December 21, 2004

Point guard rankings, Part 2

This is my Christmas wish list:

1. Keri Russell

2. The Wonder YearsThe Complete Series

3. A matchup of the two best point guards in the NBA.

Guess which one I’m getting.

That’s right.

Stephen Curry vs. Chris Paul. Warriors at Clippers. 10:30 p.m. on TNT. Christmas night.

There are other excellent point guards playing on Christmas.

John Wall delivers the Word of God at noon.

Russell Westbrook plays the defending champion Spurs.

Kyrie Irving (and LeBron James) play the Heat.

But this Bulls-Lakers matchup looks like a re-gifted game from the early 90s.

For you, Christmas comes early — the updated point guard rankings:

1. Stephen Curry [Warriors] 23.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, 7.6 assists, 2.0 steals, 56.3 2-point shooting, 39.1 3-point shooting, 92.5 free throw shooting, 26.8 PER. Age [25] Curry, Kyrie Irving and Anthony Davis sing “Jingle Bells.”



2. Chris Paul [Clippers] 17.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, 9.9 assists, 53.9 2-point shooting, 39.2 3-point shooting, 88.4 free throw shooting, 25.6 PER. Age [29] Paul just bought a home in Woodland Hills, Calif., for $1.775 million. My favorite part: the rain shower.

3. Damian Lillard [Trail Blazers] 21.4 points, 5.0 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 51.0 2-point shooting, 39.6 3-point shooting, 87.2 free throw shooting, 23.0 PER. Age [24] Lillard scored a career-high 43 points on Friday night in a triple-overtime victory over the Spurs.

4. Kyle Lowry [Raptors] 19.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, 7.8 assists, 49.3 2-point shooting, 33.3 3-point shooting, 82.9 free throw shooting, 23.7 PER. Age [28] Drake introduced Lowry as the “baby-faced assassin” on Drake Night.

5. John Wall [Wizards] 17.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, 10.5 assists, 2.1 steals, 47.4 2-point shooting, 32.4 3-point shooting, 75.8 free throw shooting, 21.0 PER. Age [24] Wall lost to former Kentucky teammate Eric Bledsoe on Sunday night.

6. Kyrie Irving [Cavaliers] 19.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 49.6 2-point shooting, 37.1 3-point shooting, 83.7 free throw shooting, 19.8 PER. Age [22] LeBron leads the team with 7.8 assists per game.

7. Mike Conley [Grizzlies] 17.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 47.8 2-point shooting, 38.8 3-point shooting, 85.8 free throw shooting, 20.1 PER. Age [27] “You gotta have vision. You have to be able to read and react very quickly, and be able to make passes on time and make the right decisions. You’re the quarterback, the general, so you have to be able to see the court like nobody else does.”

8. Russell Westbrook [Thunder] 27.4 points, 5.5 rebounds, 7.2 assists, 49.8 2-point shooting, 29.2 3-point shooting, 82.7 free throw shooting, 32.2 PER in 14 games. Age [26] Westbrook missed 14 games with a broken right hand. But since returning, he has been one of the best players in the league. He passes another player on this list every day and should be right there with Curry and Paul by the All-Star break.



9. Jeff Teague [Hawks] 16.8 points, 2.5 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 50.4 2-point shooting, 36.9 3-point shooting, 88.0 free throw shooting, 21.2 PER. Age [26] Teague is having his best season, thanks to improved shooting. He is day-to-day with a strained left hamstring.

10. Jrue Holiday [Pelicans] 15.4 points, 3.3 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 47.2 2-point shooting, 35.6 3-point shooting, 87.5 free throw shooting, 18.6 PER. Age [24] Holiday is enjoying his best season, partly because he is passing to the best player in the league.

11. Darren Collison [Kings] 15.7 points, 3.4 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 48.0 2-point shooting, 31.5 3-point shooting, 76.8 free throw shooting, 17.8 PER. Age [27] The Kings are aiming to trade Collison to the Nets for Deron Williams, but Collison is the better player right now. …

12. Ty Lawson [Nuggets] 15.2 points, 3.1 rebounds, 10.7 assists, 43.2 2-point shooting, 28.4 3-point shooting, 73.0 free throw shooting, 17.0 PER. Age [27] Lawson passes better and shoots worse every season.

13. Eric Bledsoe [Suns] 15.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 48.6 2-point shooting, 30.8 3-point shooting, 84.5 free throw shooting, 17.9 PER. Age [25] The Suns are the most disappointing team in the West.

14. Kemba Walker [Hornets] 16.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 42.2 2-point shooting, 33.0 3-point shooting, 78.1 free throw shooting, 17.5 PER. Age [24] The Hornets are the most disappointing team in the East.

