Why Many See the Point Guard as the Most Important Person on the Court

Every Teamís Strong Point

Which player do you see as the most important to a team's success on the court? We asked 21 WNBA players and most agreed that the point guard plays the most significant role. Still, some refused to jump on the 1 bandwagon.

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 down."
-- 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 in line."
-- 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

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