers of the team. They have a keen basketball IQ and can read the game, making quick decisions on when to pass, shoot, or drive to the basket. Their court vision and passing accuracy are crucial in setting up scoring opportunities for their teammates.
  • Defense: While scoring points is essential, point guards also play a vital role on the defensive end. They are responsible for pressuring the opposing team’s point guard, disrupting their plays, and creating turnovers. Quick hands and defensive awareness are valuable assets for a point guard.
  • Leadership: Beyond their on-court skills, point guards are often seen as leaders on and off the court. They communicate with their teammates, provide guidance, and maintain a calm and composed demeanor, especially in high-pressure situations. Watch this instructional video to discover effective strategies for playing point guard in your team.

What’s the Difference Between a Point Guard and a Shooting Guard?

While both point guards and shooting guards are part of the backcourt, they have distinct roles and responsibilities:

Point Guard

As mentioned earlier, the point guard is primarily responsible for facilitating the offense, distributing the ball, and setting up plays. They focus on creating scoring opportunities for their teammates.

Shooting Guard

On the other hand, shooting guards are often known for their scoring prowess. They excel at shooting from long-range, driving to the basket, and capitalizing on scoring opportunities. While they can assist in ball-handling, their primary role is to put points on the board.

Top Basketball Shoes Ideal for Point Guards

Having the right pair of shoes can make all the difference when it comes to excelling on the basketball court as a point guard. We’ve scoured the market to bring you the top three basketball shoe options for point guards, complete with key features and pros and cons based on customer reviews.

1. Nike Men’s LeBron Soldier XIV 14 Basketball Shoes

“Unleash Your Court Dominance with LeBron’s Choice”

Nike Men's LeBron Soldier XIV 14 Basketball Shoes

Key Features:

  • Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars (755 ratings)
  • Price Range: $89.70 – $96.41
  • Fit: True to size. Order your usual size.
  • Colors Available: Varsity Red/White, Black/Metallic Dark Grey, Light Smoke Grey/Orange Pulse, and more.
  • Sole: Rubber sole for excellent grip.
  • Breathable Design: Plush inner bootie with perforations for enhanced breathability.
  • Stylish Details: Tech-inspired micro graphics on the heel.
  • Durable Construction: Woven material in the forefoot for long-lasting performance.
  • Classic Fit: Features a traditional tongue and laces.
  • Iconic Swoosh: Gelled Swoosh design for a signature look.


  • Comfortable fit.
  • Excellent breathability.
  • Stylish design.
  • Trusted Nike quality.
  • Versatile color options.


  • Some users found the price on the higher side.
  • Limited availability in certain sizes and colors.

2. adidas Unisex-Adult D Rose 11 Basketball Shoes

“Elevate Your Game with D Rose’s Signature Style”

adidas Unisex-Adult D Rose 11 Basketball Shoes

Key Features:

  • Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (219 ratings)
  • Price: $69.90
  • Fit: True to size. Order your usual size.
  • Color Variety: Available in various color options.
  • Sole: Durable synthetic and rubber sole.
  • Unisex Design: Suitable for both men and women.
  • Versatile Sizing: Available in a wide range of sizes.
  • Enhanced Comfort: Synthetic and rubber construction for added comfort.


  • Affordable price point.
  • Multiple color choices.
  • Unisex design.
  • Reliable brand – adidas.
  • Suitable for various foot sizes.


  • Limited availability in some colors.
  • Some users reported the need for additional arch support.

3. Under Armour Unisex-Adult Lockdown 6 Basketball Shoe

“Lock Down the Court with Unmatched Grip and Comfort”

Under Armour Unisex-Adult Lockdown 6 Basketball Shoe

Key Features:

  • Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (909 ratings)
  • Price: $63.00 (10% off the list price)
  • Fit: True to size. Order your usual size.
  • Color Options: White/Jet Gray/Black, Black/White/White, Black/Black/Metallic Gold, and more.
  • Made in the USA or Imported: High-quality craftsmanship.
  • Breathable Upper: Durable leather with mesh panels for breathability and comfort.
  • Enhanced Comfort: Plush foam sockliner for underfoot comfort.
  • Responsive Ride: EVA midsole for a lightweight and responsive feel.
  • Ultimate Traction: Solid rubber outsole with a herringbone traction pattern.
  • Safety Alert: Includes a warning regarding California’s Proposition 65.


  • Excellent traction.
  • Comfortable fit.
  • Suitable for wide foot sizes.
  • Responsive cushioning.
  • Durable construction.


  • Limited color availability in certain sizes.
  • Proposition 65 warning for California residents.

Bottom Line

Choosing the perfect basketball shoes for a point guard involves considering factors like fit, comfort, grip, and style. Each of these three options has unique strengths and potential drawbacks, so pick the one that aligns with your preferences and playing style. Elevate your game with the right footwear and dominate the court as a point guard.

The point guard in basketball is a multifaceted player with essential responsibilities encompassing ball handling, playmaking, defense, and leadership. Their ability to orchestrate the team’s offense and make critical decisions on the court is integral to a team’s success. The term “point guard” reflects their central role in connecting the coach’s strategies with the team’s execution, making them an indispensable part of any basketball lineup.