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The NBA's New Era of the Point Guard: Ranking the Top 10 Point Guards

Michael FoglianoAnalyst IOctober 6, 2010

The NBA's New Era of the Point Guard: Ranking the Top 10 Point Guards

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    The NBA is infested with a wide range of talent. Some people think the NBA is filled with the most talent it has ever had.

    We can all come to a conclusion that the peak of talent this year is by far the point guard position.

    If Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo are point guards on the so called "B Team" for Team USA then that's enough said.

    In the 2009-2010 season, 21 point guards averaged at least five assists per game and 22 point guards averaged more than 10 points per game.

    Basically, the lower percentile of point guards in the NBA last year averaged around 10 points and five assists per game. 

    That's not bad for the lower percentile.

    The upper percentile of point guards (about 10-15 players) are averaging 16-21 points per game and 6-11 assists per game.

    Those are some stud statistics. 

    Since there are so many good point guards, right now, my honorable mention list would have almost 10 people. Therefore, I made an honorable mention list and a list of players on the rise.

    Now, let's get started.

Honorable Mention

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    These are the guys who are solid point guards, but just miss the cut at the top 10. These guys are good and you wouldn't pass on them as a point guard for your team.

    Aaron Brooks—Last year the young point guard had a breakout season averaging 19.6 points and 5.3 assists per game. After living up to his first round potential, he will lead the Rockets to a playoff birth this year. Expect to see more from him this upcoming season.

    Baron Davis—The two time All-Star Veteran has definitely made a name for himself in the NBA. He has averaged 17.4 points per game and 7.4 assists throughout his career. In his prime, Davis was a top five point guard in the NBA. Unfortunately, he has been injury prone, but is still competing at the high level.

    Devin Harris—Averaging 16.9 points per game and 6.6 assists, he is a point guard who definitely has potential to crash the top 10. Over his six year career, Harris has slowly been developing into a very solid point guard. In a year or two, don't be surprised if he eclipses the top 10.

    Tony Parker—I may not like him, but I still have to accept the fact that he's pretty good. Averaging 16.6 points and 5.6 assists per game in his career, Tony Parker has always been a good player in the NBA. He has been a sidekick to Tim Duncan and helped the Spurs win three NBA championships this decade.

    Mo Williams—He's a guy you have got to feel bad for. After being thrown under the bus by King James, all he has left in Cleveland is Antwan Jamison. Last season he put up 15.8 points and 5.3 assists per game. However, this year you may see his assists drop and his points increase since there is no more LeBron.

Point Guards On The Rise

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    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    This is probably my favorite section. Here, we identify the potential and find the young guys who can make an impact this season. They are super athletic and really quick. They can run circles around the old veterans, and this is the year they make their impact. 

    These are the players who make people say, "Where did this guy come from?" or "Wow, who would've thought he would be this good?"

    Brandon Jennings—After witnessing a solid rookie season, there's more to come from the former 10th pick out of Italy. In his first year in the NBA, Jennings put up 15.5 points and 5.7 assists per game. His extreme athleticism and quickness will help him become a pure point guard in the league. He is one of the most explosive players in the game right now.

    Jrue Holiday—The 6'4" point guard may not have put up the greatest statistics with just eight points and 3.8 assists per game, but he has a lot of potential. He is a ball handler who can catch defenders off balance, and happens to be a great defender. If Philadelphia lands Carmelo Anthony, expect huge numbers out of Holiday and just watch him quietly have a breakout season.

    Jonny Flynn—He made his debut with the Minnesota Timberwolves last season and played well. He averaged 13.5 points and 4.4 assists. He's a guy who came up clutch at Syracuse and in Minnesota. He is very athletic and has a nice shot. He is one of those guys who can have the game under control.

    John Wall—No one has more potential than this guy. The number one pick out of Kentucky has high expectations entering his rookie season in the NBA. The freakish athlete's play is very similar to Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans. He could be another great point guard coached by John Calipari and I expect to see an impact from day one.

