Ranking the best point guards in the NBA today

The game has changed significantly over the last few years. It has gone from a big man’s league to a place where point guards dominate the game. Not only are they called upon to run the offense, but most are needed to be primary scorers as well. No better year exemplified the change in the role of the point guard than 2014-15. Three lead guards finished in the top six in MVP voting while five of them finished in the top 10 in scoring.

Here is my ranking of the best starting point guards in the NBA today

Note: these rankings are based off what each player did during the 2014-15 season.

30. Dante Exum, Utah Jazz

Exum was thrust into the starting lineup midway through the season and had a hard time adjusting. He did have some nice moments along the way and has the potential to be an effective lead guard. One of his best games came in a March win over Brooklyn when he finished with 14 points on 5-for-6 shooting from the floor, including 4-for-4 from 3-point range. He added four rebounds, an assist and a block in 27:42.

For the season, he appeared in 82 games and averaged  4.8 points on 34.9 percent shooting with 2.4 assists and 1.6 rebounds in 22.2 minutes.

29. Ish Smith, Philadelphia 76ers

Smith landed with the 76ers after he was waived by the New Orleans Pelicans late in the season and had some nice moments after he landed in the starting lineup. One of his best games came in a March loss to the Toronto Raptors when he totaled 19 points on 8-for-13 shooting to go along with nine assists and five rebounds in 27:29.

During his time in Philadelphia, he appeared in 25 games and averaged 12 points on 39.8 percent shooting with 6.1 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 27.1 minutes.

28. Jose Calderon, New York Knicks

A combination of injuries and a terrible roster really hurt Calderon this past season. He missed 40 games and couldn’t get his shot to fall inside the arc when he was on the floor. One of his best games came in a December loss to Brooklyn when he registered 19 points on 7-for-9 shooting to go along with seven assists, two rebounds and two steals in 32:10.

For the season, he appeared in 42 games and averaged 9.1 points on 41.5 percent shooting with 4.7 assists and 3.0 rebounds in 30.2 minutes.

27. Zach LaVine, Minnesota Timberwolves

LaVine handled the point guard duties after Ricky Rubio went down and showed of his amazing athleticism. While he has elite level bounce, he is still coming into his own as a lead guard. One of his best games of the season came in an April loss to the Golden State Warriors when he finished with 37 points on 13-for-21 shooting from the floor, including 6-for-10 from distance. He added nine rebounds and four assists in 44:45.

For the season, he appeared in 77 games and averaged 10.1 points on 42.2 percent shooting with 3.6 assists and 2.8 rebounds in 24.7 minutes.

26. Marcus Smart, Boston Celtics

Smart took over the point guard duties when Rajon Rondo got traded and showed that he could be an impressive defender. One of his best showings of the year came in a March loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder when he recorded 25 points on 8-for-14 shooting, including 7-for-12 from 3-point land. He added nine rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks in 36:32.

For the season, he appeared in 67 games and averaged 7.8 points on 36.7 percent shooting with 3.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.5 steals in 27 minutes.

25. Patrick Beverley, Houston Rockets

Beverly got hit by the injury bug again in 2014-15, but had a very solid season when he was on the floor. One of his best outings came in a November win over the Dallas Mavericks when he had 20 points on 6-for-11 shooting from distance to go along with five rebounds, two assists and a steal in 30:38.

For the season, he appeared in 56 games and averaged 10.1 points on 38.3 percent shooting with 4.2 rebounds, 3.4 asists and 1.1 steals in 30.8 minutes.

24. Elfrid Payton, Orlando Magic

Payton got handed the keys to the car early in the season and proved that he could be a very versatile player. He had 12 double-doubles and two triple-doubles during his rookie campaign. One of his best games of the season came in a march win over the Portland Trail Blazers when he had 22 points on 10-for-13 shooting from the floor. He added 10 rebounds, 10 assists and four steals in 36:35.

