Year of the Point Guard: A look at this year's rookie class
A decent point guard is difficult to come by in the draft, much the same as the decent big man.
Teams always think very carefully about Point Guards, especially high up in the draft. Point guards make such a huge impact on the game, they need to be sure the man they are picking is really ready and can fit into that team's specific situation.
Most years, you only get one or two standout point guards (2005, when Chris Paul and Deron Williams entered, is a rarity) and it will take a few years for people to realize just what they've got in the draft, such as with Rajon Rondo.
This year however, the draft has produced several standout guards, and today I’ll be looking at five different standouts of this years class.
Of course you' ve figured out that the first overall pick Derrick Rose is one of these guards, and I’m going to assume you would guess O.J Mayo as well .
Well along with them, let's look at Russell Westbrook, D.J Augustin and Mario Chalmers
Derrick Rose- Chicago Bulls
Derrick is obviously famous for being the leader on the Memphis team that went all the way to the championship game and came within a Mario Chalmers 3-pointer of being champs.
He had a fantastic freshman year and was awarded with the 1st overall pick by the Chicago Bulls.
Rose is obviously one of the young great talents in the league, no argument. On this list he would be the most likely to pick up an all-star ber th , and even if I personally don't agree, would probably be given the Rookie of the Year trophy if it was handed out today.
He seems to have shaken off the early injuries that bothered him in summer league and has found a nice rhythm. He uses his athleticism very well to gain himself some highlights and has a good pull-up J, which will only become more deadly as he extends his range.
Rose has become the focal point for the Bulls. He is averaging 17 points and 6 assists a game while playing an exciting style and giving the city of Chicago something to talk about.
O.J Mayo- Memphis Grizzlies
O.J was one of the more hyped high school players since LeBron James (though maybe not for all the right reasons), but putting those aside his talent on the court is undeniable.
He has been a constant YouTube mix favorite for years and a constant subject between those high school hoops junkies. He was the undeniable leader of his USC team, but his impressive freshman season was lost among Kevin Love's, Michael Beasley's and other great campaigns.
O.J was dealt to Memphis for the aforementioned Love, and has made a fit instantly. He is the rookie scoring leader and has been averaging over 20 a game. He is already developing an all-around game also, gathering 4 rebounds and 3 assists.
He is undoubtedly the main attraction of the Grizzlies, and like Rose has an exciting style of play. His sweet jumper has been putting critics to shame, averaging nearly 40% from three-point range. Teamed with surprise Marc Gasol, O.J has a bright future ahead of him.
Russell Westbrook- Oklahoma City Thunder
If I could pick the Rookie of the Year, Russell would be my choice without a doubt. After being a major cog of the UCLA machine, Russell was selected 4th overall by what was then known as the Seattle Supersonics. The move raised some eyebrows, but those were quickly dismissed as the season started.
Russell plays on a team in a new city, which is on pace for a record losing season, is there any worst situation to be drafted to? Its not as though he's got a lot of options to pass to on offense.
Though he was originally intended as a shooting guard, Russell has quickly adapted to playing the guard and has settled there quickly, using his lightning speed and midrange game to go off for 30 and 31 already this year.
He was December's Rookie of the Month for a reason, he has been playing inspired ball of late.
Russell is a great guy who loves to play the game and is a proven winner providing many intangibles wi th his high energy and positivity.
> Pro Basketball Fans and partner sites feature discount NBA merchandise, Basketball Fathead wall stickers & more for fans of all ages.
D.J Augustin- Charlotte Bobcats
''Too small to make an impact in the NBA''
''His shooting is too streaky''
D.J has heard it all before, and it hasn't stopped him yet.
Coming into the draft, critics had D.J picked as not ready for the next level and merely a good college player. They were right about one thing; he was a good college player, perhaps even great. Though he only had two seasons at the University of Texas, he would be more well-known if the first of those seasons wasn't dominated by teammate Kevin Durant.
The winner of a whole heap of awards in college in high school was the 9th pick of the draft, chosen by the Charlotte Bobcats. He started slow this season and kind of fell off the radar. Of course this is incredibly easy to do when you play in Charlotte?
Heard anything of Adam Morrison lately?
D.J's numbers betray him- he is averaging a respectable 12ppg along with 4apg, but the numbers don't tell the story. He is a great intangibles player and also has one of the best assist-turnover ratio's for rookie guards.
He destroyed Derrick Rose in the Bobcat's recent matchup wi th the Bulls, and also had a great game in the upset against Boston, already making a name for himself.
D.J is an incredibly smart young man, both academically and in basketball terms, once his team becomes stronger I have no doubt people will realize how talented he is.
Mario Chalmers- Miami Heat
I ha ve already mentioned Chalmers' HUGE shot in the NCAA title game (if you haven't seen the YouTube clip of the reaction at Allen Field house , I highly recommend you search it), but Mario was a great piece of that Kansas team all year long, easily becoming one of the fan favorites.
People were shocked when Mario dropped all the way to the second round, but he at least was drafted into a great situation: he had a great chance to contend for the starting point guard spot on the Heat, and could become part of a nucleus wi th Dwayne Wade and fellow rookie Micheal Beasley.
Though off-court issues dominated his season storylines early on, the focus has now returned to his play. His defence is already earning him a name in the league and is learning how to dish the ball aswell. Though he is not a large part of the offense due to Miami's other options, he is hitting open looks and filling his role very well for the Heat so far.
Side Note: I could have included Eric Gordon in this list, but I consider him more of a shooting guard.
Plus, I also wanted to include Jerryd Bayless who i am still convinced is a great talent and will be a big part of the Blazers future.
I wonder where these five will be five years.
By Joe Buckley
Pro-Basketball Fans staff-writer
> Read all of the pro basketball articles online from ProBasketball-fans.com.