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Top Ten NBA Point Guards

12 Sep

10. Kevin Johnson - People seldomly realize how good Kevin Johnson really was in the NBA. He was Stephon Marbury before he went crazy and left for China. He was Tony Parker with more assists and more flash. Kevin Johnson’s had a little bit of Isaiah Thomas in his game and a little bit of John Stockton. He also had one of the quickest first steps in the NBA in the 80′s and 90′s which helped him get to the rim constantly. He dribbled the ball between his legs and suddenly he was past his defender. Johnson regularly challenged big men at the rim, and Hakeem Olajuwon is not the only center/power forward that he dunked on. He threw down dunks on tip-ins, on fast breaks, and right through the middle of traffic. He learned to shoot the basketball from 15 feet out and was unstoppable during the early nineties. He, Charles Barkley, and Dan Majerle took the Suns to the NBA Finals before being defeated by the Bulls in six games. Johnson was the only player who could not be stopped for the entire series.

17.9 ppg., 9.1 apg., 3.3 rpg., 3 time All-Star, 4 time All-NBA, 0 rings, Most Improved Player Award

9. Bob Cousy - Bob Cousy was about three generations ahead of his time in terms of ball-handling. He could dribble the basketball behind his back when players were still patting the basketball. He threw passes over his shoulders to his teammates when everyone else only was using the fundamentals. Cousy was a magician with the basketball and he lead one of the most dominant teams in NBA history. He initiated offense, directed traffic, and dribbled between defenders for the historic Boston Celtics.

18.4 ppg., 7.5 apg., 13 time All-Star, 12 time All-NBA, 6 rings, 2 time All-Star MVP

8. Tiny Archibald - Nate “Tiny” Archibald was Allen Iverson before he ever picked up a basketball. He brought streetball to the NBA. He broke down his defenders, scored, and embarrassed them. He may have had the quickest first step in NBA history. He is one of only a few point guards to lead the NBA in scoring and he was the only man to lead the league in assists and scoring in the same season with 34.0 points and 11.4 assists per game in the 1972-73 season. His biggest weapon was his amazing speed and quickness with the basketball.

18.8 ppg., 7.4 apg., 2.3 rpg., 6 time NBA All Star, 5 time All-NBA, 1 ring, 1 All-Star MVP

7. Jason Kidd - Jason Kidd made the New Jersey Nets relevant. He took the Nets to two consecutive NBA Finals by leading one of the fastest teams that the NBA has seen. He turned the New Jersey offense into one big, extended fast break. And, he made each one of the players a little better with his precise passing. He is one of four people on this list that regularly added two to six points to their teammates points per game averages by getting them easy baskets that could not have gotten themselves. Every team that he was added to, in his prime, gained 5-23 wins. He changed the culture of the Dallas Mavericks, the Phoenix Suns, and the New Jersey Nets. His trademark high dribble and baseball pass helped him dominate the NBA without an excess of scoring the basketball, though he has always been a good scorer. Kid also became an excellent defender in his latter years and covered the opponent’s best wing nightly. He was a complete guard with a high basketball I.Q., and his impact goes well beyond his statistics.

13.2 ppg., 9.1 apg., 6.5 rpg., 10 time All-Star, 6 time All-NBA, 0 rings, 9 time All-Defensive team, Rookie of the Year

6. Walt Frazier - Walt Frazier was cool. He was a big guard during his era, but was quick, and a good passer too. He is greatly underrated as an NBA star because he played with Willis Reed. In Game 7 of the NBA Finals, he had 36 points and 19 assists in a victory. On top of his offensive prowess, Frazier was a great defender too. He played the passing lanes well and made on-ball steals with his lateral quickness and quick hands.

18.9 ppg.,  5.9 rpg., 6.1 apg., 7 time NBA All-Star, 6 time All-NBA, 2 rings, 7 time All-Defensive team, 1 All-Star MVP

5. Isaiah Thomas - Isaiah Thomas was deadly with the basketball in his hands. He had the basketball on a string and regularly put on dribbling exhibitions that would have made the yesteryear’s Harlem Globetrotters and today’s AND 1 players proud. He could not be guarded at the end of games, because he was one of the best clutch shooting points in NBA history. Though he did not win the NBA MVP, he does own two Finals MVP’s that he won in two years consecutively while winning two championships for the Detroit Pistons. He was always among the league leaders in scoring, assists, and steals. In fact, he lead the league in steals for several years in a row.

19.2 ppg., 9.3 apg., 1.9 spg., 12 time All-Star, 5 time All-NBA, 2 rings, 2 All-Star MVP’s, 2 Finals MVP’s

4. Steve Nash - Steve Nash is a bit of an enigma. He has two National Basketball Association Most Valuable Player awards, but no trips to the Finals. Granted, the Suns looked primed for a trip to the promised land until Robert Horry instigated a bench clearing skirmish by hip-checking Nash into some courtside advertisements boards. The NBA suspended several Phoenix players, including Amar’e Stoudamire, one of their best players, and the momentum of the series swung. Nevertheless, Steve Nash has never competed on the highest stage of basketball which is a detriment to his legacy. He did make basketball exciting again, though. Basketball had been bogged down by staunch defenses and methodical post play during the 90s. Nash lead a full court offensive attack that had not been seen since the Lakers’ Showtime offense. He probed the paint, and made dazzling passes to his teammates. He was an incredibly efficient shooter, and he is one of six people in the 50/40/90 club, having shot 40 percent from the 3 point line, 50 percent from the field, and 90 percent from the free throw line in a single season. He is one of two people to have achieved it more than once, and the only player to have done it more than twice (four times in five years). Steve Nash is an enigma, but he is also one of the most talented point guards in NBA history.

