This is the group of guys that stand out as the best point guards in the league. I think it’s fair to say that all of them performed on an elite level this past year. Some of the guys in this list might surprise you, especially the order, but stats don’t often lie. Here’s what the top ten looks like:
10. Eric Bledsoe, Phoenix Suns
Stats: 17.7 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 5.5 APG
Bledsoe is probably the most breakout player of the whole position in my opinion, so it was a shame to see him get injured and miss half the season. He did manage to play 43 games with his new team, the Suns, and started 40 of them, something he had never really done in his career. He had started games here and there when Chris Paul was hurt in Los Angeles, but he was never the #1 guy at the position. He exploded and had career highs in PPG, RPG, APG, SPG, and shooting percentage. If he played the whole season, who knows what he could’ve done and where the Suns could’ve gone.
9. Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
Stats: 20.7 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 5.6 APG
Finally, a guy who averages over 20 PPG. Lillard is the first of the list, but he also has very low assist numbers for the top ten list. His scoring is better than most players in the league though, and he was able to play in every single game last year. If he ever wants to get higher on this list though, he’ll need to increase his shooting percentage and assist numbers, which are both pretty low at this point. But he’s still very young and has yet to reach his full potential. He could be a really scary player in a year or two.
8. Ty Lawson, Denver Nuggets
Stats: 17.6 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 8.8 APG
Lawson may not be a #1 scorer in the league, but he quietly averaged 8.8 APG, which was tied for third in the league. That’s what separates Lawson from the very good point guards and puts him in the elite category. He did miss 20 games last year, but the Nuggets were never really in a good position to do anything in the powerhouse of a conference that is the West. He has steadily increased his scoring and passing every single year of his career, and I think he can do it again next year if he plays the whole season.
7. Isaiah Thomas, Sacramento Kings
Stats: 20.3 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 6.3 APG
Another quiet member of this list is Isaiah Thomas, who was pretty under the radar since he played for the awful Kings, one of the worst teams in the West. His assist numbers were solid as well as his shooting percentages, and his scoring was one of the best in the league. He also had the 4th highest PER for point guards this past season which is very impressive for a guy that under-performed as a starter his first two years in Sacramento. That was his last year on the Kings though after getting traded to the Suns, and he may have to battle fellow top ten member Eric Bledsoe for the starting PG slot if he re-signs with them. I’m very interested to see what they do with that.
6. Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors
Stats: 17.9 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 7.4 APG
Other than Bledsoe, Lowry had the biggest breakout season at PG this past year. There were questions as to whether Lowry would even be the starter after they signed Greivis Vasquez in the offseason, but Lowry immediately proved that he is the real starter in Toronto, averaging a career high in APG and by high the most PPG in a season. He started in all 79 games that he played and is now definitely one of the best point guards in the league. Without looking at the stats, very few people would list Lowry this high, but with a very high PER as well, there’s nothing that Lowry doesn’t do well.
5. Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
Stats: 20.8 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 6.1 APG
So many people have recently been arguing as to whether Irving or Thomas is a better PG, but I still have to list Irving above him on the list. It’s very close, but Irving averages slightly more points and rebounds per game, just putting him above him. It’s crazy that there’s even a player in between them in Lowry. Irving’s passing still has a lot to be desired, but I guarantee that that will improve now that he has LeBron James to pass to. If he gets that up to above 7 APG, he will deserve his elite status even more.
4. John Wall, Washington Wizards
Stats: 19.3 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 8.8 APG
Wall may not average over 20 PPG, but his rebound and assist numbers are phenomenal for a PG. 8.8 APG is tied with Lawson for the third most in the league. His point and assist averages are both career highs for him, and he’s certainly proving why he was the number one pick in the draft a few years ago. With a new contract now, let’s hope the money doesn’t cause his production to drop off like it did with Deron Williams, who a few years ago was also a top 5 PG. Wall is the leader of a great up and coming Wizards squad that will be even better next year and could even make a run to win the conference.
3. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
Stats: 21.8 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 6.9 APG
I have heard so many compliments about Westbrook that I agree with that it would take a whole post to describe them all. He’s such an explosive and athletic player that it makes it virtually impossible to match up against him. He missed nearly half the injury after coming off the ACL tear the year before, which might have been the only reason why his stats weren’t even higher. But 2nd most PPG and RPG for a PG is extremely impressive. Everyone knows that his scoring and passing can be even better than this at times, and if he plays a full season, there’s no reason why he can’t be good enough to move up one more spot on this list.
2. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
Stats: 24.0 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 8.5 APG
But that’s not to say that Curry is undeserving of the 2nd best PG in the league award. He combines an insane ability to score with a brilliant ability to pass, as well as better-than-most rebounding skills. He led the position in scoring and is one of the top passers, and I completely stand by my choice to put Curry as the #2 guy instead of Westbrook. There’s just no way you can overlook the amazing shooting performances that Curry has on a daily basis. His shooting percentages across the board are some of the best, and his pull up 3-pointer is the best in the game. He has the ability to explode for 40 points at any moment, and it’s surprising that he didn’t do it more often.
1. Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers
Stats: 19.1 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 10.7 APG
And here it is, the number one point guard in the league: Chris Paul. I don’t think many people would argue with this choice because he definitely is the best all-around PG. It’s a shame he’s never won a championship, because this guy is a champion at heart. He did miss 20 games due to an injury, but that didn’t stop him from putting up what I consider to be his best season in a Clippers uniform. It was the fourth time in his career that he averaged a double double, and the only player to do it as a PG this season. Chris Paul just knows how to play basketball the right way, and does it exceptionally well. It will be a shame when he retires because he’s a wonderful talent.
So there it is, the whole list of the top 40 point guards in the league this past season. Like I mentioned before, it can probably be debated one way or another for some of these guys’ rankings, but I stick by my choices for now. Stay tuned for the top 40 shooting guards, which will start soon.