The Brooklyn Nets recently acquired point guard C.J. Watson from the Chicago Bulls. Watson proved to be a most reliable back-up for Derrick Rose, and will likely play that same role in Brooklyn behind Deron Williams, of whom Watson gave enormous praise in his press conference...
"I always thought Deron was the best point guard in the league, always playing against him, watching him...when everyone asks me who is the toughest point guard, I always say him." -Watson's comment when asked to compare Williams and Rose.
At first I thought we might discuss our own comparisons of Deron Williams and Derrick Rose, but frankly, there are so many talented point guards in the game today, opinions will surely vary as to who is the best overall. So, we've generalized this week's question:
If you could have any point guard right now to start a team with, who would it be and why?
MARTIN'S PICK: RAJON RONDO
Scoring point guards seem to be the new theme, and as a scorer, Rondo can be highly unorthodox. It's no secret he's not a good shooter, but he somehow finds ways to make the shots he needs to. Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals was a complete showcase of Rondo's scoring ability when he gave Miami 44 points on 16-24 shooting. His crafty play makes him a scoring threat going to the basket because of his nifty lay ups and floaters in the lane. Simply put, Rajon Rondo is a legitimate scoring threat.
Lastly and most importantly, give me Rajon Rondo because he is by far the best rebounding point guard in the NBA, maybe the best since Magic. This guy gets triple doubles like they give him bonuses for them, and he is as active on the glass as he is running the Celtics' offense. I guess what makes me want Rondo is his versatility as a point guard. He will go out and get you 15+ assists one night, and 15 rebounds the next, maybe both in the same night, all while doing the intangibles necessary to win basketball games.
JANAY'S PICK: DERON WILLIAMS
This was a tough one for me because I played this position my whole entire life. Point guards must posses leadership, defensive prowess, passing, and scoring. D-Will posses all of these qualities. Year after year he has proven himself as a top performer in this league.
Some people tend to categorize him as a scoring point guard, but I view him as more versatile. Throughout his career he has averaged about 19 points and 9 assists a game. He has a balanced floor attack that keeps other point guards on their toes. He was the first NBA player to average 20 points and 10+ assists in 5 straight playoff games. Although proven to be an All-Star in this league he has never been in the best situations regarding his team. The Utah Jazz did not give him the building blocks he needed to take them to the next level. The Brooklyn Nets have accommodated the star with All-Star talent, and I can't wait to see this team in their new spotlight.
Additionally, why not choose a point guard that most starters and back ups have been quoted on calling him the toughest. Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook have both commented on how physical he is which sets him apart from other point guards. I believe this year will be his breakout year to go along with his new stadium and city.
TOMMY'S PICK: KYRIE IRVING
Being that I played the point guard position since I was in grade school, answering this question was a little harder than I originally thought. The position that was once glorified by a great decision maker, a “floor general”, the guy that makes his teammates better first and foremost has begun to shift into a combo of explosive scoring as well. Surveying the field there’s about 5-6 guys I believe you can’t go wrong with, but if I’m a GM, I’m starting my franchise at the lead guard position with last year's number one overall pick: Kyrie Irving aka “Uncle Drew”.
Drafted to a franchise that had their hearts ripped out by LeBron James, who would have ever thought there would be so much promise in the Cavs' future and this soon. Well I believe Cleveland fans have a reason to hold their heads up again. Not a huge Duke fan to say the least, so I didn’t see much of Kyrie in college, but I heard all the hype. Skeptical at first, I soon became a believer. Winning Rookie of the Year honors last season, Kyrie averaged 18.5 ppg 3.7 boards and 5.4 assists. I’d like to see those assists increase, which should come in time as he gets better teammates around him and his game matures. Let’s not forget he plays for Cleveland. The combination of scoring and creating is there when you watch Kyrie. The dunks, the top 10 plays (and he had a few) are the things that keep fans on the edge of their seat. But when I look at Kyrie I see a combination of a couple great point guards; the handle of a Chris Paul and the shooting ability of Steve Nash. As a rookie, Kyrie shot 46% from the field and a shade under 40% from behind the arc at 39&. I’d take those numbers any day of the week. Standing 6’3 his ability to defend will continue to improve as he gets stronger and more comfortable with the game.
One of the stats that only aids my argument for Kyrie was Player Efficiency Rating or PER. Kyrie’s rookie season rating of 21.4 stacks up top 5 of ALL TIME only trailing Chris Paul, Walter Davis, Michael Jordan, and Oscar Robertson. Aside from Walter Davis who played for the Suns in the late 1970’s through the mid 80’s, take a minute and look at the names he’s just behind, including being ahead of Magic Johnson. If that’s not impressive enough, here's another stat. According to 82games.com, clutch time is when the game is in the balance of five points in either direction, with five minutes or less left in the fourth quarter or overtime. Kyrie LED the NBA in points per 48 minutes of clutch time, scoring 56.4 points per 48 minutes when the game is on the line. And this is six more points than the second place guy, Kevin Durant. Ball handle, check, shooting ability, check, ability to make others better, check, clutch gene, check. "Uncle Drew” is no joke and nothing short of the real deal. I believe the sky is the limit for this kid if they continue to build and put the right pieces around him. Because just around the corner will be the expectations to win. I don’t expect Kyrie to back down though, and at 20 years old he has only scratched the surface of his full potential in his NBA career. So with my pick we’ll have to see if he proves me right 3-4 years down the road, but I have all confidence the he will back it up. So Kobe Bryant may want to think twice before he puts 50K up against this young horse, he’s well on his way and I can hear the footsteps.