Top 5 Point Guards
Since penguin guy posted his series of "Who'd You Take?" point guard matches, I found myself thinking of my top 5. The way one looks at top 5 rankings is completely subjective. Do you prefer spurts of dominance or consistency? Do you like athletes or intangibles? Do rings matter? Is it for one game, a series, or a season? The way I'm looking at these rankings are slightly projected, my point guard preference type, and only vary for a game or series because no one really knows about the inner locker room problems of players. The final criteria to me is this: if the point guard on my team and the point guard on your team are the teams' best players, who has the best chance to win? (Note: If you're a stats guy don't even read this. I judge by what I have seen on the court, though stats are enlightening and helpful)
1. Rajon Rondo- I love everything about Rajon except for his inability to shoot 3's and his on court demeanor from time to time, though Jordan and Kobe get passes for it. His passing is prophetic, easily the best I've ever seen along with Jason Kidd. He is literally a triple double threat every game that even semi challenges his basketball credibility (again, game or series hell be all in). There's not a better 6'1 rebounder in the league and his defensive metrics rank him the very best in the league. He finishes at the rim well and upped his mid range shooting last season to above 50%. He gets a lot of stuff from the media and fans alike, but I wouldn't want any other point guard in a series/game I had to win.
2. Russell Westbrook- Yeah he's a two guard in a 6'3 body. Yeah he gets assists but doesn't facilitate the way Rondo or Rubio does. And yeah he can be polarizing. But I'd take him over any other point except for Rondo. I love fundamental basketball more than anyone except the old school, but his athletic ability is unmatched at his position (and as a side note: aside from the Javelle McGee's and Gerald Green's of the NBA, he's a top three athlete along with Griffin and James). His ability to glide from the fee throw line to the hoop on layups make rim protectors look like Demarcus Cousins (and make Demarcus Cousins look like Betty White). He's an exceptional free throw shooter though that was a problem of his coming into the league. OKC changed their fastbreak offense from having him pull up on mid range jumpers to more of a blitz this season, which I think helped him tremendously. He's a number one option overshadowed by the best number one option in the league. Bill Simmons talks about the 90-10 (the 90 percent is fantastic but the 10 percent is unbarable) with he and Rondo. I'll take those odds.
3. Chris Paul- I watch Chris Paul and can't help but love his game. He was considered the best since Magic in his prime Hornets days. I see his playoff record and I'm not overly offended; teams win championships when they are built to be champions. Paul arguably hasn't had that, which is why they brought Doc in to create a system which this group of players will optimally excel. But I can't put him first. Yes he is a hound on defense, on and off the ball. He has an elite dribbling skill set that only he can claim (for now- signed Kyrie Irving). He finishes at the rim for barely scraping 6'0 and he is not a poor shooter. But he hasn't wowed me. Not since their 24 point comeback win against the Grizzlies. The same way people knock Carmelo down for shooting too much can be reasonably reflected on Paul for passing too much. I made a case on why he hasn't won but one can only wonder why such a prodigy has struggled since joining the Clippers. He's a max player, a truly elite player, but I personally want to see more production before I eat my words. (I understand many people on here are full of themselves but to those who are constructive: why do announcers always talk about Chris Paul's understanding of his offense as if no one has ever read a playbook? I don't know basketball X's and O's, I try to figure it out when I watch it, diagnose plays that used often and what not but usually I get caught up on court vision offense and the way defenses rotate. If anyone can post a thread to drop some playbook knowledge it'd be much appreciated.
4. Derrick Rose- Okay time to move on to shorter summaries. He's been out a year and he's a former MVP in the year LeBron was eschewed. So there's that. But he's proven he can run and create an offense with players far inferior on that side of the ball. Visually one can tell he has his team's respect. I can't wait to scout him more this year because I was just getting into regularly watching basketball when LeBron went to the Heat (growing up in a house with a Midwestern grandfather didn't lead to many NBA games being watched). I think Rose fourth will do for now.
5. Tony Parker- He's too clutch, too efficient from inside 10 feet, and too intelligent to leave off of my top five. The way he toys with defenders in pick and rolls is near evil, and has the knowledge from playing under Pop to self create an offense for my team. He's physically limited and I wouldn't trust him on one on one D against my top four. But in Parker I trust, he's a top five point guard in this format.
Hardest to Leave Off: Stephen Curry. He's the best scoring point guard this game has to offer. A couple of more steals (better defense) and assists will put him in for me.
Most Likey to Crack The Top Five in 5: Kyrie Irving. I know it seems clichè but other than elite passing I want my point guard to have elite ball handling and he's beyond his years. Couple that with his near elite driving ability and above average shooting, he has an elite ceiling.
