The 10 best Point Guards in the NBA (2015)
The NBA is loaded with great point guards. In this article I will discuss some of these players and rank them accordingly.
Russell Westbrook is the premier point guard in the NBA right now. His athleticism is off the charts; aside from Lebron James he may be the most athletic player in the NBA. Often criticized for not playing like a traditional guard, Russell proved his worth by outplaying proved point guards Tony Parker and Chris Paul in the 2014 playoffs. The scary thing about Russell Westbrook is that he still can become a much better player. Despite missing a significant amount of games to start the 2015 season, Westbrook is proving to be an MVP candidate while averaging 26.2 and 7.1 assists per game.
Being one half of the acclaimed "Splash Brothers," Steph Curry is without a doubt one of the purest shooters the game has ever seen. In 2013, Curry set an NBA record by making 272 three point field goals in the regular season. In a short period of time he has proven his ability as a premier point guard leading the Warriors to a 30-5 start in the 2014-2015 season. Averaging 23 points a game and over 8 assists a game, Curry is proving that he is more than just an elite shooter and makes the Warriors a contender going into the NBA playoffs.
For the past few years Chris Paul has been widely regarded as the top point guard in the game. Due to the improvements Steph Curry and Russell Westbrook have made in the past two years, I have Paul at number 3 on my list. Paul is a nightmare on defensive and is a perennial contender to lead the NBA in steals as well as assists. CP3 is a polished point guard and the unquestionable leader of the Los Angeles Clippers. Paul is often unselfish as a pass first point guard but has proven his ability to take over games offensively when the game is on the line. In order to retake his top spot as the NBA's best point guard, Paul with have to lead the talented Clippers to at least the championship finals to prove his doubters wrong.
After an incredible 2014 season where he was an MVP candidate and led the San Antonio Spurs to a World Championship, Tony Parker comes in at number 4 on my list. Tony Parker is not the most athletic player in the game but what he lacks in size and speed, Parker makes up with craftiness, heart and a high basketball IQ. In recent years, Parker has been forced to had step up as the leader for the Spurs since Tim Duncan has gotten older. When he is on top of his game, Parker's mid range jumpshots and floaters are hard to stop; making him a nightmare matchup for opposing point guards.
John Wall is another member of the latest generation of athletic point guards which has taken over the National Basketball Association. Despite being only 24 years old, Wall has proven to be a formidable force in the league. He is currently leading the Wizards to the second best record in the Eastern Conference (27-12). Wall is finally showing his true potential after having to miss games early in his career due to nagging ankle and knee injuries. In his fifth season, Wall has improved his game in many ways including three point shooting (Wall finished the 2013-2014 year shooting 35% percent from 3 point range).
In just his third season, Damian Lillard is one of the NBA's rising stars when it comes to point guards. In 2012, Lillard surprised everyone by winning the Rookie of the Year award coming from a small school like Weber State. Most notably, Lillard hit a series clinching three point field goal buzzer beater to beat the Houston Rockets in the 2014 playoffs. Along with the help of Lamarcus Aldridge, Lillard has helped made the Portland Trailblazers as an elite team in a loaded Western Conference with a record of 30-8 thus far into the 2015 NBA season.
Kyle Lowry is one of the most underrated point guards in the NBA right now. A part of it has to do with the fact that he is playing north of the border and doesn't attract as much media coverage and hype that the other point guards currently receive. Another reason may be that he is not a flashy player and isn't doesn't stand out as an athlete. All things considered, Lowry is a polished point who is currently leading the Raptors with the third best record in the Eastern Conference at 26-12 almost halfway into the 2015 season. Averaging 20.4 pts, 7.7 assists and 4.8 rebounds, Lowry is quietly putting together an MVP calibre season.
Similar to Kyle Lowry, Mike Conley is one of the most underrated point guards in the game right now. Although his skills don't always stand out, Conley is very consistent and has become a reliable force for the Memphis Grizzlies. In a conference full of elite point guards, Conley can hold his own against the best of them. Averaging 18.3 pts and 6.2 assists, Mike Conley has led the Memphis Grizzlies to a 27-11 record thus far into the 2015 season making them third best in the Western Conference. Every year Conley continues to improve his game. This year he has had career highs in scoring, shooting percentage and rebounding.
Kyrie Irving's talent has been undeniable since he stepped foot in the league. In 2011, Kyrie was drafted first overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers and put together a season worthy of the Rookie of the Year award. The only things holding Irving back in the NBA so far has been his injury prone reputation and his inability to make the playoffs. The latter is mostly due to the lack of talent the Cavaliers have had from 2011 to 2014. However, he no longer has that excuse this year as the Cavaliers added Kevin Love and Lebron James to the team. Despite the additions, the Cavaliers have a 19-20 record nearly halfway through the 2015 and I cannot put Irving higher than 9th on the list. This can change quickly if he can help lead the Cavaliers to a turnaround and reach his full potential as a player.
When healthy Derrick Rose is clearly an elite point guard in the NBA. However, health is the main question when it comes to Rose in recent years. In 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 Rose missed 115 out of 162 due to reoccuring knee injuries. For this reason, it was unclear where to put him on this list. The last time Derrick Rose was healthy for a whole season in 2011, he won the Most Valuable Player award. So far in 2015, he has played in 28 out of 40 games trying to get back to the MVP level and lead his Chicago Bulls into the playoffs.
This is by no means a concrete list of where the NBA point guards rank. There is an abundance of talent at the position and this is just my opinion based on what I have observed in the past years.