The rules for this are simple: These are the top 10 point guards you, from a fantasy perspective (as in, forget their contracts), would want to have on your team during the 2008-09 season to win a championship.
1. Chris Paul
Paul is an absoulte stud; he should have won MVP last season. He averaged over 21 points, 11 assists, exactly 4.0 boards and almost 3.0 steals. He shot about 49 percent from the field, 85 percent from the free-thow line, and 37 percent from the three-point range. Plus, he only averaged about 2.5 turnovers.
Paul is a true leader, and will continue to lead the Hornets into supremacy for the next several years. Start with this guy at point guard.
2. Deron Williams
Williams's numbers are extremely similar to those of Steve Nash's in the 2006-07 season (Nash's personal best): 19 PPG, 11 APG, 3 RPG and 1 SPG. Williams is a decent jumpshooter, but needs to improve that area.
He is a good defender, and is able to post up smaller defenders, an ability Paul lacks. Williams is good in the open court, athletic, and will have even more freedom from Jerry Sloan this year.
3. Allen Iverson
Many are quick to leave Iverson off this list, but I wasn't about to. Averaging 26 points and seven assists certainly warrants the No. 3 spot on this list. Iverson continues to play with more heart than anyone in the game not named Kevin Garnett, and even that's arguable.
AI also averaged two steals a game, and shot the ball fairly well (45% FG, 80% FT, 34.5% 3PT) last year. He is declining, but is still a great point guard, one of the best in the game.
4. Baron Davis
According to the stats (22 PPG, 7.5 APG, 5 RPG, 2.5 SPG), Davis could arguably be ahead of Iverson, but I don't think so. Davis is a good player, but his shot selection is iffy, leading to fairly poor percentages for a point guard.
Also, he was unable to lead the Warriors into the playoffs. I know they won 48 games, but they should have beaten out the Nuggets and Iverson for that last spot.
5. Steve Nash
Nash is slipping, no doubt about it. Still, he remains at No. 5 because of his 16 points, 11 assists, and wonderful shooting percentages. Nash is still the best playmaker in the league, and his defense, though bad, is blown out of porportion.
Knocks on Nash include his health (he suffers from a bad back) and his inability to lead his teams into the Finals. He is not solely responsible, but put some of the blame on him.
6. Tony Parker
Parker is one of the fastest players in the league, and is impossible to stop when he's fast breaking. He averaged 19 points, six assists and had the Spurs being the Spurs.
However, Parker still cannot hit a jumpshot on a regular basis, and defenders are not forced to respect him. Parker is not a strong defender, but is not bad, either. Once he can nail threes and get his teammates more involved, he'll move up on this list.
7. Chauncey Billups
Billups is another oft-forgotten player. He put up 17 points and seven assists last year, but does not get the respect he deserves.
Billups is a great shooter known for making clutch baskets, but it doesn't seem that he's as effective anymore. Another reason Billups is left out of this discussion is because, of course, of the Pistons' continuous failures in the postseason. He must get them back to the Finals to hear his name again.
8. Andre Miller
Like Billups, Miller averaged 17 points and seven assists. He is a good post player and a strong leader. After Iverson was dealt, the 76ers were expected to plunge (further) into mediocrity. Because of Miller and Andre Iguoadala, however, things are looking up in Philly. Miller's biggest weakness is a lack of a jump shot, but don't expect that to change so late in his career.
9. Jason Kidd
Kidd had a good year statistically in the regular season: 11 points, 10 assists and 7.5 rebounds. In the playoffs, however, things took a sharp turn for the worse. Kidd was completely outmatched by Chris Paul. Kidd is old, has no jumper, and can't score, but he is a good leader. Things will improve slightly in Dallas, but there is no doubt that Kidd is no longer an elite point guard.
10. Jose Calderon
Calderon's stats of 11 points, eight assists, and excellent shooting (52% FG, 91% FT, 43% 3PT) won't jump out at you, but he is a great young player. I was very impressed by the way he led Toronto once T.J. Ford went down again.
Calderon's numbers went down because of exhaustion from having no backup point guard, but they will go up again, particularly with Jermaine O'Neal giving Calderon wide-open looks and a chance to pad his assists.
Those are my top 10 point guards for this coming up year. Look for these guys to be the cream of a very deep crop.
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