Top Point Guards Vol. 4
Finally, the last volume of the “Top Point Guards” series. Here are the top two point guards in the world…
Tony Parker’s numbers aren’t really exceptional, but that doesn’t matter. His control of the Spurs offense is out of this world. We all saw his performance in the Finals, the game-winner in game one and the near game-winning shots at the end of game six. It’s difficult to put his greatness into words because it is so subtle. A little dribble in the lane one way, and a perfectly timed pass that moves the defense that way. An in-depth film breakdown of every play is really the only way to see everything he does. But his accomplishments reflect his greatness: Three-time Finals Champion, Finals MVP, and three-time All-NBA. He and Tim Duncan were the most prolific duo of the 2000’s; they have kept the Spurs contending for twelve years (haven’t missed the playoffs since Parker entered the league).
His consistency and motivation are unmatched by point guards; although he seems older, at 30 years old, he still has a few more years to dominate at this level.
Alas, we have arrived. I can finally reveal the big mystery of my number one point guard. The best point guard from the 2007-08 season until now, has been Chris Paul. He led a poor New Orleans team to the playoffs three out of six years and has taken a Clippers team whose offense is “here Chris go create/throw a lob to Blake Griffin” for two straight seasons. I’m excited to see what he can do with a real coach. Even with Rivers, and the expected improvements of the Clippers team as a whole, Chris Paul’s best years may have already happened. From 2007 to 2010 he had no peer. In the 2008-09 season he averaged 22.8 points, 11 assists, 5.5 rebounds while shooting 50% with a 30.0 PER. To put that in perspective, in Magic Johnson’s best season he put up 23.9 PPG, 12.2 APG, 6.3 RPG while shooting 52% with a 27.0 PER. He did that on a team with Kareem Abdul-Jabaar and James Worthy while Paul had David West and Tyson Chandler. That 2008-09 season was sandwiched between two other stellar seasons by Paul and came after his best playoff run (24.1, 11.3, 4.9, 50%, 30.7 PER in 12 games). No point guard today comes close to him: among point guards last season he was 2nd in assists, 2nd in free throw percentage, 1st in steals, 1st in PER, 1st in assist percentage, 1st in win shares, and 1st in assist to turnover ratio. He has the best court vision along with the best handles and he controls the game better than anyone else. I could go on and on, there’s really no argument. The only knock on Paul has been his lack of playoff success; he’s never made it past the second round. But like I mentioned in Vol.1, winning in the NBA with a point guard as your best player is very hard, the only team that has done it in the past fifteen seasons is the 2004 Pistons.
At 28 years old Paul continues to do it all, and better than everyone else. He may never be able to put up numbers or dominate games like he did back in 2008, few ever have, but in these next few years I expect him to have the most team success he has ever had.