Running The Court: The NBA's 10 Best Point Guards
Now that the NBA season is more than half-way over and the all-star game is approaching, it seems fitting to rank the 10 best point guards in the NBA this season.
Point guard is easily the most important position on the court, as these small, quick players are called on to score points and find their teammates when they are open.
Before I start this list I would like to introduce another new formula for rating point guards:
Floor General Efficiency (FGE) is a formula that I created to objectively rank point guards. It is a calculation using points, field goal percentage, free throw percentage, assists, steals and turnovers to create a single numerical score for each point guard.
Now for the explanation of why each number is what it is.
Well first off points are not super important for a point guard, but we still need to recognize those who score with ease, thus each point is one and a half points of FGE. FG% is twice that of FT% because field goals are generally twice as many points as free throws, and thus twice as important.
Now comes the tricky part, assists are worth four points because a good point guard has to find the rest of his team and help them to produce as a unit. Turnovers are negative four because of the lost possession for the team, while steals are positive four because they create possessions.
FGE = 1.5*PTS + 30*FG% + 15*FT% + 4*AST + 4*STL - 4*TO
90+ = MVP Candidate
85-90 = All-NBA Caliber
80-85 = All-Star Caliber
75-80 = Borderline All-Star
65-75 = Good Player
Please also check out my previous article involving a new formula for rating centers: NBA's Most Powerful in the Paint: The League's 10 Best Centers
Borderline Top 10
Here are the No. 11-15 point guards in the NBA.
These guys definitely have extraordinary talents, but the point guard position is deeper than ever this season and each of these guys could easily be among the top 10.
No. 15: Chauncey Billups 16.5 ppg (T-8) 43.7 FG% (12) 92.0 FT% (2) 5.4 apg (15) 1.1 spg (T-12) 2.5 TO (T-4)
The aging point guard for the Denver Nuggets has been having another typical season as one of the better shooting, but lesser passing point guards in the league. Sadly for Billups, this formula gives a huge amount of credit to assists, and as the weakest of the 15 in that category, he racks in at No. 15.
No. 14: Mike Conley 13.5 ppg (12) 44.3 FG% (9) 73.0 FT% (14) 6.7 apg (T-12) 1.7 spg (T-6) 2.3 TO (2)
Mike Conley, an up-and-coming young point guard for the Memphis Grizzlies, has been having the best season of his young career so far and appears poised for a true breakout season next year. However, this year he only reaches the 14th spot due to his lack of consistent scoring and assisting.
No. 13: Devin Harris 15.1 ppg (10) 42.6 FG% (13) 83.6 FT% (9) 7.7 apg (10) 1.1 spg (T-12) 3.0 TO (T-7)
On a slight decline since his all-star season two years ago, Devin Harris has been putting up better stats this season than last year and continuing to find his teammates more often. This has resulted in Harris taking his least shots per game since arriving in New Jersey.
No. 12: Jose Calderon 10.0 ppg (15) 44.2 FG% (10) 82.4 FT% (11) 8.8 apg (7) 1.2 spg (T-10) 2.2 TO (1)
The first real surprise on this list so far, I had absolutely no idea Jose Calderon was averaging 8.8 assists per game and you probably had no idea either, excluding Raptors fans. Seeing as he is top 10 in the league in assists I felt obligated to include him in my spreadsheet and after running the formula he came in at No. 12, who would have thought that?
No. 11: Andre Miller 13.2 ppg (13) 46.0 FG% (7) 84.8 FT% (T-7) 7.3 apg (11) 1.6 spg (8) 2.5 TO (T-4)
With Brandon Roy still out with his knee injuries, Andre Miller has had to take on more of a leadership role for Portland than was anticipated, and he has continually shown that he is among the best point guards in the league despite his aging body. Though the stats don't initially seem that impressive, Andre has some of the better shooting percentages among point guards, helping him pass over those with better numbers in some of the key point guard statistics.
10. John Wall
2010-11 Stats: 14.6 ppg (11) 40.3 FG% (15) 76.2 FT% (13) 9.0 apg (T-5) 1.7 spg (T-6) 3.7 TO (T-12)
John Wall, the electrifying rookie point guard for the Washington Wizards, has continued to play fantastic basketball this season despite a slew of injuries.
In the next few seasons we could see Wall climb up the ranks and potentially be challenging Chris Paul and Deron Williams for the title of best point guard in the NBA.
9. Stephen Curry
2010-11 Stats: 18.8 ppg (4) 48.0 FG% (T-4) 94.0 FT% (1) 5.8 apg (14) 1.8 spg (T-4) 3.0 TO (T-7)
With incredible stats like these it's sometimes easy to forget that Stephen Curry is only one and a half seasons into his NBA career, as he is already producing at such an impressive rate.
