Point Guard Rankings
Of the 30 starters in the NBA, 12 have been to an All-Star game and the list will grow by at least one with the terrific performance a third-year player is having this year.
Not typically a position for scorers, three different point guards are averaging 23 points per game or more, all while averaging over eight assists a night.
As 2010 comes to a close, here’s a ranking of the starting point guard rankings, from 30 to 1, and the impact they are expected to make in 2011.
Point Guard Rankings
30. Derek Fisher– Los Angeles Lakers
Totaling the lowest combination of points (7.2) and assists (2.6) per game of any player on this list, Derek Fisher isn’t even playing the fantastic defense that has been a staple of his game for so many years. With a season high of 14 points, Fisher has taken a step back offensively, but is still knocking down 43 percent of his shots beyond the arc.
Previous ranking: 27th
29. Baron Davis– Los Angeles Clippers
Even with the best young power forward to enter the league in years, Baron Davis is averaging the lowest assist total since his rookie year. Berated by coach Vinny Del Negro for lack of conditioning at the beginning of the season, Davis is now being heckled by Donald Sterling, the person cutting his paycheck.
Previous ranking: 15th
28. Mike Bibby– Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta desperately needs to upgrade it’s production from the point guard position. Disappointing seasons from Mike Bibby and Jeff Teague may force the team to make a move to get more production than the 14 points and six assists their current duo is averaging this season.
Previous ranking: 22nd
27. Carlos Arroyo– Miami Heat
Playing alongside two superstars that can handle the ball, Carlos Arroyo has found his place in Miami camping out beyond the arc and punishing teams for leaving him open. Leading the league in three-point percentage, Arroyo has been exactly the player the Heat expected him to be, an equalizer to allow the stars score a majority of the points.
Previous ranking: unranked
26. Luke Ridnour– Minnesota Timberwolves
Filling in for the injured Jonny Flynn, Luke Ridnour hasn’t produced enough to make a case to remain the starter. Averaging 10.2 points and five assists per game, even with the best forward combination in the league to set up for easy shots, Ridnour has demonstrated why he is the ideal backup for the Timberwolves.
Previous ranking: unranked
25. Beno Udrih– Sacramento Kings
If Beno Udrih could develop a three-point shot, he would be more than a serviceable point guard. Shooting an outstanding 48 percent from the field, Udrih has solidified himself as the starter, but shooting 26 percent from three-point range, down over 10 percent from last year, has been part of the problem for the struggling Kings.
Previous ranking: unranked
24. D.J. Augustin– Charlotte Bobcats
Qualifying for the playoffs for the first time in franchise history a season ago, Charlotte thought D.J. Augustin would take over as the starting point guard and take the Bobcats to the next level. Regressing to 11th place in the Eastern Conference, Charlotte needs a change at point guard, especially when teammates say Augustin “has no fight” to his game.
Previous ranking: 29th
23. Darren Collison– Indiana Pacers
The Pacers have improved this season and appear to be a playoff team but it’s not because of a significant improvement from their point guard. Indiana traded for Darren Collison this summer after he averaged 18 a game as a fill in starter for the Hornets. Posting 13.4 points and 4.1 assists a night, Collison has split time with T.J. Ford to guide one of the most improved teams in the league.
Previous ranking: 18th
22. Jameer Nelson– Orlando Magic
Coach Stan Van Gundy insisted Jameer Nelson would remain the starter in Orlando despite the arrival of Gilbert Arenas. That will quickly change once Arenas gets comfortable with the system and posts better numbers than the 14.9 points and 7.1 assists Nelson is averaging. Orlando has slumped once December hit and drastic changes are needed for the Magic to improve. Besides, with Arenas making $17.7 million, there is no way he’ll come off the bench.
Previous ranking: 21st
21. Mo Williams– Cleveland Cavaliers
Mo Williams could have become a legend in Cleveland if he stood up against LeBron James and led the Cavaliers to victory. He was the final player introduced, the one expected to carry the burden of filling in for James. Instead, he shot 2-for-8 from the field, posted 11 points and six assists as Cleveland was destroyed by Miami, falling 118-90. The game has summed up the season for Williams, high expectations, low production.
Previous ranking: 20th
20. Andre Miller– Portland Trail Blazers
Once again the Trail Blazers are battling through serious injuries, fighting for one of the last playoff positions in the Western Conference and need some better play at point guard. Miller was never known as a long range specialist, but this season he is 1-for-18 from long range, his .056 percent shooting from three-point range is embarrassing and limits Portland offensively.
Previous ranking: 19th
19. Jerryd Bayless– Toronto Raptors
Playing for his third team since the pre-season, Jerryd Bayless has found a home in Toronto. Wrestling the starting job away from Jose Calderon in just 14 games with the Raptors, Bayless has responded by averaging 11.9 points, 4.1 assists and is shooting a career high 39.5 percent from three-point range. Having posted three games with 20 or more points already, Bayless will continue to evolve and improve the young Toronto team.
Previous ranking: unranked
18. Rodney Stuckey– Detroit Pistons
Showing plenty of promise his first two years in the league, Rodney Stuckey may have reached his ceiling as a player: a streaky scorer really better served as a shooting guard. Averaging 16.7 points and 5.4 assists per game (nearly identical numbers to last season) Stuckey is the most talented player on one of the worst team in the league.
