Tag:Mavericks
Posted on: January 21, 2009 11:12 am
 

2009 Free Agent Class - Overlooked and Forgotten?

I know we are all focused on 2010 when LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh become free agents and the rumours that are swirling around with that, but what about next years class? looking over the list i see a lot of pieces that many teams would love to have, so, the question is do you think this season's batch of free agents will be pretty much ignored or will there be a flurry of trades and deals to secure some of these guys before 2010 which, in my opinion, is really a three team race right now.

Here is the list

Hawks -Josh Childress, Solomon Jones, Marvin Williams
Mike Bibby, Zaza Pachulia
 

 

 

Celtics - Glen Davis, Leon Powe
Eddie House (P)
 

 

Bobcats - Shannon Brown, Jermareo Davidson, Raymond Felton, Ryan Hollins, Sean May

 

 

Aaron Gray,Drew Gooden
 

 

 

Cavaliers - Lance Allred, Tarence Kinsey
Zydrunas Ilgauskas (ETO), Damon Jones, Joe Smith, Eric Snow, Wally Szczerbiak, Billy Thomas, Anderson Varejao (P)
 


Mavericks - Brandon Bass, Gerald Green, Eddie Jones, Jason Kidd, Keith McLeod, James Singleton
 

 

 

Nuggets -Linas Kleiza
Chris Andersen, Anthony Carter, Steven Hunter (ETO), Allen Iverson, Dahntay Jones
 

 

Pistons - Will Bynum (T), Jason Maxiell, Check Samb
Kwame Brown (P), Richard Hamilton (ETO), Rasheed Wallace
 

 

 

Warriors - C.J. Watson
Al Harrington (P)
 

 

Rockets - Mike Harris, Luther Head
Ron Artest, Ron Francis
 

 

 

Pacers - Danny Granger, Jarrett Jack, Josh McRoberts
Maceo Baston, Marquis Daniels (T), Travis Diener (P), Jeff Foster, Stephen Graham, Rasho Nesterovic
 

 

Clippers - Ricky Davis (P), Steve Novak, Brian Skinner
Jason Hart
 

 

 

Lakers - Coby Karl
Trevor Ariza, Kobe Bryant (ETO), Chris Mihm, Lamar Odom
 

 

Grizzlies - Juan Carlos Navarro, Hakim Warrick
Antoine Walker (ETO)
 

 

 

Heat - Stephane Lasme, Joel Anthony
Mark Blount (ETO), Shawn Marion
 

 

Bucks - Ramon Sessions, Charlie Villanueva
Malik Allen (P), Tyronn Lue, Desmond Mason
 

 

 

Timberwolves - Rashad McCants
Calvin Booth, Jason Collins
 

 

Nets - Nenad Krstic
Trenton Hassell (ETO), Jarvis Hayes (T), Stromile Swift
 

 

 

Hornets - Melvin Ely, Mike James (P)
 

 

 

Knicks - David Lee, Nate Robinson
Jamal Crawford (ETO), Eddy Curry (ETO), Jerome James (P), Stephon Marbury, Quentin Richardson (ETO), Malik Rose
 

 

Thunder - Johan Petro
Adrian Griffin, Chris Wilcox, Damien Wilkins (ETO), Donyell Marshall
 

 

 

Maqic - Marcin Gortat
Keith Bogans, Brian Cook (P), Adonal Foyle, Anthony Johnson (P), Hedo Turkoglu (ETO)
 

 

76ers - Royal Ivey (P), Andre Miller, Kareem Rush
 

 

 

Suns - D.J. Strawberry
Matt Barnes, Grant Hill

 

 

Trail Blazers - Ike Diogu, Channing Frye, Martell Webster
Raef LaFrentz

 

 

Kings - Bobby Brown (P), Francisco Garcia
Shareef Abdur-Rahim (ETO), Bobby Jackson
 

 

 

Spurs - Ime Udoko, Jacque Vaughn

 

 

Raptors - Carlos Delfino, Joey Graham, Jamario Moon, Will Solomon
Jermaine O'Neal (P), Anthony Parker

 

 

