Paul Pierce Says John Wall Is 'The Best Point Guard in the League'

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistOctober 25, 2017

ATLANTA, GA: Paul Pierce #34 and John Wall #2 of the Washington Wizards looks on against the Atlanta Hawks in Game five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the NBA Playoffs on May 13, 2015 at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Jesse Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Former NBA star and current ESPN analyst Paul Pierce believes Washington Wizards star John Wall is "the best point guard in the league."  

"First off, he's so fast and dynamic," Pierce said during an ESPN segment (h/t Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post). "You can't get up on him and crowd him; that’s when he drives to the hole. He'll dunk on you with the left, with the right. He has the handles of a small guy, even though he stands 6'3". He has the speed of an NFL running back. So you pretty much have to give him space and let him shoot the jumper. If not, he'll embarrass you all night."

In a point-guard-driven NBA, there are no shortage of players who can make the case for being the best point guard.

There's two-time league MVP Steph Curry. There's last year's MVP, Russell Westbrook, who averaged a triple-double for an entire season. There's the runner-up for the award last year, James Harden, and his new teammate in Houston, Chris Paul (who didn't earn the nickname "The Point God" by being a slouch). Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Isaiah Thomas—whom Pierce called the best point guard in the Eastern Conference last year, per Steinberg—was second-team All-NBA last season. Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard and Kyle Lowry are at least in the conversation.

But Pierce is siding with Wall.

"Wall's speed is equivalent to The Flash," he noted. "I mean, this guy, he's a blur in the open court. This guy's probably the fastest end to end with the ball. If Wall is running at you and you're a defender and he's going full speed, you're pretty much at his mercy—expect to be on SportsCenter that night."

That's a fair point. And Pierce's claim has merit in that Wall, a four-time All-Star, was third-team All-NBA last season after averaging 23.1 points, 10.7 assists and 2.0 steals per game last season. This year, he's posting 24.3 points and 10.0 assists per contest.

Because of the level of talent at the position, the debate as to which player is the "best" point guard is ultimately subjective.

If you want a pure scorer and perimeter shooter who also creates for teammates, Curry and Harden are as good as it gets. Westbrook is a stats machine and can carry a team to the postseason by his lonesome. In Wall, you get an explosive scorer who plays solid defense, is unstoppable in transition and creates easy looks for teammates in the half court.

It's hard to go wrong with any of them. And whether you agree with Pierce's assertion or not, Wall has earned the right to be in the conversation.