The shooting guard position is made for the game’s most gifted scorers. In today’s game, it doesn’t matter if you’re your team’s first option or if you’re coming off the bench. A shooting guard’s job is to put the ball in the hole. It’s always been that way. Although the position isn’t as stacked with talent as it once was, it’s still home to some of the game’s best scorers. Here is my list of the NBA’s top 10 shooting guards this season.
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10. DeMAR DeROZAN: 18.1 ppg, 2.5 apg, 3.9 rpg
Although DeMar DeRozan hasn’t become a household name yet, he’s capable of playing like one. DeRozan is the future of the shooting guard position. He’s one of the most athletic players at the position and that’s always a good foundation to have as a shooting guard. He lives off of his athletic ability every night by attacking the rim and running the floor in transition. The one aspect of his game that’s stunting his growth is his outside shooting. As a career 23 percent three-point shooter, developing an outside game is the only thing holding him back. He shot 28 percent from long range this season, which is his best percentage as a pro so far. If he wants to fulfill his potential, it starts with working on that jump shot and extending his range.
DeRozan’s been a solid player for the Raptors since he was drafted back in 2009. However, he never grew into the franchise player they wanted him to become. Part of that has to do with his poor outside shooting. The Raptors gave him his chance to become the guy, but they couldn’t wait much longer, getting Rudy Gay in a mid-season trade this year, another athlete to pair with DeRozan. With the attention Gay draws driving to the basket, it’s important for DeRozan to feel confident spotting up on the opposite side. If he can become a better shooter next season and get that perimeter shooting percentage up over 30, he’ll be averaging on the plus side of 20 points per game.
9. ANDRE IGUODALA: 13.0 ppg, 5.4 apg, 5.4 rpg
Andre Iguodala is the most unique player at the shooting guard position. He’s never been a lights-out scorer, but he’s always been an extremely efficient and reliable player. He never seems to make mistakes. If I told you he’s never averaged more than 20 points per game, you’d probably say I was lying. That’s the type of player Iggy is. His presence shows up more on the court than it does on the stat sheet, and he’s fine with that.
In Philadelphia, Iguodala was responsible for the majority of the scoring load. He tried to accept that role and take off with it, but it wasn’t his game. Iggy isn’t comfortable taking 20 shots a night. He’s comfortable blending in offensively and making his impact on the defensive end. That’s the role he’s grown into in Denver. He knows he isn’t one of their first scoring options, but that doesn’t affect him. When the ball comes his way, he’s still a threat. Opposing teams still respect his jump shot, and his ability to get to the basket. Even though he may not look for his shot the entire game, you have to respect him. That’s what Iggy brings to the Nuggets. If you consider his contributions offensively, with his leadership defensively, he was a great acquisition for the 57-25 Denver Nuggets this season.