In the NBA there are star players and there are role players which are collectively termed Rotation players in the basketball game.
Being optional in several circumstances Stars are the first or second having defensive responsibilities on offense or scoring around 25-30 points a game
Role players are termed as supporting cast. Most of the rotation players come under the category of role-players. They are more sundry in place and role than star players ranging in between high-end starters and niche specialists
As scores can be made from anywhere the stars put a triple threat on offense while non-star players or role players may perform a particular role both on defense and offense. Stars, on a large scale, are offensively-minded whereas, comparably, role players are the least serviceable
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The Nature of Star Role Players in Basketball
Famous as scoring machines, Stars are accountable for scoring points for their team using their offensive prowess. Stars players are the top category in NBA. Some of the famous stars or usually named superstar Players are Lebron James, Michael Jordan, Jayson Tatum, Stephan Curry, Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, James Harden, and Kevin Durant.
It would be monotonous and boring if only specific roles are fulfilled in basketball games making it meaningless to have a role player in the first place. So the term role player has to go alongside the term ‘stars’. Almost all the leading teams have stars. The whole team, coach, and fans depend on the Star players.
Role Players in basketball as Silent Heroes
Usually hidden from headlines role players are highly influential in winning. They often make a good team a great team. Although stars are famous for carrying their team to a victory, but consistent success is only achieved if your team has role players to do their part.
A variety of sizes and specialization makes the Role players a must for winning the basketball game giving you an edge over the opposing team.
Types of Role Players
Role players are crucial for winning any basketball game. Some most fundamental types of role players are given below
1.Three and D players
In the NBA Three and D players are the most wanted ones of role players. They are versatile in nature and are specialists in two things, namely defense and long-distance three-point shooting. They guard various positions making small forwards with the size. They’re typically shooting guards. They are normally seen off of the screen or in the corners as they mainly are directed on offense for spacing the floor and dynamic offense. Hence they have great motor and outstanding conditioning. Being highly demanded, three and D players are high-paid players on average.
Some Examples of Three and D players are: Bobby Portis, Keldon Johnson, and Mikal
2. Rim protector/defensive anchor
Specialists for interior defense, they are the last line of defense in the basketball game. A lot of height is needed for this role which causes the rim protectors to be at centers. These rim protectors help to change easy shots into misses. But this is quite a tough task even elite block shooters are not that good to be fit for that role. For example have a glance at the early career of Hassan Whiteside, who despite having elite block numbers was worse in defense. To be defensive and a good rim protector calls for rebounding skills. They are not expected to be playing offensive roles but lob targeting and screen setting ones.
Some Examples of Rim protectors/defensive anchors are: Jakob Poeltl, Rudy Gobert
3. Glue guy
Fan locker of the team, Glue guy is the most difficult one to explain. As there is no defined checklist available so the best way to put it is that they fill their team`s gap with energy and hustle with a good motor. There is diving, hounding, or grabbing for every loose ball, defensive assignment, and offensive rebound. They usually are given the chance to play for a few minutes but they make the most out of it and do every possible thing for their team to win. Some Examples of Glue guys are: Steven Adams, Jose Alvarado
4. Secondary playmaker
Teams having only one playmaker find the offense grind to a break when playoff defenses direct their full attention towards that playmaker. So any team having title aspirations need to have at least two playmakers.
Though there can be wings but they are usually put at the point guard position. They are there to make sure the offense is flowing and scoring opportunities are high for the team or to generate their own offense when required. Their offensive role and playing time heavily depend on their team`s composition ranging from bench players to high ends.
Some Examples of Secondary playmakers are: Delon Wright, Tyus Jones
5. Three-point specialist
As a subset of three and D players, Three-point specialists focus sternly on long-range shooting, unlike their two-way foils. Although not capable to guard multiple positions still their motor is off guard. They provide good spacing and have defensive accountabilities. If properly maintained and directed, they can turn things upside down in any severe condition of the game.
Some Examples of Three-point specialists are: Kyle Korver, Duncan Robinson
6. Stretch big
They are actually the power forwards and are directed to score away from the basket. When Stretch bigs are positioned beyond the arc and posting up cause a great scoring threat to the opposing team. Although this role is a bit outdated when compared to today`s modern basketball game. Some Examples of Stretch big: Ryan Anderson, Ersan Ilyasova
Conclusion: What is A Role Player in Basketball
Now, as basketball is a proactive game, it requires diverse and versatile skills requiring multiple types of players having unique skills. And from the above discussion it can be very clearly understood that along with star players, role players are the most crucial ones for the victory of any high-profile team. They act as both defensive and offensive aids to their team. Playing multiple fundamental roles, the role players make sure that your team performs the best and you finally come up to be victorious.