Anyone who’s caught a Knicks broadcast knows Clyde Frazier‘s “swishing and dishing” call, which coming from one of the greatest the game has ever seen, describes a big part of what makes an effective point guard in today’s NBA: Someone who can get in the lane and create. Out of all the positions, the Top-5 for this one is the most debated. Some can’t stand Nash’s poor defense; others can’t deal with J-Kidd’s shooting; some think Parker is wildly overrated, Baron is wildly underrated, and the Deron/CP combo is simply too young. Here’s my Top 10:
1. Steve Nash
2. Jason Kidd
3. Chris Paul
4. Deron Williams
5. Tony Parker
6. Chauncey Billups
7. Baron Davis
8. Gilbert Arenas
9. Jamaal Tinsley
10. Jose Calderon
The cutting room floor’s littered with Mo Williams, Ray Felton, Kirk Hinrich, Jason Terry, Sam Cassell, Stephon Marbury, Jameer Nelson, Andre Miller and Mike Bibby.
As recently as two weeks ago, I probably would have put Deron ahead of CP, but in Utah’s recent struggles I’ve seen some holes in his game that give Paul the nod. A lot of people I know (Spurs-haters) wouldn’t even have Tony Parker in the Top 10, let alone the Top 5, but how can you argue with three rings at age 25? With a Finals MVP? With the fact that when Tim Duncan is out injured, TP looks just as comfortable running the show and sharing go-to duties with Manu as he does when Duncan is in the lineup?
Personally I’m a bigger fan of Kidd than Nash because his defense is better, but I also want a point guard who can hit clutch shots and knock down threes, and Nash gets the edge there.
If Arenas seems a little low on here, it’s because it’s hard for me to call him an actual point guard. But that’s the position he plays, and his Capt. Jack Sparrow act puts him below the less-talented Chauncey Billups, because Billups is more of a distributor/defender.
I also had Mo Williams at the #10 spot just a few days ago, but after watching Jose Calderon play a few times recently, I’d take his “game manager” style over Mo’s Baby Arenas-like gunning.