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So which player do you see as the most important individual on the court?
|"The point guard is an extension of the
coach, and having one that is confident and experienced is great because
it is up to them to control the game."
-- Sheryl Swoopes, Houston Comets
|"The coach is not out
on the floor, so the point guard is the most important position on the floor.
You do also need a big post player who can run the floor or the point guard
cannot be effective. But the point guard directs all movement and activity
on the court. It is the most difficult position because the point guard
has to know all of the personnel's strengths and weaknesses as well as how
they match up with their defenders. It is a challenging position to play
and that is why not everyone can be a point guard."
-- Temeka Johnson, Los Angeles Sparks
|"I'm probably biased, but point guard.
They have to run the show. I enjoy running an offense, but the No. 1 thing
about being a point guard is that you have to try to make the people around
you better. So that's always been my main focus."
-- Lyndsey Medders, Indiana Fever
|"The point guard is the
head of the team, and if you cut the head off, the body can't do anything,
so definitely the point guard."
-- Candice Dupree, Chicago Sky
|"Obviously, I want to say center. But
most people would say that the point guard is huge. They act like the coach
on the floor, it's up to them whether to push the ball up the court or to
slow it down and what plays to call."
-- Nicole Ohlde, Minnesota Lynx
|"I would definitely say
the post player. Every guard will tell you that without a big girl down
low, it becomes a more difficult game and they become easier to guard. You
need that inside-outside presence. They block shots, rebound and are keys
to the offense. Definitely my position. The point guard position is as essential
as the center because they are the ball-handler, the playmaker, the passer,
the pusher and the organizer. Teams with good players in both of those spots
are in a better position to win championships."
-- Lisa Leslie, Los Angeles Sparks
|"Definitely the point guard. The point
guard keeps the team together. They're the heartbeat of the team. They're
the coach on the floor, they keep the team together when things are going
-- Stephanie Raymond, Chicago Sky
|"I would probably say the point guard;
she is definitely like the coach on the floor."
-- Tina Thompson, Houston Comets
|"I would have to say point
guard. To me, the point guard is the coach on the floor. And if she doesn't
get the team where it's supposed to be, then things are not gonna be right.
If she doesn't have a good head on her shoulders, then the team's not going
to be right. I think the coach is most important, but the most important
on the court is the point guard, because they need to know everybody's position
and get everybody where they're supposed to be."
-- Chrissy Givens, Phoenix Mercury
|"I would have to say the point guard,
that's the person who gives the direction. Young or old they have the direct
instructions from our coach, and we follow her directions."
-- Nykesha Sales, Connecticut Sun
|"My coach (at Baylor) thinks it's the
point guard, but I really don't think that. I think it's the post players
because we have to endure all of the physical play inside, get bumped, then
have to run the floor to get the ball. My guards always say, 'Oh yeah, we
have to do all this (work),' but I say, 'No, you don't get bumped around
like I do!' "
-- Bernice Mosby, Washington Mystics
|"I'm going to go obviously
with the post player, I'm a little biased. If you get passed on defense
it's probably a layup."
-- Ruth Riley, San Antonio Silver Stars
|"Point guard. The ball is in their hands
a majority of the time. The point guard has the ability to either calm a
team down or get them going into their offense. (The ability) to calm down
the chaosÖ I think that's really important."
-- Kiera Hardy, Connecticut Sun
|"Probably point guard,
just because everything facilitates through them. They also have to be on
the same page as their coach, they have to understand their team and they
have to know what their role is and what to do. They don't have to do more,
but they need to be what their team needs them to be. And that's different
for every team. They make happen what the coach wants to make happen as
far as the game plan, developing a rapport and in trying to keep teammates
-- Katie Smith, Detroit Shock
|"The point guard, because they can set
the tempo of the game. They control the plays you run, the transition and
whether or not to slow it down. They create a lot, too. Every player is
important, but because the point guard has the ball in their hands, I'll
go with them."
-- Noelle Quinn, Minnesota Lynx
|"I hate to say it, but I guess the point
guard. They have to keep things running."
-- Tiffany Jackson, New York Liberty
|"The point guard! They
have to organize their team. They have to make sure that every person is
in the right place and that they're running the plays the coach wants to
run. They have a big job to do. I think that, being a point guard, you have
a lot of responsibility. If a play goes wrong, it may be that someone didn't
catch the ball, but the coach is always going to look at the point guard."
-- Ivory Latta, Detroit Shock
|"The point guard. The ball is always in
their hands. They make the decisions, set people up and get the ball where
it needs to be. They can also feed the hot player."
-- Kamesha Hairston, Connecticut Sun
|"Your point guard, because they lead the
show and have the ball in their hands most of the time. And they have to
get everyone organized on the court."
-- Brooke Smith, Minnesota Lynx
|"I would have to say point
guard, because everything runs through them. That's where it all starts.
When you're on offense AND when you're on defense because your point guard
usually picks up the other point guard."
--Tamika Catchings, Indiana Fever
|"I think the point guard is the leader
of the team. It is their job to get everyone into position and run the offense.
I think there are additional spots for the communicators on a team and they
can play other positions."
-- Kendra Wecker, San Antonio Silver Stars
All photos: NBAE/Getty Images