Point guards are the most important position on an NBA team. Having a quality point guard can either make or break a team.
Take the Atlanta Hawks for example.
In the 2005 NBA Draft, the Hawks passed over Chris Paul and Deron Williams to take Marvin Williams.
This decision has been haunting the Hawks ever since. Paul and Williams have developed into two of the best point guards in the game, while Williams is a sixth man at best.
To make matters worse, the Hawks have not had a viable point guard since that draft. An aging Mike Bibby has held down the fort, but he is nowhere near the talent the Hawks need at the point guard position in order to compete for an Eastern Conference Championship.
Though the Atlanta Hawks have a dearth of good point guards, the NBA as a whole does not. 2011 has proven to be a great year for point guards, with many exceptionally skilled point guards spread across the league.
Here are the top 20 point guards in the NBA.
Conley has had a solid year for the Grizzlies, averaging 13.6 points and 6.6 assists, both career highs for him.
At 23-years-old, Conley is still young and has not reached his full potential. With Rudy Gay and Marc Gasol around, Conley should continue to see his assists total rise.
Despite entering the twilight of his career, Billups has continued to put up impressive numbers in Denver.
The 34-year-old is averaging 15.2 points and 5.2 assists per game.
Plus, come crunch time, there are few players in the league who you'd rather take a last second shot than Mr. Big Shot himself.
The former UCLA star has taken a big step forward in only his second year in the league.
Almost doubling his assists per game from his rookie year, Holiday has established himself as one of the up-and-coming point guards in the league.
And at only 20 years of age, he still has plenty of time to fine tune his game.
Despite averaging just 6.4 assists per game, Augustin is only turning the ball over 1.7 times per game, while playing almost 35 minutes a contest.
Numbers like that help make the loss of Raymond Felton that much better.
If Augustin can continue to improve, fans in Charlotte will be asking, "Ray Who?"
Calderon is seventh in the league in assists, averaging 8.6 per game.
But, despite the good assists numbers, his other stats are lacking.
Calderon is not much of a scoring or rebounding threat. At the age of 29, there's no reason to suggest that he will become significantly better in years to come.
Much like Billups, Andre Miller is still a productive point guard, even at the age of 34.
Averaging 7.1 assists per game, his highest total in four years, Miller has kept his productivity up despite the loss of Brandon Roy.
Harris has been the most consistent Net this season, averaging 15.6 points and 7.4 assists per game.
His name has come up in almost every proposed Nets deal this season, but without him, the Nets will have a hard time replacing that kind of production.
The reigning Rookie of the Year has hit a bit of a sophomore slump.
Evans' points, rebounds and assists are all down from his stellar freshman campaign.
Despite these struggles, Evans remains one of the elite talents at the point guard position.
With a couple of more seasons under his belt, Evans' name will surely jump up the list.
Curry continues to improve and flourish alongside Monta Ellis in Oakland.
Averaging almost 19 points a game, he hasn't yet developed into your prototypical point guard.
If he can raise his assists total, Curry would shoot up this list.
His numbers this season are almost identical to Stephen Curry, though he gets the nod due to his slightly better turnover ratio.
If Jennings can get the Bucks over the hump and contend in the East, his stock will most definitely rise.
John Wall cracks the Top 10 in his rookie season.
Wall is fifth in the league in assists, averaging 9.4 per game.
If it weren't for Blake Griffin, Wall would be a lock for Rookie of the Year.
Kidd may not be putting up the type of stats that we're accustomed to seeing from him, but at this stage of his career, his strengths lie elsewhere.
His leadership and presence alone greatly contribute to the Mavs, who are poised for a title run this spring.
After beginning his NBA career learning from Larry Brown, he is now implementing all that he learned in Mike D'Antoni's offense.
Felton is having a career year, averaging 8.9 assists per game while making up half of one of the best pick-and-roll combinations in the league with Amar'e Stoudemire.
Tony Parker is having another typical Tony Parker season.
His season averages are all slightly better than his career averages, and the Spurs are the best team thus far in 2011.
What more needs to be said?
The former MVP is one of the greatest point guards of all time.
Even at age 36, he remains one of the elite point guards in the league, averaging 11 assists per game, good for second in the league.
Though Nash remains one of the great talents in the league, he has been surpassed by some of the young stars at the position.
In 2011, Russell Westbrook has proven to be more than just Kevin Durant's sidekick.
Westbrook has been phenomenal this season. In his past 13 games, he has three triple-doubles.
Westbrook's continued success will help lead the Thunder into the playoffs with a shot at the title for years to come.
Rondo has led the league all year in assists, averaging over 12 assists per game.
Despite the Stockton-esque assists, Rondo is only fourth on the list.
Even though he has all the talent in the world, Rondo's supporting cast might be the best in the league. Also, Rondo doesn't get to the line nearly as much as some of the other elite point guards.
Despite losing Carlos Boozer and Kyle Korver in the offseason, Deron Williams continues to produce. He still also has the Jazz in contention for a playoff spot.
Though his assists are down, Williams is averaging a career-high 21.9 points per game and have the Jazz poised for another postseason run.
Paul gets the nod over fellow 2005 NBA Draft class member Deron Williams.
Paul is averaging slightly more assists per game, while also turning the ball over less than Williams.
There will be no shortage of suitors for Paul this offseason.
Derrick Rose has improved his game immensely and has become the best point guard in the league.
He is also the front-runner for the leagues MVP trophy.
Averaging 24.5 points and 8.2 assists per game, his greatest improvement to his game has been the three-point shot.
Rose has all the skill to lead the Bulls deep into the postseason and possibly to a Finals berth.