Jazz - Paul Millsap, Kyrylo Fesenko (T)
Carlos Boozer (P), Jarron Collins, Brevin Knight, Kyle Korver (ETO), Mehmet Okur (ETO), Ronnie Price

 

 

Wizards - Etan Thomas (ETO)

Posted on: December 21, 2008 12:59 pm
 

Raptors - Week 8 In Review - A season on the edge

Week 8 for the Raptors was a week of frustration for the fans and a week of tough losses for the team. After 3 losses at home during which the fans have begun the boo-birds have made their presence felt, the team has continued to seem lost as a group. I won’t turn this review into whine fest as that is for other forums and blogs. So, here is a review of the past week for the Raptors, as I saw it.

After ending last week on a high winning two games against the Pacers and the Nets, they ended last week 10 – 12 with a 3 game home stand to start the week in anticipation of the start of a 6 game swing through the western conference.

Sunday, December 14th, Raptors vs. Hornets @ Toronto

Hornets 99 Raptors 91

The Raptors entered this game looking to keep the points in the paint under control by keeping Chris Paul from driving through the key. The game plan was to allow the Hornets shooters to win or lose the game as the Raptors interior defense continued to mature and close the lane off with a combination defense of a soft zone and match up zone defense to keep the drivers moving toward the automatic help that is provided on the rotations. What that allowed, unfortunately, was the outside shooters hit 12 3 point shots, which was enough to keep them out of reach down the stretch as the Raptors could not find a way to stop them. David West scored 29 points and grabbed 9 rebounds, but the real hero of the game was James Posey who hit 5 of 5 3 points off the bench in the 1st half ending with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Rasual Butler was 4/9 from 3 point range ending the game with 16 points. Chris Paul and Jose Calderon had similar games with Chris Paul scoring 12 points and handing out 12 assists while Jose Calderon scored 22 points but only 7 assists. Both controlled the game with solid distribution of the ball and seemed to find the correct pass most of the night. Jose went 8/8 from the field and 5/5 from the line and had 1 turnover. Chris Bosh and Jermaine O’Neal had 25 and 19 points and 15 rebounds between them on an afternoon when the Raptors played a solid game on defense overall, but just couldn’t seem to close out the perimeter shooters well enough.

Monday, December 15th, Raptors vs. Nets @ Toronto

Nets 94 Raptors 87

Vince Carter had 20 points and 10 rebounds while Devin Harris scored 20 points, 16 in the 4th quarter including 10 – 11 from the free throw line as the Nets returned the favor and beat the Raptors in front of a cranky crowd. Ryan Anderson scored 21 points for the Nets while 6 Raptors scored in double digits, but missed their first 14 shots in the 4th quarter after leading 70 – 63 after 3 quarters. The key to the game was second chance points as the Raptors again were dominated on the glass, especially the Offensive end giving up 54 rebounds while grabbing 38. That alone is enough to lose most games in the NBA, but the Nets grabbed 11 more offensive boards which was translated into 28 points in the paint and 26 second chance points. The Raptors were only able to score 18 points in the paint and a pathetic 2 second chance points on 7 offensive rebounds. Still, Chris Bosh and Jason Kapono scored 17 each, Jose Calderon scored 15, Jermaine O’Neal scored 14 while Jamario Moon and Andrea Bargnani scored 10 each. By the numbers alone, the game seemed to be the Raptors to lose as they shot better as a team from the field – 40% to 38.1% for the Nets, better percentage from 3 point range – 42.9% to 38.1%, but the Raptors gave up 84 shots while taking only 70 which allowed them to keep the Raptors from coming back as they just couldn’t grab a rebound it seemed in the last 2 minutes. This game was a tough lose as they worked hard to build up a lead in the 3rd and just could not find a way to get the ball into the hands of the hot players in the 4th as the Nets forced us into a jump shooting game and just out played us on the glass.

