A tweener in basketball is a term, sometimes used derisively, for a player who is able to play two positions, but is not ideally suited to play either position exclusively, so he/she is said to be in between. This term is most commonly used only at the highest level of basketball competition, where players must combine extreme physical talent with specialised basketball abilities. A player who is ideally suited to play two positions is often referred to as a swingman.
Power forward / small forward tweener 編輯
For example the player may be too short, or lack sufficient strength, to play power forward effectively; while being not quick or athletic enough to play the small forward position. Current examples of NBA players who may be derisively considered 'tweeners' are Keith Van Horn, Drew Gooden, Hakim Warrick, Al Harrington and Vladimir Radmanovic.
Many players have made successful careers out of being able to successfully interchange between the small forward and power forward positions in order to create matchup problems, some of these include Kevin Garnett, Dirk Nowitzki, Antoine Walker and Lamar Odom.
Point guard / shooting guard tweener 編輯
A less common use of the word 'tweener' is to describe a player who combines shooting guard and point guard attributes in a manner unsuitable to play either position exclusively. Such players are also known as "combination (or combo) guards".
The most common occurrence of this phenomenon occurs in basketball players who considered too short to play shooting guard at an NBA level, having played this position previously in their basketball career. Conversely, they are unable to play point guard successfully at the highest level of professional basketball due to a lack of the mental specialisation and understanding of the game that this position requires.
These players are often referred to as being "a shooting guard trapped in a point guard's body."
Current examples of NBA players who may be derisively considered 'tweeners' in this context are Stephon Marbury, Ben Gordon, Tony Delk, Mike James, Dajuan Wagner, J.R. Bremer, Marcus Banks and Steve Francis.
However many successful NBA players have overcome early criticism on the basis that they are point/shooting guards to forge successful careers. Some of these include Allen Iverson, Baron Davis, Chauncey Billups, and Dwyane Wade.
NBA.com's definition of 'tweener is as follows:
- "This word is derived from the word "between", as in a player is between the height of a guard and a forward. "Tweeners" often have the skills of a big man, but the height of a guard. Though only six foot five, Charles Barkley was one of the NBA's greatest rebounding power forwards."