You can never start a new NBA season without ranking the top players at each position. As December 22 looms closer, we take a deep look at each position and rank the top-10. Let’s end with the point guards.
10. Kemba Walker
Kemba Walker comes in at number 10 and spoiler alert, (he’s ahead of Kyle Lowry.) Despite being a poor man’s Kyrie Irving, Walker has elevated the Celtics’ that much more their quest for an NBA title. Granted, his acquisition was not enough to warrant an NBA Finals appearance, but he still put up the second-most points for Boston. Nevertheless, Walker had dropped down on the list further than he has in recent years. But to truly rise up this list, he’ll have to prove he can lead a winning basketball team. More specifically, through the Eastern Conference.
9. Trae Young
If there is any player that can propel themselves to top-5 point guard status after this season, it’s Trae Young. Granted his defensive abilities are among the worse in the NBA. However, he showed last year that he is one of the NBA’s premier weapons. Atlanta reloaded this offseason with a roster built for Young’s success. The young guard will be an all-star again and will have himself a playoff-driven season. Emphasis cannot be placed enough on how he must improve his defense though.
8. Jamal Murray
Jamal Murray was one of the 10 best players in the bubble. As much as fans want to praise Nikola Jokic for his talents, Murray was dominant in the postseason. Disney gave the NBA a different type of vibe which resulted in performances that otherwise wouldn’t have happened. Hopefully, that wasn’t the case for Murray. If the Nuggets are ever going to make it to the NBA Finals, it will be because Murray took a massive jump in his game.
7. Chris Paul
Chris Paul will forever be a top point guard in the NBA. The future NBA player has transformed every franchise he has played for and the Suns are no different. If Phoenix was in the east, then it would be a sure-fire lock for the playoffs. This is the west though and it’s stacked. The only thing Paul is missing from his legendary career is a championship. As far as this season goes though, expect him to mentor and elevate Devin Booker’s game.
6. Ben Simmons
Ben Simmons is shooting is a toxic relationship that needs to fix its issues. If Simmons can do that, he is the next young superstar in this league. You can point to the Trae Youngs and Luka Doncics of the world but the bottom line is, Simmons is right there with them. The Sixers have been a disappointing team the past few seasons to the point where they almost need to make the Finals this year. The roster is better equipped for a player such as Simmons. It will be fun to see how he improves his game this season.
5. Damian Lillard
Yes, Damian Lillard is at number five. He just isn’t as good as the guys above him. Lillard is among the most hyped up players in the NBA, but he has never been in the top-3 point guard conversation. The only argument is last season and that is due to Kyrie Irving being out. The bottom line is, Lillard has the team to make noise in the conference and he needs an MVP-caliber season.
4. Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving is going to show doubters why he is still an elite player in this league. A lot of people like to call him a bad teammate but that’s not what his Nets teammates would say. Irving is among the most clutch and gifted scorers this league has. With Kevin Durant and a supporting cast built to win, he is going to be pivotal towards a Brooklyn championship run.
3. Russell Westbrook
The former MVP is a to-3 point guard in this league. He can score, he can play defense, and has a motor, unlike anyone we’ve seen. Westbrook is another player that has transformed the franchises he has played for. With him being in the east for the first time, the competition now gets easier. He also has a team built specifically for him, whether that’s intentional or not. Should you expect to see prime Russell Westbrook? No. But he sure will be the reason the Wizards make it to the playoffs.
2. Luka Doncic
Luka Doncic is the heavy favorite for MVP. However, he is not a top point guard in this league. Doncic has all the makings of a superstar in this league but he has not developed into that just yet. Dallas should not be seen as a team that can make it to the Western Conference Finals. Doncic shouldn’t be the MVP favorite either. This season will be all about picking up where he left off. He needs to improve his shooting percentage though. Otherwise, Doncic is an all-world talent and will do special things this season.
1. Stephen Curry
Steph Curry is not only the best point guard in the league but a top-5 player. It is unfortunate that he won’t have his splash brother Klay Thompson by his side. But he is still a player that makes all the difference on the court. The three-point king is back and is back with a vengeance. Don’t rule out Golden State making the playoffs even without the Thompson injury because Curry is just that great. There is not much to say here besides sit back, relax and enjoy Steph Curry go to work.
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