Sunday, December 16, 2012

The NBA: Position Battle: The Best Point Guards Right Now



Nope, despite finishing with 41 against the Knicks, Kyrie Irving does NOT make this list. Linsanity, Steph Curry, Deron Williams, and Kyle Lowry also miss the cut, but there is ONE guy who’ll really make you shake your head (not THAT head!).

5) Brandon Knight (DET) - 23.0ppg, 4.0rpg, 4.2apg, 1.0spg, 65.4 3pt%, 20.8 EFF
Why, yes. Now is the time to shake your head. Brandon Knight is a top 5 point guard in the NBA, at least based on his last five games. I mean, look at his 3-point shooting! Better than 65%!!! Too bad the Pistons continue to suck, losing four of their last five.

4) Russell Westbrook (OKC) - 21.2ppg, 3.2rpg, 9.0apg, 1.8spg, 21.2 EFF
Jet Zero probably won’t be in the MVP conversation this year because he’s more of a volume scorer, but one cannot deny the impact he makes on the court in each OKC game. He’s the Thunder’s number two scorer, but he’s tops in steals and assists. He’s a big part of why OKC has won its last 10 games, and he’s a big part of why they’re on top of the whole league right now.

3) Chris Paul (LAC) - 16.6ppg, 3.2rpg, 8.4apg, 2.6spg, 21.8 EFF
Averaging less than 17 points and 9 assists per game is subpar for a player like Paul, but even then he’s still the third-best PG in the league. The Clips have won 9 straight and are still firmly in control of the Pacific Division. They’re also set to sweep their Eastern road trip after what should be an easy win against the Pistons in two days. For the CP3 fans out there, don’t worry. I’m sure your idol is just humming and waiting for the right time to explode.

2) Tony Parker (SAS) - 21.8ppg, 3.8rpg, 8.0apg, 56.9 FG%, 50.0 3pt%, 92.6 FT%, 26.0 EFF
Will you look at those shooting numbers?! They’re TOO INSANE. I mean, it’s almost unfair for a playmaker to shoot much better than most big men in the league. And then still have time to dish out 8 dimes an outing. But that’s how Parker’s game has progressed through the years. He has become a well-rounded world-beater, and the Spurs, currently 2 games ahead of Memphis in the Southwest, are all too happy to have him on board.

1) Rajon Rondo (BOS) - 14.2ppg, 7.2rpg, 12.8apg, 2.8spg, 1.0bpg, 53.4 FG%, 26.4
Rajon Rondo is the NBA’s best point guard. That’s not too arguable a point, but then again what’s really strange is how his team, the Boston Celtics, are languishing ahead of only Toronto in the Atlantic Division. The Cs lost three of their last five, and they have tough ones against the Bulls and Cavs to follow. Rondo’s superhuman, stat-stuffing production notwithstanding, I still don’t think Boston is a good bet in the near future.

Rajon Rondo and Tony Parker are the two top PGs
in the NBA today.
(image by Eric Gay/AP)

Honorable Mention: Steph Curry (GSW), Jrue Holiday (PHI), George Hill (IND)



Game Recaps (courtesy of the Sports Network):
Golden State 115, Atlanta 93
David Lee led five Golden State players in double figures with 20 points and 11 rebounds as the Warriors thumped Atlanta, 115-93, Saturday at Philips Arena. Carl Landry netted 19 points and pulled down seven rebounds, while Harrison Barnes also dropped in 19 on 8-of-14 shooting for the Warriors, who finished a seven-game road trip at 6-1. Stephen Curry poured in 18 points with 11 assists and eight rebounds, while Jarrett Jack finished with 13 points and eight assists in the triumph. Al Horford netted a team-high 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds for the Hawks, who had a two-game winning streak stopped. Louis Williams added 16 points, while Ivan Johnson and Jeff Teague contributed 15 and 10, respectively, in the loss.

Orlando 107, Charlotte 98
Arron Afflalo had 20 points and six rebounds as Orlando took a 107-98 win over struggling Charlotte at Time Warner Cable Arena. Glen Davis had 20 points, Jameer Nelson gave 16 points and six assists while J.J. Redick added 14 points for the Magic, who have won three of four. Nikola Vucevic had 13 points and 13 rebounds in the win. Kemba Walker had a career-high 32 points along with seven assists for the Bobcats, who have dropped 11 straight contests. Gerald Henderson gave 16 points in defeat.

Indiana 88, Detroit 77
David West scored 23 points and the Indiana Pacers took down the Detroit Pistons, 88-77, on Saturday. George Hill, fresh off his first career triple-double in Friday's win over Philadelphia, added 18 points and seven assists for the Pacers, who have won three in a row. Paul George donated 15 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for Indiana, which had lost three straight at Detroit. Tyler Hansbrough finished with 11 points and six boards. However, the news was not all good for the Pacers. Center Roy Hibbert left the game before the half with a bruised left thigh and did not return. Greg Monroe ended with 18 points and eight rebounds to pace the Pistons, who have lost four in a row. Rodney Stuckey and Brandon Knight had 15 and 14 points, respectively.