That was &$#%#&@! fun, y'all should make your own and start some bad ass arguments. Or for others, trash talk.
Just wanted to add the NBA is so much deeper in PG's than 7-10 years ago, you feel as if you can there are 20 PG's in the L right now that I'd feel comfortable building my team around
You can add Rubio, Deron Williams, Wall, Lillard, Bledsoe, Conley, or Holiday to parts of that list, not mention solid point men like Ty Lawson, George Hill, a Brandon Jennings that shoots over 40%, even Patrick Beverly.
I actually agree with the order of your list.
Appreciado bro. I feel a lot of people underrate and underappreciate Rondo.
You said talk trash, so, I think you're insane for putting Rondo first. I would never put him ahead of Paul, Rose, or Westbrook. Parker is debatable, but he isn't a better player than the other three.
He's the only point guard I've seen... Just read this, I know you saw it: http://m.espn.go.com/general/story?storyId=6503515&city=boston&src=desktop
Triple doubles in finals', that 54 minute 44-8-10 game with him hitting two threes (at least one on LeBron), just his postseason stats/play in general. They're all elite point guards which is why the debate is so interesting, but if Rondo comes back 100% the point guard crown is his.
I think a lot of people have Parker higher on their personnel list, but I can't. Because he doesn't do well against the elite athletic pg's. I've watched him against Westbrook and Rose. Parker cannot guard them. He isn't a bad defender, however likely the weakest defender on the list.
Agreed. I've seen him at two on some lists and, unless it's the last two minutes of a game, I don't understand how they could. I think a lot of people forget that off the ball on offense he was extremely unimpressive in the Finals. No doubt he really does live the sport though. His team respects him.
I've always wondered when people say this or that guard Westbrook and Rose.... these guys are more athletic than damn near anyone with ridiculous first steps and great finishing ability not to mention forever improving outside shooting.
...Which point guard on this list or anywhere else CAN guard them?
If Rondo really is the best PG in the NBA the Celtics would make the playoffs this year. The 6,7, and 8 spots in the East are all probably going to be teams under 500. The Celtics might have traded all of their players but the best PG in the NBA should be able to keep there team around 500.
As for my opinion a healthy D-Rose is the best PG in the NBA followed by CP3. Don't get be wrong Rondo is the best paser in the NBA by far but let's see how he does in the post big 3 and Doc era.
PS I May be a little Steph Curry bias but I would take him 3rd behind D-Rose and CP3 if I was going to try to make a playoff run.
This year Rondo will get kinda a pass for me coming of his first major knee injury and a new coach coming from college. I doubt Rondo will be starting the season.
1) Chris Paul
2) Derrick Rose
3) Russell Westbrook
4) Rajon Rondo
5) Tony Parker
Have to wonder with so many great, young PGs in the league right now and looking to be on the horizon how many will end up playing SG as their careers go on or how many of the newcomers end up playing SG. Smart, Andrew Harrison, and Emmanuel Mudiay all have the size to play SG but they're considered PG prospects. Westbrook and Rose are guards that could move over and play more SG if they get teamed with a guard who's more of a passer than a scorer. Something to keep an eye on. So many gifted PGs its crazy.
That's exactly my list. +1
I think you're underestimating D-Rose. He's insanely clutch and a takeover player on offense. He's expanded his range and is a legit 3 point threat and despite not being a lock down defender, is a guy who gives his all and is still good on that side of the ball ( He's a better defender than Rondo is a 3 point shooter). I watch a lot of Bulls games ( I'm a fan, so there may lie a little bias ) and before injury, I'd put Rose right up there with anyone in the league as far as getting where he wants, when he wants. That is part of what makes him so effective...his ability to get from point A to point B no matter who is guarding him.
These lists are subjective, so you're not wrong, but I do think you're underestimating how good he is.
That's fair enough and like I said, I can't wait to watch him play this year. I have the feeling you feel about Rose the way I do about Westbrook.
My list would have to be:
1. Derrick Rose - Same reasons as everyone says, not to mention he doesn't get big headed about how good he is. He knows he's great, but the key to why I love this guy so much is that he knows he can be even better. He may not be the same player he was before, but he is good enough where even if he can't do all the same things he did before, he can still dominate and lead his team to a top seed.
2. Chris Paul - He's a maestro on offense. He can do what he needs, whenever he needs to. Not to mention that he's got some great players running with him to give him easy outlets for assists where he doesn't have to carry the load offensively at all times. The only drawbacks with him (for me at least) is that he isn't a tremendous shooter. If he and Deron Williams were combined, that would be the best PG in the NBA honestly just because of how they can still play the game at a high level even though they don't have the elite athleticism. The only other drawback I see from him is that he's too much of a flop, which helps his defense out but is also just incredibly annoying to watch as a fan at times.
