Five most indispensable PG's Insider please!!
Can someone please share the story for all of us to see? I'd really appreciate it. I'm a big fan of point guards and a believer in thier importance in any basketball team's success. I'm also a big John Wall fan and I believe he's one of those featured in this article. Haha thanks in advance!
NBA's most indispensable PGs
Boston hasn't fallen off minus Rajon Rondo; so which PGs can't get hurt?
USA TODAY Sports
Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul and John Wall are vital to their teams' fortunes.
After Rajon Rondo went down for the year with a torn ACL, even the most optimistic Boston Celtics fan was fearing the end was nigh for the current team and the Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett era, let alone winning a title this season. It was time to hit reset on the game console and trade away veterans for younger players. One local writer dubbed it "Black Sunday."
But as Doc Rivers famously told everyone, it's too early to write the obituary, and Rivers has largely been proved right, as the Celtics have gone 14-5 in Rondo's absence, with numbers that would suggest they are doing more than just surviving without him, as Kevin Pelton outlined recently. Why? The Celtics' system, not to mention their roster, has allowed them to compensate for the loss of their point guard. Other teams, however, wouldn't be so lucky. So who are the most important point guards in the league? Meaning: Which five are simply indispensible to their teams?
1. Chris Paul | Los Angeles Clippers
No one point guard means more to his team's success than Paul. With him, the Clippers are a well-oiled machine, an endless diet of pick-and-roll action and weakside lobs. Without him, they resemble an AAU team, a collection of talent taking turns at isolation plays and bad shot selection. With him, Eric Bledsoe looked like the point guard of the future, ready to take over the reins of his own team. Without him, Bledsoe has looked lost and unsure, as the responsibility of actually running an offense has at times overwhelmed him.
With Paul, the Clippers are 39-14 and a fringe title contender. Without him, they are 6-6, and probably would not make the playoffs if forced to play without him the whole season. That doesn't mean the Clippers aren't a good team; it's more of a testament to how important he is to the system, how irreplaceable he is in the lineup, much like the 2005Phoenix Suns were unstoppable with Steve Nash in the lineup and simply miserable without him.
2. John Wall | Washington Wizards
While Derrick Rose takes Chicago from good to elite, Wall has shown this season that he can take abysmal to playoff-level production. Since Jan. 12 (Wall's first game back), the Wizards have the second-best defensive efficiency in the league (96.8), and have gone from minus-7.3 point differential to plus-2.8 (11th in NBA in that span).
The Wizards' record with Wall has been a solid 15-13; without him, they were hurtling toward a worst-in-league record at 5-28. Wall's breathtaking athleticism, particularly in the open court, allows him to get into the paint repeatedly and wreak havoc by converting at the rim or finding teammates. But Wall's impact is greater felt on the defensive end, where his length and agility allow him to be a versatile defender on the perimeter. Going into a contract extension summer, Wall's agent will have a large amount of data to point to as evidence that his client is pivotal to success in Washington.
3. Derrick Rose | Chicago Bulls
While Chicago has not fallen off the face of the NBA map during Rose's injury, or anywhere close to it, it's hard not to imagine that his availability would mean the difference between fighting for home-court advantage and fighting for the best record in the East, if not the league. Talk to scouts, coaches and front-office personnel and they'll all tell you the same thing: It's incredibly tough to go from good to great in this league. Rose's absence represents an even larger jump: the difference from good to elite.
Last season, with Rose on the court, the Bulls scored five more points per 100 possessions on offense; two years ago, during his MVP campaign, they scored 10 more points per 100 possessions, a feat that means even more to a team that has struggled mightily with offensive efficiency this season (102.9, 23rd in NBA). In some ways, his absence has been a blessing in disguise in that it has allowed Joakim Noah to expand his offensive game, but make no mistake, the Bulls without Rose are just another good team, not a title contender.
4. Stephen Curry | Golden State Warriors
It's not a secret that the Warriors' fate is tied to the health of Curry's ankles. Last season, the team went 10-30 in his absence versus 13-13 when he played. Although they are a more respectable 2-2 without him this season, the team still relies heavily on Curry's shooting and playmaking to generate offense: When he has been off the floor this season, Golden State has managed a paltry 101 points per 100 possessions, which would put them between Phoenix (28th) and Charlotte (29th) in offensive efficiency rankings.
While his shooting is the first trait to come to mind, it's actually Curry's ballhandling and decision-making (particularly out of the pick-and-roll) that make him invaluable: the Warriors are 20-8 whenever Curry posts more than 10 assists in a game for his career.
5. Russell Westbrook | Oklahoma City Thunder
Where would the Thunder be without Russell Westbrook? We've never known the answer because he has yet to miss a single game in his career. With the preseason jettison of James Harden, Westbrook's presence in the lineup became even more essential, despite plenty of criticism for his shoot-first attitude.
But the simple fact is the Thunder need Westbrook to play aggressively -- he's the only player on the roster (other than Kevin Durant) who can generate offense for himself and others. Nearly a third of his field goal attempts come at the rim, with many of those attempts occurring in transition situations, and he is a strong finisher, shooting about 60 percent in that area. This aggressiveness opens up assist opportunities to his teammates, and it should come as no surprise that the Thunder score five more points per possession when Westbrook is on the floor. Replacing Westbrook with a backup point guard (or even a more deferential starting point guard) would create a tremendous amount of defensive pressure focused on Durant (particularly in the 1-3 pick-and-roll sets OKC likes to run), which would severely limit the ceiling of Thunder success.
Why not these guys?
With point guards dominating the NBA these days, it's easy to say any point guard through whom a team's offense runs is indispensible and vitally important. However, just as Rondo's absence illustrates, a team's particular system can help compensate for the loss of such an integral piece. The following two players didn't make the top five for that very reason.
Tony Parker | San Antonio Spurs
Gregg Popovich called him the best point guard in the NBA, and many have said that he ought to be league MVP, so how can Parker not be in the top five? Simply put, the Spurs' offensive system, based on archaic notions such as "sharing the basketball" and "hitting the open man" is built to withstand his absence.
An abundance of above-average IQ players (starting with Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan, all the way down to Danny Green, Boris Diaw, Kawhi Leonard and Stephen Jackson, among others) who can pass and create offense for others, as well as an ability to score points in the paint off of post-up action give the Spurs the ability to weather the storm until Parker returns from a serious ankle injury.
Ty Lawson | Denver Nuggets
While Lawson is the battery that drives the Nuggets' high-octane offense, the presence of Andre Miller, a starting quality point guard, on the roster alleviates the dependence on Lawson's availability. Additionally, similar to San Antonio, having other high IQ players on the roster who can penetrate and pass (Andre Iguodala, Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Corey Brewer) gives the Nuggets a mechanism to pick up the slack in Lawson's absence.
thanks for sharing, but I dont agree with the article
Kind of a weak article that's opinion based. Celtics are a championship caliber team with Rondo. It hurts he is out.
It's the Moses Malone theory. The same thing happened in Houston when the Rocket loss Yao and T-mac at different times, then both. Rondo is just as important as any pg you mention if not more. Anyone that knows the game and without being bias can figure out the team is better with a star player that makes everyone around him better.
How is Tony Parker on the top of this list? I don't buy the fact that the only brick that is always in the Popovic's lineup night in night out could be removed and the Spurs wouldn't suffer severely..