Year two of the AimezingNBA rank has began. It will start by naming the top five point guards in the NBA
5. Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Westbrook averaged 23.6 points per game, just under six assists per game, just under five rebounds per game and just under two steals per game, while shooting 45.7 percent from the field during the 2012 regular season. He averaged 23.1 points per game, just under six assists per game, just under six rebounds per game, and just under two steals per game while shooting 43.5 percent from the field during the 2012 postseason. Westbrook had his postseason career high in points in Game 4 of the 2012 NBA Finals scoring 44 points in a loss to the Miami Heat. Westbrook is a two-time NBA All-Star and has never missed a game in his four year career. He is arguably the most athletic player in the league. He is able to explode to the basket effectively finishing with contact and posterizing opponents. He is also a great on ball defender and posses an improving mid-range pull-up jumpshot. Yet it is obvious that he is not a natural point guard because he lacks a high basketball IQ. He is yet to learn how to create a shot for a teammate using 10-15 seconds on the shot clock, has not been able to master the pick and roll with his big men, especially Serge Ibaka. It was quite apparent this summer at the 2012 Olympics that Westbrook tends to get out of control when trying to make a play. He plays with confidence and has a with a chip on his shoulder and often is too aggressive as a point guard. At age 23 he is in the elite class of NBA point guards but still has much to improve on to be considered the best.
4. Deron Williams of the Brooklyn Nets. Williams averaged 21 points per game, just under nine assists per game, just over three rebounds per game, and just over one steal per game while shooting 40.7 percent from the field during the 2012 regular season. Williams was not able to lead an injury plagued Nets team to the postseason but did record the league’s highest individual point total of the season when he scored 57 points against the league’s worse team the Charlotte Bobcats. Williams is arguably the best point guard in the league because he can create scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates but it seems that he is not the ideal leader of a team. In a conference in which teams with .500 records or below compete for the eight spot in the postseason, Williams for as good a player as he is does not have a valid reason for his Nets not making even a slight run for a playoff berth. Williams is a seasoned veteran and is talented enough to be number one on this list yet seems comfortable at not doing the things beyond playing the actual game that would put him at the top.
3.*Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls. Rose averaged 21.8 points per game, just under eight assists per game, just over three rebounds per game, and less than one steal per game while shooting 43.5 percent from the field during the 2012 regular season. Rose was injured in the Bull’s first postseason game, tearing his ACL and leaving the game in the fourth quarter after securing a victory and tallying 23 points, nine assists, and nine rebounds. Rose is the only player on this list with an NBA Most Valuable Player award and may be the best overall player at this position. If you gave Allen Iverson the right attitude and a bigger more durable body then you have Rose. He accepts the challenge of being the face of franchise and representing for his hometown city. But he plays the wrong position. His scoring ability is not equivalent to his ability to make his teammates better. His on ball defense is hidden because the Bull’s have such a great defensive team. He does have the ability to make big shots but his ability to truly lead a team from the point guard position is what keeps him from being number one.
2. Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics. Rondo averaged just under 12 points per game, just under 12 assists per game, just under five rebounds per game, and just under two steals per game while shooting 44.8 percent from the field during the 2012 regular season. Rondo averaged just over 17 points per game, just under 12 assists per game, just under seven rebounds per game, and just over two steals per game while shooting 46.8 percent from the field during the 2012 postseason. Rondo had one of the best individual performances in NBA history in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals scoring 44 points, passing for 10 assists, and grabbing eight rebounds in the loss. Rondo is by far the best all-around point guard in the league. He is a great leader and defender because he can pressure guards and play the passing lanes. Rondo biggest weakness is still his inconsistent ability to shoot free throws and jumpshots in general. In Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals Rondo made a variety of clutch jumpshots. Although Rondo is the only player on the list with a championship ring he had the liberty of playing with three future Hall of Famers. He mastered the art of putting the ball where the ‘Big 3’ like it best. If he is still averaging almost 12 assists per game with players who are not as nearly as good as those three and can continue to improve as a mid-range jump shooter than he will be the best point guard in the league.
1. Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers. Paul averaged just under 20 points per game, a little over nine assists per game, just under four rebounds per game, and just under three steals per game while shooting 47.8 percent from the field. Paul averaged just under 18 points per game, just under eight assists per game, a little more than five rebounds per game, and almost three steals per game while shooting 42.7 percent from the field during the 2012 postseason. He finished third in voting for MVP because he led the Clippers to their first winning season and playoff berth since 2006. Paul is a good on-ball defender, plays with a chip, makes his teammates better, and has a reliable mid-range jumpshot. Paul is also arguably the most clutch player in the league because he can score in late-game situations and when he doesn’t score create plays for his teammates to score. Paul’s only advantages over Rondo is that he is a much better shooter and that he makes all his teammates play to their offensive potential.