“I don't want to be a point guard, or a two-guard, I want people to think of me as "creative", I just want to create on the court.” - “The Answer," b.k.a. “Bubba Chuck.”
The point guard, or the floor general, is essential to a team's success. A great point guard controls the pace of the game and the emotional swings of his team. Great point guards have mastered the art of communication. In a limited period of time, they can relay a message with very few words. They read emotions and react. They utilize dead ball situations and timeouts to seek tutelage and make adjustments. As they go, so shall the team .
Today, we are starting a new feature series titled, "The Floor General." During the series we will link with countless point guards to pick their brains and see what makes today's point guard tick. First up is The Patrick School and New Jersey Playaz point guard Al-Amir Dawes. - by Christian Mordi / @thedribbledrop on Instagram and Twitter
TheDribbleDrop: Let’s talk the art of the pick and roll. What are your reads coming off the pick, is it based on how the defender reacts to it?
Al-Amir Dawes: It’s all read and react to me in regards to pick and roll situations. I pay very close attention to how the big man rolls and how the defense adjusts on the fly. If the help hedges hard, I know how to attack that. If the help sags, I know how to attack that as well. If the guard goes under and I have room to get a clean look off, I take it. I use my reads to get the best shot attempt I can get for myself and others off the pick and roll. I keep it simple.
TheDribbleDrop: Most coaches desire a floor general that plays both sides of the floor. As a point guard, what do you feel your primary job is to do defensively?
Al-Amir Dawes: Defensively, I try to harass their point guard as much as possible. I try to make him very uncomfortable. I don’t want to give them any easy reads. I try to keep the other point guard out of double digits and make it as hard as possible to get other players around him in rhythm. It all starts with keeping him in front of you.
TheDribbleDrop: Everyone uses the words “pace and tempo” when discussing their point guard. What do you think is the ideal “pace” to play at for today’s young player?
Al-Amir Dawes: Well it’s based on the natural flow and rhythm of the game. I think a good guard identifies and knows how to sway the flow of the game to their advantage.
In regards to my personal preference in regards to game pace tempo, I prefer slow and precise. I know there are times that we want to go fast, but I think it’s important to be as efficient as possible.
TheDribbleDrop: Tell me the best piece of advice you got from a coach, fellow teammate or an older player that plays the point guard spot that pushed your game to another level.
Al-Amir Dawes: The best piece of advice I got was about being vocal on the floor. As a point guard you have to effectively communicate with your teammates on the fly to get ideal results.
TheDribbleDrop: Playing point guard often comes with a bit of sacrifice offensively in regards to shots, but what happens when you are the best player on your team and they rely on your scoring? How do you provide that balance?
Al-Amir Dawes: I think it’s best to always try and get my teammates involved early. I’m going to get my points. I want to get everyone involved and motivated early though.
TheDribbleDrop: In order to be a floor general, people have to want to follow you. If I’m a coach recruiting you and the star center is there listening, what would you say to sell yourself as a leader and a good teammate.
Al-Amir Dawes: I would start by telling them about the foundation I have set up in my life off the court. My mental makeup. How I am doing in school. It’s important that people know that I am a high character guy. I think most coaches already should know what you can do on the court, they want to know what I do off the court that will make me a better student and person.
TheDribbleDrop: Top five point guards in the league right now?
Al-Amir Dawes: Curry, CP3, Harden, Russell Westbrook and Dame Lillard.
TheDribbleDrop:The NBA has haan explosion of hybrid point / combo guards. Do you think that is where the game will be in the next couple of years? More Chris Paul or more Russell Westbrook type of guards?
Al-Amir Dawes: More of the Russell Westbrook type. I see a lot of guys who are extremely athletic nowadays, but don’t have a really good feel for the game on all levels. I think people like that type of player though and I see more kids modeling their games that way at the point guard spot.