NBA Power Rankings 2011: The Top 20 Point Guards in the NBA

Joey HnathCorrespondent IJanuary 29, 2011

NBA Power Rankings 2011: The Top 20 Point Guards in the NBA

0 of 20

    CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls leaps to pass the ball around Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks at the United Center on January 20, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Mavericks 82-77. NOTE TO USER: Use
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Point guards are the most important position on an NBA team.  Having a quality point guard can either make or break a team.

    Take the Atlanta Hawks for example.

    In the 2005 NBA Draft, the Hawks passed over Chris Paul and Deron Williams to take Marvin Williams.

    This decision has been haunting the Hawks ever since.  Paul and Williams have developed into two of the best point guards in the game, while Williams is a sixth man at best.

    To make matters worse, the Hawks have not had a viable point guard since that draft.  An aging Mike Bibby has held down the fort, but he is nowhere near the talent the Hawks need at the point guard position in order to compete for an Eastern Conference Championship.

    Though the Atlanta Hawks have a dearth of good point guards, the NBA as a whole does not.  2011 has proven to be a great year for point guards, with many exceptionally skilled point guards spread across the league.

    Here are the top 20 point guards in the NBA.

20. Mike Conley

1 of 20

    PHOENIX - DECEMBER 08:  Mike Conley #11 of the Memphis Grizzlies puts up a shot against the Phoenix Suns during the NBA game at US Airways Center on December 8, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downlo
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Conley has had a solid year for the Grizzlies, averaging 13.6 points and 6.6 assists, both career highs for him.

    At 23-years-old, Conley is still young and has not reached his full potential.  With Rudy Gay and Marc Gasol around, Conley should continue to see his assists total rise.

19. Chauncey Billups

2 of 20

    DENVER, CO - JANUARY 13:  Chauncey Billups #1 of the Denver Nuggets dribbles the ball upcourt against the Miami Heat at the Pepsi Center on January 13, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Heat 130-102. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowled
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Despite entering the twilight of his career, Billups has continued to put up impressive numbers in Denver.

    The 34-year-old is averaging 15.2 points and 5.2 assists per game. 

    Plus, come crunch time, there are few players in the league who you'd rather take a last second shot than Mr. Big Shot himself.

18. Jrue Holiday

3 of 20

    ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 18:  Jrue Holiday #11 of the Philadelphia 76ers brings the ball up the court during the game against the Orlando Magic at Amway Arena on December 18, 2010 in Orlando, Florida.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees th
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    The former UCLA star has taken a big step forward in only his second year in the league.

    Almost doubling his assists per game from his rookie year, Holiday has established himself as one of the up-and-coming point guards in the league.

    And at only 20 years of age, he still has plenty of time to fine tune his game.

17. D.J. Augustin

4 of 20

    CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 08:  Teammates John Wall #2 and Al Thornton #14 of the Washington Wizards trap D.J. Augustin #14 of the Charlotte Bobcats during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on January 8, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: U
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Despite averaging just 6.4 assists per game, Augustin is only turning the ball over 1.7 times per game, while playing almost 35 minutes a contest.

    Numbers like that help make the loss of Raymond Felton that much better. 

    If Augustin can continue to improve, fans in Charlotte will be asking, "Ray Who?"

16. Jose Calderon

5 of 20

    MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 22:  Jose Calderon #8 of the Toronto Raptors dribbles the ball during a game against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on January 22, 2011 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloa
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Calderon is seventh in the league in assists, averaging 8.6 per game.

    But, despite the good assists numbers, his other stats are lacking. 

    Calderon is not much of a scoring or rebounding threat. At the age of 29, there's no reason to suggest that he will become significantly better in years to come.

15. Andre Miller

6 of 20

    PHOENIX, AZ - JANUARY 14:  Andre Miller #24 of the Portland Trail Blazers in action during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on January 14, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Trail Blazers 115-111. NOTE TO USER: User
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Much like Billups, Andre Miller is still a productive point guard, even at the age of 34.

    Averaging 7.1 assists per game, his highest total in four years, Miller has kept his productivity up despite the loss of Brandon Roy.

14. Devin Harris

7 of 20

    BOSTON - NOVEMBER 24:  Devin Harris #34 of the New Jersey Nets drives to the basket in the second half against the Boston Celtics on November 24, 2010 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics defeated the nets 89-83. NOTE TO USER: User expre
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Harris has been the most consistent Net this season, averaging 15.6 points and 7.4 assists per game.

    His name has come up in almost every proposed Nets deal this season, but without him, the Nets will have a hard time replacing that kind of production.

13. Tyreke Evans

8 of 20

    OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 21:  Tyreke Evans #13 of the Sacramento Kings goes up for a shot against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena on January 21, 2011 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    The reigning Rookie of the Year has hit a bit of a sophomore slump.

    Evans' points, rebounds and assists are all down from his stellar freshman campaign.

    Despite these struggles, Evans remains one of the elite talents at the point guard position.

    With a couple of more seasons under his belt, Evans' name will surely jump up the list.