10. Chauncey Billups

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Chauncey Billups, by far, has the best shot out of any point guard in the NBA. In his last nine seasons in the league, he's averaged more than 15 points and 5.7 assists per game.  

    He was a leader of the successful Detroit Pistons this past decade. In addition, he appeared in the NBA Finals twice with the Pistons where they beat the favored Lakers 4-1 and lost to the San Antonio Spurs in seven games.

    Now, he's still putting up good numbers with the Denver Nuggets and his hoping that Carmelo Anthony stays in Denver.

    Over his 13-year career, he's consistently remained in the top 10 and continues to do so.

    Some may say he's old and slowed down, but he's still doing well. At the age of 34, who knows when he will retire?

9. Jason Kidd

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    A triple-double machine.

    Jason Kidd is the only player in NBA history to ever record 15,000 points, 10,000 assists, and 7,000 rebounds.

    His versatility makes him a triple-double threat every game.

    Did I mention he is third all time in triple-doubles with 105?

    He may not have a championship under his belt, but he has played the most playoff games of any active player who has not won a championship. Also, he ranks second in triple-doubles in playoff history with 11.

    The 37-year-old, 10-time All-Star is still playing well in the league averaging 10.3 points and 9.1 assists per game.

    That's pretty much a double-double every game. Who knew the old guy could be so good?

    The 6'4" point guard also has a career average of 6.6 rebounds per game and two steals. Maybe that explains why he is a four-time All-NBA Defensive First Team.

    So let's recap.

    He's 6'4", 37-years-old, and averages almost a double-double and six rebounds every game. I think that says enough for him to belong on this list.

8. Stephen Curry

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    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    When he came out of Davidson as the seventh pick of the draft, people questioned his ability to become successful in the NBA.

    He was great throughout high school and college, but for some reason they thought he wasn't legit.

    Entering the league, he set the bar high from the first day he set foot on the hardwood.

    Although he's playing for a struggling Warriors franchise, he managed to average 17.5 points and nearly 5.9 assists per game.

    With Monta Ellis and the new acquisition of David Lee, I think he can help them become a better squad this year and they will help raise some stats for Curry.

    A point guard with no low post player averaging nearly six assists per game is pretty impressive if you ask me.

    As years go by, just watch him become a top-five point guard.

7. Tyreke Evans

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    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    No. 7 on the list is another young point guard who made a big statement entering the league.

    Tyreke Evans.

    The Rookie of the Year award and the Rookie Challenge MVP proves the point even more.

    Similar to Stephen Curry, he averaged 5.8 assists per game, but managed to drop an extra few points averaging 20.1 per game.

    Entering the league as a point guard, he had a size advantage measuring 6'5".

    He's a fast pace player with incredible ball handling skills and has a huge wingspan. Some people may not like it, but he plays with an edge and a sense of cockiness.

    I love these type of players, almost like Allen Iverson.

    He knows he's good, says it, and he proves it.

    This gives him huge confidence which I think helped him succeed in his rookie season.

6. Russel Westbrook

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    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    I'm not sure why, but I love this guy.

    Russel Westbrook is a great point guard and doesn't get much recognition for it.

    The sidekick of Kevin Durant averaged 16.1 points and eight assists last season. If you ask anyone on the Thunder or Thunder fans, they would say the Thunder wouldn't be as successful as they were without Westbook.

    He is a huge asset to their team, not just Durant. Plus, he's a great defensive player.

    Does anyone not remember his one-on-one defense in Game 6 of the first round on Kobe last season?

    Kobe claims he was born and raised a one-on-one player, and who stopped him?

    That's right, Russell Westbrook.

    Westbrook is helping lead an upcoming franchise trying to win a championship, and personally, I think they will succeed in their goal this year.

    Don't underestimate the fourth overall pick out of UCLA because he will show you up, and maybe win a championship at the age of 21.  

5. Rajon Rondo

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Now we enter the prestigious level of the group.

    Ranking at No. 5 is Rajon Rondo.

    He may think he is the best, but I don't think so. I think he is amongst the elite, but not number one.