15. Deron Williams [Nets] 15.6 points, 3.1 rebounds, 6.8 assists, 41.2 2-point shooting, 38.2 3-point shooting, 88.0 free throw shooting, 16.9 PER. Age [30] … Williams will make $63.1 million over the next three seasons, making any trade difficult.

16. Brandon Knight [Bucks] 17.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 45.6 2-point shooting, 39.2 3-point shooting, 89.5 free throw shooting, 18.0 PER. Age [23] The Bucks are playing .500 ball, and Knight is their best player.

17. Tony Parker [Spurs] 16.0 points, 1.7 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 49.0 2-point shooting, 65.4 3-point shooting, 80.3 free throw shooting, 17.0 PER in 19 games. Age [32] Parker has missed nine of the last 10 games with a sprained left hamstring.

18. Rajon Rondo [Mavericks] 8.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, 10.7 assists, 42.7 2-point shooting, 24.2 3-point shooting, 33.3 free throw shooting, 14.8 PER. Age [28] Acquiring Rondo is questionable, because the Mavericks already had the best offense in the league. Plus, he isn’t much of a defender anymore, and he is shooting 33.3 percent from the line and 24.2 percent from 3-point range.

19. Mario Chalmers [Heat] 12.5 points, 2.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 49.7 2-point shooting, 29.3 3-point shooting, 77.5 free throw shooting, 14.9 PER. Age [28] Chalmers didn’t win his starting spot back. Norris Cole just lost it.

20. Brandon Jennings [Pistons] 12.6 points, 2.7 rebounds, 6.4 assists, 39.2 2-point shooting, 32.7 3-point shooting, 85.2 free throw shooting, 15.6 PER. Age [25] Jennings was named to Sports Illustrated’s All-Atrocious Team.

21. Victor Oladipo [Magic] 14.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 47.5 2-point shooting, 42.9 3-point shooting, 75.7 free throw shooting, 14.3 PER in 21 games. Age [22] Oladipo and rookie Elfrid Payton started in the same backcourt for the first time Sunday, with Oladipo moving to shooting guard.

22. Derrick Rose [Bulls] 16.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 51.1 2-point shooting, 28.1 3-point shooting, 77.6 free throw shooting, 17.1 PER in 16 games. Age [26] He’s better than Kirk Hinrich — but not as durable.

23. Patrick Beverley [Rockets] 12.7 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 40.0 2-point shooting, 42.0 3-point shooting, 67.6 free throw shooting, 14.2 PER in 14 games. Age [26] James Harden leads the team with 26.3 points, 7.0 assists and 4.2 turnovers. Beverley is just in the way.

24. Donald Sloan [Pacers] 10.3 points, 3.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 40.8 2-point shooting, 34.1 3-point shooting, 76.5 free throw shooting, 13.1 PER. Age [27] George Hill, who has been out all season with a left knee injury, is expected to return this month.

25. Jeremy Lin [Lakers] 10.5 points, 2.8 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 48.3 2-point shooting, 32.9 3-point shooting, 81.9 free throw shooting, 13.3 PER. Age [26] “I like game-winners, too.”

26. Michael Carter-Williams [76ers] 15.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, 7.7 assists, 43.4 2-point shooting, 24.6 3-point shooting, 63.8 free throw shooting, 12.7 PER in 19 games. Age [23] The 76ers aren’t tanking. They are reaching their potential.

27. Trey Burke [Jazz] 11.3 points, 2.3 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 40.1 2-point shooting, 30.8 3-point shooting, 81.0 free throw shooting, 11.4 PER. Age [22] Burke has been playing fewer minutes, while rookie Dante Exum has been playing more.

28. Mo Williams [Timberwolves] 10.9 points, 2.1 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 44.1 2-point shooting, 35.0 3-point shooting, 82.1 free throw shooting, 14.2 PER in 19 games. Age [32] Ricky Rubio, who has missed all but five games with a left ankle sprain, could return in January.

29. Jose Calderon [Knicks] 9.6 points, 3.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 43.6 2-point shooting, 45.9 3-point shooting, 100.0 free throw shooting, 13.4 PER in 17 games. Age [33] “Nobody can be happy or feel comfortable in this situation. It is very frustrating.”

30. Marcus Smart [Celtics] 5.8 points, 2.2 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 45.5 2-point shooting, 28.9 3-point shooting, 100.0 free throw shooting, 11.0 PER in 12 games. Age [20] The rookie from Oklahoma State made his first NBA start on Sunday.

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