12. Stephen Curry

9 of 20

    OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 21:  Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors shoots the ball during their game against the Sacramento Kings at Oracle Arena on January 21, 2011 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that,
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Curry continues to improve and flourish alongside Monta Ellis in Oakland. 

    Averaging almost 19 points a game, he hasn't yet developed into your prototypical point guard.

    If he can raise his assists total, Curry would shoot up this list.

11. Brandon Jennings

10 of 20

    ATLANTA - MAY 2:  Guard Brandon Jennings #3 of the Milwaukee Bucks dribbles with the ball during Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Atlanta Hawks during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena on May 2, 2
    Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

    His numbers this season are almost identical to Stephen Curry, though he gets the nod due to his slightly better turnover ratio.

    If Jennings can get the Bucks over the hump and contend in the East, his stock will most definitely rise.

10. John Wall

11 of 20

    NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 24:  John Wall #2 of the Washington Wizards dribbles the court against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on January 24, 2011 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    John Wall cracks the Top 10 in his rookie season.

    Wall is fifth in the league in assists, averaging 9.4 per game. 

    If it weren't for Blake Griffin, Wall would be a lock for Rookie of the Year.

9. Jason Kidd

12 of 20

    SAN ANTONIO - APRIL 25:  Jason Kidd #2 of the Dallas Mavericks in Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on April 25, 2010 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees t
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Kidd may not be putting up the type of stats that we're accustomed to seeing from him, but at this stage of his career, his strengths lie elsewhere.

    His leadership and presence alone greatly contribute to the Mavs, who are poised for a title run this spring.

8. Raymond Felton

13 of 20

    NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 24: Raymond Felton #2 of the New York Knicks lays the ball up against the Washington Wizard at Madison Square Garden on January 24, 2011 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    After beginning his NBA career learning from Larry Brown, he is now implementing all that he learned in Mike D'Antoni's offense.

    Felton is having a career year, averaging 8.9 assists per game while making up half of one of the best pick-and-roll combinations in the league with Amar'e Stoudemire.

7. Tony Parker

14 of 20

    OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 24:  Tony Parker #9 of the San Antonio Spurs in action against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena on January 24, 2011 in Oakland, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or us
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Tony Parker is having another typical Tony Parker season.

    His season averages are all slightly better than his career averages, and the Spurs are the best team thus far in 2011.

    What more needs to be said?

6. Steve Nash

15 of 20

    NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 17:  Steve Nash #13 of the Phoenix Suns drives past Raymond Felton #2 of the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on January 17, 2011 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading an
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    The former MVP is one of the greatest point guards of all time.

    Even at age 36, he remains one of the elite point guards in the league, averaging 11 assists per game, good for second in the league.

    Though Nash remains one of the great talents in the league, he has been surpassed by some of the young stars at the position.

5. Russell Westbrook

16 of 20

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 17:   Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder shoots a jumper over Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers during a 101-94 Laker win at the Staples Center on January 17, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.   NOTE TO USER
    Harry How/Getty Images

    In 2011, Russell Westbrook has proven to be more than just Kevin Durant's sidekick.

    Westbrook has been phenomenal this season.  In his past 13 games, he has three triple-doubles.

    Westbrook's continued success will help lead the Thunder into the playoffs with a shot at the title for years to come.

4. Rajon Rondo

17 of 20

    CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 11:  Rajon Rondo #9 of the Boston Celtics against the Charlotte Bobcats during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on December 11, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Rondo has led the league all year in assists, averaging over 12 assists per game.

    Despite the Stockton-esque assists, Rondo is only fourth on the list.

    Even though he has all the talent in the world, Rondo's supporting cast might be the best in the league.  Also, Rondo doesn't get to the line nearly as much as some of the other elite point guards.

3. Deron Williams

18 of 20

    SALT LAKE CITY, UT - DECEMBER 8:  Deron Williams #8 of the Utah Jazz drives the ball down court during a game against the Miami Heat during the second half of an NBA game December 8, 2010 at Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Heat beat th
    George Frey/Getty Images

    Despite losing Carlos Boozer and Kyle Korver in the offseason, Deron Williams continues to produce. He still also has the Jazz in contention for a playoff spot.

    Though his assists are down, Williams is averaging a career-high 21.9 points per game and have the Jazz poised for another postseason run.

2. Chris Paul

19 of 20

    OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 26:  Chris Paul #3 of the New Orleans Hornets passes the ball during their game against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena on January 26, 2011 in Oakland, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that,
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Paul gets the nod over fellow 2005 NBA Draft class member Deron Williams.

    Paul is averaging slightly more assists per game, while also turning the ball over less than Williams.

    There will be no shortage of suitors for Paul this offseason.

1. Derrick Rose

20 of 20

    CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 28: Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls puts up a shot over J.J. Redick #7 of the Orlando Magic at the United Center on January 28, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Magic 99-90. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowle
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Derrick Rose has improved his game immensely and has become the best point guard in the league.

    He is also the front-runner for the leagues MVP trophy.

    Averaging 24.5 points and 8.2 assists per game, his greatest improvement to his game has been the three-point shot.

    Rose has all the skill to lead the Bulls deep into the postseason and possibly to a Finals berth.