The Small Ball Epidemic Explained…


For all you long time basketball fans you might have noticed the game has become more up tempo and this is due to small ball..

Basketball at it’s core is a 5 man team facing off against another. This 5 man team includes a point guard, shooting guard, small forward. power forward, center. The game of basketball has predominately always been ruled by height and size and the proof is in the pudding there are 3 big men positions and only 2 guard positions. Back in the days when the guards job was to feed the big men down low and force the ball in. The big men functioned strictly in the post and inside and played with plenty of contact. These days are fresh memories in our heads….names like Kobe & Shaq, KJ & Barkley, Stockton & Malone, Olajuwan, Tim Duncan. Players who made there living banging down low are in many ways soon to be no more.

Recently, the sport of basketball has become more guard driven then ever. The point guard position is one that now must be filled with a “fast scoring ball mover”. The point guard controls the entire tempo of the game and must be able to change it and get everyone on the same page in a matter of moments.

The Shooting guard must be a scorer and a defensive presence. Also, a ball handler.  In some cases the shoot guard has to set up plays in substitution for the point guard.

The small forward must stretch the floor and essentially play like a hybrid big man. They must shoot, dribble, and pass like a guard while also maintaining size and an inside presence.

The two big men both essentially are responsible for inside scoring and rebounding. They are supposed to also provide a defensive presence down low.

Recently in basketball with the emergence of teams like the golden state warriors and players such as Stephen Curry the games pace has elevated. Thus requiring the traditional big men become more nontraditional and evolve into ball handlers, passers, and outside scorers as well and provide height and a inside presence. The first of this breed of players we have already seen in Draymond Green, Lebron James and other such players.

I believe that the big men that came out of the 2015 Draft fit directly into the small ball system having grown up in the Lebron James Era.  Some of these now NBA rookies can play the big man role as good as the traditional players while also playing outside and fitting into a high paced offense. I suggest you all keep an eye on Karl Anthony-Towns and Kristaps Portzingas . Just some friendly advice.


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