NBA: We Finally Got the Point
The point guard position seemed to have been lost and forgotten, except by teams that wanted to and won championships.
The Spurs had Tony Parker. The Pistons had Chauncey Billups. The Celtics had Rajon Rondo. The Heat even had Jason Williams to play the point.
When I say point guard, I do not necessarily mean a man who is going to shock you with their assists per game or their numbers in general, but one who has a way of creating and running an offense.
The only real stat point guards truly produce are wins. The point guard is back and let me be the first to say, it is about time.
No longer do we have star players bringing up the ball and attempting to create on their own like some kind of AND 1 impersonation, which is almost as big of a joke to basketball as the Harlem Globetrotters.
What we have is legitimate basketball. Basketball which allows star players to run around screens creating openings and point guards to deliver crisp passes to finish a play. Basketball which requires creating a defense to stop a play rather than a player.
What we have today in basketball is due to point guards having the ability to drive on their own causing either good layups or a collapsing of the defense, leading to good passes.
This is basketball. Basketball is a team sport led by a point guard.
In deciding who the best point guards in the NBA in 2009 are, I have put together this list based on the success of the point guard's team, assists, steals, points and how players around them have increased in talent.
I understand the first and last categories can be argued, but some things in basketball are beyond numbers.
1. Chris Paul
The logistics: He shot 50 percent from the field, and averaged only three turnovers per game while averaging 11 assists and a little less than 23 points per game.
He is first amongst legitimate point guards in points and assists. In fact, he lead Deron Williams by 136 assists for first place in the NBA. Amazingly, Paul also averages 2.8 steals and 5.5 rebounds per game. He literally does everything.
The deeper thoughts: He gains a massive amount of “point guard points” for what he has done for the Hornets. The Hornets won 20 more games the year they drafted Paul and he has led them to the playoffs twice in the difficult Western Conference.
Tyson Chandler and David West have become offensive threats due to the driving ability of Paul, and Peja Stojakovic's three-point percentage increased dramatically upon joining the Hornets.
Paul can drive, shoot amazingly, play defense, and see things Superman can't, but most importantly, he makes his team far better.
2. Deron Williams
The logistics: He shot 47 percent from the field, and without an injury, he usually shoots 40 percent from three-point range. He averaged 3.4 turnovers per game and 1.1 steals. Finally, he averaged 19.4 points and 10.7 assists per game.
The deeper thoughts: Williams had a tough year because of injury, although he still had great stats. Normally, he will have more steals and shoot far better from three-point range when healthy.
The Jazz improved by 15 wins the year they drafted Williams. Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur have had their best years with Williams at the point.
Even with the injury, Williams put up great numbers this year and led the Jazz to the playoffs for the third time in his four-year career.
3. Derrick Rose
The logistics: He shot 47.5 percent from the field. He only averaged 2.5 turnovers per game. He put up 16.8 points per game and dished out 6.3 assists.
He wasn't the best on defense with only 0.8 steals per game, but did crash the boards, averaging 3.9 rebounds per game.
The deeper thoughts: Did I mention that this was his rookie season? It is hard to put into words the amount of promise Derrick Rose has shown in his rookie season. He literally looks faster than anyone on the court at times.
Even Paul has taken notice, saying he sees a lot of himself in Derrick. Rose easily won the rookie of the year award and led the Bulls to the playoffs after a disappointing 2008 season.
Tyrus Thomas and Joakim Noah had by far their best offensive seasons with Rose at the helm, and Ben Gordon and John Salmons have also benefited around the three-point arc.
Chris Paul may one day take notice of Rose passing him in the point guard rankings.
4. Rajon Rondo
The logistics: He shot 50.5 percent from the field. Amazingly, he only had 2.1 turnovers per game. He put up just under 12 points and had two steals per game.
He dished out 8.2 assists per game and brought down 5.2 rebounds per game. He would also go in the category of doing everything.
The deeper thoughts: I wanted to hate Rondo. I always thought he was a product of having three superstars around him, and that even I could average eight assists per game with Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen on my team.
This recent playoff series against the Bulls has changed my opinion completely. He had no Garnett. Pierce was irrelevant for three games, and Ray Allen was nowhere to be found for two, but the Celtics won the series.
Rondo is a point guard that literally does everything. I want to hate him, but I now have no reason to.
5. Chauncey Billups
The logistics: He shot 42 percent from the field and 41 percent from 3-point range. He had just 2.2 turnovers per game and dished out 6.4 assists while putting up a little less than 18 points per game.
He only had 1.2 steals and three rebounds per game, but he has never been a defensive or banging point guard.
The deeper thoughts: Talk about making a team better. Not only did Billups make his new team amazingly better by leading the Nuggets to the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, but he made his old team insanely worse when he left.
After trading Billups, the always dangerous Pistons became an extremely mediocre team and fell to the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference and became the only team to be swept in the Playoffs while losing each game by double digits in a series in the first round to the Cavaliers.
Billups won a championship with the Pistons, and if the Nuggets end up winning it this year, he will be the reason.
If anyone tells you that the Pistons won a championship with no superstar, ask them what Chauncey Billups is.
The guys you will complain about and why they weren't on my list
Tony Parker: Easily the hardest to keep off this list. I have no excuse. Tony, I'm sorry. I gave more points to what Derrick Rose did for the Bulls and Chauncey Billups did for the Nuggets than what Parker did for the Spurs this year.
Devin Harris: He may be the product of being on an awful team, therefore, he is the only one who can score or do anything. I will say he helped Brook Lopez out a lot though.
Mo Williams: Not a real point guard, seeing as LeBron does everything.
Jason Kidd: Too old, but may go down as the best point guard of all-time.
Steve Nash: A total product of the D'Antoni system. His numbers before and after D'Antoni are far lower than his MVP seasons with him. No one hits their peak at the age of 30 in the NBA.
Brandon Roy: Did not make the list because he is not really a point guard.
Baron Davis: Hurt.
Thanks for making basketball entertaining again, guys.
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