NBA: Point Guards as Top-Scoring Threats Means No Chance at an NBA Championship

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NBA: Point Guards as Top-Scoring Threats Means No Chance at an NBA Championship
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Derrick Rose was sidelined for the NBA Playoffs after suffering a torn ACL in Round 1 against the Philadelphia 76ers.

As deep, young and talented as the Chicago Bulls and L.A. Clippers are, these are teams that will undoubtedly, never win an NBA championship based on the way that they operate.

Boasting top-notch scorers like Derrick Rose and Chris Paul make these teams as dynamic and explosive as any in the league, yet it’s because these players are the two main scoring threats for these teams that they will never win a title.

There is a reason that people call college basketball a guard’s league and the NBA “a big man's” league.

Time and time again, since the 1980s, we have seen teams win NBA championships without superior scoring ability from the point guard spot.

On the Boston Celtics of the 1980s it was solid all-around play from Dennis Johnson, as was the case with Magic Johnson with the L.A. Lakers. The Chicago Bulls of the 90s were led by Michael Jordan and the Houston Rockets of the mid-90s by Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon.

In the beginning of the millennium it was Tim Duncan and David Robinson anchoring the Spurs while Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal set the pace offensively for the streaking Lakers.

Just five seasons ago it was the Boston Celtics that were led by the Big Three, one which did not include young point guard talent Rajon Rondo. And last season, it was the Dallas Mavericks that were anchored by Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry in the scoring department.

It’s near impossible to say there have been any teams at all, with the exception of a Chauncey Billups-led Pistons team of 2004, with a point guard as the main scoring threat that won an NBA title since the 1980s.

In today’s game, an emerging Clippers team and outright impressive Bulls team have proven to do much of the same in 2012. After coming out strong against the Memphis Grizzlies in round one of the postseason, the Clippers were swept by the San Antonio Spurs.

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With Chicago, Rose found himself down and out after tearing his ACL against the Philadelphia 76ers in round one, as the wear and tear on his body would turn out to take a turn for the worse.

A team boasting prowess on the defensive end was unable to defeat the No. 8 seed in the conference, in spite of putting together the best season of any team in the league this season.

To ask the point guard, the floor general, to also be a team’s main scoring threat, is a task much too tall to ask for out of an NBA championship contender. It is difficult to believe that a point guard can get his teammates in the best flow possible when also having to take into account he is the top scorer.

There is a reason that teams who rely on point guards to score the basketball have not and will not win NBA titles. It is too much to ask of a point guard, who takes the ball up the court each play and attempts to get teammates open to also take a majority of the shots.

Over time, the toll this type of responsibility puts on a player is much too taxing. Not only does a point guard have a hefty load offensively, but defensively as well. One can argue this is the one player doing the most running and putting forth the most effort, as they lead a defensive unit by roaming about the perimeter constantly.

The examples are readily available, even in those teams that have other players to put up points offensively.

Without Kevin Durant, point guard Russell Westbrook and the Thunder would fail to stand a chance at an NBA championship. Without Kevin Garnett, the Celtics could have well been beaten by Atlanta in round one of the 2012 postseason. No Tim Duncan or Manu Ginobili in San Antonio leaves the Spurs with a gaping hole.

As integral as the point guard position is, we must not forget how teams have won in the past. Solid point guard play is important, yet scoring the basketball must come secondary. Teams with point guards as their top scoring threats don’t win championships.

The Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder all have scoring threats outside of their solid point guards. Oddly enough, these are the four teams remaining in the 2012 NBA Playoffs.

The facts speak for themselves. Point guards have become the rising position in the NBA, yet also the most overworked position. Make no mistake about it.

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