For the season, he appeared in all 82 games and averaged 8.9 points on 42.5 percent shooting with 6.5 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.7 steals in 30.4 minutes.

23. Rajon Rondo, Dallas Mavericks

Rondo was in the middle of another solid season with the Boston Celtics when he was traded of to the Dallas Mavericks. While he shot the ball better in Dallas, he never fit into the system and he struggled the rest of the way. One of his best showing of the season came in his January return to Boston when he had 29 points on 12-for-19 shooting, including 5-for-7 from 3-point range. He added six rebounds, five assists and a steal in 34:53.

During his time with the Mavericks, he appeared in 46 games and averaged 9.3 points on 43.6 percent shooting with 6.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.2 steals in 28.7 minutes.

22. Jordan Clarkson, Los Angeles Lakers

Clarkson started the second half of the season for the struggling Lakers and showed that he could lead a team as a rookie. One of his best games of the year came in a  March loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder when he had 30 points on 12-for-19 shooting from the floor, including 2-for-3 from distance. He added seven assists, four rebounds, three blocks and a steal in 36:23.

For the season, he appeared in 59 games and averaged 11.9 points on 44.8 percent shooting with 3.5 assists and 3.2 rebounds in 25 minutes.

21. Deron Williams, Brooklyn Nets

While he was still a solid playmaker, Williams had his worst shooting season of his NBA career. That translated into his second lowest scoring output and the lowest since his rookie year. One of his best games of the year came in a March win over Toronto when he had 31 points on 11-for-18 shooting from the floor, including 5-for-7 from beyond the arc. He added 11 assists and a rebound in 38:18.

For the season, he appeared in 68 games and averaged 13 points on 38.7 percent shooting with 6.6 assists and 3.5 rebounds in 31.1 minutes.

20. Michael Carter-Williams, Milwaukee Bucks

Carter-Williams was having another nice statistical season in Philadelphia before he was unexpectedly traded to the Bucks at the trade deadline. While his minutes were down with the Bucks, his shooting numbers improved. One of his best outings of the season came in a March win over the 76ers when he had 30 points on 11-for-17 shooting from the floor. He added five assists, five rebounds, three steals and a block in 30 minutes.

For his time with the Bucks, he appeared in 25 games and averaged 14.1 points on 42.9 percent shooting with 5.6 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals in 30.3 minutes.

19. Jrue Holiday, New Orleans Pelicans

Holiday had another difficult season because of injuries, but played very well when he was on the floor. One of his best outings of the year came in a December loss to the Golden State Warriors when he had 30 points on 50 percent shooting to go along with nine assists, five steals, three rebounds and a block in 45:26.

For the season, he appeared in 40 games and averaged 14.8 points on 44.6 percent shooting with 6.9 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 32.6 minutes.

18. Darren Collison, Sacramento Kings

Collison had a hard time staying healthy, but when he was on the floor he did some really good things. One of his best games of the year came in a December win over the New York Knicks when he had 27 points on 9-for-10 shooting from the floor, including 3-for-3 from distance. He added 10 assists, two steals and a rebound in 42:57.

For the season, he appeared in 45 games and averaged 16.1 points on 47.3 percent shooting with 5.6 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 34.8 minutes.

17. Kemba Walker, Charlotte Hornets

Walker had the worst 3-point shooting season of his young career (30.4 percent), but still put up some big numbers for the Hornets. One of his best showings of the year came in a December loss to the Orlando Magic when he had 42 points on 15-for-31 shooting from the floor. He added seven assists, three rebounds and a block in 42:09.

For the season, he appeared in 62 games and averaged 17.3 points on 38.5 percent shooting with 5.1 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.4 steals in 34.2 minutes.

16. George Hill, Indiana Pacers

Even though Hill missed a good part of the season, he had one of his most productive seasons in the NBA. One of his best games of the year came in an April loss to the Boston Celtics when he registered 30 points on 11-for-18 shooting from the floor. He added eight assists, five rebounds and a steal in 34:46.

