The Center's Responsibilities
The center is, quite simply, the most physical of all five positions on the floor. It requires an ability to score while absorbing large amounts of physical contact. On the defensive end, the center must be able to play with a large amount of body control and finesse, while not sacrificing his physicality and aggressiveness.
Offensively, the center is oftentimes called upon to score in close situations, given that he is the most likely of anybody on the court to be able to get off a high percentage shot or draw a foul. A team with an offensively talented center has a tremendous advantage, given that they can rely on him to get the points when the perimeter players are not shooting well. Or when the game is close and they don’t want to risk taking a long range shot they can turn to their dominant center.
Defensively, the center is the most important position, as he is the last line of defense against people driving towards the basket. The best centers block three to four shots a game, and change countless others.
They are excellent rebounders, which helps a team’s offense immensely, as they are given numerous fast-break points capitalized off of the opposing team’s missed shot. Historically, the best NBA centers are players like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Patrick Ewing, who have been able to combine their fierce competitive desires with very advanced offensive and defensive repertoires.
Click here to sign up to receive the Notebook, the official USA Basketball Youth newsletter!