Wednesday, December 17th, Raptors vs. Mavericks @ Toronto

Mavericks 96 Raptors 86

On a night when the Raptors outscored an opponent 30 – 14 in the paint, the Raptors were again exploited from the outside as the Mavericks ended the game 50% from the field as a team. Dirk Nowitzki scored 27, Jason Terry scored 27 and Josh Howard scored 20 as they went 29/51 or 56% as a trio while grabbing 18 rebounds as a trio. As a team, the Mavericks scored 9 3 point shots on the night while the Raptors hit only 4. Jermaine O’Neal scored 19 and grabbed only 7 rebounds on a night when the Raptors were outrebounded again 47 – 37. Chris Bosh struggled all night against Josh Howard ending up with only 12 points but grabbed 9 rebounds including 3 offensive rebounds. Jose Calderon had another double double with 11 points and 10 rebounds as well as 5 rebounds. Jamario Moon scored 13 points and ended up with 9 rebounds. There are not many teams this Raptors team will beat allowing them to shot 50% from the floor.

Friday, December 19th, Raptors vs. Thunder @ Oklahoma City

Thunder 91 Raptors 83

"It felt like we won a championship," forward Desmond Mason said.

The Thunder came into the game with a 2 – 24 record and were allowed to out play the Raptors in just about every aspect of the game and there isn’t much more to add to that. The Raptors shot 2 – 11 from 3 point range or 11% and were out rebounded again. Kevin Durant scored 24 points, Russell Westbrook scored 19, Jeff Green scored 13 and Nick Collison scored 10 while the Raptors had Chris Bosh scoring 22 with 16 rebounds, Jermaine O’Neal left the game with a sore shoulder and was limited to 5 points while Andrea Bargnani scored 16. After losing JO, the Raptors were outscored in the paint 40 – 32 and shot 44.4% from the field.

Saturday, December 20th, Raptors vs. Spurs @ San Antonio

Spurs 107 Raptors 97

The Raptors came into the game looking to at least show they could compete with this Spurs team that seems to be struggling having lost 2 in a row to the Magic and the Hornets. At this point in the season, the Raptors were looking to turn around a 4 game slide and came out sharp leading the game 25 – 20 after the first. The 2nd quarter saw the Spurs outscore the Raptors as the shooters seemed to not only be open, but couldn’t miss outscoring the Raptors 36 – 23 in the quarter. The Spurs relied upon a franchise record 16 3 point shots including Matt Bonner who went 4/7 and Roger Jr. Mason who went 4/6 scoring 14 and 16 points against their former team. Tony Parker scored 24 points, handed out 10 assists and grabbed 8 rebounds and was in total control of the game hitting open guys all night as the Spurs constant ball movement kept the Raptors off balance all night and kept them running to guard open shooters all night long. Tim Duncan scored 19 points on a quiet night for him while Jermaine O’Neal scored 24 and Chris Bosh scored 17. Perhaps a good sign for the Raptors is both men had 10 rebounds in the game with Jermaine O’Neal grabbed 4 offensive boards. However, the Raptors still were outrebounded and out shot, but they did play with a lot more resolve and were in this game until the final 2 minutes. A couple of stats the Raptors would probably find very interesting are the fact that Jake Voskuhl, signed earlier this week, played his first 6 minutes for the Raptors and outscored Jamario Moon and Andrea Bargnani scoring on two nice turn around jumpers in the low post over Tim Duncan. At this point, any sign of growth is huge for this team. For the Spurs, Michael Finley scored 14, and Manu Ginobili scored 13 while Kurt Thomas grabbed 12 rebounds. Jose Calderon scored 16 but could only manage 4 assists while Jason Kapono scored 12.

Overall, it was a much better game by the Raptors with many good signs this team could be close to turning the corner as a team. Joey Graham and Roko Ukic continue to improve, Will Solomon contributed some solid minutes against the Spurs as Jose struggled with an upset stomach, so there are some good things happening. We shall find out as this team continues it’s trip through the west with games against the Clippers, the Kings, the Trail Blazers and the Warriors before they return home New Year’s eve to host the Nuggets, then play the Rockets and the Magic in the first week of the new year.

