The best and deepest position in the NBA over the past few years has been the point guard position. Chris Paul, Derrick Rose (who won the MVP in 2011), Russell Westbrook, Rajon Rondo and Deron Williams represent the elite group, but that’s without mentioning players like Steve Nash, Kyrie Irving and Brandon Jennings.
We’d love Rose to be on the courts when the NBA season begins, but he probably won’t be back before February-March 2013. Without really knowing how good he’ll be with an entire season away from an NBA game, he can’t be on this list, although when healthy, I think he’s the best in the league at the position.
Number 5 – Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs
At the age of 30, entering his 11th NBA season, Tony Parker is the most important player on the San Antonio Spurs, and the man who decided how good their offense can be. Parker averaged 18.3 points and 7.7 assists per game durign the regular season, 20.1 points and 6.8 assists in the playoffs. No more doubts abotu his clutch ability and not being able to handle the pressure. He made the All-Star game in 2012 for the fourth time and his All-NBA second team selection. He isn’t as explosive and athletic as some of the others on this list and certainly not a force on defense, but few has his ability to weave and thread through a defense with agility and quickness instead of sheer force.
Number 4- Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
So, is he a point guard or isn’t he? It doesn’t really matter. Westbrook is listed as a PG and plays like he’s the main scoring threat on the floor, which most of the time, is very good for the Thunder. In short, the Thunder reached the NBA finals because of Westbrook, not despite of him.
He averaged 23.6 points and 5.5 assists last season, making his second All-Star game and his second All-NBA second team. There’s still the need to figure out the roles on the Thunder’s offense in certain situations, and convincing Westbrook to look for the pass and not the shot more often, but Westbrook has the biggest physical talents among the point guards, and more often than not makes up for his lacking game managing skills with incredible individual ability.
Number 3 – Deron Williams, Brooklyn Nets
The biggest addition to the Brooklyn Nets this season isn’t Joe Johnson but the return of Brook Lopez from his season-long injury, which makes Deron Williams that much better, with a lot more passing option around him. Don’t take me wrong, Williams is a great scorer, averaging 21 points and 8.7 assists last season, but he’s at his best when he’s not the main scoring option for the team, or at least has to share it with someone. The Brooklyn Nets won’t run for titles from the getgo, but there’s a good chance that we’ll see Williams at his best next season, which hasn’t happened during his time in New Jersey.
Number 2 – Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics
This is the season. Doc Rivers gave Rondo the keys, and is hoping that this time, it won’t be a part time job for his point guard to take the burden of leading this team, including in scoring. He averaged only 11.9 points along with his NBA-Best 11.7 assists last season in the regular season; 17.3 points and 11.9 assists in the playoffs. Boston, with their aspirations (too high?) need postseason Rondo, the triple double Rondo who takes over games and somehow gets over that mental block that stops him from hitting open midrange jumpers. When he gets over it, he might number one next time we make this list.
Number 1 – Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers
The best point guard in the NBA, who made his fifth consecutive All-Star team and made his second All-NBA first team selection. More than his ability and production on the court (18.8 points, 9.8 assists in the regular season; 17.6 points and 7.9 assists in the playoffs), he made the Clippers a relevant team on a nationwide spectrum and legitamate contendors, with the adjoining aspirations, to go far in the Western Conference postseason. He does need to learn how force it a bit less when things aren’t going well for his team (like against the Spurs), but it’s something he needs his teammates and easy to criticize head coach to go along with.