Top 5 Point Guards In The 2013 NBA Postseason
Top 5 Point Guards In The 2013 NBA Postseason
The NBA playoffs are underway and over the last couple of years, guard play has dominated. It seems we forget just how much a point guard can determine the tide of a series. Point guards are relied on to do so much for a team that often they get overshadowed by the dominant scorers of the league.
One thing is tough to overlook though, and that is when a team has an elite point guard, they hold a distinct advantage. You can often tell the difference between the two also. The elite point guard is getting his big time scorers involved early while the mediocre one is just looking for his own shot. One guard is locking down the opposing team’s best ball handler while the other is saving his energy on defense so he can shoot it some more.
Having that one guard who can make an entire offense run is so integral to postseason success even though it sometimes goes unnoticed. In the next game you watch, make sure you pay attention to how much a point guard affects the flow of the game. When the defensive intensity amps up, that player who was always open in the regular season is suddenly shadowed by a hard-nosed defender. That center who was always getting in deep in the regular season, suddenly he can’t back down into the paint. This is when the point guards are at their most crucial in need. This is when they must find a way to get the defense running circles.
Here are the five best at doing that in these 2013 NBA Playoffs.
5. Stephen Curry
The Warriors lost on a buzzer beater to the Nuggets in game one, but the only reason they were there in the first place is because of Stephen Curry’s ultra clutch three point shot to tie it with seconds to go. Curry has evolved from good player into an NBA superstar this year because of his evolution as a passer, playmaker and most of all the return of the deadly shot that made him such a nightmare to guard in college. With David Lee out for the season, it’s all on Curry to keep his team's hopes alive but it shouldn’t be a shocker if he does because he is very used to the task.
4. James Harden
Not a point guard by trade, but James Harden is most definitely the point guard of the Rockets. His ability to split a double team and find the open man is uncanny and few find their way to the free throw line better than Harden does. He also shows off unlimited range from 3-point territory and knows how to get his team involved as well. He faces a tough task against the Thunder, but if the Rockets have chance at an upset, it will be a Harden led one.
3. Russell Westbrook
Love him or hate him, Russell Westbrook is the motor by which the Oklahoma City Thunder machine runs. He has managed to keep Kevin Durant and company involved heavily all season while still finding his way to the hoop and punishing teams with a mid-range jumper that is deadlier than any other point guard can boast. Add to this his suffocating defense and penchant for exciting the home crowd with acrobatic moves through traffic and you have yourself one of the most captivating point guards in this postseason.
2. Tony Parker
Some would say Tony Parker is a scoring guard. Some say he doesn’t really make his teammates better. Some also don’t watch basketball at all because you cannot deny how good Parker has been this year when healthy. Having one of his most efficient seasons in years, Parker could have been considered the MVP this year if not for the magic of LeBron James. His scoring opens up the court for others to take open shots, and there is a reason the Spurs are the best team inside the paint this year. Parker finds players down low as well as anyone in the league.
1. Chris Paul
Simply one of the best point guards to ever play, Chris Paul’s execution on the court at this point is nothing short of astounding. Vastly undersized, Paul continues to find a way to hoop effortlessly while setting up his teammates with the most perfect of can’t miss shots. Paul’s ability to draw fouls and get to any spot on the court he wants via his elite ball handling also makes him a serious problem for whatever team is unlucky enough to face him. As the essential quarterback of the Los Angeles Clippers, Paul has to make the right plays down the stretch of games when they are close, and he almost always makes the right pass or the right shot. In this new age where postseasons are dominated by guard play, Paul is the #1 threat at the position.
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