14.6 ppg., 8.5 apg., 3.0 rpg., 7 time All-Star, 7 time All-NBA, 0 rings, 2 NBA MVP’s

3. Oscar Robertson - He was the only man in NBA history to average a triple double over the course of one full season with 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 11.4 assists per game until the 2016-2017 season when Russell Westbrook achieved the feat. However, if you average his statistics for his first five years, he would have averaged a triple double over that time period too. He was unstoppable in the post with his one-handed jumper. Robertson was the first big guard, and paved the way for guys like Jason Kidd, Gary Payton, and Magic Johnson. He controlled the basketball by scoring himself or making plays for his teammates. He is one of three people in NBA history to average 30+ ppg. over a season. He did that in six of his first seven seasons. He is the first player to average 10 assists in a season and the only guard to average 10 rebounds in a season, which he did three times. When he was placed beside fellow Hall of Fame player, Lew Alcindor, he won the NBA championship. He was known as one of the most cerebral guards of his era, in addition to being one of the most athletic point guards to ever play in the NBA. Plus, he is the all-time leader in triple doubles which shows his extreme versatility.

25.7 ppg., 7.5 rpg., 9.5 apg., 12 time All-Star, 11 time All-NBA, 1 ring, 1 NBA MVP, 3 All-Star MVP’s, Rookie of the Year

2. John Stockton - John Stockton was the model of consistency during his NBA career. He rarely made a mistake by turning the basketball over. He took care of it and founded his career in making the smart pass and the easy play. He is the all-time leader in assists and steals as a result. Stockton ran the pick-and-roll to perfection with fellow Hall of Fame player Karl Malone. He was an efficient scorer despite having a little hitch in his jump shot. Stockton and Malone took the Utah Jazz to two consecutive Finals where they lost to Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and the Chicago Bulls in both years. He shot 51.5 % for his entire career, which is unheard of for a guard in today’s NBA and is spectacular for a point guard. He is one of the six players that went 50/40/90 for an entire season.

13.1 ppg., 10.5 apg., 2.2 spg., 10 time All-Star, 11 time All-NBA, 5 time All-Defensive team, 0 rings, 1 All-Star MVP

1. Magic Johnson - In addition to being one of the league’s better athletes, Magic Johnson also had a extremely high basketball IQ. He always knew where everyone was on the court, and he was such a good leader that he would direct and encourage his teammates throughout their mistakes during the game. He is one of three players to have averaged a triple double in multiple postseason series. He left the game of basketball as the all-time leader in assists and is still the leader in assists per game. He is second all-time in triple doubles in the regular season and first all-time in career playoff triple doubles. More so than that, Magic Johnson was best player on the basketball court when it counted the most. He is one of the rare players in NBA history that made whatever play that needed to be made to win every time the game was on the line. On one play, he would score himself. On the next, he would get his teammates involved. He could grab a rebound and go coast to coast for the score or throw a bounce pass from half court to a streaking big man. His versatility was never more apparent than in his first Finals in his rookie season. His center, Hall of Fame player Kareem Abdul Jabbar, went down with an injury and Magic filled in for him with a move from point to center. He finished with 42 points, 15 rebounds, 7 assists, and 3 steals including the game-winning hook shot. He is the only rookie to win Finals MVP. At 6’9″, Magic could see the entire basketball court on each play. When he entered the league, he was an explosive point guard that could blow by smaller defenders, post them up, or jump over them. After he injured both of his knees, he became even more cerebral and utilized his teammates on every play. He was the biggest point guard in NBA history and its greatest facilitator of the basketball. He lead the league in assists 4 times.

19.5 ppg., 11.2 apg., 7.2 rpg., 12 time All-Star, 10 time All-NBA, 5 rings, 2 All-Star MVP’s, 3 Finals MVP’s, 3 NBA MVP’s

3 Responses to “Top Ten NBA Point Guards”

  1. Walt Coogan January 24, 2017 at 12:35 PM #

    Kevin Johnson was a much better point guard than either Stephon Marbury or Tony Parker. He was a far better playmaker than Marbury and a much more consistent shooter and defender and a far more efficient scorer. And Johnson was not only a vastly superior playmaker compared to Parker, but also a much better shooter and defender and a more explosive and efficient scorer—Johnson reached the free throw line far more often.

    For prime or peak value, K.J. was arguably the second-best point guard in history behind only Magic Johnson. (Oscar Robertson was not a true point guard—more of a LeBron James/James Harden-type). K.J. was a much more explosive point guard than Stockton while nearly matching Stockton in efficiency, he was far more efficient than Isiah Thomas (compare their field goal percentage, free throw percentage, True Shooting Percentage, turnover rate, and assists-to-turnover ratio), he was a better jump shooter and field goal shooter than Archibald, he was a vastly better playmaker than Frazier, he was a much better scorer than Cousy, he was a much better defender than Nash, and he was a much better scorer and half-court creator than Kidd.

    • AFM January 25, 2017 at 1:05 AM #

      You sound like a Kevin Johnson fan. A lot of people would trash this list because players like Chris Paul and Gary Payton did not make the cut and he did, but you are saying that Kevin Johnson should be higher? KJ is one of the most underrated points in league history. He carried the Phoenix Suns before Barkley got there and is one of two players to average 18 points and 8 assists in seven separate NBA seasons. The other was actually Marbury, the guy to whom I compared Johnson. But, Kevin Johnson is right where he should be. The other players on the list had a higher impact on the game of basketball than KJ. Honestly, that could be because he only had a few seasons with a team that was good enough to challenge for NBA titles, but guys like Kidd turned their squads into contenders simply by being on the team. KJ was talented, but he should not be any higher on the list.

  2. Walt Coogan January 24, 2017 at 12:38 PM #

    For career value, though, Stockton is deserving of the second slot behind Magic.

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