NBA's Top 10 Point Guards in the Game Today
Dwyane Wade is arguably one of the best players in the NBA today. It's hard to peg down what position he plays, as he can play a little point guard and a little 2 guard. At this point, I think it is safe to say he is a 2 guard who handles the ball.
Wade is averaging more assists than most of the league's point guards, so does that constitute him being a point guard? Mario Chalmers and Carlos Arroyo play opposite Wade, both players are fairly traditional point guards, so it may be a safe assumption to say that Wade by position is a shooting guard.
But what makes a point guard? A guy who handles the ball? Someone who sets up and calls plays? A guy between x-height and y-height? A guy who averages x-assists per night? A team leader?
Perhaps a player that is solid in pick-n-pop/pick-n-roll situations? Good three-ball shooter? Fearless at attacking the basket?
Its arguable that all of these things are factors in determining what a great point guard is, except probably the height factor and specific skill sets mentioned. Magic Johnson was 6'9" and no one was questioning if he was a point guard or not. Same goes for Penny Hardaway, he was 6'7". Is there any correlation between freakishly tall point guards and nicknames?
An ideal point guard can defend, pass, shoot and attack the basket. But I suppose those are qualities you look for in every player, but a really good point guard embodies all of these qualities. A solid point guard is multidimensional and shows these characteristics at some point in time in their game or arsenal.
As for the upcoming list, this is based on the players stated position by team officials and by others in the league. And this is purely my opinion, not written as Gospel, so keep that in mind. Here are some players that are playing well, or have played well, but just aren't quite there.
And now the top 10 point guards in the NBA:
10. Tyreke Evans
I'm sure I will be criticized heavily for this pick, but, in my defense, he is beast at point guard. Even if that does not end up being his position a few years down the line. But, here is why he could end up being the point guard of the future for the Kings, and not the go to off-guard that he has been pegged as.
Evans is fearless, No. 1. He is a nightmare of a matchup for most point guards, who are typically a few inches shorter and weigh around 30 pounds less. When Evans gets in the lane, the only player who can beat him is himself. He has taken over games by simply taking whoever is guarding him right to the cup and scoring over him and anyone else who tries to contest his shot.
Evans is also averaging more assists than most point guards, 5.4, and averaging close to five rebounds per game. And like I've stated and many other people have stated, he is close to averaging a stat line indicative of Oscar Robertson's, Michael Jordan's and LeBron James' rookie years. Very nice company to be in.
None of those players are point guards, except Robertson probably, so it is arguable that Evans will eventually become a wing player as his predecessors, but there is not guarantee.
One thing I do know for sure, is that once Evans develops a solid jump shot he will be virtually unguardable, no matter what position he is playing. He is a playmaker, great ball handler, and has unstoppable penetration.
9. Baron Davis
B-diddy would be higher on this list if he:
1. Wasn't playing on a lottery bound team
2. Wasn't shooting such a miserable percentage
Davis was in his heyday while in Oakland when he took the unexpected Warriors to the playoffs and defeated the Dallas Mavericks in the first round, Dallas had won a league best 65 regular season games, the Warriors eked into the playoffs with 42 wins.
Despite his play in recent memory, Davis is still averaging eight assists per game, seventh highest in the league, along with 1.75 steals per game and 3.5 boards per game. He is averaging 15.3 points per game, but is shooting a meager 39.4 percent from the field and a scant 28 percent from downtown.
All very respectable marks, until you reach the shooting percentages. If Davis could even manage to average in the low forties from the field and mid-to-low thirties from downtown, his numbers would look much better.
8. Derrick Rose
This guy is an absolute animal (case and point above). He is comparable to a young Baron Davis or Deron Williams. Except a jump shot somewhere inbetween the two and a three point shot that is perhaps closer to the marks of Davis.
A large chunk of his points come in the immediate basket area, as a combination of size, strength and quickness makes him nearly unguardable at times.
His jumper is suspect, perhaps even more so than Evans, and Rose's playmaking ability is questionable, as he is considered a true point guard, but is averaging only a couple tenths of an assist above Evans assists per game.
Rose is already an elite point guard with his physical tools, if he can put it all together there will be no question about him being right up there with some of the top few point guards in the league.
7. Jason Kidd
Jason Kidd over the past decade was arguably the best point guard of the first decade of the new millennia.
Kidd will be a sprightly 37 years old on the 23rd of this month, and has only slowed down a little. He is not the speed demon he used to be, but with his size, ungodly passing ability and consistent stroke from downtown, Kidd is still competing with the best of them on a nightly basis.
Kidd was never known as a shooter early in his career, primarily a facilitator and slashing point guard, but since joining Dallas having better players around him, he has flourished as a shooter on a team where the defense will lose him in the shuffle of trying to guard Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry, Caron Butler, Shawn Marion and other formidable players on a deep Maverick team.
Kidd will go down as one the best point guards to ever play the game, and is still among the best in the league. He will be a key piece to the Mavs having a deep push in the playoffs this year. WIth the additions of Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood, Dallas is looking like a brand new team.
6. Russell Westbrook
The Thunder point guard forms one of the most dangerous one-two punches in league and has made incredibly large strides in just his second year. Westbrook is averaging nearly 17 points per game and 8 assists per game, along with 5.1 rebounds per game and 1.4 steals per game.
