Guard play is critical to the success of any team. They control the ball and the tempo of a game. It is important for guards to be fundamentally sound. There are 3 phases of a guard’s offensive game:

1. Long range game = the ability to make 3's
2. Mid-range game = the ability to shoot the pull-up
3. Short range game = the ability to finish plays at the rim

Of the 3, perhaps the most difficult to defend is a guard’s short range game. A guard that possesses the ability to consistently penetrate and get into the lane puts a tremendous amount of pressure and stress on the defense. Many coaches have said that the most difficult thing in basketball to guard is “dribble penetration.” It forces defenses to have to help and whenever the defense has to help, they are going to have to recover. Like former World Champion coach Chuck Daly (Detroit Pistons) said, “defenses don’t get beat on help, they get beat on recovery.”