Basketball Power Forward

Chapter 4.4

Who is the power forward on a basketball team? What is his/her job on the court? Get ready to learn about the power forward in basketball.


Basketball is a 5-on-5 game, so each team has five (5) players at all times on the court.

Rookie Road Basketball Team Image

REMEMBER: The same five (5) players on a basketball team play both offense and defense.

Each player has a unique role to fulfill on the court in both offensive and defensive situations.

In this chapter, we will learn about the shooting guard and his/her role on the court.

Meet The Power Forward (PF)

Also known as the post player, the power forward does most of his/her work inside the three-point line. They are similar to the center (C) player position, which we'll learn about next. The power forward is known as player 4 when referring to play diagrams.

Rookie Road Basketball Power Forward Image

Goals And Job

Since players are constantly transitioning between offense and defense during a basketball game, so are their goals. When on offense, the power forward's jobs are:

When on defense, the power forward's jobs are:

Key Statistics

There are few important statistics that define how good a power forward is:

We'll learn more about basketball statistics in future tutorials.


The power forward will position himself/herself either near the high post or low post to make baskets.

Top NBA Power Forwards Of All Time

Here are some of the best power forwards to ever play the game of basketball that you should know:

  • Tim Duncan
  • Karl Malone
  • Dirk Nowitzki
  • Charles Barkley
  • Kevin Garnett

PRO TIP: You may notice that some basketball players are listed under multiple positions. Like we mentioned before, the player positions are slightly archaic and the roles on the court often overlap. It is not uncommon for a player to be good at multiple positions. The term swingman refers to a player who can play both the small forward and power forward positions.

2017-18 NBA Power Forwards

Here are some power forwards in the NBA that you should know:

  • Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors
  • Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
  • Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers
  • LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio Spurs

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