Miami 102, Washington 72
LeBron James compiled 23 and 10 rebounds as the Miami Heat exacted a measure of revenge on the Washington Wizards with a 102-72 rout of their Southeast Division rival at American Airlines Arena. The Heat were dealt a shocking 105-101 defeat in Washington to a Wizards team that was 1-13 at the time back on Dec. 4, but ensured there would be no repeat outcome this time. Miami never had a lead under double digits after the second quarter and was ahead by as many as 35 points at one stage. Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem each netted 13 points to help the defending world champions bounce back from Wednesday's 97-95 home setback to Golden State as well. Bradley Beal and Cartier Martin were the lone bright spots in an otherwise awful offensive display for Washington, which shot a meager 37.5 percent from the field and committed 21 turnovers that the Heat converted into 30 points. Beal paced the Wizards with 19 points, with Martin recording 18 off the bench while making good on 4-of-6 attempts from 3-point range.

New York 103, Cleveland 102
Tyson Chandler tallied a double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds and the New York Knicks escaped with a 103-102 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers to remain unbeaten at home. Without Carmelo Anthony, who sat with an injured ankle, Raymond Felton scored a team-high 25 points. He also finished with seven assists for New York, which also received 16 points from J.R. Smith and 13 points from Steve Novak off the bench. The Cavaliers got a monstrous effort out of Kyrie Irving, who scored a game-high 41 points a day after fracturing his jaw against the Milwaukee Bucks. He led a furious late comeback, though Cleveland ultimately fell short after Anderson Varejao missed a potential game-tying free throw with a second left in the game.

Kyrie Irving's career night was not enough to help
the visiting Cavs upend the Knicks at MSG.
(image by Bill Kostroun/AP)

Chicago 83, Brooklyn 82
Marco Belinelli's driving layup in the closing seconds put the Bulls on top for good as Chicago outlasted the Brooklyn Nets, 83-82, at the United Center. Belinelli finished with a team-high 19 points, while Luol Deng followed with 17 and Joakim Noah contributed a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulls, who have won two straight and five of their last six. Deron Williams dropped in a game-high 24 points for the Nets, but could not connect on a game-tying jumper following Belinelli's decisive basket. Brook Lopez added 18 points and 10 boards, and Joe Johnson poured in 16 points as Brooklyn had its two-game winning streak snapped.

Minnesota 114, Dallas 106 (OT)
Nikola Pekovic scored a game-high 21 points and pulled down nine rebounds as the Minnesota Timberwolves outlasted the Dallas Mavericks, 114-106, in overtime on Saturday at Target Center. Alexey Shved netted 18 points with six assists, while Derrick Williams contributed 16 and six rebounds for the Timberwolves, who have won a season- high four straight. Luke Ridnour scored 15 points, while Andrei Kirilenko put home 14 and grabbed 10 boards and J.J. Barea finished with 14 points in the victory. Minnesota point guard Ricky Rubio made his season debut after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament and lateral collateral ligament in his left knee last March. Rubio donated eight points and handed out nine assists. O.J. Mayo and Derek Fisher scored 20 points apiece in the setback for Dallas, which has lost three straight games.

LA Clippers 111, Milwaukee 85
Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul each recorded double-doubles as the red-hot Los Angeles Clippers dominated the Milwaukee Bucks, 111-85. Griffin ended with 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Clippers, who have won nine in a row for the first time since Nov. 3-23, 1974, when the Buffalo Braves set a franchise record with 11 straight wins. Jordan had 15 points and 11 boards for Los Angeles (17-6), which is off to its best start in franchise history after 23 games as well. Paul tallied 10 points and 13 assists, while Matt Barnes added 21 points off the bench. Marquis Daniels ended with 16 points to pace the Bucks, who had a four-game winning streak snapped. Monta Ellis and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute added 13 and 11 points, respectively.

San Antonio 103, Boston 88
Tony Parker compiled 22 points and eight assists as the San Antonio Spurs put an end to their first losing streak of the season by coming through with a 103-88 triumph over the Boston Celtics at the AT&T Center. The Spurs returned home having been handed back-to-back defeats to Utah and Portland on a 4-game road trip, but outscored the Celtics by a 51-39 margin in the second half to pull away and get back on track. Gary Neal helped San Antonio's cause by dropping in 20 points, with Tiago Splitter adding 16 points to the victory. The night wasn't all positive for the Spurs, however, as valued guard Manu Ginobili exited the contest in the first quarter with a bruised left quadriceps and did not return. Paul Pierce and Jason Terry each netted 18 points in the loss, Boston's second in a row following two straight wins.

Memphis 99, Utah 86
Zach Randolph registered a double-double with 25 points and 16 rebounds on Saturday, as the Memphis Grizzlies snapped a three-game skid with a 99-86 triumph over the Utah Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena. Marc Gasol donated 16 points and eight boards, while Rudy Gay added 14 points in the victory, Memphis' first in Utah since Jan. 24, 2007. Al Jefferson led the Jazz with 21 points and eight rebounds and Paul Millsap chipped in 12 points for Utah, which has lost two straight on the heels of a four-game winning streak.


Top 10 Plays of the Night:


Game Highlights:



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