Hadarii Jones loves to pick interesting topics to write about. His most recent article was a slide show titled "Born to Lead the top 10 Floor Generals in the NBA " which I was intrigued to read.
His list in order went Jeff Green, Gilbert Arenas, Kevin Garnett, Dwayne Wade, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Jason Kidd, and Chauncey Billups. To me the weakest link out of the group was Nash.
I don't consider Nash a top 10 floor general. He maybe an exceptional passer and shooter, but to me in order to be a floor general you have to be a complete all-around player.
On the list, every single player except for Nash plays defense. Certainly not all of them on the same level, but it's good enough to be considered above average. That can hardly be said about Nash.
Let's look at the players that Jones has on the list.
Jeff Green —In actuality if you were to ask me, Green was the most improved player last year for the Oklahoma City Thunder and he's been a pleasant surprise for the young Thunder squad.
In fact, coming out of Georgetown I didn't think he was going to do much damage even though he was the fifth pick in the 2007 NBA draft. Adding Green to the mix with Kevin Durant is going to be a tandem that's going to be tough in the next couple of years.
Green is a rugged small forward who can rebound, shoot the ball, and play tough defense. You can definitely see why he could be picked over Durant as the leader of the Thunder because of his all-around ability.
Gilbert Arenas —When I first saw Arenas on the list, it was questionable thanks to, in part, him missing most of the last two years thanks to injuries. But when healthy, Arenas is a complete player.
I also believe his dedication to take smarter shots will also benefit the Wizards, and so far it's been paying off for him. He's on pace to have the best shooting percentage from beyond the arc.
Arenas is underrated defensively as well, and when healthy he is consistently among the leaders in steals.
Kevin Garnett —So far on the list, he's probably the best example of a player that leads by example. Garnett is one of the most intense players in the league and he puts out a maximum effort every night.
Dwayne Wade —Another maximum effort guy who gets it done at both ends of the court. I would say at this point in time he's ahead of LeBron James in terms of awareness of what needs to be done.
Wade's problem though is because he's so fearless at getting to the hoop, he has been injury prone. I think as Wade gets older he's going to improve his mid range jumper and start doing what Kobe Bryant does so well to get to the line, which is pump fakes that get the defender in the air and create the contact to get to the line.
Chris Paul —Paul just gets it done regardless of what end of the court he is on. The knock on Paul though is the lack of strength he has to defender a bigger guard and as well being a gambler on defense.
I don't know if the gambler on defense could be considered a negative towards him considering the fact he has led the NBA in steals. Sure, does that mean he could get beat? Yes, but I believe that Paul weighs the risk and if he feels like he's got the edge then he's going to go for the steal.
Offensively there aren't really many negatives in his game and at least this year he's shot the lights out from beyond the arc, currently hitting at 80 percent. It's not going to last, but he may have the best season of his career hitting threes.
Deron Williams —Fans rank Williams higher than Paul because of his strength. I personally believe that Paul is the better player, but it's hard to argue that you lose much with Williams either.
So, what it really means is that Williams doesn't tend to gamble on defense. Williams also plays in a system that has shown to be effective for years under Jerry Sloan. The pick and roll they run works to perfection.
Steve Nash —Nash doesn't belong on the list, end of story. There is only one thing that Nash is good at, and that is running the ball up and down the court. When he's forced to slow down, he can barely function as a point guard.
Kobe Bryant —when I first read the slide show, I figured he would have Bryant at number one, I was wrong. Bryant can pretty much do it all on the court whether it's drawing a foul to helping out on defense.
Most recently you've seen him in timeouts basically coaching his teammates to where they need to be, which has shown how Kobe has matured over the years.
Jason Kidd —Kidd has always been one of the most well-rounded player in the NBA. What makes Kidd unique is the fact that he's a point guard that's strong enough to guard shooting guards.
The only knock on Kidd throughout his career was his inability to shoot the basketball, but he makes up for that by being one of the best rebounding guards ever, and one of the greatest passers in NBA history.
Chauncey Billups —The Billups selection was interesting. I don't know if you could put him as the number one floor general, I think the biggest thing though is Billups influence on Carmelo Anthony.
Since, Billups has come to Denver, Anthony has been one of the best players in the NBA. Also, with Billups leadership abilities it helped mold the team together for a strong showing in the playoffs.
He's also known for his ability to hit clutch shots. His field goal percentage it isn't even close to some of the players on the list. It's the fact that he can hit the big shot and shoot for a high percentage from beyond the arc that helps him.
Billups is an excellent defender as well, and I think that also rubbed off on the Nuggets when he came over last year from the Pistons. The Nuggets at the time were not really known for their ability to play defense. They were more known for being a talented offensive team.
As mentioned earlier, it was definitely an interesting subject to bring up, but Nash does not even deserved to be mentioned on the list. There are other players would would be a better representation of what a floor general is.
Here are some examples.