The former UCLA product is a fiery player with great floor vision and incredible speed. Not to mention the second year player is one of the best defensive guards in the NBA. Westbrook appears to be getting better each game he plays, and looks to be apart of a solid nucleus consisting of Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Jeff Green.
Just having Durant and Westbrook on your team is going to make you a playoff threat, especially considering Durant is arguably one of the top 10 players in the league currently.
Along with Durant, Westbrook has been a huge reason for the Thunder's unexpected success this season, Oklahoma City is looking at a playoff berth for this first time since they were known as the Seattle Supersonics.
In the coming years, Westbrook will be one of the undisputed top point guards of the coming decade, barring an injury of some sort. Basketball in Oklahoma City looks to be in very good shape for years to come.
5. Chauncey Billups
Chauncey Billups has been the key piece in building two contenders in different cities and helped the Detroit Pistons win a title in 2004. Now in Denver, Billups has his team poised to make another deep playoff run and potentially upset the heavily favored Lakers, who are expected to come out of the West again this season.
Billups is a true leader on the floor, and he does it in more than one way. He does it with his playmaking ability and his shooting ability. The 33 year old is averaging 20 points per game this season, a career best, and shooting very solid percentages from the filed, 43.6 percent, and a 42.3 percent, which ranks ninth in the league currently.
The former Colorado product was the runner up in the three-point shootout this year in Dallas at All-Star Weekend.
Being a player that was traded twice in his first two seasons, he has certainly established himself as one of the best point guards in recent memory. Billups is a big and strong player who gets to line often, around seven times a night, and plays solid defense.
He is also known as a very lethal player down the stretch, earning the nickname Mr. Big Shot.
4. Rajon Rondo
Rondo has become arguably the most important weapon on a rapidly aging Celtics team. With a battered Kevin Garnett, a run down Ray Allen and Paul Pierce who isn't getting younger, the window is closing on a the Celtics chances of making a run at a title.
In the playoffs last year, Rondo put the team on his back and carried them through the first round, out-dueling Bulls rookie Derrick Rose, and posting two triple doubles along with several other games with near triple doubles in the first round.
Rondo has become a very well rounded player and has evolved from being a key role player on a team with three All-Stars to a star in his own right. Rondo plays some of the most tenacious defense in the league and gives opposing point guards hell on a nightly basis with his freakishly long arms and lightning fast quickness.
Rondo leads the league in steals per game, about 2.5, and is currently fourth in the league with a tenth under 10 assists per game.
The Celtics may be on the outside looking in this coming June, and will undoubtedly have a tough road in the playoffs, as they will most likely face two of these three teams: the Atlanta Hawks, the Orlando Magic and/or the Cleveland Cavaliers. Not an easy road, especially for a team that many people feel has lost its drive.
Only time will tell, but the Celtics future lies in the hands of Rajon Rondo without a doubt.
3. Steve Nash
Steve Nash is quite the anomaly. A player who won two straight MVP awards played for one of the most fun teams to watch in the past 20 years.
He has been lead the league for three straight years and is currently leading the league this season. His shooting percentages have been consistently above 50 percent from the field as well as 40 percent or higher from behind the three-point line.
With the Mavericks, Nash was a good point guard, teaming up with Dirk Nowikzki for several season before signing a large contract year deal with Phoenix. Since joining the Suns, Nash has risen the ranks of one of the best to play the position.
How much his performance has been influenced by the system that former coach Mike D'Antoni had put in place is debatable. But the numbers speak for themselves, and Nash who just turned 36 this past month has not slowed down much.
Offensively, Nash is probably the best point guard of the past decade. His defense is suspect, and its debatable that the Canadian superstar might have a hard time covering his shadow, there is no debate about how good he is.
2. Deron Williams
Deron Williams is quite an incredible player. Utah caught a lot of flack for drafting the Illinois player after the incredibly great start that Chris Paul jumped off too. But I don't think many would be saying that today.
Williams is similar to Chauncey Billups, only quicker and much more athletic, as evidenced by the above picture. Williams is a very difficult matchup for any team, with is passing ability, ball handling, and how he scores at will when going to the hoop.
Williams has averaged better than ten assists the past two season in this current season, and has averaged 18 points per game or better as well. Coupled with Carlos Boozer, the two formed a very formidable replacement for the dynamic duo that dominated the NBA for the better part of two decades in Karl Malone and John Stockton.
Williams and the Jazz are surging in the West and are hoping to get back to the Western Conference Finals. It would be the first time back since being bounced out by the San Antonio Spurs in five games back in 2007. The Spurs went on to sweep the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.
The Jazz are looking poised to make a good run in the playoffs, and they will go as far as Williams can take them.
1. Chris Paul
Would anyone have anticipated it to be anyone else?
Chris Paul is a force to be reckoned with. He dunked on Dwight Howard. Enough said.
Paul has put a mostly mediocre team on his back and carried them for the better part of the past three years. With some obvious help from David West.
The Hornets are in a bit of a make shift rebuild, but with the right moves this off-season and a potential lottery pick coming, New Orleans could be in good position come next season.
But Chris Paul is thought by many to be one of the best point guards of the past twenty years, and will undoubtedly go down as one of the best point guards to play the game. Few players can endure the load that Paul carries on a nightly basis.
The former Wake Forest product is the one orchestrating every possession he is on the floor. Paul is the true embodiment of a point guard. He is fast, strong, can attack the basket, shoot, and pass with pin-point precision. I don't think it would be a surprise to anybody that he is ranked No. 1.