Czar Asks You

Photo by Danny Bollinger/NBAE via Getty Images

Late Sunday night in Dallas, Dirk Nowitzki and rookie point guard Darren Collison of the New Orleans Hornets traded basket for basket in a fourth quarter battle. Dallas won the game 108-100, but not before blowing most of a 25-point second-half lead. Collison’s 20 first-half points prevented this game from becoming an early wipeout. And his clutch fourth quarter performance nearly allowed the Hornets to pull off their second highly improbable comeback in days.

Rookie point guards continue to make headlines in the NBA. While Tyreke Evans and Brandon Jennings jumped out as early ROY candidates (and probably continue to be the favorites), Collison and Golden State’s Stephen Curry are making strong late season surges. Collison has made the most of his added minutes with the injury to starting point guard Chris Paul.

And Curry appears to be hitting his stride in a free-flowing Golden State offense that suits his skill set.  Johnny Flynn in Minnesota has also had a very solid rookie campaign as has Ty Lawson in Denver. At draft time last year, the expectation was that Blake Griffin might be the only potential star among the rookie crop – but these point guards may turn out to be the real story.

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And they’ve had the opportunity to compete among a number of greats who came before them. In the first round of last year’s playoffs, Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo went toe-to-toe in one of the classic playoff series of recent years. Both also made their first All-Star appearances this year. Russell Westbrook is having a superb season with the surprising Thunder as is Aaron Brooks with the Rockets. This is even before mentioning the triumvirate of Chris Paul, Deron Williams and Tony Parker, who are hitting the prime of their careers, and the old guard of Steve Nash, Chauncey Billups and Jason Kidd, all of whom are enjoying terrific seasons.

Together with the rookies, this group forms what may be one of the finest collections of point guards in NBA history. Kentucky point guard John Wall may soon join their ranks as many expect him to be the first pick in this year’s college draft.

Q: Do you think there has ever been a more dominant group of NBA point guards or are these guys in a league of their own?


  1. At the beginning of the 00s, it looked like the NBA was a power forward’s league, looking at some self-explanatory names. Now, the transition has been made and more and more, the league is dominated by point guards who can do it all on the court. You have Darren Collison having a tough task of backing up one of the best point guards – Chris Paul – yet he manages quite well. Tyreke Evans totally dominates his combo guard spot and only fails to deliver offensively when the elite of the elite defend him. Deron Williams just gets better and better and already is a top three point guard. Little needs to be said about Nash and Kidd, these two just seem to never get any older. Rajon Rondo is making good progress, yet still needs to work on his touch from deep and even more importantly from the strip. Brandon Jennings reminds me a bit of an early TJ Ford with no touch yet speed and handles, he’ll be fine down the line, though. Derrick Rose and Kirk Hinrich (who I think is still a little underrated due to his more methodical approach) are a great backcourt and Rose will make it to multiple Allstar Games, I’m certain. Then there is Stephen Curry, a sharp shooting guard who still can involve others. Other great point guards include Chauncey Billups, Andre Miller and Devin Harris for example. Even Tony Parker, who is showing more and more wear, nonetheless is a premier point guard. There are few teams in the NBA who do not have a good or great point guard running, if not dominating their offense.

    Of course you had Magic, Isiah Thomas, Mark Jackson, Rod Strickland, Gary Payton, John Stockton, Tim Hardaway, Kevin Johnson, Stephen Marbury and many others in the past but as times and game changed little did change the talent level. So really, great players still emerge as we can clearly see.

  2. Kevin Wong says:

    For me personally, I’ll always think of the 90’s as the decade of the point guard because everyone was trying to emulate Magic Johnson. Magic set the standard as the most exciting passer of all time and everyone wanted to follow him. It made the entire game more exciting.
    The 90’s gave us Tim Hardaway, John Stockton, Kevin Johnson, Kenny Anderson, Gary Payton, Mark Price, Muggsy Bogues, Isiah Thomas, Penny Hardaway, Michael Adams, Chris Jackson. They’re not all Hall of Famers and most didn’t win championship rings (MJ’s fault), but they were all super exciting players who loved playing the game and entertaining people. They were guys I’d pay to see play any day of the week!

  3. chris melendez says:

    its a good debate, but the most talented PGs were in the 80’s: stockton, magic, isiah thomas are probably the top 3 PG’s all-time right now. but the talent is undeniable right now, russell westbrook is amazing, chris paul when healthy is great to watch. nash as we know has been one of the best, tony parker’s got 3 rings for a reason and when he’s healthy you can’t stop him. i can go on and on with all the young talented point guards this league has, and i forgot to mention deron williams who im watching right now and that guy doesn’t seem to miss big shots. trying to give credit to everyone is hard i e chauncy billups, rajon rondo, and tyreke evans…..the list really does go on and on. but still the top 3 were in a whole other era but the future is very bright!

  4. D'Angelo says:

    These point guards in the NBA today are all Pre Madonnas! except for Paul Rose Williams Billups and nash

  5. This is by far the deepest pool of talent but by shear #s alone the 80’s with Magic and Dennis Johnson, Stockton, Thomas, and you can even throw in guys like Doc Rivers and Mark Jackson and Tim Hardaway. I know some of those guys spilled over also into the 90’s but they were much better in those days. These young guys still need time to work out but they have athleticism is off the charts though. I definitely think that in 3 to 4 years it will be a more relevant question when we see how they pan out.

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