Posted on: December 17, 2008 11:00 am
 

Raptors - Mavericks - A Game Preview

Tonight, the Raptors host the surging Dallas Mavericks who have won 7 of their last 10 games with wins over the Grizzlies, the Bobcats, the Suns, the Hawks and the Pacers. They are 3 games above .500% right now and are .5 of a game out of 8th in the tough Western Conference. Having lost to the Nuggets in Dallas on Monday, they come into Toronto to start a short 2 game eastern swing, with the Nets hosting them on Friday, home to the Grizzlies again on Sunday, then they head out on a tough pre-Christmas tour of the West with games against the Trail Blazers, the Jazz and Clippers. They are looking to Toronto to be the start of a push back up the ladder in the West.

The Raptors are coming into the game with the memory of two stinging losses fresh in their minds losing to the Hornets on Sunday and the Nets on Monday. Both of those games the Raptors seemed to play aspects of the game well but could not play well in others and it cost them. Sunday, they were able to use their new defensive schemes to contain Chris Paul and hold him to 12 points and Peja Stojakovic was held to 10 points, but James Posey was left virtually alone all the time and scored 20 on 6/10 3 point shots and David West outplayed Chris Bosh scoring 29 points from the low post area. The Nets game was very much the same thing as they were forced to shoot and shot only 38.1% as a team, but when Ryan Anderson outscores Chris Bosh in the PF position, something is not right. Offensive rebounds allowed have become the team’s demise. The lack of rebounding coupled with a 0 – 14 shooting stretch in the 4th quarter allowed this game to get out of reach.

Tonight, the Raptors will be looking to Jermaine O’Neal and Andrea Bargnani to provide some solid work in the post as the Mavericks have been running a 3 guard offense and Eric Dampier averages only 6 points and 8 rebounds a game. Dirk Nowitzki leads this team with 26 points per game and with Jason Kidd on the floor, the duo looks to make sharp passes and find cutters and hit open shooters off dribble penetration which has been the weakest aspect of the Raptors defense all season. With Devean George and Jose Juan Barea on the floor, this Mavericks team looks to feed Nowitzki who is always happy to shoot.

Chris Bosh needs a break out game and tonight would be a good time to find it. With Jamario Moon or Joey Graham at the 3 spot, Chris should have the room he needs and if we can keep Dirk out of the paint, I like our chances. Jose Calderon and Anthony Parker as well as Roko Ukic should all have good nights as a group, but will need to continue to improve closing out on shooters on the perimeter. I think that this game will go a long way to revealing the character of this team and I hope the guys are up to it.

 

Posted on: December 15, 2008 1:13 pm
 

Raptors - Week 8 in Preview - Another tough week

Week 8 for the Raptors feels like more waves of a tsunami as we have the Nets again in Toronto, then Wednesday we host the 13 – 9 Mavericks who play the Nuggets tonight. Friday we are in Oklahoma to play the Thunder then head south to play the Spurs. Combined records of the Spurs, Mavericks and Nets – 39 – 28. We start the week 10 – 13 in 4th place in the Atlantic division and 10th overall in the Eastern Conference with the Knicks and the Bulls 1 game up and the Nets 1.5 games ahead of us for 8th spot. Considering all this team has gone through, we are still positioned well at this point and a few wins now would help not only mentally but over all in the playoff race as well.

Monday, December 15, 2008 – Raptors vs. Nets @ the ACC

Not much more to add from Friday’s game. Devin Harris and Vince Carter will have to be held to 17 points again and the Nets as a team need to be held to 31.1% shooting again. Can it happen? Sure it can. With Jose Calderon and Jason Kapono not having to guard players man on man for extended minutes, this Raptors team has developed a solid interior defense that has cut the points in the paint for the opposition to under 30 a game the past 3 games. A far cry from the almost 50 a game they were allowing. With Josh Boone back in the lineup and playing near 100% again, this will be a tougher Nets team who will be looking to rebound from the loss in New Jersey.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008 – Raptors vs. Mavericks @ the ACC

The Mavericks are sitting in 8th place in the tough western conference, .5 of a game ahead of the Suns who have 14 wins. Dirk Nowitzki is averaging 26.3 points per game and Jason Terry is averaging 20.8. Beyond those two, they have no one over 10 with Jason Kidd averaging 9.7 points per game. They have a weak spot at Center offensively but Eric Dampier continues to be a solid defender and provides them strength up the middle. With guys like Antoine Wright and Gerald Green and Brandon Bass, this team has a solid group behind Dirk and JT. This will be a huge testing game for Jermaine O’Neal and Chris Bosh and will reveal whether or not or to what extent our interior defense has developed since December 3rd.