3. Rajon Rondo - Say what you want about the guy, but he just wants to win. It would be scary to have him and Kobe on the same team simply for their mindset. Yeah he can't shoot that great (I would say he's an only average or below average shooter) and he's had the benefit of playing with future HOF's his whole career, but even so, I can't see any other PG in the league who is a constant trip-dub threat any game, ESPECIALLY if its a big game or must-win game. I like what someone said above, he is a prophetic passer. He sees things and makes plays 2 frames ahead of everyone else using ball fakes and such. When it comes to making a defender look silly, he's near the top of my list.
4. Russell Westbrook - This was the hardest one to put at four just because I think him and Rondo are interchangeable almost here. If anything its a 3a and 3b kind of choice. This guy is on a separate level as every other PG in the NBA in terms of athleticism. The scariest thing is that he's learning to be even better without it too with his noted improvements in shooting. He's trigger happy and always wants the ball, which granted is only bad because they have KD too, but few PG's in the league can fill it up as quickly and as easily as this guy.
5. Ricky Rubio - A lot of you may disagree with this since I put him above Parker, but my problem with Parker is that he only can really play one side of the ball and just hope to stay in front of his guy on defense. Rubio is a ball hawk and if you ever watch him play, he takes a bunch of gambles on steals and to poke the ball loose. Oddly enough, he knows how to take these chances without leaving the rest of his defense vulnerable. He's one of the most exciting players to watch in the NBA by his flare and his passing, although his shooting and consistency need to get better. What I really use to put him over the top of Parker though was his ability to make the rest of the team better. He made Anthony Randolph, Anthony Tolliver, and Derrick Williams look great. That should say something about Rubio more just because Parker has Timmy D on his team and doesn't need to elevate everyone else just for the team to be good.
I don't mean to criticize, but I don't think Rondo is the best. He is a great PG and DEFINITELY top five. But the fact of the matter is, guys like Chris Paul and Tony Parker simply have more well-rounded games. Paul in particular, can do everything Rondo can and a lot the he can't. Not to mention Rondo's also a bit of a stat-padder.
PG's in my book with more well rounded games are Rose, Westbrook, Paul, and D Will (Tony Parker if he didn't get torched so much). Granted D Will didn't play exceptionally well last year, more towards the end but i'll take his ability to make the defense pay on PNR (can't play under the screens). I love Rondo no doubt, walking triple double but dude needs to fix his jumper for real so he can be a "complete" threat.
Ricky Rubio ahead of Tony Parker? God almighty that stung to read...I'd take Stephen Curry and Kyrie Irving over him also, and it wouldnt even be close...I'd also take Lawson, Conley, Jrue Holiday, and John Wall over Rubio also
A quick side question, how much would your list change if it was regular and postseason?
Too bad Rose, Rondo, and Westbrook are injured or coming off major injuries. When healthy D Rose is incredible. I think he is the Michael Jordan of point guards. Great size, athleticism, and is tough to stop when he is attack mode.
I will put Chris Paul at the top (ahead of those injury guys) since he can put up stats and is a clutch scorer. However, I think he dribbles too much and slows down the game too much. It feels like he is ball dominant and selfish offensively. It almost seems like Ricky Rubio would be a better point guard for Chris Paul. I have this funny feeling that CP3 and Blake don't fit.
Tony Parker is very good too. He is a top 10 guy and maybe even top 5 but I think he won't be able to approach the year he had last year. He might have peaked...
I would take a healthy Steph Curry over pretty much every one else. He is a video game shooter, scorer, and passer.
CP3, Rose, Rondo, Westbrook, Parker, and Curry are my top 6. CP3 is the current best non-injured point guard. Rose is best overall WHEN HEALTHY. Steph Curry could be third on this list by the end of the year. Rondo is the best pure point guard on this list who is a pass first guy who can also defend and rebound. Westbrook is the best SHOOTING GUARD on this list.
If I had to start a team RIGHT NOW, I would go with Rose, Curry, or Rondo as my starting point guard.
Dang, forgot about John Wall and Kyrie Irving.
I would actually go with Kyrie Irving with those top 6. So make it my top 7. John Wall is just behind those guys at 8. Ricky Rubio is ninth.
Wow, we have some great point guards.
