We are reaching the midway point of the NBA season and what better way to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of a player than dropping our list of the the top-5 NBA point guards in the league. The NBA writers here at Sports Unbiased were asked to provide their list of the top point guards in the NBA – here’s our definitive list ranked five through one.
#5. John Wall
Tim Snyder: After some whispers about him being a possible bust, Wall has taken the leap this year. He is averaging over 20 ppg and 8+ assists, while having the Wizards in the Eastern Conference mix. However, Wall would not make my list if Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, or Rajon Rondo were fully healthy, but injuries are a part of the game.
Tyler Triplett: Fresh off of signing a new contract with the Wizards, John Wall has been impressive this season, averaging nearly 20 points and 10 assists. He’s a freak athlete that uses his explosiveness to finish around the rim. His defense has improved and he uses his long arms to be disruptive and jump in passing lanes. If he can start to knock down outside jump-shots on a consistent basis, he’ll be almost unstoppable.
Blaine Hunkins: Wall has never been a great shooter, but he has one of the quickest first steps in the NBA. One of the few point guards that has a deadly crossover but doesn’t need to score in the paint. He has proven that he can pull up and make most mid range jumpers by shooting better than 42 percent from the field on a nightly basis.
Jr. Williams: John Wall couldn’t have ranked higher on my list, and at some point you have to award winning above having a less than okay regular season record. I have always been a believer in Wall’s ability to be one of the premier players in the league, sadly over the past seasons, he could never stay healthy long enough to solidify himself as an elite guard. Fast forward to the 2013-2014 NBA season, the Wizards are inching close to playing sub .500 basketball for the first time in years. Wall has also found his name among the MVP chatter. Hopefully he can continue his success and lead his team into the post season.
#4. Kyrie Irving:
Tyler Triplett: Kyrie Irving is one of the most exciting players to watch in the NBA. He’s one of the best one-on-one players in the league and his dribbling ability can put even the best defenders on roller skates. Kyrie is injury prone, and this has held him back in years past. If he can stay healthy, Cleveland can look forward to Kyrie breaking ankles for many years to come.
Alex Brooks: Irving is the Cavs right now, and he is doing the best he can with them. The way the East is going right now, the Cavs are still in playoff contention. His assist numbers could be better (only having six) but with his scoring load and the fact that many great point guards are hurt, Kryie makes the top five.
Blaine Hunkins: Irving is an amazing one on one player that is very clutch. He still hasn’t led the Cavs to the playoffs but with ample time, he could soon be the best point guard in the NBA.
#3. Damian Lillard:
Alex Brooks: He’s the leader of Portland Trail Blazers, and with them doing so well, he deserves some of the credit. Averaging 21 points, but just under six assists, we can see where he needs to improve, but with the way he is running that ship, he has to be top-5.
Jr. Williams: Lillard has lived up to his 2013 NBA Rookie of the Year honors in emphatic fashion and his emergence as one of the premiere points guards in the league hasn’t surprised me. He and teammate LaMarcus Aldridge are the only members from the same team listed among the top-15 scorers in the league. Lillard’s leadership and dissemination of some the most elite teams in the league have helped the Portland Trail Blazers shake-up the Western Conference. Lead by Lillard, the Trail Blazers are primed for a top playoffs position.
Tyler Triplett: Many predicted that Lillard would succumb to a sophomore slump after he won Rookie of The Year last year but boy were they wrong. Lillard has shown improvement this year and along with LaMarcus Aldridge, have the Blazers in contention for a top playoff seed. He’s a deadly shooter from 3-point range with a high basketball IQ. He’s also shown a knack for coming through in the clutch this year hitting multiple buzzer beaters and big shots in the 4th quarter.
Blaine Hunkins: Great team player that can shoot the three and use his strength to score. Only in his second year, he has brought the Trail Blazers back as one of the top teams in the West.
#2. Tony Parker:
Tim Snyder: Chris Paul may get all of the attention and MVP hype, but Tony Parker is the best point guard in the league. He’s the only current “star” point guard to lead his team to a championship, and he is consistently great year in and year out. More importantly, he always comes up clutch and carries the load on a night in – night out basis. Some may look at his low assist numbers or think that his stats could be better, but it shouldn’t be forgotten that he plays in a system offense that minimizes individual statistics.
Tyler Triplett:: Tony Parker is versatile veteran with a championship pedigree. He’s deadly in the pick and roll with Tim Duncan and can finish around the hoop better than most players his size. After struggling with his outside shot early in his career, he’s become one of the best mid-range shooters in the game.
Alex Brooks: Tony Parker: Parker is the leader of the Spurs and playing like one, averaging 18 points and six assist per game. The Spurs are second in the west to OKC, and Parker is the leading factor so he deserves some of the credit. The way he played in the finals last year and how he carried it over, it would be difficult to not have him in the top five.
Blaine Hunkins: Age is nothing but a number. Parker has proven that he can still score at the age of 31. He is one of the quickest point guards in the NBA and has even shown that he can be clutch, as we saw him tear apart the Heat in the Finals last year.
Jr. Williams: Tony Parker is still one of the smartest and most crafty point guards in the NBA, and while his regular season box score stats wont impress many, he is a star known to shine brightest during the NBA post season. Parker is among the top scorers and assist men in the Western Conference and the Spurs are on their way to clinching a top NBA Playoffs seed for the 17th consecutive season.