Today’s NBA is all about point guard play. It is currently an era where nearly half of the 30 teams in the league have dynamic point guard play. The dynamic of the game has changed and floor generals have evolved into more than just passers or spot-up shooters. They do a little bit of everything–rebound, play defense and play above the rim.
Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook lead the new age of point guards as explosive scorers and playmakers. There are still a few whose game reminds us of some of the greatest ever, like Isiah Thomas (Chris Paul) and Magic Johnson (LeBron James at times). Then, there are the deadly 3-point specialists like Stephen Curry and Kyrie Irving. Their shooting opens up so much for their team’s offense and when you add the pick-and-roll to that, teams have a hard time of creating game plans that they can’t stop these point guards.
With the 2013-14 season on the horizon, let’s look at the top 10 point guards in the NBA. The list is based on when every player is healthy.
1. Chris Paul: Paul is the leader of Lob City who does everything well. He does not have any weaknesses to his game. He’s also the closest comparison we have to Isiah Thomas.
2. Derrick Rose: Prior to his knee injury and missing all of last season, he was the league MVP in 2011. Enough said. All eyes are on his return this season.
3. Russell Westbrook: Another player who is returning from injury, Westbrook is an athletic specimen for a point guard. He has a rare ability to elevate and finish above the rim on a consistent basis and also has the game’s best pull up jumper.
4. Tony Parker: Parker excels in the pick-and-roll game and is extremely cat-quick. He showed the world just how phenomenal his game is in the NBA Finals against LeBron, but ultimately was hampered by a hamstring injury throughout the series.
5. Kyrie Irving: One of the game’s purest shooters, Irving also has one of the tightest handles as well. He heads up the Cleveland Cavaliers rebuilding project and this season expectations will be riding high to get into the playoffs.
6. Deron Williams: Williams has a lot to prove this season to establish himself back into the top five. With a new coach in Jason Kidd and new veteran teammates in Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, he is being asked to lead the Nets franchise deep into the playoffs.
7. Rajon Rondo: He still lacks a consistent enough jump shot and that is why he is behind the other guys on this list. Nevertheless, he is a walking triple-double at times and is a pass-first point guard.
8. Stephen Curry: Point blank, he is the best shooter in the game. He’s wiry enough and deceptively quick with a release from anywhere on the court that you do not see coming. He can also “boogie” on you, play the pick-and-roll and get to the rim. He emerged as a young star in the playoffs.
9. John Wall: Recently re-signed to a five-year, $80 million extension, Wall can now focus on returning the Wizards to the playoffs for the first time since 2008. At 6’4″, he is one of the games bigger point guards and excels in transition and kicking to shooters.
10. Damian Lillard: It was a coming-out party for Lillard last season. He’s got the total package as well, averaging 19.0 points and 6.5 assists as a rookie. The future is extremely bright in Portland.[slider_pro id="31"]