Who is your Favorite Player?
Who is your favorite basketball player? Do you have one? If you don’t, you should seek to get one as soon as you can. Why? Tampa Youth Basketball players watching their favorite players can inspire and inform your youth basketball gamer. For example, when I was a kid my favorite player was Grant Hill. He was an athletic small forward who rebounded and passed well. Looking to emulate him he was the reason I developed a mid range jump shot, because he was so effective with it.
If you’re a young player looking to develop your game, here are some NBA players you might look to model and what you can take from them. Learn to love one or two of these guys and appreciate what you can learn from watching them.
John Wall – attacking in transition, driving and kicking
Chris Paul – ball handling ability, playing the passing lanes defensively
Tony Parker – playing off of the pick and roll, mid range jump shooting
Russell Westbrook – defensive intensity
There are many different types of point guards. If you’re a more cerebral point guard, watch how Chris Paul and Tony Parker utilize quickness and ball handling to get themselves open and to drive and kick to teammates. They are also both expert at the pick and roll. John Wall is a good example of an athletic point guard playing under control as he pushes the pace. Russell Westbrook is one of the most dynamic guards in the league, and he is an example of how a point guard can use his athleticism and motor to change the game on both ends of the floor.
James Harden – using the pick and roll to score, changing pace with the basketball
Dwyane Wade – efficient scoring, perimeter defense
Monta Ellis – utilizing speed to score, midrange game
Klay Thompson – using shooting ability to score
There are shooting guards who primarily slash, and there are guards who primarily utilize shooting. Dwyane Wade and Monta Ellis are good examples of quality slashing guards, while Klay Thompson and James Harden are guards who can really shoot the basketball. James Harden and Monta Ellis are also good examples of hybrid guards that can operate as primary ball handlers and be effective using the pick and roll.
Lebron James – finishing in transition, driving to the basket
Carmelo Anthony – isolation scoring, rebounding
Kevin Durant – shooting from distance, shooting off screens
Paul George – middle game, perimeter defense
Small forwards are do-it-all players, with both guard and big man responsibilities. The best small forwards in the league are great at multiple things. Watch Lebron James to see a player who runs the break with and without the ball very, very effectively. He’s also an expert passer. Carmelo Anthony is a forward you can watch score from all three levels in the half court – perimeter shooting, driving from the perimeter and posting up. Kevin Durant is a great example of how a shooting small forward can be very, very effective. Paul George is a forward you can watch to get tips on defending elite scorers.
Kevin Love – rebounding, scoring on the pick and pop
Blake Griffin – creative scoring from the face-up, running the floor
Lamarcus Aldridge – catching and shooting inside the 3 point line, contested shooting
Al Jefferson – post scoring
The power forward is currently a strong position in the NBA, with many players you can learn from. Kevin Love is an expert rebounder that you can learn from if you are looking to be a glass eater. He is also skilled at finding a way to get open 3 point shots off of pick and roll and dribble handoff plays. Blake Griffin is a player you can watch score creatively from the face-up as well as knock down the face up jumper, and Big Al is a player you can watch score creatively and effectively with his back to the basket. Lamarcus Aldridge can also score from the post but is an expert catch and shoot player from inside the 3 point line. All four of these guys are good players to watch be effective on the offensive end while also holding their big man responsibility on the glass, as they are all in the 20-10 club of scoring and rebounding.
Dwight Howard – rim protection, offensive rebounding
Joakim Noah – big man defense, passing from the high post
Deandre Jordan – finishing on the pick and roll, rebounding
Demarcus Cousins – scoring as a Center
There are some good centers in today’s game, and the top centers all have different styles. Dwight Howard and Deandre Jordan are players you can watch both block shots and roll hard to the rim on the pick and roll. Dwight also shows you how you can generate extra points from offensive rebounding. Joakim Noah is a great center to watch run his team’s offense from inside the 3 point line. He is a great big man passer. And Demarcus Cousins is a player you can watch be a primary offensive option from the center position in today’s game.
If you don’t have a favorite player yet, any of these players is a great option for you. From watching these guys, you can learn a lot about your position and grow as a player. Have fun watching and learning!