Point guards, point guards…..point guards. I think in recent years the position of a point guard has changed identity. What was once always considered a position where by the slightly small player would retrieve the rock from an inbound pass and take it up court and move it on to their teams higher skilled player.
In the season i started following the NBA, we had point guards such as John Stockton, Gary Payton, Anfernee Hardaway and Jason Kidd. These guys are all hall of famers or future hall of famers, but in my opinion were overshadowed by the shooting guards and power forwards of their respective teams. For years the slam dunk was considered THE show-boat move in basketball, it still is, but the pass has developed and evolved more so and now has become one of the most beautiful parts of any great play we see in game.
For me, the turning point for point guards was Steve Nash (then at the Phoenix Suns). He orchestrated his team with precision and beauty in his ball distribution. Not only did he pretty much single-handily escort the Suns into the playoffs each season…he is still doing this today, 16 years on with the Lakers.
This now leads me on to the point guards we have the pleasure in watching this season. This season has not the best for Bull’s fans as Derek Rose hasn’t been involved at all and doesn’t look like he will make a return for this season at all! This is also the new fate for the Celtic’s as Rajon Rondo is now out for a long period of time with the same injury as Rose. Along with Nash, these two points are all-stars and among the leading assist makers in the league. NBA fans wish them a speedy return! With those guys out, we have Chris Paul (Clippers, reigning all-star MVP) who is by far the most talented and skillful point guards out there. He is a player that is constantly on nba.com top plays. He sees passes before the reciever has even decided where he’s going. Russell Westbrook (OKC, 3x all-star) brings the power to the point guard. He has the hops and he has the distribution to match CP3. But for the level of difficulty and creativeness Chris paul edges this battle of the west. Lets not forget Tony Parker (spurs) has constantly provided for the spurs and even more so this season…could it be their season?. In the east we are blessed with some great rookies and sophomores. Kyrie Irving (Cleveland, reigning 3pt champ & rising star MVP) leads the way. His game looks more complete as the season moves on…we knew he could shoot, but to win the all-star 3pt contest! he is now starting to drive down the lane a dunk over some serious big men…another string to his bow. The future looks scarily good for this kid! Ricky Rubio (Wolves), Ty Lawson (Denver), Iman Shumpurt (Knicks) are smart passers, but haven’t provided for there teams as yet, due to fitness. But don’t take your eyes off Rubio, he is a magician on the court! If there is one guy that can enter his 2nd season next year like Kyrie Irving and thats Damian Lillard (Portland). This kid is leading the way to rookie of the year and is constantly coming up with the goods for the Trailblazers, whether its buzzer-beaters or a high scoring night. Irving, Lillard, Paul, Rondo and Rose are point guards with massive futures and have the talent to further evolve this position and to create something truly great for basketball.