For the season, he appeared in 43 games and averaged 16.1 points on 47.7 percent shooting with 5.1 assists, 4.2 rebounds a 1.0 steals in 29.5 minutes.

15. Brandon Jennings, Detroit Pistons

While his overall numbers don’t show it, Jennings was in one of the best stretches of his young career when he got injured. One of his best games of the season came in a January win over the Orlando Magic when he had 24 points on 10-for-21 shooting with 21 assists in 32:49.

For the season, he appeared in 41 games and averaged 15.4 points on 40.1 percent shooting with 6.6 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 28.6 minutes.

14. Ty Lawson, Denver Nuggets

Even though the Nuggets struggled in the loaded Western Conference, Lawson had a nice year. One of his best showings of the season came in a February win over the Los Angeles Lakers when he had 32 points on 60 percent shooting from the floor. He added 16 assists, three rebounds and two steals in 44:52.

For the season, he appeared in 75 games and averaged 15.2 points on 43.6 percent shooting with 9.6 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 35.5 minutes.

13. Goran Dragic, Miami Heat

After another really good shooting start for the Phoenix Suns, Dragic was moved to the Miami Heat at the trade deadline. He proved to be a solid even though he did shoot great from 3-point range. One of his best games of the season came in a February win over the Philadelphia 76ers when he had 23 points on 9-for-14 shooting from the floor. He added 10 assists, two rebounds and two steals in 33:03.

During his time with the Heat , he appeared in 26 games and averaged 16.6 points on 50.2 percent shooting with 5.3 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 34.8 minutes.

12. Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls

While he still had injury concerns, Rose played in his most games since 2010-11 and showed glimpses of why he won the league MVP. One of his best games came in a 16-point win over the Boston Celtics when he had 29 points on 12-for-20 shooting from the floor, including 5-for-8 from distance. He added 10 assists, three rebounds, two blocks and a steal in 32:48.

For the season, he appeared in 51 games and averaged 17.7 points on 40.5 percent shooting with 4.9 assists and 3.2 rebounds in 30 minutes.

11. Eric Bledsoe, Phoenix Suns

Even though the season ended with the Suns missing the playoffs again, Bledsoe had an impressive season. One of his best showings of the year came in a December loss to the Los Angeles Clippers when he had 27 points on 50 percent shooting to go along with 16 assists, 11 rebounds, two steals and two blocks in 45:22.

For the season, he appeared in 81 games and averaged 17 points on 44.7 percent shooting with 6.1 assists, 5.2 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 34.6 minutes.

10. Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs

Even though his minutes were cut back to the lowest of his career, Parker had another solid season for the Spurs. One of his best games of the year came in an 11-point win over the Chicago Bulls when he recorded 32 points on 13-for-19 shooting from the floor. He added four rebounds, two assists and two steals in 30:27.

For the season, he appeared in 68 games and averaged 14.4 points on 48.6 percent shooting with 4.9 assists and 1.9 rebounds in 28.7 minutes.

9. Mike Conley, Memphis Grizzlies

While his numbers don’t jump off the page (since the Grizzlies have such a balanced team), Conley is one of the elite lead guards in the game today. One of his best outings of the year came in a five-point win over the Philadelphia 76ers when he totaled 36 points on 13-for-22 shooting from the floor, including 5-for-9 from distance. He added nine assists and three rebounds in 42:21.

For the season, he appeared in 70 games and averaged 15.8 points on 44.6 percent shooting with 5.4 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 31.8 minutes.

8. Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors

Lowry had one of the best seasons of his career this past season. He made the all-star game for the first time and put up big numbers as the Raptors made it to the playoffs. One of his best showings came in a 19-point win over the Utah Jazz when he had 39 points on 13-for-22 shooting from the floor, including 4-for-5 from 3-point land. He added five rebounds, four assists and a steal in 37:34.

