Friday, May 28, 2010

Top 10 Point Guards - 30 Years

I admit it - I like lists. So after putting together my all MLB and NBA teams, the next logical step is to rank the top players at each position. I will again start with the NBA, since the season is hitting its final stretch. MLB will be next...with that, here are the


10. Chris Paul - Paul has taken the NBA by storm in his first five seasons. Paul will undoubtedly climb this list and will bring Deron Williams along with him. Paul is not on any career lists yet, but at 19.3 PPG and 10.0 APG, he is on pace to get there.

9. Mark Jackson - Kids might know him more as an analyst, but Mark "Action" Jackson was a deft distributor of the basketball for the New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers. Jackson ranks #3 on the all-time NBA total assists list (8.0 APG) - try that one as a trivia question with your friends. Jackson is by far the lowest scorer on the list (9.6 PPG)

8. Tim Hardaway - Hardaway quarterbacked the best Golden State teams of the past 30 years and then moved on to be a playoff fixture in Miami. #13 on the career assists list (8.2 APG), Hardaway, despite an awkward shot, was an excellent scorer when needed (17.7 PPG).

7. Steve Nash - Nash could be higher, but has never played in an NBA finals and there needs to be some inflation for the Phoenix system when looking at straight stats. That being said, Nash is an underrated scorer (14.6 PPG) and shooter (48.9 FG%). Nash currently ranks #8 on the all-time assists list (8.3 APG) and could finish his career as high as #3.

6. Kevin Johnson - KJ was more of a scoring PG (17.9 PPG), ranking only 17th all-time in total assists (9.1 APG), but for a good stretch he was a top 3 PG in the league, and did not play as long as others on this list.

5. Jason Kidd - Possibly the best pure passer on this list, Kidd is #2 all-time in assists (9.2 APG) and #4 in steals. Kidd's two finals appearances keep him this high despite his inability to consistently shoot (40.3% FG). Kidd is also one of the two best rebounders on this list (6.6 RPG) and does score enough (13.6 PPG).

4. Gary Payton - "The Glove" not only talked a good game, but backed it up on the court. Payton ranks #7 in assists (6.7 APG), #3 in steals, was a great scorer (16.3 PPG, skewed by trying to play too long) and a tremendous defender. Payton is on the long list of players who likely would have a ring if #23 and #33 on some team in the "Windy City" would not have teamed up to dominate during their prime years.

3. Isiah Thomas - He was an average coach and an awful GM, a little bit of a crybaby too. But "Zeke" could play and led the Pistons to two NBA championships, which is two more than the 7 players previously listed here. #6 all-time in total assists (9.3 APG) and #14 in steals, Thomas could also score when needed (19.2 PPG) and well, he also had a great smile.

"The Magic Man" vs "The Pasty Gangsta"
Point guard supremacy comes down to Earvin Johnson and John Stockton. They both wore short shorts. They both could thread a needle. One of them ran "Showtime". The other popularized basketball's most fundamental play, the "Pick 'n' Roll". Stockton is #1 in career assists and steals, averaged 13.1 PPG and shot 51.5% from the field. Magic is #4 in assists, #15 in steals, averaged 19.5 PPG and shot 52% from the field. Magic does outpace Stockton is assists/game 11.2 to 10.5, was a far superior rebounder, and as we are well aware, had his career cut short way too soon. While this one is very close to call, in the end, the biggest difference as it often is in sports is...

2. John Stockton - 0 Titles
1. Magic Johnson - 5 Titles

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