Unfortunately, the NBA is in a lockout and all you see now are just talks about where each player will play overseas. It's just plain old depressing.
No basketball? Really? The year just won't be the same.
So to go off topic of the "predicting where each player will play somewhere else in the world," I decided to make a fun list of rankings (come on, they never get old). This one will focus particularly on shooting guards. Why shooting guards? I don't know, honestly.
But anyway, I'm always up for a healthy debate and I know many of you are as well. Unfortunately, I couldn't include everyone on this list, and I did not want to over pack the "Honorable Mentions" slide.
Without further ado, the top five shooting guards in the NBA (along with three honorable mentions)...
To be honest, any of the following three guys could have cracked the top five.
Kevin Martin - 23.5 PPG, 2.5 APG, 3.2 RPG - Martin is one of the best spot shooters in the league today. However, aside from scoring, Martin is not nearly as effective anywhere else in the game. Having said that, he is still a top-eight shooting guard in the league and is also underestimated by some.
Manu Ginobili - 17.4 PPG, 4.9 APG, 3.7 RPG - I think I'll call Ginobili "The Sixth Man," both in real life and for the sake of this list. He definitely could make a case for the fifth spot, but in my opinion, a true two guard needs to be a great scorer. Although Ginobili can do a little bit of everything, he is not great at the main thing shooting guards are meant to do: score.
Ray Allen - 16.5 PPG, 2.7 APG, 3.4 RPG - How can you make a shooting guard list and not mention/include Ray Allen? He easily has the best long-range jumper in the league, hands down. Allen's pure release will never leave him and will always remain elite, but other than that, he is as not as dominant as he used to be (age has definitely played a factor). Nonetheless, he is a top two guard.
Stats: 22.3 PPG, 4.4 APG, 2.9 RPG
Eric Gordon is probably one of the most underrated players in the game today. At just 22 years of age, Gordon finished fifth in scoring amongst shooting guards.
Even during his rookie season at the age of 20, Gordon averaged over 16 points per game. That's pretty impressive for a rookie if you ask me.
Not only is Gordon a great scorer and shooter, but he is also very strong and extremely athletic. Again, keep in mind that he is only 22 and has a lot ahead of him. The potential here is just scary.
By the way, does anyone know for a fact if Gordon played Michael Jordan's son in the movie Space Jam?
Stats: 24.1 PPG, 5.6 APG, 3.5 RPG
If you just want a basket or someone to just put the ball in the net, Monta Ellis is the guy to do so.
The raw talent that Ellis displays is brilliant. At the age of just 25, Ellis has already averaged over 25 points per game and has made himself known as one of the top shooting guards in the league.
Although Ellis is not the best defender out there (which is what hurt him in the rankings), he is still one of the most productive two guards in the league offensively.
Now, many fans display the argument that he is a ball hog and jacks up a ton of shots. True, but he does average almost six assists per game.
With a long career ahead of him, Ellis has plenty of time to move up the ranks.
Stats: 18.2 PPG, 4.7 APG, 4 RPG
Maybe Joe Johnson did not have his best year last year, but he is still a top shooting guard in the league.
But honestly, what is there not to like about Johnson?
He is 6'7", which is great size for the position, he can play hard defense and has an elite jump shot. And most importantly, he has the ability to be a dominant scorer and he is very athletic.
Johnson can do everything. But more importantly, he can do everything great, which is what makes him so versatile and hard to defend.
In an interview with SI's Dan Patrick, Shane Battier, one of the most well regarded defensive players, referred to Johnson as one of the hardest guys to defend in the entire league, in a category alongside NBA greats like LeBron and Kevin Durant.
That alone says something.
Stats: 25.3 PPG, 4.7 APG, 5.1 RPG
Sorry to disappoint the Kobe Bryant lovers, but right now I do not believe he is the most talented two guard in the league.
Don't get me wrong, he is still great, but not the same Kobe he once was. But in essence, that just shows how phenomenal he used to be. Just to think, "Averaging 25 points per game is the low end of his career?"
Anyway, Kobe is by far the most fearless, intense and clutch player in the league today.
Stats: 25.5 PPG, 4.6 APG, 6.4 RPG
As much as I despise the Miami Heat, I have to give the title of best shooting guard in the league to Dwyane Wade.
He can do anything at will; whether it's scoring, distributing or rebounding, he will get the job done right.
Wade also plays tremendous defense, and I think the three-time All-Defensive Second Team accomplishment speaks for itself.
The man is quick, freakishly athletic and like I said, he can do anything at will. He's simply the best one right now.
Well, there you have it.
Did you like it? Love it? Hate it? Let me know.
Unfortunately, I can't please everyone, and I tried to take each player into consideration. In my opinion, a lot of these guys can be interchangeable, but that's where the debate comes into play.
Without a doubt, there are other talented shooting guards in the league. But today I really wanted to make the seal of top shooting guards, which is why I did not want to overload the "Honorable Mentions" slide.
There is no question that there is a lot of talent in the league, especially at the shooting guard position.