Epic Carnival | Where Sports and Pop Culture Collide: POINT GUARD EXHIBITION IN THE WEST

POINT GUARD EXHIBITION IN THE WEST

by wwtb?, Pacifist Viking

One reason the NBA's Western Conference is so superior is because the NBA's best six point guards play for Western Conference teams. Five of those point guards are in the playoffs (we'll miss you, Baron Davis). That means the NBA playoffs are going to be a wonderful display of point guard play. Let's look at the five guards in the West who will be putting on shows as they try take their teams to a championship.

Jason Kidd, Mavericks
Kidd has been the best point guard in the NBA for a long time: he's led the league in assists per game five times and been in the top five in assists per game in a whopping 13 seasons (for comparison, two-time MVP Steve Nash has led the league three times and was top five just five times). Kidd took the New Jersey Nets to the NBA Finals twice in a weaker conference, and he's still got it: last year he averaged a triple-double in 12 playoff games (14.6 ppg, 10.9 apg, and 10.9 rpg). To take the Mavs to the Western Finals, he'll have to go against Chris Paul and either Steve Nash or Tony Parker. I'd say we're in for some great contests of point guard play.

Steve Nash, Suns
Can it finally happen for the Suns? For the last four seasons, Nash has been a spectacular offensive point guard, and he's performed stunningly in the playoffs. The problem is defense: opposing point guards tend to destroy him. In round one he gets to defend Tony Parker. This will be a fun series for those who like to see point guards running circles around each other.

Tony Parker, Spurs
Parker is the only point guard on this list that already has championship rings. He's not as dominant an individual player as the other point guards here (or do the Spurs just not demand it of him?), but in the playoffs, he's been important to three Spurs championships. Last season, at 24 years old Parker got his third ring, averaged 20.8 ppg in the playoffs, and won NBA Finals MVP. I'm not going to dismiss him.

Deron Williams, Jazz
Sick. Williams is a 23 year old point guard who has already led a team to the Western Conference Finals, and he averaged 18.8 ppg and 10.5 apg this season. And he's not even close to being the best young point guard in the league (see below). Last year in the playoffs, he averaged 19.2 ppg and 8.6 apg.

Chris Paul, Hornets
Between the 25 year old Parker, 23 year old Williams, and 22 year old Paul, let's just say the point guard position is in good hands. As PV has pointed out, Paul is the first player to lead the league in assists per game and steals per game in the same season since John Stockton, and the first to lead the league in assists per game plus score 20+ ppg since Magic Johnson. Anytime a point guard is the first to do something since either John Stockton or Magic Johnson, it's safe to say "this could be one of the greatest point guards ever." Paul is a wicked good basketball player--I'm not convinced there's a weakness to his game. And he's got a round one matchup with Jason Kidd!

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