In basketball, should a point guard distinguish who is he passing to? I mean, when I play point guard, I'm always trying to pass to any of my teammate that is open (so that everyone gets involved and there is ball movement).

Should a point guard pass to any open teammate, or he should consider teammate skills (shooting, passing, ...) and his position before passing?

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    Are you just playing pickup basketball or do you play on a team that actually runs an offense? – Michael Myers Mar 6 '13 at 22:03
  • I play point guard only in amateur friendly matches, we don't run any offense (at most pick&roll). I was just thinking whether I should consider players skills before passing (like don't pass on 3pt line to players with low 3pt shooting). And should pro PG consider this (when not running any play)? – Buksy Mar 6 '13 at 22:09

In a general sense, the coach is responsible for considering teammate skills and drawing up plays based on the skillset of the team currently on the court. In short, the point guard is responsible for executing the game plan as drawn up by the coach. If a teammate is open, take advantage of that. He may take an open shot or drive to the hoop.

The point guard, in most systems, is responsible for ball distribution and is likely to be the best ball handler on the court. The end goal is to score points. Nothing stops the point guard from taking shots, but it comes down to the game plan set by the coach.

More info on the roles of positions in basketball: https://sports.stackexchange.com/a/2203/527


KYP "know your personnel" is indeed a thing and one of the important point guard skills. Your question is multi-faceted, though, the correct answer is dependent on the particular situation you're in. For example, does your team play to win or just to make everyone happy, if happiness == touching the ball?

If you play to win, the people getting looked over in certain situations have to understand that the better % play was for the PG to do something else, and be totally fine with it. After all, the opposition can easily exploit a bad player, esp. away from the basket.


Well, obviously the answer to your question depends on the type of game you are referring to.

On a more professional level, a point guard has to consider what the next move is. In other words, the PG has to have the answer to "Why am I passing this ball to him/her?" clearly defined. If it's a set-offense then it's actually pretty clear, PG passes to X and X does what the predetermined role that the play defines, that could be a quick shot, a dribble in and pass out to the perimeter etc.

But yet again, a good player needs to have a certain awareness of the game as well. Just because the set play is defined to pass the ball out for 3-pointer doesn't mean that you shouldn't consider going to the basket with your drive. So, even though the coach is responsible for the set plays, every player (not only PG) has to have the wits to be able to "bend and reform" the set-offense, when the circumstances call for it.

Another consideration is that during a game, significant portion of the points are scored on fast-breaks. This is especially the case in American basketball vs the European flavour. If you keep that in mind, it becomes even more important to "know" what you are going to do with the ball, that includes "when" to pass and "to whom".

I totally agree with the KYP principle, knowing your teammates is important and in casual games usually underestimated. There I don't only mean what percentage they shoot with, but also in what positions and situations they like to have the ball. Likewise when your teammate has the ball does he drive left or right, does he usually go for the sudden jump-shot or rather push his luck for a layup? These are all great skills for a PG, even when playing for fun with buddies.

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