Floor Generals: Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo and the NBA's Top 5 Point Guards

James O'Grady@jimmyogradyContributor IMarch 12, 2011

Floor Generals: Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo and the NBA's Top 5 Point Guards

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    What makes a great point guard?

    An excellent point guard in the NBA will be the team's coach when they are on the floor. They will have outstanding leadership qualities, and sublime ball handling ability.

    What truly separates a good point guard from a great one is their ability to penetrate the defense to create a good shot for themselves or others.

    Any team's point guard will have a huge influence over the momentum of any contest, which can translate into more or less wins, depending on the skill of the player.

    This article will investigate who the top five point guards in the NBA are at the moment.

5. Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics

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    Rondo is a true talent and a big reason why the Celtics are such a force in the East. His ball handling ability, speed and agility makes him clearly one of the best point guards in the NBA today.

    Rondo has the ability to penetrate the lame and either finish at the rim, or pass off to teammates for good looks, often with flashy, one-handed, no-look passes that are a highlight reel's dream.

    He is averaging 10.8 PPG, and 12.0 APG this season. Look for Rondo to only get better from here on, as he has much to develop in his outside shooting, which is a liability at the moment.

4. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder

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    Russell Westbrook is only in his third NBA season and is already a top five point guard in the league. He and Kevin Durant have led the Thunder into contention to make some serious noise in the playoffs.

    Westbrook's sublime speed and athleticism makes him a consistent scoring threat every night and his ability to finish strong at the rim perfectly complements his passing ability and court vision.

    Westbrook is averaging 22.3 PPG, 8.5 APG and 4.8 RPG this season. What's scary is that he is still very young and has so much potential to grow and improve his game.

    Look for Westbrook and Durant to develop their on court chemistry further in coming seasons, as two of the leagues very best lead a young Thunder squad to title contention.

3. Steve Nash, Phoenix Suns

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    A two-time MVP, seven-time All-Star, and three-time All-NBA First Team member, Nash is one of the best players, let alone point guards, to ever play the game. He is a naturally gifted passer, a pure shooter, and has sublime court vision and leadership skills.

    At 37, Nash certainly isn't getting any younger, but his stats are also not getting any worse. He's averaging 15.7 PPG, and 11.4 APG for the 2010-2011 season. He is almost entirely the reason that the Suns are still in contention for the eighth playoff seed.

    Phoenix would be completely out of the hunt for playoffs if it weren't for Nash's All-Star efforts night in and night out on the floor. The impact he has had on his team's results makes him the third best point guard in the NBA today. 

2. Chris Paul, New Orleans Hornets

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    Paul is an outstanding leader and has endless talent to go with it. He is everything you could ask for from a point guard in the NBA. He is averaging 15.9 PPG, 9.6 APG and 2.4 SPG.

    The New Orleans franchise has shocked everyone by having an outstanding season, with the team set to make some noise in the playoffs. Chris Paul is the major reason behind their success.

    Playing in his sixth NBA season, Paul brings passion, intensity and competitiveness to the floor every night and is a perfect role model for his teammates. His leadership wills the rest of his team to rise to his level and this attribute, coupled with his superior ability, makes Paul one of the best point guards in the NBA today.

1. Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls

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    This goes without saying, really. Rose is having his best season of his young career so far. Averaging 24.1 PPG and 8.2 APG this season, the stats say it all. Derrick Rose is the best point guard in the NBA right now. 

    Thanks to his sublime speed and athletic ability, Rose can get to the rim and finish at will. His astonishing inside game is complemented by his improving jumper and ability to give teammates great looks.

    Rose's career year has set the Bulls up to make some serious noise in the playoffs and there is no doubting that he is the Bulls' most important player and they'd be in serious trouble without him going forward.

    Look for Rose to lead his Bulls squad deep into the playoffs this season. Also keep watch, as he is a red hot favorite for the regular season MVP award.