Quantcast 2010 NBA: Ranking the top NBA point guards

 

Ranking the Top PGs

 

This is one of the best eras in NBA history for point guards. We are spoiled by tremendous PG play like we never have been before. Having a great PG is one of the keys to a great team. They are the initiators of offense and usually the main playmakers for their team. 4 of the 5 on this list are still under 27 years old; the future is bright for PG play in the NBA.

  • Deron Williams, Utah Jazz - It is almost a toss up for the honors of best PG in the NBA. Williams and ’05 Draft classmate Chris Paul are clearly the cream of the crop. Before this season, Paul was favored over Williams by most, but this year was a big one for Deron. He was finally selected to his first All-Star appearance, a testament to the quality PG play in the NBA and his improvement from year to year. He averaged 18.7 points and 10.5 assists per game. Deron possesses a great combination of size and speed, at 6’3” and 207 lbs. he is much more athletic than he looks. He is nearly impossible to contain in the open court and has the upper body strength to finish through contact and draw fouls (3 rd among point guards last year in free throws made and attempted per game). Has the capability to make defenders look utterly helpless with superior handles and a devastating crossover. He also has a very high basketball IQ and is a good decision maker who excels in the pick-and-roll. While he is not the best long range shooter, he is very capable of knocking down 3’s (37.1%), especially late in games. With the game on the line, this is a guy who wants the ball, and he knows how to take over and put the team on his back. He still needs to become a better overall leader, but he has improved in that area and should continue to get better. Deron Williams is the complete package, everything you want in a PG, and I believe he is the best NBA.

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  • Chris Paul, New Orleans Hornets - CP3 was drafted one pick after Williams in ’05. He has been considered the best PG in the NBA for the last couple years. Unfortunately, he was bitten by the injury bug last season and missed a total of 37 games (a sprained ankle and later a torn meniscus). He lacks the size of Deron Williams, but has lightning quickness that enables him to get anywhere he wants on the floor. This is also a tribute to his excellent ball handling. It would be foolish to try to take the ball from him, it simply will not happen. He is very creative with the ball and is also a very smart player, willing to find the open man to get his team a basket (averaged 10.7 assists last season). Not strictly a distributor, he can fill it up as well. He averaged 18.7 ppg last season and has carried the Hornets throughout his career, making David West look like an All-Star for a couple seasons. He scores in many different ways: by getting to the rim and finishing, using his deft touch on an array of floaters and runners in the lane, mid-range jumpers, and he can also shoot the 3 (40.9% last year and steadily increasing). Paul is also a great defender with a career average of 2.4 steals per game; he is extremely clever and has quick hands. Chris Paul is a different player than Deron Williams and although I think Williams is ahead for the time being, Paul is right behind him and looking to regain his position at the top.

  • Steve Nash, Phoenix Suns - Steve Nash may turn 37 next season, but he is still among the premiere PGs in the NBA. One of the smartest players in the game, Nash gets more out of his ability than many other more physically gifted players. At 6’3” (probably around 6’1”-6’2”), and a slender 178 lbs., Nash overcomes his disadvantages on a nightly basis. Nash combines amazing instincts, the best court vision in the league, and craftiness that would make Hobby Lobby jealous. He will always find a way to get the ball to the open man. He is so unselfish to the point that he is considered too unselfish sometimes and some wish he would score more (16.5 ppg last season). He led the league in assists last season for the fourth time with 11 per game. He is also the best 3pt shooting PG in NBA history, 5 th on the all time 3pt percentage list at 43.2% (two of the players ahead of Nash have made half as many as him and two others only one third as many). At 90.3% from the free throw line, Nash is second all time by .01 to Mark Price. Also, he ranks 8 th in assists and 7 th in assists per game all time. He is also capable of taking over a game, whether by scoring or making plays to set his teammates up. Nash is an extremely tough, gritty player who will play through a multitude of injuries (see: Nash playing with eye swollen shut against the Spurs in 2010 playoffs). The only weakness in his game (besides being a little turnover prone) is that he is not a strong defender, however he makes up for this fourfold on the offensive end of the game. Nash is a wonder to watch and he is still among the best PGs in the league.

 


 

  • Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics - Rondo is an emerging young PG who came on very strong last year and proved he belongs on this list. He is the best defender in the NBA and has become the best player on the Boston Celtics. He uses his freakishly long arms and quick hands to disrupt passing lanes and is able to get a lot of steals (2.3 per game last season). Rondo may be the quickest player in the league (he challenged gold medalist Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt to a race) and can dribble circles around opposing players. He is a smart, unselfish player (only 13.7 pts, but 9.8 ast per game) and a great floor leader. Rondo really struggles shooting the ball, however, and he must improve in that aspect of the game. He is only a 24.4% shooter from 3 and hit just 21.3% last season. In only his fourth season he should be improving his shooting, not regressing. Also, Rondo is only a career 63% free throw shooter (62.1% last season), an area most PGs are very solid at. He has the potential to be great, but there are still some things he needs to improve upon but when he does, look out!

  • Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls - The youngest player on this list (turns 22 in October), has had two great years since being the #1 pick of the Bulls in 2008. He won Rookie of the year and almost led the Bulls to a first round upset of the Celtics in 2009. He got even better last season averaging 20.8 points and 6 assists per game. He is the kind of player who dramatically improves his play during the playoffs where he averaged 26.8 points and 7.2 assists in the Bulls’ series against the Cavs. Rose is an ultra-athletic player with a strong body which enables him to finish through contact. He is similar to Deron Williams in that respect. He is one of the best finishers around the basket among guards. In the open court, Rose is at his best, he can use his superior speed to blow by defenders and get to the rim. He is extremely fast and a great leaper, he simply has another gear that most players do not have. His handles have improved alot; don’t expect anyone to take the ball from him. Rose is more of a score-first PG than the others on this list, but I hope he can become a better distributor now that he is playing with guys like Kyle Korver and Carlos Boozer. He has shown the ability to take over games and hopefully he can keep it up and develop as a leader. His biggest weakness is his lack of a perimeter jumper (16 3s made last year), but he has also improved his FG and 3pt shooting percentages over his first two years and if he continues to improve, he will keep rising on this list.

 

Those who missed the cut: Chauncey Billups, Jameer Nelson, Stephen Curry, Tyreke Evans, and Tony Parker

 

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By: Justin Dehm
ProBasketball-fans.com Staff Writer


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