For the season, he appeared in 70 games and averaged 17.8 points on 41.2 percent shooting with 6.8 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 34.5 minutes.

7. Jeff Teague, Atlanta Hawks

Teague was a huge reason why the Hawks won 60 games and made it to the Eastern Conference finals. He earned his first all-star game appearance thanks to his ability to lead the best team Atlanta has seen in a long time. One of his best outings came in a 10-point win over the Miami Heat when he scored 27 points on 8-for-11 shooting from the floor. He added six assists, five rebounds and three steals in 33:30.

For the season, he appeared in 73 games and averaged 15.9 points on 46 percent shooting with 7.0 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 1.7 steals in 30.5 minutes.

6. Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers

Lillard had another special season running the show for Portland. He made his second consecutive all-star game and helped to lead the shorthanded Blazers to the playoffs. One of his best games of the season came in a four-point win over the Oklahoma City Thunder when he totaled 40 points on 11-for-21 shooting from the floor, including 8-for-12 from the 3-point line. He added 11 assists, six rebounds and two steals in 45:46.

For the season, he appeared in all 82 games and averaged 21 points on 43.4 percent shooting with 6.2 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 35.7 minutes.

5. John Wall, Washington Wizards

Wall carried the Wizards to the second round of the playoffs after another outstanding season. While he still doesn’t have great touch from the perimeter, he is one of the top pass guards in the game today. One of his best showings of the season came in a two-point win over the Indiana Pacers when he had 31 points on 11-for-21 shooting from the floor. He added 10 assists, six rebounds, three steals and a block in 42:54.

For the season, he appeared in 79 games and averaged 17.6 points on 44.5 percent shooting with 10 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 1.7 steals in 35.9 minutes.

4. Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers

Irving had one of his best shooting seasons since coming into the league and is the No. 2 option on the team who won the East. He made his third straight all-star game and earned third-team all-NBA. His best game of the season came in a three-point win over the San Antonio Spurs when he had 57 points on 20-for-32 shooting from the floor, including 7-for-7 from distance. He added five assists, four steals and three rebounds in 46:34.

For the season, he appeared in 75 games and averaged 21.7 points on 46.8 percent shooting with 5.2 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 36.4 minutes.

3. Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers

Even though the Los Angeles Clippers couldn’t get out of the second round of the playoffs, Paul had a great season. He led the league in assists per game for the fourth time, made his eighth straight all-star game and earned all-NBA second-team. He also made first-team all-defense for the fourth year in a row. One of his best outings of the year came in a four-point win over Portland when he had 41 points on 13-for-21 shooting from the floor, including 5-for-9 from 3-point land. He added 17 assists, five rebounds and four steals in 39:24.

For the season, he averaged 19.1 points on 48.5 percent shooting with 10.2 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 1.9 steals in 82 games.

2. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder

Westbrook almost single-handedly carried the Kevin Durant-less Oklahoma City Thunder to the playoffs. He made his fourth all-star game, led the league in scoring and was named all-NBA second-team. One of his best games came in a five-point win over the 76ers when he registered 49 points on 16-for-33 shooting from the floor and 16-for-20 from the free-throw line. He added 15 rebounds, 10 assists, three steals and a block in 42:24.

For the season, he appeared in 67 games and averaged 28.1 points on 42.6 percent shooting with 8.6 assists, 7.3 rebounds and 2.1 steals in 34.4 minutes.

1. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

Curry carried the load as the Golden State Warriors won 67 games ans earned a trip to the NBA finals. He made his second straight all-star appearance. made all-NBA first team and won the MVP. One of his best games came in a 14-point win over the Dallas Mavericks when he finished with 51 points on 16-for-26 shooting from the floor, including 10-for-16 from beyond the 3-point arc. He added four rebounds, four assists and a steal in 36:57.

For the season, he averaged 23.8 points on 48.7 percent shooting with 7.7 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 2.0 steals in 32.7 minutes.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s