Overcoming “Undersized” in the NBA for Guards

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Overcoming “Undersized” in the NBA for Guards
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The NBA is made up of players of all shapes, sizes and skill sets that set them apart on their respective teams and within the league for their attributes. At the guard position there have been some absolute mismatches in size throughout NBA history—perhaps none greater than 6’9” point guard Magic Johnson. Everyone knows about the prototypical point guards who excel in the league like Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, and Deron Williams, but what about the outliers on who aren’t as vertically gifted? How is it that they are able to match-up and/or thrive in the league dominated by a “type” of all-around guard?

From our observations, the typical NBA point guard’s ideal height is 6’3” +/- 1” (give or take an inch) and is around 190 lbs. +/- 15 lbs. The typical NBA shooting guard stands about 6’5” +/- 1” and 205 lb. +/- 15 lbs. This means that if a point guard stands just under 6’2” or a shooting guard is under 6’4”, they are technically undersized relative to NBA competition at their position. 

However, being undersized is not an overwhelming hindrance or dooming factor on a player’s career. Conversely and true to Darwin’s natural selection of “only the strong survive,” it allows players to utilize their gifts and adapt to play the game in a different way that puts pressure and forces those “prototypical size guards” to adjust to their styles. Here’s a closer look at the stronger contributing factors for undersized guards to perform well in the NBA.

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