The (Likely) Top 10 Shooting Guards for the Upcoming 09-10 NBA Season
The 08-09 NBA season is over and the shooting guard position proved its importance on the game. A two-guard was the Finals MVP, 6th Man of the Year, and two of them made the All-NBA First Team.
They are often the three-point specialists and take some playmaking responsibility off the point guards (sometimes all of it). The "2" is also expected help somewhat with the boards.
Here are the projected best shooting guards for the 09-10 NBA season.
10. Michael Redd -- Milwaukee Bucks
Redd averaged 21.2 ppg, 2.7 apg, and 3.2 rpg in 33 games for the 08-09 NBA season before tearing his ACL and having to sit out the rest of the season.That really cost him a few spots in this list and he is lucky to find himself in the top 10 still.
He will get plenty of opportunities to prove himself as one of the best in the 09-10 season though because of the scoring that left the Milwaukee Bucks in Charlie Villanueva and Richard Jefferson.
The former second-round pick is used to proving his doubters wrong.
9. O.J. Mayo -- Memphis Grizzlies
Mayo averaged 18.5 ppg, 3.2 apg, and 3.8 rpg for his 08-09 rookie season. Those stats were good enough to finish 2nd in Rookie of the Year voting behind Derrick Rose. They also display his excellent all-around game; maybe that is why he is somewhat interested in playing the point.
Mayo will definitely continue to improve and get his shots in the 09-10 season as the Grizzlies drafted offensively limited center Hasheem Thabeet. Mayo and teammate Rudy Gay form a formidable perimeter duo and will be relied on to carry a bulk of the scoring.
8. Emanuel Ginobili -- San Antonio Spurs
Emanuel Ginobili, or Manu as we better know him by, averaged a disappointing 14.7 ppg, 3.6 apg, and 4.1 rpg during the 08-09 season. His lackluster stats are mainly due to his injury which cost him about half the regular season and playoffs. It also most likely cost him a couple spots on the list.
Look for the 3-time NBA champion to bounce back strong in the 09-10 season with a revamped San Antonio Spurs team. This time around, he will get some help on the perimeter with the addition of Richard Jefferson.
7. Ray Allen -- Boston Celtics
Ray Allen averaged 18.2 ppg, 2.8 apg, and 3.5 rpg during the 08-09 season. Those stats don't tell it all as Allen was one of the most consistent guys for the injury-hit Boston Celtics. He played in 79 games and shot terrific from the field (48.0%), three-point line (40.9%), and free-throw line (95.2%).
Expect Ray Ray and the rest of the Celtics to have a stellar 09-10 season in hunt for another ring. Their offseason additions are very impressive in Rasheed Wallce and Allen's backup, Marquis Daniels.
6. Kevin Martin -- Sacramento Kings
Kevin Martin averaged a surprising (for some people) 24.6 ppg, 2.7 apg, and 3.6 rpg in 51 games last year in the 08-09 season. He shot well from the field at 42%, and shot even more impressively from the three-point line at 41.5%.
He is one of the most underrated players in the game today since he does not play for a good market or team. Not many good things happen for the Sacramento Kings; but when they do, you can bet Mr. Martin had something to do with it.
K-Mart will most likely continue his stellar play in the 09-10 season as the "go-to guy" in Sacramento but do not expect the Kings to make any noise in the West.
5. Vince Carter -- Orlando Magic
Vince Carter averaged an under-appreciated 20.8 ppg, 4.7 apg, and 5.1 rpg in his 08-09 campaign. Carter's fame and respect has fallen more and more as the New Jersey Nets became less and less relevant.
But this time around he gets to finally play with a true contender since the New Jersey Nets' supposed contender with Kidd, Carter, and Jefferson had obvious flaws (such as the lack of a quality big man).
Expect Vinsanity to take full advantage of perhaps his last chance to claim a ring and leave his legacy.
4. Joe Johnson -- Atlanta Hawks
Joe Johnson averaged a stellar 21.4 ppg, 5.8 apg, 4.4 rpg during his 08-09 year.
The talented two-guard continues to guide his Atlanta Hawks to playoff berths and advanced to the second round this year. Although, in the second round he disappointed with his poor play with averages of 15.0 ppg, 4.3 apg, and 4.5 rpg. His Hawks seemed to follow suit as they go swept by a determined Cavaliers team.
Mr. Johnson will have to step up his game in the 09-10 season if he wishes to make the Atlanta Hawks a contender in the loaded East.
3. Brandon Roy -- Portland Trailblazers
Brandon Roy averaged 22.6 ppg, 5.1 apg, and 4.7 rpg in just his 3rd season in the league. His outstanding overall play has distinguished himself as one of the best young players in the league.
He has established himself as the leader of the young but extremely talented Portland Trailblazers. It really amazes me how good and young they truly are. It is a great time to live in Portland.
The addition of Andre Miller will allow "The Natural" to have a playmaker so Roy can work off the ball more and focus more on getting the ball in the basket instead of getting everyone involved first.
Look for B-Roy to try to advance his team past the first-round in the 09-10 season and possibly beyond.
2. Dwyane Wade -- Miami Heat
Here starts the two picks you already knew were here. I really wouldn't mind it if you opened another article up. I don't even have to say anything about this guy but I am inclined to.
Dwyane Wade averaged an unbelievable 30.2 ppg, 7.5 apg, and 5.0 rpg. Along with that he averaged 2.2 steals per game and 1.3 blocks per game. The former tells you that he averaged more blocks than a lot of big men. I guess that his what happens when you have hops like D-Wade.
Apparently, Wade felt compelled to prove to the whole world that he was still an elite player after his injury-filled last couple of years
Despite his MVP-worthy season, the Heat did not accomplish much except a first-round exit. You can clearly see Wade needs more help than a young developing sophomore.
Be ready for "The Flash" to have another phenomenal season but a mediocre one for the Heat. That is unless the Heat can make a play for Boozer or another talented sidekick to Wade.
1. Kobe Bryant -- Los Angeles Lakers
Here is the pick you definitely knew was going to be here. Or perhaps you thought Wade would take over an older Kobe Bryant in 09-10? You guys must be crazy.
Kobe Bryant averaged an impressive yet expected 26.8 ppg, 4.9 apg, and 5.2 rpg 08-09 season. But you know Bryant could average more points if he truly wanted to.
Instead, KB24 wanted the ring that eluded him the year before. He made it his mission and he succeeded as the LA Lakers were crowned champs once again.
There is no doubt that the "Black Mamba" is going to go after his 5th ring and try to further his legacy. The addition of Artest and return of Odom will make it easier, easier than it should be.
Ben Gordon -- Detroit Pistons:
The new Piston was a hard pick to leave off but his lack of size and one-dimensional game made it easier.
Jason Terry -- Dallas Mavericks:
The reigning 6th Man of the Year was the hardest one to leave off the list (as I am a Dallas Mavericks community leader). But unbiasedly, Terry failed to make the cut for the same reasons Mr. Gordon didn't.
Tracy McGrady -- Houston Rockets;
T-Mac hasn't played in a while and will not play in a while. He says he will return and show everyone what he is capable of. He has a big task ahead of him and has to back up his words.
Richard Hamilton -- Detroit Pistons:
The disgruntled star may be the best one on the "Honorable Mentions" list. But I do not think he will have a good 09-10 season as I predict Detroit will have a lot of team chemistry issues.
Stuckey, Gordon, and Hamilton will have to decide who is going to take the shots and playing time. The humble Prince might wants some shots too though.