This is the age of the NBA point guard. Two of the greatest to ever play the position, Steve Nash and Jason Kidd are watching their careers come to an end. Replacing them are five potential Hall of Fame careers in Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook and Rajon Rondo.
Each of the five has their own style of play and are fitted to their own teams. People shouldn't confuse best "style" of play with best point guard. Each player has their own strengths, weaknesses, systems and coaches. Every one of them plays the way their coach asks them to, so that's not really a point of conversation.
I did think it would be interesting to take a look at them and see how they did playing against each other though. I went through the game logs in games only involving head-to-head matchups and tracked several things, field goals, field goal attempts, field goal percentage, scoring efficiency, assists, rebounds, blocks, steals, turnovers and game score.
I also tracked what their opponent did in the same game and then looked at the net results.
Game Score is tracked by basketball-reference.com. This is what their glossary says about it.
Game Score: PTS + 0.4 * FG - 0.7 * FGA - 0.4*(FTA - FT) + 0.7 * ORB + 0.3 * DRB + STL + 0.7 * AST + 0.7 * BLK - 0.4 * PF - TOV. Game Score was created by John Hollinger to give a rough measure of a player's productivity for a single game. The scale is similar to that of points scored, i.e., 40 is an outstanding performance, 10 is an average performance, et
I ranked the players by average net game score. If you want to argue the validity of Game Score, feel free to do so. The formula is not mine, and it's above. I would suggest trying to apply a little more intelligent argument than "it's stupid" though.
However, I want to reiterate I ranked the players by average net game score. Therefore, there's zero opinion involved. Questioning "how can you put _______ before _________" is ignoring the obvious. I put that player ahead of the player you wanted ahead of him because he actually had a higher net game score. If you have a problem with game score, see the paragraph above.
Game Score doesn't mean everything, but it makes for an interesting starting point, and honestly, it should be the case where when we see reality is actually different from our perception of it, we reconsider our position.
I assure you, there are some surprises here, which is why I have the protracted apology to start. Here are the rankings based on average game score in games between the top five players.