Brandon Roy —Roy has come along way from when he first came into the league. He's now more of a player that will attack the rim rather then just trying to find an open teammate. The biggest knock on Roy when he was a rookie was that he didn't look for his shot.
Roy has become the face of the franchise in Portland. He isn't, by any stretch of the imagination, a lock down defender like Bryant is, but he's still above average. Also, Roy has the ability to come up with hitting clutch shots or making clutch plays down the stretch.
Baron Davis —He's always being looked over. I think the main problem is the fact that he's been injured a lot throughout his career. Last year didn't help when he missed games and didn't seem to have the will that he showed as a member of the Golden State Warriors.
Well, this is a new year and he seems to be back. Davis, like Kidd and Williams, is big enough to guard opposing shooting guards. The one knock on Davis is that he can take questionable shots, but in the clutch he also comes through.
Allen Iverson —I still think Iverson has a lot left in the tank. There's no substitute for heart, and after watching him the other night against Golden State, it looks like he can still bring it.
When you have Iverson getting 18 points and seven assists off the bench, it tells you he can still get it done.
Derrick Rose —He's an up and coming player in the league, but his play in the playoffs and his ability to lead the Bulls was impressive. I didn't think he really was going to do much as a rookie, but he certainly showed that he could play.
So, far he hasn't gotten off to the best start, but he also has been fighting off an injury as well. He's also a very good defender.
Andre Iguodala —Constantly overlooked, but Iguodala is an incredible talent for the Philadelphia 76ers. He's not the most dominant scorer by any stretch of the imagination but he can fill up a stat sheet. He's a superb defender, he can rebound, and he can distribute the ball as well.
Now, I would also say there are three players off the top of my head that are on the outside looking in. LeBron James is number one, Dwight Howard is number two, and Stephen Curry is number three.
LeBron James —The reason why James doesn't make the list is because he still relies way too much on his athleticism to get him places rather then choosing a spot. A perfect example was Thursday night when he turned the ball over with .02 seconds left on the clock with a chance to win the game.
James problem on the play was the fact that he tried going for a layup with two Bulls defenders coming right at him. He had no chance to put up a shot and the ball wound up being lost by James and the Bulls hung on for a victory.
Dwight Howard —Howard defensively is at the top of the charts whether it is rebounding or blocked shots. The problem for Howard though is offensively, like James, he relies too much on his athleticism.
Howard doesn't really have a dominant post game, so he doesn't have the ability to score in a variety of ways like a Garnett or a Pau Gasol. If Howard ever learns how to use his feet and develops a jump hook from either hand he could be unstoppable. The only other thing with Howard is his free throw shooting. If he fixes that, which it seems like he's doing a lot better this year, he could be dangerous as well.
Stephen Curry —Maybe it's just me being a homer, but maybe it's not. I think Curry will eventually win the Rookie of the Year award based on his abilities. Defensively he's a pest, but he does tend to reach which gets him in foul trouble especially if he's facing a bigger guard.
But, he also moves his feet very well. As an example, in tonight's game against the Los Angeles Clippers he drew a charge on Baron Davis because of his ability to move his feet.
Curry also has imparted his ability on his teammates as well. He's helped make Monta Ellis into a passer, and evidence of that was in the Warriors win over the Grizzlies. In that game, Ellis had 12 assists.
Before Curry becomes one of the better floor generals in the NBA, he does need to work on creating his own shot. There was a point in the game where Curry had a wide open jumper from the free throw line that he missed.
As his game matures, he would have realized that he had plenty of room to take a few dribbles and either drive to the rim and hope to draw a foul for a three point play or get a much shorter shot and bank it off glass.
With the examination of these players, it's becoming pretty obvious that Nash does not belong for a variety of reasons.
You could hardly qualify Nash as an above average defender, in fact you could hardly argue that he's an average defender, in fact the only argument for Nash in terms of defensive abilities is below average.
Nash thrives in a system that forces the action up and down with very little stoppage of play. When Nash plays in a half court set and the game is slowed down, he struggles offensively, doesn't make good decisions, and ends up turning the ball over.
Another issue with Nash being on the list is the fact that he, along with Amare Stoudemire, refused to buy into Terry Porter's system last year. Porter's system emphasized a slower pace and more defense, which neither Nash or Stoudemire were willing to do.
In fact one of the reasons why coach Mike D'Antoni did not go back to the Suns was the fact that general manager Steve Kerr wanted D'Antoni to practice defense not just offense and D'Antoni didn't want too.
The real floor general of the Suns team during their playoff runs was not Nash. It was Shawn Marion, and there's really not much of a debate here. Marion was the man who defended the oppositions best player from point guard to power forward.
Along, with his defense, he was the Suns best rebounder, he could hit the outside shot, and he could score in a variety of ways.
Which, brings me back to my point, a floor general does much more than just one thing well and because of this Nash does not qualify. There's more to basketball than just being able to run a fast break.
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