To lead the league in free throw percentage this early in his career shows just how polished this kid's game is.
8. Tony Parker
2010-11 Stats: 17.3 ppg (5) 52.7 FG% (1) 79.1 FT% (12) 6.7 apg (T-12) 1.3 spg (9) 2.5 TO (T-4)
Tony Parker, the grizzled veteran point guard for the Spurs, is enjoying one of the better seasons of his career, and it's showing in the Spurs' record as they are off to their best start in franchise history.
Maybe his divorce has kept him a little more focused on the court, or maybe the Spurs just want another ring before their veteran core grows too much older.
7. Raymond Felton
2010-2011 Stats: 17.2 ppg (6) 42.4 FG% (14) 87.2 FT% (5) 9.0 apg (T-5) 1.8 spg (T-4) 3.3 TO (9)
One of the bigger surprises of the season so far has been the emergence of Raymond Felton as an elite level point guard.
Though he showed sparks of brilliance during his development in Charlotte, he is finally realizing his potential with Amare Stoudemire in New York.
6. Rajon Rondo
2010-11 Stats: 11.0 ppg (14) 50.4 FG% (3) 56.4 FT% (15) 12.3 apg (1) 2.4 spg (2) 3.9 TO (T-14)
Though Boston fans may be angry to see Rajon Rondo at No. 6 instead of being among the top five, but once you realize that he commits a whopping 3.9 turnovers a game and only shoot 56.4% from the foul line it begins to make sense.
Rajon Rondo is definitely among the upper echelon of point guards, but until he gets a consistent jump shot and more consistency at the stripe, it is impossible to consider him any higher.
5. Derrick Rose
2010-11 Stats: 24.7 ppg (1) 44.6 FG% (8) 83.4 FT% (10) 8.1 apg (9) 1.0 spg (14) 3.5 TO (T-10)
Derrick Rose has been enjoying the best season of his career thus far, and it sure has been showing for the Bulls, who boast the fifth best record in the NBA.
This has finally resulted in his inclusion among the five best point guards in the NBA, with a position-leading 24.7 points per game.
4. Russell Westbrook
2010-11 Stats: 22.5 ppg (2) 43.9 FG% (11) 84.8 FT% (T-7) 8.6 apg (8) 1.9 spg (3) 3.9 TO (T-14)
Russell Westbrook, the young star point guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder, is a member of the invasion of elite caliber younger players in the NBA.
He is also a key part to the future of Oklahoma City, forming one of the most dynamic duos in the league with league-leading scorer Kevin Durant.
3. Steve Nash
2010-11 Stats: 16.7 ppg (7) 52.5 FG% (2) 91.6 FT% (3) 11.1 apg (2) 0.7 spg (15) 3.7 TO (T-12)
Another surprising ranking on this list, Steve Nash knocks in at No. 3 thanks to his incredibly high field goal and free throw percentages and the second-most assists per game in the league.
Though he may be 37 years old already, Steve Nash has continued to produce at an elite level and lead the Phoenix Suns to a barely winning record, despite very little help from his teammates.
2. Deron Williams
2010-11 Stats: 21.6 ppg (3) 46.3 FG% (6) 85.0 FT% (6) 9.7 apg (T-3) 1.2 spg (T-10) 3.5 TO (T-10)
When you saw this list, try to tell me you didn't see this coming.
Deron Williams has been a top three point guard in this league for the past few years, so of course he comes in at No. 2.
He has been producing at an elite rate this year and surely deserves to at least be as high as he is, though it's easy to build an argument for his claim on the first spot.
1. Chris Paul
2010-11 Stats: 16.5 ppg (T-8) 48.0 FG% (T-4) 89.9 FT% (4) 9.7 apg (T-3) 2.5 spg (1) 2.4 TO (3)
Chris Paul is, simply put, the best point guard in all of basketball.
Though some people may disagree, just think about the fact that he is the only point guard on this list who averages more steals per game than turnovers, thus forcing more turnovers than he creates.
He is also tied for third in the league in assists, while shooting some of the best percentages in the league out of all point guards.
Though he may not be having the best season of his career, he has led the Hornets to some very impressive wins and is once again an all-star game starter.
Questions, Comments, Concerns?
Anyone have any criticisms of the list or the formula itself?
This formula was created by myself as an objective way of measuring the talent of each point guard. Without using a statistical formula it is quite easy to be biased in ranking point guards and this formula should name the best statistical point guard in the NBA this season.