Anyone who is a fan of basketball, regardless of the level of play, knows how important it is to have a point guard who can distribute the ball without turning it over. However, some talented players running the point in the NBA are turning heads with not only their ability to dish out dimes, but also with their ability to rebound and put the ball through the hoop. With their all around talent, they can control the game and even take over whenever their teams need them too. Here is a list of some of the premier point guards playing at the professional level.
Chris Paul – Because he is already in the midst of his fifth season in the NBA, it is easy to forget that he is only 24 years old. With three All-Star games (he started two of those games) and an Olympic gold medal already on his résumé, there is no question of how good CP3 is. He is averaging close to 20 points and 10 rebounds a game for his career, along with 4.7 rebounds and only 2.57 turnovers per game. However, he is not only an offensive powerhouse. Last season, he broke the record for the most consecutive games played with a steal (108 games), proving how pesky a defender he is on the other end of the court. Standing at an even 6 feet tall, he is a bit undersized, but his skill set and athleticism allow him to have his way whenever he steps onto the court.
Deron Williams – Because he entered the league the same year as Paul, not as much attention was given to the point guard who took Illinois deep into the NCAA tournament. However, he has certainly made a name for himself in Utah, especially in gutsy playoff performances against Houston and Golden State in 2007 in which he showed he can score at will if his team needs it. This season, his numbers are better in every major statistical category except for free throw shooting, showing that he is still getting better and is far from reaching his prime. He is the best guard the Utah Jazz has had since John Stockton, and the rest of the league knows it.
Brandon Jennings – This young guard is making a strong push for Rookie of the Year honors, as he has helped a Milwaukee Bucks franchise that has been mediocre over the past few seasons. Although he is not the prototypical pass-first point guard, his game is a better fit for the Bucks, who need more scorers. Michael Redd is injured and having a down year, limiting the team’s scoring options on the perimeter. If the Bucks want to make the playoffs this season, Jennings is going to have to keep up his level of play and carry the team.
Tyreke Evans – A big deal was made of where he would play at the college level, and most people expected him to head for the pros after just one year. Those people were right. Standing at 6 feet, 6 inches, Evans has the size for the position and can drive into the lane very well. He is a legitimate scoring threat, and it comes as no surprise that he has a scorer’s mentality instead of a passer’s.
Derrick Rose – Anyone who watched the playoff series between the Celtics and the Bulls last season witnessed what Rose can do when he is locked in. He does not have great numbers, but there is potential in this player. He took a young, inexperienced Chicago team and led it to a seven game set against then defending champions. Following a recent game against the Bulls, Lebron James said he likes to see Rose play and hopes he continues to get better so he can make the 2012 Olympic team. A player is obviously special when arguably the best player in the league is complimenting him like that.
Rajon Rondo – He probably receives the least attention of all the players on this list, but that is because of the star-studded cast surrounding him on the Boston Celtics. However, he was an integral part of that championship Celtic team in the 2007-’08 season. He helped the combination of Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce gel together, and he continues to do so. He does not have eye-popping statistics, but he can control a game and is smart with what he does with the basketball in his hands.
The point is arguably the most important position on a basketball team, and these players give their teams a chance to score whenever they dribble up the court. Being multitalented at the position is becoming increasingly important in the NBA, and these guards are setting the standard for just that.
Corey Marine is a senior communication major from New York. He can be reached at [email protected]