The age old discussion of which point guard commands the floor and displays an equal balance of scoring and setting up his teammates best is a constant battle of speculation and analyzing stats. Toss in the fact that the point guard position has drastically evolved since the 80’s and 90’s and you have a totally different beast to tangle with.
Point guards are now used for more than passing the ball and using their speed to score. Guys like Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose dominate the game from the PG position and uses a combination of speed, skill and power to take control of the moment.
So which is better? The point guard who scores like a two-guard, or the finesse passer who threads the needle and racks up double-digit assists? This is a tricky question to answer and it most definitely depends on who you ask. I tend to judge these guards on what they do for their team and how they fill up the box score.
#10: Kyrie Irving
Irving is stepping in to fill the void left by three time MVP, LeBron James, and did an incredible job during his rookie campaign. Kyrie didn’t help the Cavs win a substantial amount of games, but he did manage to put up 18.5 points per contest and win rookie of the year honors.
With the league being more point guard friendly than ever, look for Kyrie to keep elevating his game while being the pivotal piece in a Cleveland re-boot.
#9: Stephen Curry
Curry wowed us at Davidson, as he led his school on an improbable run during the NCAA tournament. Curry has been good since joining the NBA three years ago. He saw his ppg rise from his rookie to sophomore seasons and figured to keep climbing in his third season.
Curry had some major setbacks last season and only ended up playing in 26 games. With a healthy outlook on next season and a revamped Warrior team to come back to, look for Steph to up his game as the lone ball-handler in the Monta Ellis-less Golden State back court.
#8: Steve Nash
Nash has been the staple of what great point guards are over the past 16 seasons (10 with Phoenix). Nash has embedded his legacy in the Phoenix Suns’ history books forever.
Nash has amassed 16,649 points and a stunning 9,916 assists (5th all-time) in his marvelous NBA career.
It looks like the end is nowhere in sight for the 38 year old baller from Johannesburg, South Africa, but the light at the end of his tunnel with the Suns may be on the horizon.
Still the best passer in the league, in my humble opinion.
7#: John Wall
Wall is an extremely explosive point guard with exceptional quickness and size. He’s surely part of the newer breed of “take it to the rack” point guards who earn their keep at the rim. Wall
Wall’s big knock has to be his shooting. It’s definitely the area he needs to improve most, but this kid has the potential to be something special.
I personally believe that John Wall has the ability to be the NBA’s best point guard. Now, having the ability and actually doing something are two different things. But you get where I’m going with this. Wall’s ceiling seems to be unlimited.
#6: Tony Parker
Parker has been one of the league’s premier point guard’s for some years now, and I feel like he tends to get overlooked because at times he’s only been the 3rd best player on his own team.
Nevertheless, Parker has been a model of consistency and a winner over the course of the Spurs dominate tenure.
Parker even debuted some intense defensive chops during the western conference finals as he blanketed Russell Westbrook for the entire series. I had personally never witnessed defense like that from Tony, and was rather impressed with the whole process.
Hopefully Parker continues his defense ways heading into next season.
#5: Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook is at the forefront, along with Derrick Rose, of this new point guard era in the NBA. These guards have pushed their way past the typical pass-first aspects of being an elite point guard.
Instead these super-athletic point guards mirror the playing style of a traditional two guard in a smaller, quicker package.
It’s really very genius if you take a second to analyze this hybrid combo guard that is seemingly taking the league by storm. You pair the athleticism and scoring mentality of a traditional shooting guard, with the quickness and knack for handling the rock of a traditional point guard.
#4: Rajon Rondo
Rajon Rondo is another example of a dynamic athlete in a point guard’s frame. Rondo has the spedd, quickness, athleticism and build to score the basketball at will. He can attack the basket much like Rose and Westbrook, but seems to be held back by his lack of a true jumper.
Rondo is a true magician with the pill. He appears to have the ball on a string. His enormous hand size and length makes him incredible with the ball.
I believe that Rajon Rondo is fully capable of and probably should already elevated his game to the level of “one of the best” in the entire league. he just has to do a few more things. Some of it seems like effort and the rest is working on his shot. With the end of the “big three” era in sight, I suspect that we’ll see Rondo’s full potential soon enough.
#3: Derrick Rose
Rose has elevated his game to MVP level since being drafted 1st overall just four years ago. Rose has become a means of measurement when it comes to NBA talent at the point guard position. Rose, along with Westbrook, are leading the charge towards a newer, hybrid point guard position.
The fact that Rose battled injury during his 2012 campaign hasn’t made anyone forget his 2011 MVP award and just how valuable Rose is to the Chicago Bulls and the NBA as a whole.
The scariest part about Derrick Rose is that he hasn’t even reached his peek just yet. D-Rose and the Chicago Bulls still have so much to prove as they look to win it all next season.
#2: Deron Williams
Williams seems to get lost in a lot of point guard conversations over the past season or two. The emergence of guards like Derrick Rose and the fact that Williams’ career has been stalled in the black pit that is New Jersey have sort of disguised how good this kid is.
To the many that really analyze the play of each point guard, Williams is still held in very high regard. To the rest of the general population that makes up the NBA fan-base, Williams has lost respect because he’s not playing in the post-season and he’s not mentioned in MVP races.
I can’t stress enough that these things matter, but not as much as the fact that D-Will has simply played on a bad squad. The fact that Williams is only 27 years old and still managed to average roughly 21 points and 9 assists last season should speak volumes. Especially the assist numbers, given he plays for the Nets.
Williams will either get legit superstar help in Brooklyn (cough, cough, Dwight Howard), or he’ll bolt to a team where his accomplishments won’t go unnoticed.
#1: Chris Paul
Chris Paul is the total package. Assists, scoring, defense and that subtle superstar quality are the things that really drive him as the best floor general in the league.
Paul has climbed out of a mediocre a situation in the “Big Easy” and dropped into the spotlight as the best player on that “other” NBA team in Los Angeles, normally associated with great heartbreak and disappointment for their fans.
Paul helped the young-gun Clippers reach the playoffs in 2012 and it seems like things will only get better for CP3 and the Clippers.
Paul was a legit MVP candidate in 2012 and should look to improve his numbers next season after a full training camp with his new-ish teammates.