Friday, December 19, 2008 – Raptors vs. Thunder

At 2 – 23 and only 1 game this week against the Clippers, this Thunder team has almost a week to prepare for this game. The starters look solid as a group with Kevin Durant, Jeff Green, Nick Collison, Damien Wilkens, and either Johan Petro or Russell Westbrook, this team has solid offense but struggles defensively sitting at 25th in the league in opposition scoring per game.  The Raptors are currently sitting 20th which is improving every game. This is a game we should win and I look to our defense to stifle the Thunder all night long. I suspect that Jay will prepare them a bit more than that!

Saturday, December 20, 2008 – Raptors – Spurs

Rumors of the demise of this Spurs team were swirling as Manu Ginobili started the season hurt then Tony Parker went down. Too old, too slow, no one other than Manu could lead this team. Tim Duncan just wasn’t enough. Well, after 23 games, Manu is back, Tony is back and since starting 1 – 4, this team is 14 – 4 sitting third in the West with 6 straight wins over the Mavericks, the Nuggets, the Hawks, the Warriors, the Timberwolves and the Thunder. In the past 10 games they are 8 – 2 with losses to the Pistons and the Rockets. Aside from Tony and Manu and Tim, this team has more players averaging 10 or more points per game. Tony Parker averages 21.3, Tim Duncan 21, Manu Ginobili 15.5, Roger Jr. Mason 13.3 and Michael Finley averages 10.3 points per game. George Hill sits at 9.9 so that is 6 players at 10 or more points. Balance on offense and hard work on defense keeps this team at or near the top every season and why they can beat teams when one or two “star” players are not 100%. This will be a tough game for the Raptors as we don’t play well in San Antonio as a rule. The Spurs play two on the road this week at the Hornets and the Magic.

The key for the Raptors this week will be to allow the system the chance to work. Defensively we have come along way since December 3rd. We can now shut aspects of teams down and as we continue to work on the defensive game, we will develop that transition game that the good teams use to score the easy break points. Our rebounding needs to improve as it did cost us the game Sunday against the Hornets. A rebound at either end, and a couple of free throws were all we needed to win that game. Quality minutes from our bench seems to be the trend and this week we will need them to continue to improve and contribute more scoring as well as work hard defensively to keep games in check. They will not be able to let teams come back into games we are leading or let teams pull away from us and they have been doing both very well this past week.

Chris Bosh and Jermaine O’Neal need to develop more desire to drive the ball. The 15 foot shots are nice, but they are then out of position for the short boards that often result from the mid-range shots. Andrea Bargnani will be looked to from the bench and perhaps the addition of Jake Voskuhl will add some grit underneath. Jose Calderon looks much more at ease with a guard for a coach and seems to be freer to shoot when he sees the spot. Let’s hope that guys like Jamario Moon and Jason Kapono continue their improvement and work to stick their bums on people and box out at both ends. Anthony Parker I suspect will be hard pressed to get back into the lineup any time soon as the team suffered during his minutes on the floor on Sunday afternoon. Roko Ukic looks very good and relaxed with the ball and seems to be the only one who still drives the ball on this team. Should be a very interesting week for the Raptors.

Posted on: February 6, 2008 10:30 am
Edited on: February 6, 2008 10:52 am
 

My thoughts on "THE Suns/Heat TRADE"

 

here are my thoughts on "THE TRADE"

The Suns are NOT underachieving - not sure how a 34 - 14 record and 3rd overall behind the Celtics and the Pistons and 1st overall in the West can be described that way, but yes they have lost to the Timber Wolves 2x and bad nights happen or they just lost interest. We have seen the top 5 or 6 teams all tank some nights as the 82 game schedule is made to be endure more than conquered.. not sure how the Spurs survive the Rodeo Road trip year in and year out, but they seem to come back and begin their season after the all star break.

what we saw last night in the Lakers vs. Nets game was the emergence of a new team in purple and gold.. how long has it been since we have seen Kobe Bryant have so much fun scoring 6 points and WINNING???!!!! When Andrew Bynum gets back, this team will power through the rest of the west... i have no problems saying that... even adding Shaq won't help the Suns stop that team... and they will be fun to watch... like the Suns with a very active interior which Shaq can no longer provide.

