Basketball is a young man’s game and because of it the NBA is in good hands. Just look around and you’ll see a bunch of young talent springing all over the place, particularly at the point guard position. The old-school definition of point guard has evolved into the modern-day floor general being formed more in the combo package player-an athlete that can hand out double-digit dimes and still drop in 40 points on any given night.
That would be the Russell Westbrooks, Damian Lillards, Steph Currys and Kyrie Irvings of the world. Welcome to the new NBA. Showtime is now being defined in one mercurial package these days. The best five point guards that figure to have an impact on the league now and for years to come already have their respective teams on the upswing. It is no coincidence that all five points have their teams in the postseason hunt.
The best of the best are:
1. Steph Curry, Golden State Warriors: My vote for MVP. Need we say more. Curry’s 24 points and 7.8 assists per game are stupid numbers for a PG. It wasn’t too long ago when Curry came out of college that many folks, including NBA experts and pundits were less flattering about Curry’s game than they are now. With his lightning-quick release and drop-and-dime shot, constant movement and his ability to break down defenses, Curry is the new Alpha Dog of point guards. By the way, he also has the Golden State Warriors as the Western Conference front runners to reach the NBA Finals.
2. Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers: Older now but still have the guts and toughness to lead. With Lob City running buddy Blake Griffin off on the sidelines nursing an infection, Paul and the Clippers showed their grit in a tough 10-game stretch, going 7-3 in that span. The Clippers won’t get a whiff of a serious NBA title run without Griffin being in the lineup. But without Paul they don’t even make the postseason. Paul is coming up big night in and night out, going for 18 points and just over 10 assists a game. That”s pretty doggone impressive.
3. Russell Westbrook, Oklaoma City Thunder: The Electric One. All systems are a go with this guy. There is no shame in his game, and there is certainly no apologetic message Westbrook has by his nightstand for playing the way he plays. And the way he plays is with one gear: all out. The last couple of years, Westbrook has been teasing us of what he can do if he assumes the role of Top Cat for the Thunder. But with Kevin Durant and his sharpshooting talents shadowing him, Westbrook has had to defer to the 2014 regular season MVP. That has not been the case this season. With Durant out most of the season, the real Westbrook has been unleashed. His offensive tear over the last month solidifies his mercurial play.
4. Damian Lillard, Portland Trailblazers: There’s only one real word to describe Damian Lillard on the basketball court: Monster. Another young buck on the rise. Excuse me, Lillard has already arrived. He is the reason why the Pacific Northwest cares about the Portland Trailblazers. Lillard is one of those players when the big moment comes he doesn’t shrink. Lillard thrives in those moments instead. You can throw out his 20 (points) and 6 (assists) per contest numbers when the game is on the line. Lillard’s ability to take over a game is like putting butter on the popcorn.
5. Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers: Big, physical and tough, Irving is the combo guard that everyone likes these days. The Duke alumnus has LeBron James in his hip pocket and that spells trouble for the rest of the NBA for some time to come.