What Does a Power Forward Do in Basketball? Roles and Responsibilities

Among five positions on the court,  the fourth locality is reserved for the “power forwards” and thence known as “four”. They are the cardinal players of the team skilled with multiple dexterities and manage various duties on the court.

Power forward are the hybrid players who function as the combination of ‘centers’ and ‘small forwards’. For admixture and playing a fused role, they are also referred to as “the post or low blocks”. Power forwards are assigned and accountable for offensive and defensive play, twain.

What Does a Power Forward Do in Basketball

The typical duties of a power forward include setting up the post, grabbing rebounds, hitting the open shots, setting the screens, defending, blocking the shots, and shooting three-pointers, and mid-range jump shots.

Recommended to read: Post Position in Basketball

Power Forward Basketball: Roles & Responsibilities

There are many questions about power forward, some of these are related to roles and responsibilities. So here you can each and everything about power forward.

Power Forward Offense:

Not only power forward set the offense but endeavors to open up the lanes for the team in an offensive play. The inside area of the three-point line(i.e the paint) is usually designated to power forwards. They are likely to set up the post by playing at the particular post zones on the court.

 A prototypical power forward is supposed to hang around the rim, end-run the key area and stay on the offensive end of the court. Their role comes with the liability of enduring inside the three-point arc and efficiently posting up besides playing close to the basket.

Customarily, the power forward resides around the block being constantly backed up by the centers. The centers double-team with them when usually they are guarding an on-ball handler. Moreover, they are the finest open-shot players, while some are experts in shooting mid-range jump shots and three-pointers expeditiously.

When the team is in offensive play, the power forwards holds the huge responsibility of shooting the ball inside the three-point line, playing easy layups, and executing offensive rebounding.

Power Forward Defense:

Though the power forward is entrusted for several offensive activities and shots, they still take the lead of being the team’s cardinal defensive player. Therefore, are expected to be skilled transitioners from offensive to defensive players, during the game.

Alongside, being an inside (three-point line) offensive player, the power forwards is expected to be mobile enough to play competently outside the defense as well. They must be able to catch, shoot, and defend the opponent from all zones on the court. Guarding the offensive players inside and outside the paint area comes as a first-class job for a power forward.

Grabbing the loose rebounds, and blocking the shots are the prime responsibilities of a ‘defensive’ power forward. Since the power forwards is the heightened players of the team, they are considered the best screeners to set the pick resultantly maximizing the scoring opportunities of the team. Further, in zone defense, the power forwards ordinarily placed themselves underneath the basket while in man-to-man defense, they are the ones guarding the power forward of the offense.

Thence, after gaining the rebounds or scoring, they must take their defensive positions back and reside in the backcourt immediately as they are considered the essential “defensive assets” of the team among all.

Height of a Power Forward:

comes as a complimentary to these ‘defenders’. Usually, the tallest of all are chosen as power forwards. Estimated, the average height of a power forward in the NBA play ranges from 6’7 to 6’10, and the average weight is below mid-200-pounds. Not only height but quickness and muscularity are also regarded as the bonus for playing as a power forward.

Hence, due to their athletic and physical ability, the whole team is usually relied on them, be it offensive or defensive play.

Skills and Drills to Be a Better Power Forward

Learn the basic skills and drills which can make you a better power forward.

1. Rebounding

Grabbing and securing rebounds is the most needed move for a potential win. The rebounds must be taken with the attitude of considering each ball is yours. Mastering the rebounds can be achieved by practicing the boxing-out techniques. The great power forward Charles Barkley, and Dennis Rodman are also prominent rebounders as well.

2. Posting Up

The power forwards is accountable to play offense inside the paint area. They normally placed themselves with their back towards the bucket while facing the on-ball handler. PF then tries to “post up” and open the lanes to drive to the bucket. Once receive the input pass, they execute the post-up move to shoot and dunk in the hoop.

3. Shooting

Primarily, shooting is the job of the shooting guards and centers, however, skilled power forward in shooting is considered a perk and comes as a great asset for the team. Nowadays, players strive hard to command multiple skills to become favorites of the coaches and always keep mastering the ‘shooting’ the top-list skill.

4. Defense Shot Blocking

The power forwards are assigned with an eminent responsibility of intercepting, and restricting the opponent’s play by closing up passing lanes that ways to the basket, and blocking up their shots by setting the screens, playing jump shots, or enforcing the defensive strategies.

Renowned NBA Power Forwards in History

Tim DuncanSan Antonio Spurs
Bob PettitMilwaukee/St. Louis Hawks
Karl MaloneUtah Jazz, Los Angeles Lakers
Dirk NowitzkiDallas Mavericks
Charles BarkleyPhiladelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets
Kevin GarnettMinnesota Timberwolves, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets

Top Today’s NBA Power Forwards Players

Giannis AntetokounmpoMilwaukee Bucks
Kevin DurantBrooklyn Nets
Anthony DavisNew Orleans Pelicans, Los Angeles Lakers
Zion WilliamsonNew Orleans Pelicans
Jayson TatumBoston Celtics

Wrapping Up

Power Forwards in basketball are considered the eccentric players of the team as they hold prime responsibilities in the offense and defense. Similar to the role of the centers, with additional of their own, they are valuable players to the team with versatile skills of setting up posts, playing rebounds, setting picks, etc.

To get in the position of a power forward, it is imperative to be a master of all skills that come with the role of “power forward’.

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