The lack of inside dominance let alone presence has cost this team 2 great regular seasons with 2 bad playoff years... does this trade give them the strength to get past the Spurs? or the Lakers? or the Mavericks? hard to tell as Shaquille O'Neal is very damaged right now and needs to heal... not sure this was the guy to pick, but i doubt anyone else was available.

Did Shawn Marion have to go? maybe, but as good as he was, he can be replaced.. there are very few men in the league who can't be replaced and that is why deals are made... some times a guy is such a disruption, he needs to go, like Allen Iverson was a couple years ago and Vince Carter was with the Raptors.. when a guy becomes a distraction to the team... any GM will look to move him. I will miss Marion's skill, but i think that bringing in a winner will only enhance a fragile locker room.

Is this a "sacrifice at all costs deal"? i don't think so as Shaq will bring a lot to the table that we will never see... but the Suns will know that he is there and that alone will allow them to play a bit better.. maybe if nothing else, they will all start to play better defense if they really believe this deal puts them 4 on 5 on both ends of the floor...

the team dynamic just changed dramatically... i for one am willing to trust that the Suns know what they are doing... i won't change my Suns to the Raptors just yet... but if Shaq tanks...  i will have to change... this team won't be the same if they give marion away for nothing... which some think shaq is at this point... we shall see...

Category: NBA
Posted on: January 25, 2008 10:16 am
Edited on: January 25, 2008 12:08 pm
 

A little debate for the weekend... Point Guards!!

It seems the boards are full of GM types who have varying degrees of love/hate for point guards. What i am offering today, is a place to discuss and debate the position, the prototype and the current players who fill the spot.

A point guard has been equated to the quarterback on the football team. The analogy has merit, but i am not sure it says enough as Mark Rypien owns a Super Bowl ring as a starter.... hmmmm...  a canadian by the way, but not what i would call a great qb. Joe Montana, Dan Marino.. most would consider them great. what they brought was an ability to get the most out of the talent they had and the talent around them... that is why the point guard is compared to the qb is some aspects.

for me, Bob Cousey, Oscar Robertson - MR. TRIPLE DOUBLE!! Magic Johnson, Dennis Johnson, John Stockton. John Havelichek. these guys defined the role as playmaker and floor general. they scored when needed they passed the ball to the finishers and made thier teams winners by virtue of elevating the play of the entire team. A point guard often plays the role of coach on the floor as he runs the offense and sets the defense up either on his own or from the bench direction. Those great Celtic teams in the 60's, 70's and 80's with strong guard play and of course SHOWTIME!!!

Today, the NBA has a wealth of wonderful point guards, perhaps no other era has had the depth now from team 1 to team 30 for point guards. for me, this is fantastic as it has elevated the game on many levels.

So what follows is my take on the top guards in the association that play the true point.

here is the statistical link for the cbs ranking... i will try to give my take on the ranking..

http://www.sportsline.com/nba/playe
rrankings/regularseason/PG

Player                                     Rating   Last Wk    Change   GP    MPG  PPG  RPG  APG   FG % FT %

1. Chris Paul, NO                  82.00   81.62         +0.38        39     37.3  21.0    3.8   10.4  48.8   88.6
 2. Baron Davis, GS               81.76   81.26         +0.50        44    39.2  22.3    4.9     8.1   42.7   74.5
 3. Steve Nash, PHO             77.38   76.25         +1.13         42    34.1  17.5    3.5   12.1  51.3   90.3
 4. Deron Williams, UTA       76.24   75.86         +0.38         42    36.6  19.3    3.0    9.2   51.7   78.2
5. Jason Kidd, NJ                  73.43   73.25         +0.18         41    37.3  11.3    8.3   10.6  36.6   81.1
6. Chauncey Billups,DET     72.94   72.44         +0.50         41    34.0  17.9    3.0    7.1   45.5   90.6
7. Mo Williams, MIL                72.50   71.97        +0.53          40   37.6  16.8    3.6    6.8   47.5   86.6
 8. Tony Parker, SA                 70.46   70.51         -0.05          37   34.8  19.6    3.0    6.2   49.1   72.5
 9. Jose Calderon, TOR        69.63    68.62        +1.01         42   31.3  12.1    3.2    8.5   51.4   91.9
10. Andre Miller, PHI              68.96    69.09         -0.13         43   36.1  16.2    3.9    6.1   48.1   72.4

