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..
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 Law, Mike 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