Who is the best point guard in the League right now?
What makes a great point guard is the ability to orchestrate an offense while making everyone on the team a better player. A great point guard requires a high level of intelligence combined with good court vision and leadership skills. Point guards need to play hard on both sides of the court and be able to perform in clutch situations. Perimeter defense and speed are also essential. And it is vital to have good shooting percentages, dish out a lot of assists, get to the basket, shoot the three, and carry the team at times by scoring.
Statistically, I look for points, assists, steals, rebounds, FG%, FT%, and 3P%. But remember, you cannot judge a player solely on paper. The small things and intangibles don’t show up in the box score, but the following five players do exhibit statistical excellence in these critical measurable areas well.
#1. Chris Paul has had an incredible career. He has been extremely consistent and is a dedicated hard worker. There is a reason that he is the co-captain of the United States Olympic team. He has never averaged less than 15 points and 8 assists in a season except in his rookie year in which he averaged 7.8 assists. CP3 can do it all. He is the perfect example of a point guard who can contribute in every single aspect. He has the best court vision of any professional player hands down and is exceptionally consistent in the clutch, when the game is on the line. Chris Paul surprisingly has the most game winning shots in the NBA over the past 5 years. Yes, more than Kobe Bryant. Now that Paul is teamed up with Blake Griffin in Lob City, Los Angeles, the West better look out. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Clippers win a championship within the next few years.
Career: 18.8 points, 9.8 assists, 2.4 steals, 4.4 rebounds, 47 FG%, 85 FT%, 36 3P%.
Last Year: 19.8 points, 9.1 assists, 2.5 steals. 3.6 rebounds, 48 FG%, 86 FT%, 37 3P%
#2. In my opinion, Deron Williams is the only other player that even competes with Paul for the #1 slot at the PG position. D-Will has progressed every season and right now he looks unstoppable at the offensive end. He was on the All-Rookie 1st Team in 2006 and was honored with a spot on the All-NBA 2nd Team in 2008 and 2010. He was the 3rd pick in the NBA draft 7 years ago and was chosen by Jerry Sloan and the Jazz BEFORE Chris Paul. Although he is not the fastest or most athletic, he has the most range on his shot and is a great competitor. He set the Nets franchise record last season by scoring 57 points in one game! Now that he has Joe Johnson in the back court with him, the Brooklyn Nets could be very dangerous.
Career: 17.6 points, 9.2 assists, 1.1 steals, 3.3 rebounds, 46 FG%, 81 FT%, 35 3P%
Last Year: 21 points, 8.7 assists, 1.2 steals, 3.3 rebounds, 41 FG%, 84 FT%, 34 3P%
Here is where it got tough to select further, and I went with the less traditional pick.
#3. Rajon Rondo is freakishly athletic and can do things with his body that I never knew were possible. He has a deep arsenal of moves and can distribute the ball to his teammates like no other point guard. His court vision makes him one of the smartest players in the league. He has incredibly long arms, and standing at 6’1”, he is a great on ball defender and as aggressive as a point guard can get. Last season, he had the most triple doubles out of all the point guards in the league. And Rondo is not afraid to get on the floor or wrestle for a rebound. So why is he not number one? His shot. He is awful from the free throw line, I mean absolutely dreadful. Unlike most other point guards, he rarely hits the three. Although his numbers improved in the playoffs last year, he is still a 62% free throw shooter and his jump shot is mediocre at best. If he works on his jumper, he could eventually become a superstar but right now I see him as only the third best point guard in the league.
Career: 10.8 points, 8.1 assists, 1.9 steals, 4.4 rebounds, 48 FG%, 62 FT%, 24 3P%
Last Year: 11.9 points, 11.7 assists, 1.8 steals, 4.9 rebounds, 45 FG%. 60 FT%, 24 3P%
#4. Derrick Rose is explosive and is the best scoring point guard in the League. He can beat you on the drive, and if you give him space, he will nail a jumper in your face. He is very strong for his size and can play great defense as well as offense. Assuming he will get healthy, I see Rose as the 4th best PG in the League. Rose just needs to mature a little bit more and learn how to involve his teammates more often on the offensive end of the floor. Once he improves his playmaking ability, Chicago could give Miami a run for their money.
Career: 21 points, 6.8 assists, .9 steals, 3.9 rebounds, 46 FG%, 82 FT%, 31 3P%
Last Year (only 39 games due to injury): 21.8 points, 7.9 assists, .9 steals, 44 FG%, 81 FT%, 31 3P%
#5. Lastly, we have the Canadian. You can’t have a conversation about point guards without including Steve Nash. Nash is 38 years old and has played in the League for 16 seasons. Somehow, he has maintained a great resume throughout it all. He is in the homestretch of his career as he seeks an NBA Title with his new teammate Kobe Bryant and the Lakers. Nash is a back to back League MVP and arguably has the highest basketball I.Q. in the world. Some say that he is the best shooter in the league too. To average 50% from the field, 40% from beyond the arc, and 90% at the foul line is incredibly rare and the staple for a great shooter. It is only a matter of time before Nash is inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Career: 14.5 points, 8.6 assists, .7 steals, 3 rebounds, 49 FG%, 90 FT%, 43 3P%
Last Year: 12.5 points, 10.7 assists, .6 steals, 3 rebounds, 53 FG%, 89 FT%, 39 3P%
Honorable mention goes to Tony Parker who is #6 on my list.
I didn’t even consider Russell Westbrook because I honestly don’t think he is point guard material. I think he is an undersized shooting guard. In my opinion, if you have a shoot first mentality with Kevin Durant on your team, you are not an elite point guard. He turns the ball over too often and needs to mature a lot to crack the top 5.
So there you have it! My top five Point Guards in the League! Who is in your top five?