Ranking the Flashiest Ball-Handlers in the NBA

Matt JonesAnalyst IMarch 9, 2012

Ranking the Flashiest Ball-Handlers in the NBA

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    These are the best and most exciting ball-handlers currently in the NBA.

    Some of the players on the list rely on speed and quickness, others on athleticism and some on making the impossible play look routine and simple.

    Some of these guys even do all of that on a nightly basis and have earned a reputation as being the flashiest and best ball-handlers in the entire league.

    While the top player may not be much of a surprise, continue reading to see which guys made the list.

10. Deron Williams, New Jersey Nets

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    Deron Williams is not as well known for his flashiness, but he is an underrated ball-handler and passer.

    Williams often uses his size to his advantage as he is driving the lane and is good at dishing the ball to a big man or throwing a well-timed alley-oop.

    Williams has a killer crossover and can get to the rim for the jam in traffic.

    Williams must have been doing something right recently, as he dropped 57 points on the Charlotte Bobcats to set a new career high.

9. Steve Nash, Phoenix Suns

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    Steve Nash has been one of the top point guards in the NBA for a little over 15 years.

    He has had plenty of time to show off his dribbling and passing skills and is among the all-time leaders in assists.

    Nash has made a career of driving the lane and circling out from under the basket to find an open shooter instead of throwing up a shot.

    His ability to break down defenders and find the open teammate has made him a future Hall of Fame player.

8. Jamal Crawford, Portland Trail Blazers

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    Not that he has shown off his abilities as much this season as in the past, but Jamal Crawford has been one of the best ball-handlers in the NBA and deserves a mention.

    As the sixth man for the Atlanta Hawks and with the Golden State Warriors and New York Knicks, Crawford showed off his ball skills and allowed his freestyle method of play to open up shots for himself and his teammates.

    Known as a player who has never been afraid to shoot the ball, Crawford uses his athletic ball skills to create just enough space to get his jump shot in the air.

7. Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat

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    Dwyane Wade may not make the same dribbling moves as other players, but he has excellent control of the ball.

    Wade has one of the best crossovers in the game, but his step-back move and ability to spin with the ball make him extremely difficult for a defender to guard.

    Wade is also good on the receiving end of the play when he catches and finishes a high alley-oop pass from his teammates.

6. Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers

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    Although he is only a short way into his NBA career, Cleveland Cavaliers rookie Kyrie Irving has already shown off his ball-handling ability to the rest of the league.

    Irving, the top pick of last summer's NBA draft, uses his skills to run an improved Cleveland offense and is an important part of the improvements they have made this season.

    While dribbling and passing come naturally to Irving, he is also proving to be a good scorer and the player that the Cavaliers needed to start turning things around.

5. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

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    Whether he is dribbling or passing, Stephen Curry is always in control and seems to have the ball on a string.

    Curry is a natural ball-handler who also has the ability to drive and dish or pull up for his own shot.

    His size and quickness allows him to easily maneuver around taller players to make unbelievable plays to set up his teammates.

4. Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics

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    A player has to have a pretty good handle on the basketball to dish out the assists that Rondo seems to get night in and night out.

    Rondo recently used his ball skills to score 18 points, hand out 20 assists and grab 17 rebounds.

    This historic feat and near double-triple-double is the first in the NBA to involve at least 17 in each category since Magic Johnson did it in 1989.

    Rondo's slick ball-handling skills and ability to manage a game are big reasons why he is the future of the Celtics in Boston.

3. Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls

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    Part of the reason that Derrick Rose is the reigning NBA MVP is because of his strong ball-handling skills.

    It seems like Rose could dribble around defenders all day without turning the ball over.

    A quick first step and the ability to control the ball make Rose one of the most difficult players to guard one-on-one in the entire NBA.

2. Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers

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    Since entering the league a little over six years ago, Chris Paul has been one of the most dangerous ball-handlers in the NBA.

    His mix of speed and athleticism has made it very difficult for opposing defenses to guard him, even though he is usually one of the smallest players on the court.

    Paul uses his superior ball-handling skills to create scoring opportunities for both himself and his teammates.

1. Ricky Rubio, Minnesota Timberwolves

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    Any player who draws comparisons to New Orleans Jazz legend "Pistol" Pete Maravich has got to have some big-time ball-handling skills.

    In his rookie season, Ricky Rubio has already taken over the top spot for the flashiest passes, most exciting alley-oops and spectacular dribbling skills.

    Rubio's teammates in Minnesota have learned that they must be ready to receive the ball in all situations, because Rubio will always find a way to get it to them.