    The 6'1" Kentucky native put up 13.7 points and 9.8 assists per game. He's extremely athletic and quick which gives him the ability to make the fast break plays.

    The All-Star point guard already has a championship under his belt at the age of 24..

    No one ever thought when he was drafted 21st overall by the Suns, he would turn out to be this good.

    He is a great defensive player who was named to the All-Defensive First Team last season.

    He is a clean and tough player who's one of the hardest players to defend.

    He belongs on the top half of this list, but watch out this season because he can easily climb his way to the top.

4. Steve Nash

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    The most pure-bred point guard there is. Arguably, ever was.

    I don't want to say he has slowed down, but he's not No. 1 anymore.

    Although his peak has left him, the two time MVP award winner averages 16.5 points and 11.0 assists per game.

    To know that's not his peak is truly remarkable.

    Since the 2000 season, Nash has never averaged less than seven assists per game or 15 points.

    Nash is a seven-time All-Star selection with great ability to find an open man.

    Nash's ability to make the one handed no-look pass is unbelievable and is incredibly fun to watch.

    What makes it even more impressive is that he makes it look too easy.

    His vision has never left him and never will.

    Like I said, a pure-bred point guard. 

3. Derrick Rose

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    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Another John Calipari point guard.

    Derrick Rose, the first overall pick out of Memphis, was definitely not a letdown.

    Last season, the 2009 Rookie of the year award winner averaged 20.8 points and six assists per game.

    He's extremely athletic, quick with enormous upside, and always finds a path through big defenders.

    No matter who you put in front of him, Rose is getting by them.

    He's unstoppable.

    Rose is a player who makes everyone around him better. In other words, he makes them raise up their level of play.

    With the addition of Carlos Boozer, don't be surprised when you see double digits under the assists column.

    The Bulls are a top playoff contender entering the 2010 season and I can't wait for Rose to play great against the Miami Heat and possibly make the NBA Finals.

    Rose is a top-three point guard hands down.

2. Deron Williams

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    It amazes me how he only has one All-Star selection.

    In his past four seasons, Deron Williams averaged more than 10 assists in three, 9.3 in the other, and averaged at least 16 points.

    Again, he was listed an All-Star just once with three double-double seasons.

    Is that even possible?

    In his 2010 season, Williams averaged 18.7 points and 10.5 assists per game.

    Yes, a double-double every game.

    Throughout his career, he's consistently remained in the top five and continues to do so. Williams is another point guard with great vision who can find a man down court. 

    He is the heart and soul of the Utah Jazz and if he's gone, they completely drop off.

    Williams is a leader and that's why he ranks at No. 2 on the list.

    It shows how the Jazz need him in order to be a successful franchise. 

1. Chris Paul

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    He's the clear No. 1 point guard and has been the past few years.

    Chris Paul.

    Paul was the 2006 Rookie of the Year award winner, a three time All-Star, and named to the All-Defensive Team in 2009.

    Despite all of these achievements, for some reason he hasn't won an MVP award yet.

    I mean, Steve Nash did when he put up 18.8 points and 10.5 assists per game.

    In two seasons, Paul averaged more than 20 points and 11 assists and what did he get?

    No MVP award.

    Having only played half the season last year, Paul averaged 18.7 points and 10.7 assists per game.

    Paul is a point guard who can do it all. He dishes out a ton of assists and scores a lot of points.

    He's No. 1.

    The one who does it all.  

Conclusion

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    The NBA is turning into a fast-paced game.

    That's why every point guard who made this list is extremely athletic and quick. Also, seven out of the 10 point guards on the list are under the age of 26.

    They are the ones changing the pace of the game.

    As you enter the top five on the list, I'd say Chris Paul is the clear No. 1 and as for No. 2 to No. 5, they are all interchangeable.

    They can all make cases as the number two, and that proves how many great point guards there are right now.

    The NBA will be like this for years to come.

    The run-and-gun type offense with point guards that have huge upside.

    NBA, say hello to the new era!

    The era of the point guards.

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