Previous ranking: 24th
17. Mike Conley– Memphis Grizzlies
As the deadline to sign players drafted in 2007 to extensions neared, the Grizzlies extended a baffling $40 million extension to Mike Conley. The 23-year-old was off to the best start of his career and is averaging 14.3 points and seven assists per game. Conley will need to continue to improve his play or his contract will set back Memphis for years.
Previous ranking: 28th
16. Aaron Brooks– Houston Rockets
Missing 16 games already this season because of a sprained ankle, Aaron Brooks has become the top candidate to be traded from the struggling Rockets. Losing its franchise center for the year, Houston needs to rebuild its team and dealing the reigning Most Improved Player of the Year is the likely start.
Previous ranking: 11th
15. Jrue Holiday– Philadelphia 76ers
After a disappointing start to the season, Philadelphia is battling for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference because of the improved play from its point guard. Posting double digit assist totals five times this season, up from two a year ago, Holiday is adjusting to the system coach Doug Collins has installed beautifully.
Previous ranking: 16th
14. Devin Harris– New Jersey Nets
A team desperate for a leader isn’t receiving it from Devin Harris. Averaging the same point and assist totals from last season, when New Jersey won a league low 12 games, Harris hasn’t elevated his game to bring the Nets out of the basement of the Eastern Conference. The only way for this team to avoid the draft lottery is if Harris becomes a better distributor.
Previous ranking: 10th
13. Jason Kidd– Dallas Mavericks
Still one of the best passers in the game, Jason Kidd has the Mavericks playing some of the best basketball in the league. Ranking seventh in assists, at 8.8 per game, Kidd has continued to improve the team around him even as his shooting touch has started to fade away.
Previous ranking: 14th
12. Chauncey Billups– Denver Nuggets
His scoring average has dropped five points from a year ago and with a slight dip in his assist production, Chauncey Billups has possibly the toughest job in the NBA. Having to keep the team together in the midst of trade rumors involving nearly everyone on the team, Billups himself may be one of the first pieces moved by Denver.
Previous ranking: 7th
11. John Wall– Washington Wizards
Finally given complete control of the team with Gilbert Arenas being moved to Orlando, John Wall is one of the few bright spots for Washington. Averaging 16.7 points and 8.9 assists, despite playing with a sore left knee, Wall has established himself as one of the most exciting players in the league.
Previous ranking: 17th
10. Tony Parker– San Antonio Spurs
Like most of the players in San Antonio, Tony Parker has posted solid numbers for so long he is often over looked. Averaging 17.7 points and 7.1assists a game, the Spurs have become an uptempo team and a match-up nightmare for every team in the league and a real threat in the Western Conference.
Previous ranking: 13th
9. Brandon Jennings– Milwaukee Bucks
Brandon Jennings is the only player improving his game for the disappointing Bucks. There’s no reason to Fear the Deer this season as Milwaukee is averaging a league low 91.4 points per game, the Bucks will need someone else to step up in his place as Jennings is out four to six weeks with a broken bone in his foot.
Previous ranking: 9th
8. Stephen Curry– Golden State Warriors
Ankle injuries have limited his time on the court, but Stephen Curry has established himself as the best pure shooter in the league not named Ray Allen. Averaging 20.1 points and 5.6 assists, Curry has formed one of the most explosive back courts in the NBA with Monta Ellis.
Previous ranking: 8th
7. Raymond Felton– New York Knicks
Finally playing the uptempo pace best suited for his game, Raymond Felton has exceeded every expectation since joining New York. Averaging career highs in scoring and assists, Felton has been a major factor in the Knicks becoming the highest scoring team in the league.
Previous ranking: 24th
6. Steve Nash– Phoenix Suns
Knocked out of the top-5 because of his defensive liability, Steve Nash has still proven to be one of the best point guards ever to play the game. Averaging 17.6 points and 10.2 assists, despite not having a consistent scoring threat on the roster, Nash can make average players look like stars with his passing ability.
Previous ranking: 3rd
5. Russell Westbrook– Oklahoma City Thunder
No one expected the MVP candidate in Oklahoma City to be its point guard. Averaging 22.8 points and 8.3 assists a game, Westbrook has carried the Thunder while Kevin Durant is still trying to find his shooting touch. One of the most complete players in the game, defenses have to now figure out how to stop two of the best young players in the game when facing Oklahoma City.
Previous ranking: 6th
4. Rajon Rondo– Boston Celtics
His quest for 1,000 assists this season took a major step back when Rajon Rondo injured his ankle against the New York Knicks. Leading the league with 14 assists per game, Rondo has completely made distributing the ball his priority and was on a record setting pace prior to his injury.
Previous ranking: 5th
3. Derrick Rose– Chicago Bulls
The top scoring point guard in the game, Derrick Rose has maintained his high point total while becoming more of a facilitator with Carlos Boozer back in the lineup. His 24.3 points and 8.4 assists make him one of the most dangerous players in the league and Rose has already proven he can elevate his game once the post season begins.
Previous ranking: 4th
2. Chris Paul– New Orleans Hornets
The Hornets have come back down to Earth following their amazing start, but Chris Paul is doing everything he can to prove their 12-1 start was no fluke. Averaging 9.8 assists per game along with 16.1 points, Paul has done everything expected of a franchise point guard.
Previous ranking: 2nd
1. Deron Williams– Utah Jazz
Somehow Deron Williams keeps getting over looked. If he played anywhere else but Utah, his 22.4 points and 9.6 assist averages for a team battling for home court advantage in the playoffs would have dozens of MVP campaigns launched for him. Instead, Williams will likely need the coaches to name him an All-Star.
Previous ranking: 1st
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