You probably don’t need proof to agree with me. But if you’re like my friends (and don’t believe most of the statements I confidently/blindly make), then I’ll need to prove why this is the Year of the Point Guard. Luckily, I don’t need to look far.
Just last night was a prime example of how deep the point guard position is in the NBA this year. My Sixers (all you non-Philly campers groan, but stick with me) played host to the Nuggets and former Sixer Andre Miller, coming off the bench, was KILLING IT. He scored the last 10 points of regulation for Denver, which would’ve all been for naught had Andre Iguodala made both of his free throws at the end of regulation. But, Iggy choked. Then, in OT, Miller hit a huge jumper to put his team up two before the Sixers’ Jrue Holiday turned the ball over to Miller on an errant kick-out pass to seal the game for Denver.
It’s worth noting that the Sixers let Miller go after Holiday was drafted as the point guard of the future. Despite his late game error, the 21-year-old Holiday is definitely a rising star. Yet the game belonged to Miller, who had 28 points and 10 assists coming off the bench behind the Nuggets own blossoming point guard, Ty Lawson.
Meanwhile, on the left coast, Lob Angeles was making due without star point guard Chris Paul. Chauncey Billups nailed a buzzer-beating three pointer to win the game over the Mavs. Billups, Mo Williams and Villanova-grad Randy Foye split time running the point in place of CP3, with Williams dropping 26 points in his return from injury and Foye tossing up an instant highlight to Blake Griffin. Apparently anybody looks good passing to Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, not just Chris Paul.
Elsewhere, the Chicago Bulls must be crossing their fingers that superstar point guard Derrick Rose has a speedy recovery. Their offense had been stagnant without Rose until last night, winning over the Suns as Rip Hamilton played for the first time in ten games. But I digress.
What I was getting at is this – the NBA is run by point guards. Yes, every team has to be balanced. Every team needs bigs. But ever since Magic came into the league 30 years ago, the point guard position has been evolving. Look no further than Rajon Rondo. Like him or not, the guy excels at everything on the court – rebounding (5.1 rpg), scoring (15 ppg), and of course, passing (9.4 apg).
Despite Rondo’s success and determination, the aging Celtics have struggled in the early going. That’s the thing – a point guard is only as good as his team, and a team is only as good as their point guard (with the Heat as one exception – Mario Chalmers, really?). CP3 has been MVP-status for a few years, but – prediction – this is the year he goes over the hump into Championship-status.
Last year, the Mavs won the championship on Dirk’s back. But they had seasoned floor general Jason Kidd directing traffic. Obviously you need to have balance. But without a strong 1-man, you’ve got nothing.
It’s the Year of the Point Guard. I didn’t even mention Russell Westbrook, Ricky Rubio, Deron Williams, Kemba Walker, or John Wall. Ok, I take that back. Now I’ve mentioned them.