What does it take to become an elite point guard in the NBA?
People’s opinions on the matter vary, but in my humble opinion, you need these attributes:
- Speed (This doesn’t always apply.).
- A reasonable jumper.
- The ability to get to the line/basket.
- Good court vision.
- A good basketball IQ.
The reason I’m writing this is because of a little argument I had while at my friend Darragh’s (He’s been dying for a shoutout.) house, with my other friend Jake about where Kyrie Irving ranks among the top point guards in the NBA at the moment. Rather than argue about the matter until someone gave up I decided to inspect it further and do a list of the top 10 point guards in the NBA.
10. Rodney Stuckey.
Rodney Stuckey wow. He took Allen Iverson’s number three back when AI played for the Pistons. Now he offered it to the Answer when he came to Motown but Comissioner Stern doesn’t allow number changes midseason. I myself am a little shocked that Stuckey ranks this high but the guy’s a class act. Last season he averaged 14.8 PPG, 3.8 APG and 0.8 SPG, yes they aren’t especially flashy numbers but he was injured for a large part of last season, and I am doing this list on the current season, though he had a career high in 3 point percentage last year. The 50-cent lookalike also drilled a game winner over Kobe last year, anyone remember that?
9. Brandon Jennings.
I love Brandon Jennings. He can shoot, get to the biscuit and dish dimes. Him and Monta Ellis? Lethal. Jennings and contract talk? No. It shouldn’t happen. But it is, Jennings is beginning to get caught up in the contract rumours, but this could go two ways. He plays at his best (He once dropped 52 points early on in his rookie season.), or gets a Dwightmare sort of year and lets himself and the Bucks down. At times he is inconsistent but Jennings can’t be underestimated especially with Monta right there not afraid to pull the trigger if Jennings is having an off-game. There’s an interesting season ahead for the young point guard.
8. Ty Lawson.
Ty Lawson could be one of the top point guards by the end of this season. He has always had the potential and it we had glimpses of it last season and in the preseason (Where he nailed a game winning layup over the Clippers in the Nuggets’ inaugarul game.). Lawson runs George Karl’s offence to perfection with his quick moves and fantastic court-vision. Get ready for a big season from the former UNC point, especially with Iggy in Denver.
7. Kyrie Irving.
Yes, Kyrie is here, at lucky number seven. In my mind, this an achievement and a half for the Cavalier’s point especially since he’s just entering his sophomore season. The former Duke Blue Devil had a stellar rookie campaign winning the Rookie of the year award at the end of it all, and now even bigger things are expected of him especially with the addition of Dion Waitors at the 2 spot. He had broken his hand during the summer but that seems to have cleared up. But, as my coach Brendan pointed out to me the evidence of him being an elite point guard doesn’t end with his rookie season, he was selected to the USA select team who played Team USA in practice games, and Kyrie tore it up! Don’t be surprised if he’s an Allstar by February.
6. Derrick Rose.
What? DRose at number 6? Yes. It’s true your eyes aren’t deceiving you. He was the youngest MVP ever two seasons ago, but two years later he hasn’t done anything. Don’t get me wrong he’s probably better than I’ll ever be but last season was very dissapointing. Luol Deng was in Allstar form but Rose got injured halfway through the season and couldn’t shake it off. The Bulls were though, scarily consistent during the regular season but once again, Tom Thibideau’s team fell apart in the postseason. Now in fairness, they were really unlucky because Rose tore his ACL in the final minute of the fourth during a blowout victory against Philadelphia, in the first game of the first round . This is why Rose is lower than usual on this list, he is injured. I didn’t want to take him off it fully because they guy’s potentially the best in the league, but his season has been put in serious jeopardy because of his knee and his return date is very shady. Get well soon, Derrick.
5. Russell Westbrook.
Some would say Russ is no. 4 but I disagree. He merits the number 4 spot on scoring and individual play but he’s at 5 because of what he does at his team’s expense. I’m not saying he’s a ballhog because he isn’t, that’s just the easy way of describing him, he just takes some shots at the wrong time and sometimes overlooks good passing options. Now, lets look at Russ’ positives. He’s an athletic freak, a great penetrator can shoot the ball and can give some great passes. Bottom line, Russ doesn’t hog the ball (KD wouldn’t be a three-time scoring champ otherwise.), but sometimes fails to make the most of a possesion.
4. Deron Williams.
DWill is overrated. Yes, I went there, but it’s true. He shouldn’t have been an Allstar last year and Rondo should’ve been picked ahead of him for the Olympics, he’s a class act at the same time. DWill is the main man in BK. The team revolves around him and his form. Even with Joe Johnson in town, the Nets’ captain is the man the last shot will fall to. Deron has a tremendous ability to break down any defensive set with a killer pass or killer crossover. He can put points on the board in a hurry (He scored 57 in one game last season.), and has a great eye for a quick assist. He’s a great defender and gets steals and is an all round great player, but he is overhyped and a lot of his play depends on his mood or form. This season it’s Hello Brooklyn 2.0 for DWill and the Nets.
3. Tony Parker.
Tony Parker was in the running for MVP last season. A good point Jake made was that Parker was the best player on a, possibly, great team. Now that Timmy D isn’t the best player in San Antonio Parker has taken his opportunity and has shone. We’ve seen this form before back in ’07 when he won finals MVP but last season he really stepped it up a notch, and it doesn’t seemed to have ended there. Last night, the score was tied 84-84, against OKC and with seven seconds on the clock Kawhi Leonard stole the ball from Kevin Durant. Pop called a timeout, and TP was entrusted with the last shot. 86-84 Spurs.
2. Rajon Rondo.
As much as I hate Boston, they have someone real special here, in Rondo. Mr. Triple Double, is a gem and showed that he can ball in the second half of last season when he lead the Celtics to the conference finals and a near upset of the champions. No point guard (With the exception of Steve Nash and Rubio.) has the passing ability of Rondo, in one game last season he got 20 assists in one game. His jumper is still really awkward but he can use his array of moves to get points from the paint. He gets plenty of steals AND rebounds (Thus garnering the name Mr. Triple Double.). The Celtics really relied on him last season because of their ageing roster and Rondo may struggle to get as many assists without Ray Allen in the corner raining threes. This season will be a great one for Rondo but not for the C’s.
1. CHRIS PAUL.
CP3. The mother of all point guards at the moment. When I say he can shoot, dribble, pass and get to the bucket, I REALLY mean it. He is the most rounded PG in the league by a longshot. He’s the best defender out of this ten, the best shooter, has the best handles, and the second best passer. The song ‘Lob City’ by Tyga was released within days of Chris joining the Clips, last season after a trade with the Hornets. There aren’t many teams that produce as much highlights as the Clippers, due to CP3’s lobs to Blake or DeAndre. Even though Blake Griffin takes most of the blue side of LA’s attention CP3 is the real magician behind LAC’s recent success.Chris Paul, in my opinion, is the most driven player in the NBA. He hates losing. He strives to be the best he can be. And he can really flip the switch when needs be. The Clippers could really upset some teams this season especially with the accuisition of Jamal Crawford and with Chauncey Billups healthy.