Lately, there has been some serious debate regarding the best point guards in the Eastern Conference and who should be crowned No.1 overall. The list has drawn down to Kyle Lowry and John Wall— two players who have performed on an MVP caliber level this season. Jr. Williams and Keith Rivas join forces once again to discuss their choice of the best point guard in the east.
John Wall (Washington Wizards) and Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors)
Keith Rivas: When it comes to picking the best players per position in the Western Conference, obvious favorites like Steph Curry, Damian Lillard, and even Chris Paul have their name thrown into the hat. But on the Eastern side of things, minus LeBron James and all the noise that comes with him, it’s up to the young guns to make something, if anything of the conference.
This season we’ve seen two great point guards rise up to the challenge of being a champion. Now that the Miami Heat’s Big 3 has been spread apart thanks to the departure of King James, the East seems open to really anybody–and the Wizards and Raptors know that full well.
On the season, Wall has provided stability that has seriously been lacking in Washington, at least in recent memory. On Toronto’s side of things Kyle Lowry doesn’t bring stability as much as he brings raw talent. The Raptors have been in need of someone who can pull of slick buzzer-beaters, control the tempo of the game, and most importantly play as a team member–and now they have their guy.
These scenarios have allowed for a 1-2 punch in the East. As it stands now, the Raptors hold the top spot, but they are clinging to it for dear life because the Wizards have moved up to number two in the standings; a mere two games separating the squads.
The reason I picked both of these stellar players instead of just one is because at this point I feel as though you couldn’t really fairly say who’s better than the other. Both are dealing with sub-par counterparts that are playing surprising and exceptional basketball. For me what will be the determining factor, at least in the Eastern Conference, is how these players (and their respective teams) fare towards the coming of the playoffs.
What does this mean? The fun is just getting started.
Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors)
Jr. Williams: Selecting the top point guard in the East right now is a simple choice for me– its Kyle Lowry. Sure, John Wall has tallied up stellar numbers for his team while leading them in points, steals, and assists per game–good enough to rank the Wizards No.2 in the Eastern Conference. Unfortunately, he hasn’t lead his team to victories against some of the top teams in the league. During the month of November, the Wizards dropped all but a single game to teams with a winning percentage over .500, including a 103-84 blow-out loss to the Toronto Raptors–a game in which he shot 3-13 from the field. While a single bad game shouldn’t be held against him, Wall still has to prove himself as the season continues to progress while Lowry stands on firmer ground.
Still, I find it difficult to reward a player for performing well against bad teams and losing to good teams. Besides, the Atlanta Hawks have quietly climbed the standings to emerge as one of the best teams in the East, and are looking to overtake the Wizards for the No.2 spot very soon.
I wouldn’t get caught up in the John Wall hype when in fact Kyle Lowry continues to carry a heavier load in the wake of an injured DeMar DeRozan, and averaging 19.6 ppg, 7.8 apg, and 4.6 rpg while his team has surprisingly managed to hold down the No.1 spot in both the Atlantic division and Eastern Conference. The Wizards are fools gold; the Raptors and Hawks are the real deal. Lowry gets the nod because he helped to lead his team in victories versus the Grizzlies, Hawks, Wizards, and Cavaliers–some of the best teams in the NBA.
When it all boils down to wins and losses, Lowry remains the most efficient point guard in the East. He ranks No.6 in assist to turnover ratio and has reached career numbers in ppg and apg. The Raptors will more than likely own the Wizards throughout their regular season matchup, while the Wizards might find themselves dropping to the No.4 spot behind the Atlanta Hawks and Cleveland Cavaliers. Lowry is the man, hands down.