man i wish the formatting thing worked.. i hate notepad!!

We see by the rankings, that Chris Paul statistically is the top rated point guard. So what does this actually mean? does this mean he is the BEST in the league right now? does it mean that HE should be the starting all star? or does this just mean that he puts up numbers?

he is the top rated point guard on the one of the top 5 teams in the league. his team has never played better, and they deserve the position they are in. Baron Davis, Steve Nash, Deron Williams, Jason Kidd.. what a list.. all these players should be and would be guys ANY team would want playing for them.  Toronto Raptors have a unique situation with T J Ford out, Jose has developed into a top 10 guard... no one saw that talent, but his numbers are showing the growth he has had this past season.... what a position to be in for Sam Mitchell.

So the question becomes, what factors do we place the most emphasis on to say that one guard is BEST or that much better than another to determine the over all best or worst guard. i have seen posts that tell me that Steve Nash is a horrible guard, yet his numbers have him in the top 3 AND he is the overall assist leader, which to me is the point of emphasis for a point guard. another is assist/turnover ratio, which has Jose Calderon as the top full time PG on the list. this has been a large reason why the Raptors win... it sure isn't interior defense!!!

the question of value becomes subjective then. i might look for certain aspects of talent, character, team play and each of these will have greater of lesser value than someone else. some value experience more than youth - the Steve Nash and Jason Kidd are the best group as oppossed to the Chris Paul, Baron Davis, Deron Williams crowd. then there are PG's on great teams that seem to benefit more from the team than they contribute - Tony Parker, some would put Steve Nash here as well and Chauncey Billups of the Pistons.

Bottom line, we have a large pool of very talented point guards, each seems to bring his own flavor to the mix.... which to me means that each team with develop a unique style and not all guards will thrive in all the styles. We know guys like Nash and Davis LOVE the run and gun, but guys like Parker and Paul can run, and can play out of a set with the same effectiveness. Jason Kidd - love the guy, but guards should not necessarily be a leading rebounder on your team... theirs a guy who needs a team in front of him... he would look fantastic in a Maverick's uniform!!! Another thought.... as with any debate, imagine what the team would be without the player... could you imagine how pathetic the Nets would be without Kidd?? or the Hawks without Johnson? we have all seen the Suns while Nash rests his back... and even the Raptors have no answer when Jose is out. But what about the Hornets without Paul? Would the fall off be as great? I suspect it would be at least as far... the Warriors without Davis struggle at best. And look at the stability that Derek Fisher has brought the Lakers in perhaps the least talked about signing in the past couple years... what a catch he was for them and we see Kobe realize he doesn't need to run the show and they have responded as a team.

So what will it take to win a championship? how critical is guard play? well, last year we saw Tony Parker light up the Caveliers from the guard spot as they had no real answer for his play. We have watched Dwayne Wade light up the finals a couple years ago and lead the Heat to the promised land... he is not playing well despite his numbers as he has no one on that team he can work with ... sort of like Kobe .. having to do it all himself.. great numbers on a lousy team!! Look how the Timberwolves struggle without thier man Randy Foye... hard to watch... but they have enough to beat a sleeping Suns team..... go figure...

Let's not forget about the up-and-comers like Acie LawMike Conley and Juan Carlos Navarro with the Grizzlies, Taurean Green, and of course, Rajon Rondo with the Celtics... all with bright futures, some needing a lot of work, others in a groove at this point... the future will of course bring us more young guards to watch excel at their craft.

thanks for stopping by and please feel free to leave your thoughts

Category: NBA
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com