August 17, 2010
As summer winds down and the day-to-day "news" falls flat, BDL will be ranking each NBA position, 1-through-30. Or, more accurately, 30-through-1. Here's an explanation.
In this post, we take on the point guards, 30-through-21. Click the jump for the run.
Lowry is another backup guard who, at his peak, might be better than all the backups ranked ahead of him on this list. However, consistency (even as he enters his fifth year) is still an issue. Rockets fans tend to forget all that when Lowry acts as the biggest reason a 12-2 run just went down, mixing in great defense, interior finishing, solid-enough passing and the occasional defensive rebound gobble and dash to the other end.
Stuckey is what Stuckey is. He's yet to find a balance between acting as a scoring point guard or passing point man, and the unfortunate truth behind those two aspects of his game is that he's not particularly adept at either. Hardly the return Joe Dumars had in mind when he staved off rebuilding, re-signed Richard Hamilton(notes) and brought in Ben Gordon(notes) and Charlie Villanueva(notes).
Ranking Holiday this low might come back to bite me next August ... or even this December. Born only in 1990 (geez), this second-year guard had to learn on the fly during a miserable season with the Philadelphia 76ers, and if he can handle Doug Collins' overwrought yins and yangs, he could make a low-20s ranking seem laughable soon enough.
Even though he doesn't turn 23 until this October, does Mike really seem like a guy who is just waiting to take a big step forward? His game, and sometimes middling quickness, just don't seem suited to it. Which is fine, for a sound backup or starter in the pinch. Trouble is, the Grizzlies seem la hotshot point guard away from being a real player, and though Conley's youth should encourage, for some reason it doesn't. Hopefully Mike makes me look a fool with his play this season.
Hill always seems like an off-guard to us, and his offensive stats were actually better at the shooting guard slot last season. That might be a function of Gregg Popovich's offense, however. Even when Avery Johnson was dominating the ball, he still was asked to hit quite a few elbow-extended (and for Avery, that elbow really was extended) jumpers. OK, George Hill. Others see borderline stardom. I see a quite competent hybrid guard well-suited for the team he's on.
Needlessly chained to the bench toward the end of the season as Adrian Dantley did whatever he did to the Denver Nuggets, Lawson figures to get more burn as George Karl returns to the fold and Chauncey Billups(notes) gets on in years. If he stays in shape, Lawson's quickness and timing could be a huge boon for a Nuggets team that sometimes swoons offensively despite all its talent.
I wasn't ever really a fan, but I can't turn a blind eye to the way Jack blossomed last season. Stardom isn't in the cards, and I wouldn't be comfortable with him starting at either guard slot for my favorite team, but he is ... competent. And in a world gone wrong, it's nice to have something that is nice, and little else, running the show. Jarrett Jack. He's nice.
Perhaps I underrated Felton's defense through the years, because he did look good last season. And he remains a sound finisher toward the end of quarters (don't underestimate that). There are about 97 other point guards, some retired, that I'd prefer running Mike D'Antoni's show in New York, but Felton will do in a pinch. And, yes, Knick fans, you're in a pinch. At least the pinch (and resultant squeeze) doesn't result in Chris Duhon(notes).
Sessions had an off season, and could you blame him? He was passed over in Milwaukee, signed by a Timberwolves team after being ignored all summer, and that team goes ahead and tries to run the triangle? With a shoot-first rookie point guard leading the way? Traded to Cleveland in the offseason, he'll ... back up another point guard.
As much as they appreciate Brooks' moxie and overall game, I think even Rocket fans will submit they wouldn't mind an upgrade at this position. For now, though, Brooks works. He took an insane 6.4 3-pointers a game last season, but made nearly 40 percent of them. He averaged 19.6 points, but I worry about the 16.2 shots per game it took to get them. Hopefully, those 5.3 assists per game rise with Yao Ming(notes) back and possibly an improved pick-and-roll game with Luis Scola(notes) to bank on.