By the end of the year this might actually be my top 10 (in order):
1. Derrick Rose
2. Steph Curry
3. Kyrie Irving
4. Chris Paul -- might have peaked. Has iffy knees. Too ball dominant at times.
5. Rajon Rondo
6. Russell Westbrook
7. Tony Parker
8. Deron Williams -- could bounce back this year for the Nets.
9. John Wall
10. Ricky Rubio
All these guys could end up getting votes for MVP. The point guard position is loaded. Just missing the cut is Mike Conley. Ty Lawson and Jru Holiday are very good too. Brandon Jennings could move up big time on this list this year. I could also see Jeremy Lin bouncing back. Kyle Lowry is somewhere in the middle tier. I also consider Mario Chalmers as a candidate for the mid-tier of point guards based largely on his ability to have good games in the playoffs and make big shots. He is somewhere between a poor man's Chauncey Billups and the Robert Horry of point guards. Greivous Vasquez is another middle class point guard that comes to my mind right now. Kemba Walker is a young point guard who might possibly break out this year. Damian Lillard had a great rookie year but still belongs in the mid-tier. As far as this year's point guards go I think Trey Burke and MCW will be solid at some point (as well as CJ McCollum) but I don't think they will be top 25 point guards this year. Just too much competition and depth at the point guard position. Plus there is a steep learning curve.
That pure point guard era is over so chill with the westbrook is a 2 in a 1's body...Rondo, CP3, Rose, Westbrook, TP
Russell Westbrook has a similar game as D Wade in his prime and no one calls D Wade a point guard.
Memphis Madness, im glad to see someone is acknowledging Kyrie Irving. People talking top 5, to 10 PG and don't have him listed? 22.5, 5.9, 3.7, 47%FG, 87% FT in year two. I'm looking forward to see what him and Anthony Bennett can do with the pick and roll/pick and pop.
He's definitely in the top 10 somewhere. But his horrific defense makes it impossible to put him in the top 5 for now IMO.
All points justified. We know who the best is. PG=Rondo. As Rondo ages he is a Stockton type player. The other guys will suffer when athletic ability goes more than Rondo too. He is the best PG at making others better.
I think I'd actually put CP3 ahead of Rondo in terms of making other players better. He's already proven he can do it with some of the "help" he had in New Orleans, and he also made a huge impact on the Clippers. And also, we've already seen his athleticism decrease a bit IMO. He doesn't seem as quick as he once was, but he's still just as filthy as he always has been.
I think Rondo will have a hard time when his athleticism starts to go. The difference between him and Stockton is that Stockton was one of the best shooters in the NBA, so when his athleticism started to go, he could keep defenses off-balance with his shooting ability. Rondo can't do that.
Im surprised to not see Kyrie on most of your guys top 5. To think he is only 21 is scary.
I'm so sick of these rankings because they are impossible to gauge.
Rose is a better player than Paul. But Paul may be a better "point guard".... I just think positional rankings box everything in too much.
Can people really not admit that Rose and Westbrook are arguably the same player, size and stat wise at least? They each have their own on court tendencies but they're not that different, except for Westbrook can be pretty hotheaded sometimes.
After Chris Paul and Tony Parker, it's difficult to rank the top five point guards right now.
Derrick Rose - Coming off of an injury that affects the *exact* things he's unbelievable at. He hasn't played in over a year. It usually takes athletes until their second season to feel normal after reconstructive knee surgery. Rose didn't play in the first season, but will he be "normal" in season two? It's hard to know since he didn't test his knee at all last season. Playing and regaining trust in the knee is the biggest hurdle in the recovery.
Rajon Rondo - He's also coming off of reconstructive knee surgery, which will impact his game at both ends in a major way. How can he be ranked over a Tony Parker or Stephen Curry at this point?
Russell Westbrook - He's definitely top five, but we don't know how severe his meniscus tear was. Was it as serious as Chris Paul's? IF so, we could see a change in his game. A meniscus tear isn't looked at as being as serious as an ACL tear, but the wear and tear you suffer after a meniscus tear is more dramatic. When you have large pieces of your meniscus removed you're bone on bone (femur on tibia) in that area of the knee and risk damaging your articular cartilage. Not to mention, your knee joint as a whole just isn't as strong.
The next guys in line are:
Deron Williams - IF his ankles and wrist are healthy, he's definitely still in the mix. Jason Kidd says he wants Williams in the MVP conversation this season. We'll see if that happens.
Stephen Curry - Looks like he could become a superstar IF his ankles don't break down. He has some Steve Nash in his game.
Kyrie Irving - He has it all. All he needs is to stay healthy and lead his team to the playoffs. It's not hard to imagine him being the league's best in a few years.