Friday, August 1, 2008

Four traits of a perfect point guard

You may have seen the article about 15-year NBA veteran point guard Jason Kidd earlier this week in USA Today.

As a (not very good) college point guard and someone who believes that the PG is the most important position on the floor, I've pulled four "traits" from the article that highlight the perfect point guard:

1. Court vision: "He sees things," guard Dwyane Wade says of Kidd's sixth sense. "When you're on the court and you see him do something, you think he had to see that like three minutes ago."

2. High basketball IQ: "His mind is his best talent," Krzyzewski says. "And his ability to instinctively react to situations on the court is at the highest level, as high as anyone who has ever played the game." Krzyzewski compares Kidd's basketball IQ to Magic Johnson's, who was Kidd's idol growing up in California.

3. Not just passes; perfect passes: "He grew up being a passer, understanding the angles. With Jason, you get wide-open looks. He puts the ball right on the money." During shooting drills last summer, Kidd turned to Carmelo Anthony and asked, "Where do you want the ball?" Anthony, not quite sure what Kidd meant, gave him a puzzled look. "What do you mean?" When players realize that Kidd can deliver the ball to their sweet spot, Krzyzewski says their reaction is: "You mean, I'm going to have room service and you're going to cut my meat too? You're going to give it to me in a certain position?" So where does Anthony want the ball? "Wherever he gives it to me," Anthony says.

4. Ability to facilitate: "What's fabulous for our team is if you put Kobe, Carmelo and LeBron in the game, you need a point guard who's really just looking to facilitate and that's what Jason does," says assistant coach Jim Boeheim. "Other great point guards have a scoring portion of their game, some of them have it as a large portion of their game, whereas Jason never needs to take a shot." This approach fits the team-oriented aspect of the international game, with the emphasis on passing and selfless play.