NBA Guard Bless You




For far too long, we as NBA fans were stuck with the likes of Stephon Marbury, Allen Iverson, Baron Davis, Steve Francis, Mike Bibby, Chauncey Billups, Tony Parker and Gilbert Arenas as the guys that represented the elite class of point guards. Gone were the memories of set up artists like Gary Payton, Mark Jackson and John Stockton. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned over the course of the years it’s that the NBA work in cycles.

Although we had been deprived of great floor generals for a while, we eventually were blessed with young talents like Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Rajon Rondo, Derrick Rose, John Wall (yes he’s already part of the class), Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook that were born to play the position. With Jason Kidd and Steve Nash bridging the last generation to the new one, it seems that the throwback point guard is back. Have a look at their career numbers (listed by scoring average):

Player
PPG
APG
TPG
FG%
Derrick Rose
19.4
6.3
2.7
48.1
Chris Paul
19.2
10.0
2.6
47.3
John Wall
18.0
9.1
3.9
42.7
Stephen Curry
17.9
5.9
3.0
46.3
Deron Williams
16.9
9.1
3.0
46.7
Russel Westbrook
16.5
6.8
3.3
41.3
Rajon Rondo
10.7
7.1
2.4
48.9

The position requires for a player to direct his teammates and only take over the scoring load when necessary. As it stands right now, the players listed above are truly the best at doing so today whereas for a stretch we were stuck with a bunch of shooting guards playing inside the body of an NBA point guard. Have a look at the career numbers of the more seasoned players and pay attention to their field goal percentage (once again listed by scoring average):

Player
PPG
APG
TPG
FG%
Allen Iverson
26.7
6.2
3.6
42.5
Gilbert Arenas
22.6
5.6
3.3
42.5
Stephon Marbury
19.3
7.6
3.0
43.3
Steve Francis
18.1
6.0
3.5
42.9
Baron Davis
16.7
7.3
2.8
40.9
Tony Parker
16.7
5.7
2.5
49.1
Mike Bibby
15.7
5.8
2.3
43.8
Chauncey Billups
15.4
5.6
2.1
41.6

Save for Tony Parker, the field goal percentage is pedestrian at best (but then again, Parker also averages 10 text messages and two photo texts per hour). The above list illustrates the difference between the new guys versus the old. Our younger guards are more concerned with getting their teammates involved and taking quality shots whereas our veterans were for the most part more interested in getting their points by way of quantity of shots as opposed to quality; or as I like to call it, the Wilt Special (let’s be real, you don’t sleep with 20,000 women without at least three quarters of those being ugly).

By the way, not to drool all over John Wall; but you will notice that all the great young point guards I mentioned previously have a few decent options to pass the ball to, which helps with their assist totals. Wall on the other hand is playing with a few young guys who have no business getting heavy minutes in the NBA today. And yet, he’s still found a way to get that team to score points with him directing traffic. In other words, don’t miss the Wall boat.

With that said, the NBA should be in great shape for the next decade with the list of emerging point guards we have today. This new generation of players are throwbacks to the position and probably make guys like Magic Johnson, Bob Cousy and John Stockton proud. Let’s make sure we enjoy the careers of these guys…..may guard bless you.

Questions or comments? Feel free to leave them in the comments section or you can contact me by email at Shyne@Sbgorillas.com. You can also find me on Twitter with the handle name ShyneIV.


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