2012-13 NBA Season Preview: Top 10 Point Guards

It is no secret that we are in the golden age of point guards in the NBA. Never has the league had this many point guards all playing at elite levels at the same time. Most of these stud point guards are in their prime but the scary part is that some are still in the early parts of their bright career. The point guard position is hard to judge because you need a good team around you to make plays. The average age of these 10 point guards is 26, and without Steve Nash in the equation it is 24. The NBA has to be ecstatic about this, as their league will have superstars for the next decade. This debate can go on for hours, but here are my top 10 point guards for the 2013 season:

10. Ricky Rubio – Minnesota Timberwolves (21 years old)

We had a small sample size of the Spanish sensation, but I saw all what I needed to see. The 21 year old has been playing basketball at a professional level since he was 14 years old. Sounds like a point guard prodigy to me. Playing in 41 games last year including 31 starts, Rubio looked like a wizard with the ball. The guy has all the upside in the world. He averaged 10 and eight in his rookie season and I believe he can easily put up close to 15 and 12 if he plays the majority of the game. The Timberwolves have a bright future with him and Kevin Love on their roster.

9. Ty Lawson – Denver Nuggets (24 years old)

Former UNC National Champion has established himself as a top tier point guard in the NBA. Only 24 years old, his points and assists have increased every season so far in his career, averaging 16 and six last year for Denver. He might not be no Carmelo Anthony, but he is definitely a corner pierce for this franchise that has an awesome nucleus of young players in Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Javele McGee, and Olympian Andre Iguodola. Lawson has great pieces around him to succeed and thrive in Denver this season.

8. Kyrie Irving – Cleveland Cavaliers (20 years old)

Kyrie showed last season he earned the right of being the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 draft. Winning the Rookie of the Year award and giving Cleveland hope for the future was all Kyrie did while being only 20 years old. Starting all 51 games he played in, he had no problem translating his game from college to the NBA. Averaging 18 and five during his rookie campaign while shooting 46 percent from the field and 40 percent from three, Kyrie is as cool as it comes. I met him on vacation over the summer and he is a levelheaded, laid-back guy who has his head on straight. Very bright future for the Jersey product.

 

7. Russell Westbrook – Oklahoma City Thunder (23 years old)

Surprised by Russell’s low ranking? Russell is one of the best scorers in the league and a freak athlete. I am not sold on his point guard skills compared to the other six in front of him. I am not one of those people who think Russell should shoot less because clearly the man can put the ball in the hoop averaging 23 points last season. He needs to increase his assists this season especially since he has one of the best teams in the league and that Durant guy also. Westbrook needs to work on his basketball IQ and cut out the turnovers. He is an elite player but needs to become a better natural point guard.

 

6. Tony Parker – San Antonio Spurs (30 years old)

Feels like Tony Parker has been in league forever but he is only 30 years old. He was a maestro with the Spurs last season leading them to the best record in the NBA. I will not be the one to doubt Gregg Popovich’s system and how he gets the best out of his players. This team played so fluidly with Parker at the point. He makes it look easy added with his leadership skills and championship experience, Parker is one of the league’s best.

5. Steve Nash  - Los Angeles Lakers (38 years old)

I have no problem saying that Steve Nash is the best point guard ever behind Magic Johnson. He is the best passer I have ever seen. He has averaged 10 or more assists in seven out of the last eight seasons (averaged 9.7 in the other), and has lead the league in five of those. The last two seasons with the Suns he averaged 11.4, which led the league, and 10.7 assists. Considering the team around him that is an absurd number. He is now with the league’s best shooting guard, best center, and a top five power forward. The sky is the limit this year for Nash as he runs the Lake show.

 

4. Rajon Rondo – Boston Celtics (26 years old)

 

Rondo has separated himself in Boston and is now the Celtics’ best player and face of the franchise. You can count on one hand how many people can keep up with him when he has the ball in his hands. His court vision is second to none and his fearlessness at the rim is what makes him special. If he gets a consistent jump shot, Rondo would be unguardable at the point guard position.

 

3. Derrick Rose – Chicago Bulls (24 years old)

There’s no doubting the 2011 MVP’s skills. He is a special talent and one of the many young superstars in the NBA. When he was at full health, Rose did it all for the Bulls. In only his third season, he lead the Bulls to the best record in the Eastern Conference while averaging 25 points and seven assists a game. He is a score first point guard like  Westbrook but still gets his team involved and one of the league’s best passers and playmakers. He is lightning with the ball in his hands and is fearless when going to the rim. Add all this to his polished jump shot and Rose is the real deal. A quiet leader who when healthy, is unstoppable.

 

2. Deron Williams - Brooklyn Nets (28 years old)

Deron is now entering the prime of his career with the face of the franchise for the new Brooklyn Nets. Williams does it all balancing his scoring ability and elite passing to be one of the league’s best floor generals. He can shoot the ball from anywhere on the court, get to the rim and make unbelievable passes. Averaging eight points on a terrible Nets team is a feat in itself, but Williams averaged 21 points; the Nets clearly have their franchise player. Deron is different than all the other elite point guards in that he really hasn’t been on a great team so far in his career. I don’t know if I would call the Nets a great team yet but he now has the opportunity to make some magic in Brooklyn.

 

1. Chris Paul – Los Angeles Clippers (27 years old)

Out of all the previous elite point guards in NBA this season, CP3 stands out at the best. He is an unquestioned leader of the Clippers and of Team USA. His basketball IQ is second to none as he is the best floor general in the game. Averaging nearly 20 and 10 last year (19.8 and 9.1), CP3 does it all. He has lead the league in steals per game two seasons in a row and four out of the last five. He can shoot from everywhere on the court and has a pretty good big man in Blake Griffin to pass too and run the floor with. One of the good guys in the NBA who is a family man and a role model. Chris Paul is the league’s best and smartest point guard.

 

 

 

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