There was a time back in the history of the league that the shooting guard position was the most dominant one, or at least much more important than what it is today. Lots of players/legends passed from the courts of the NBA playing at the shooting guard spot, and they played with dominance. Players like Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson, Reggie Miller and even Ray Allen, who is still active, have written history with golden letters in the NBA. However at the moment, the shooting guard spot is thin.
Out of the entire 2014 NBA All-Star class, only four players were shooting guards, and out of those four, James Harden is the only superstar. DeMar DeRozan is not the definition of a shooting guard. He is not, well, a shooter, which is what the shooting guard is supposed to be after all. DeRozan is more like a short version of a small forward, a bruiser, a high flyer. Joe Johnson has been a great shooting guard during some stretches of his career, but at the moment he is nothing more than a fading star. And finally there’s Dwyane Wade, one of the greatest shooting guards the league has seen in the past decade. Nonetheless, due to some major injury issues, mainly on his knees, Wade’s performance has been dropping. Of course, the best shooting guard in the league, Kobe Bryant, is out with an injury and didn’t play in the All-Star Game.
So what happened to the shooting guards? Where have all the great shooting guards, players like Reggie Miller, gone?
The truth is that the NBA, the way basketball is played nowadays, has changed. Up to some years ago, we mostly saw teams playing in a “disciplined” system. The center was a big, heavy body, who mostly worked his way close to the rim. The power forward was a bit shorter but still was dangerous close to the rim and from mid-range. The two and three spots worked on the perimeter, shooting from outside and also driving the lanes. Finally, the point guard set the team up and distributed the ball.
That being said, nowadays we see lots of all-around players. Small forwards like LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Paul George do it all. They can be the point guard, shooting guard, small forward and power forward of the team all at the same time. We also see lots of big men, who are actually shooting guards in big bodies. Chris Bosh and Kevin Love have tremendous shooting abilities, and they play both inside and out.
That’s how basketball is played nowadays, and there is no other way players can survive when they are competing with the best. One-dimensional players have been replaced by multi-dimensional talents. The shooting guard spot has lost its essence to skillful point guards, dominant small forwards and powerful power forwards. It may be a coincidence, but it could also be a new reality in the NBA. The way the game is played has definitely changed, just as how the play of the shooting guard has.
Editor’s note: This was a guess post from Justin Becker of FantasyBasketballMoneyLeagues.com. You can follow him on twitter at @NBAFantasyInfo, and can follow the Fantasy Basketball Money Leagues Google+ Page. For more NBA basketball news visit Fantasy Basketball Money Leagues, a fantasy basketball blog.