NBA Power Rankings: Top 5 Point Guards in 2012-2013
The Point Guard is the extension of the coach on the court and does whatever is needed to lead his team to victory.
An elite point guard needs to play a well-rounded game on both ends of the floor and is a leader both on and off the court. An elite point guard does more than put up big numbers; they make their teammates better and get the win. The Bottom line, an elite point guard produces results and achieves TEAM success.
The five point guards on this list are elite point guards, they make the big plays that everyone notices and the small—yet absolutely necessary—plays that too often go unnoticed. These five point guards are the best at what they do and do far more than simply put up big numbers.
They are leaders and winners; as a result they will all play for winning teams this season and make their teams contenders in their respective conferences.
Honourable Mention: Deron Williams, Brooklyn Nets
I couldn’t leave Deron Williams off of this list, as he is truly a dominant point guard in the NBA.
He should excel in a backcourt with Joe Johnson, or at least he thinks he will, otherwise he wouldn’t have resigned with the Nets. But he’s still only good enough to be the sixth best point guard this season.
That being said, as well as Deron Williams played last year on a bad Nets team, in order to be an elite point guard he needs to be able to produce results and team success, which he was unable to do. I do not doubt that Deron Williams is a winner—as he demonstrated in his time with the Utah Jazz. However, he did not make his team a winning team last season.
In his defence, injuries and mid-season additions hurt his team and affected team chemistry, which were two contributing factors to their 22-44 record last season.
Nevertheless, all of the other elite point guards on this list led their teams to a winning record last year, with the exception of one player who led his team to a 33-33 record; however, he has shown on numerous occasions that he is a winner and a true leader—not to mention a two-time MVP.
Bottom line is, Deron Williams chose to come back to the Brooklyn Nets knowing full well what the roster situation would be. Therefore, it is on him to make this a winning team. As soon as he accomplishes this he will earn a spot on the list.
5. Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs
As much as I find it hard to believe that he will be able to replicate that same type of performance this year, I still think he will be a top five point guard this season and lead his Spurs to a deep playoff run.
4. Steve Nash, Los Angeles Lakers
This will come as a surprise to some, but yes, if Steve Nash is able to co-exist in a backcourt with Kobe Bryant—which I obviously think he will—I am confident that the 38-year-old Nash will outplay several talented point guards, nearly half his age, and make a clear case to be the fourth best PG in the NBA this season.
Why do I think this will happen? The answer is simple: He wants a ring more than anyone else…except maybe his teammate, Kobe Bryant.
If Nash had the focus, heart and determination to bust his butt over the past few hopeless seasons in Phoenix, imagine how hard he’ll play when there’s an NBA championship within reach…wait, we already know the answer to that question…he’ll put up MVP-type numbers, like he did in his early days in Phoenix.
Even with Kobe playing alongside him, Steve Nash will initiate the majority of plays for the Lakers next year and with the best supporting cast of his career, he will excel, so much so that I think he’ll be a top five point guard this season.
3. Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics
Rajon Rondo may not be a great scorer—although he did show some scoring potential in last year’s playoffs when he averaged 17.3 points per game—and he is far from a three point threat, but his superbly well-rounded game and ability to do just about everything well is more than enough to earn him the third spot on this list.
Don’t believe me? Just look at the six triple-doubles he had last season. Kyle Lowry, Jarrett Jack, Kemba Walker and JJ Barea were the only other PGs to record a triple-double last year, and they were only able to manage one each…meaning Rondo’s six triple-doubles were more than all other NBA PGs combined last season.
With 11.9 points, 11.7 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game last season to go along with a 3.21 assist to turnover ratio, it should be clear how well-rounded of a player Rondo is. Not to mention the scoring potential he showed in last year’s playoffs.
Look for Rondo to take another step forward this year as he looks to lead his Boston Celtics to the NBA Finals.
2. Russell Westbrook, OKC Thunder
Derrick Rose will miss the majority of the 2012-2013 season in order to rehab his torn ACL. It takes a full 82 games to lead your team to the playoffs, meaning Derrick Rose does not qualify for this list. If healthy, he would be right here at No. 2; instead his spot goes to the deserving Russell Westbrook.
Russell Westbrook is the youngest point guard on this list, yet I still consider him to be an elite point guard who is often underrated because of the fact that he plays alongside superstar Kevin Durant. Would Westbrook be a superstar if he had his own team? I think he would and that’s why he’s No. 2 on the list.
With a PER of 23.00 and a 13.9 estimated wins added, Westbrook is certainly a deserving candidate to be the second best PG in the league this season.
Westbrook led all PGs last year in scoring and was second—behind Rajon Rondo—in rebounding, with 23.6 points and 6.4 rebounds per game to go along with 5.5 assists and 1.7 steals—the third most among PGs.
The young core of Westbrook, Durant, Harden and Ibaka will look to bring a title to OKC this year, but it won’t be easy as they’ll have to go through the newly formed big four of the Los Angeles Lakers.
1. Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers
With a PER of 27.09 and an Estimated Wins Added of 17.5, both of which were good enough for tops among point guards last season, it’s clear that Chris Paul will once again be the best point guard in the league in 2012-2013.
Last season, Paul finished third in assists, second in Assist to turnover ratio and third among PGs in scoring, averaging nearly a double-double with 19.8 points and 9.1 assists per game.
Unlike last year, his team is once again the clear underdog in Los Angeles; however he won’t let that stop him as he looks to lead his Clippers to a deep playoff run.