NBA Power Rankings: Top Five Point Guards

Andrew VoigtContributor IApril 15, 2011

NBA Power Rankings: Top Five Point Guards

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    PHOENIX - OCTOBER 12:  Steve Nash #13 of the Phoenix Suns looks to pass the ball during the preseason NBA game against the Utah Jazz at US Airways Center on October 12, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, b
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    After another long NBA regular season, we've learned a lot about our favorite professional league and its stars.

    Most people consider the point guard to be the NBA's most important position, and for good reason. Point guards handle the ball more than anyone else and are the key to working an efficient offense.

    Without a solid point guard, a team's season can be absolutely disastrous (see: Minnesota Timberwolves).

    So, here's the first in my series of the top five at every position, along with a few more that are close.

Honorable Mention

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    DENVER, CO - MARCH 23:  Raymond Felton #20 of the Denver Nuggets drives past Manu Ginobili #20 of the San Antonio Spurs at the Pepsi Center on March 23, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Spurs 115-112. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowl
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    The last few years have seemed to be a high-water mark for great point guards. Not in recent memory have there been so many who can really dominate a game.

    However, it has created a bit of a talent gap between the upper-echelon guys and the less fortunate, so I couldn't in good conscience leave these guys off the list to be associated with the rest of the scrubs.

    Jason Kidd

    Kidd did something remarkable by reinventing himself as a great three-point shooter late in his career to make him a viable scoring threat, but clearly his best years are behind him.

    Raymond Felton

    Felton broke out this year, becoming one of the Knicks' best players not named Amar'e. And that was made clear when his inclusion almost put a halt on the Carmelo Anthony deal.

    John Wall

    After an impressive rookie season, I'm very excited to see what Wall can do as the talent around him (hopefully) continues to improve.

    Tony Parker

    Two years ago Parker easily would have cracked the top five, and his game hasn't really changed much. It just goes to show how much the league has grown at this position recently.

    Steve Nash

    Putting him out of the top five really represents a changing of the guard (no pun intended) at this position. It actually pains me not to put him up there, but the fact is he's getting up there in age while other young stars are exploding.

5. Chris Paul

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 19:  Chris Paul #3 of the New Orleans Hornets competes in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge apart of NBA All-Star Saturday Night at Staples Center on February 19, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    If he's ever able to return to his pre-surgery self, Paul could easily top this list, but his explosiveness and scoring ability have slowed a bit ever since he hurt his knee.

    The proof: This season his scoring is down almost three points per game from his career average, which is clearly due to the loss of his lightning-fast first step and fewer fast-break opportunities. 

    Perhaps Paul is just easing his way back into it, because he still shows the occasional blow-by speed that made him unstoppable.

    Hopefully it won't be long before he unleashes himself once again.

4. Russell Westbrook

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 27:  Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder goes up for a dunk in the second quarter while taking on the Los Angeles Lakers during Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2010 NBA Playoffs at Staples Cent
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    Westbrook has really emerged as one of the best all-around guards in the NBA this year.

    His scoring, assists and steals numbers have all steadily risen since he entered the league, and he's only in his third season:

    2008-2009: 15.3 PPG, 5.3 APG, 1.3 STL

    2009-2010: 16.1 PPG, 8.0 APG, 1.3 STL

    2010-2011: 21.9 PPG, 8.2 APG, 1.9 STL

    With so many weapons around him the transition from two-guard to point guard has been a little easier, and Westbrook is one of the best triple-double threats in the game today.

3. Deron Williams

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    Williams has been one of the best scoring point guards in the league for the last few years, and is probably the best penetrator out of this bunch.

    It's yet to be seen whether or not his change of scenery will help him or not, but no matter where he plays he will be one of the best players on the court.

    Williams' vision in the half-court game and ability to post smaller guards up also separate him from the pack.

2. Derrick Rose

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    Now, I know I'll probably catch some flack because he is without a doubt the 2011 NBA MVP, and I'm not arguing that point, but I still don't think Rose is the best point guard in the league.

    Yes, he is the single most valuable player to his respective team, but that also forces him to do some things you don't necessarily want in a point guard.

    Because of how much he is relied upon to score, Rose is often reluctant to make the right pass. His turnovers are a bit high. His defense isn't superb.

    On the other hand, he can get you the big shot at the end of a game, and he can completely take over. But if you have a team with other scorers, he would not be my first pick at point guard.

    This just goes to show how many great guards the league is now home to.

1. Rajon Rondo

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    ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 01:  Rajon Rondo #9 of the Boston Celtics against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on April 1, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    This guy has everything you want in a point guard.

    If you try telling me that someone in the NBA not named Steve Nash has better court vision than Rajon Rondo, you're lying. Rondo will thread the needle through the tightest passing lane from half-court or drop the perfect bounce pass for a dunk.

    Not to mention he's the best rebounding guard in the NBA and the best defensive guard in the NBA.

    Sure, people may think anyone could put up double-digit assists playing with four Hall of Famers, and that would have been a valid argument in 2008. But Rondo has really developed into an amazing player the last two years.

    His only real flaw is his inconsistent jump shot, which isn't a huge problem with his current team.