Even with sports dragging to a standstill due to the current pandemic that is sweeping across the entire world, athletes everywhere still are keeping in shape for that time when sports is actually back on schedule. For the NBA, their season was stopped with around 20 games to go in the regular season, and teams were just gearing up and getting ready for their run to close out the season.
The Milwaukee Bucks were leading the entire league with their 53-12 record, two games ahead of the Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Lakers and six games ahead of their second-place competition in the Eastern Conference, the Toronto Raptors. Led by reigning league Most Valuable Player Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks were well on their way to threatening to be another team to join the 70-victory club.
Point guard play across the NBA is astounding, as various levels of talent are spread throughout. From proven veterans to first-year talents, the league is running rampant with talent at the point guard position, something that has always been prevalent in the league.
As of the 2019-20 season, the point guards are quite dominant in the league, going from deadly outside snipers to assist machines and do-it-all superstars. Here are the top five point guards in the NBA at this point.
Career – 23.5 PPG / 4.5 REB / 6.6 AST / 43.5 3PT%
Even though the vast majority of Curry’s 19-20 was spent recovering from an injury, which was a broken hand, he still is the creme de la creme in the league at the one-guard position.
The seventh overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft out of Davidson, the Warriors went the route of the small-school prospect that had shot up draft boards due to his March Madness appearances, raining threes on every team that he faced. While the franchise may have faced a little bit of flak for how Curry’s career began, which was riddled with injuries, he was able to turn around his career and turn into the superstar that he is today.
Leading the Golden State Warriors to be a consistent power in the league, so much so as being the league favorite each and every year (seemingly) to win the championship, Curry is the backbone of the Warriors’ franchise, especially with the departure of Kevin Durant this past offseason. Flanked by Klay Thompson and Draymond Green at the top of the roster, Curry’s rise to the top of the league was hard to project 11 years ago.
Career – 23.2 PPG / 7.1 REB / 8.3 AST / 43.7 FG%
Wearing the brunt of a lot of flak and naysayers ever since he entered the league back in 2008, Russell Westbrook is in a breed of his own. Relying on his nose for the ball, and occasionally his nose for trouble, Westbrook is a walking triple-double threat on a nightly basis, but his ugly shooting performances hinder him at times.
Coming from a UCLA team that also had Kevin Love on it (Love was drafted fifth, one pick behind Westbrook in 2008), Westbrook is used to having the ball in his hand, whether for good or bad outcomes. Commonly associated with the highlight reels on a nightly basis, Westbrook puts up gaudy numbers for the Houston Rockets now, after he was on the infamous Oklahoma City Thunder that also included Durant, James Harden, and Serge Ibaka.
Coming full circle being teammates now with Harden, Westbrook loves a little adversity and both the fans and national pundits love to tear his game apart, focusing on the negatives without realizing how much he brings to the game. While the Rockets are better off with Westbrook on their roster, a common theme seems to follow Westbrook wherever he goes – not being able to reach the peak of what he should be able to reach.
Career – 22.4 PPG / 3.7 REB / 5.7 AST / 39.0 3PT%
Being teammates with Lebron James was not enough for Kyrie Irving, and he has failed to enjoy as much success as he enjoyed on the Cleveland Cavaliers since then.
Uncle Drew, as he is affectionately known, is the point guard for the Brooklyn Nets, who agreed to sign with the Nets this past offseason, along with Durant. Bringing in two max players was a huge get for the team, especially since they have lacked relevancy ever since they sold the farm – and their souls – back a few years when they acquired Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and company.
Irving was dealing with an injury for the vast majority of this season and just returned, similar to the trajectory that Curry was on as well, and he is still waiting to see his first court action alongside Durant, who is finalizing his rehab of his torn ACL that he suffered last season. For Irving, his time in Brooklyn has been relatively smooth, even as the team tries to survive and make the playoffs without him for the majority of the year.
Ball-handling skills on point each and every night, Irving has been a showstopper with the ball in his hands ever since his days at Duke University, which pushed him to the top of the draft in 2011. As he continues to find his footing in Brooklyn, Irving may be in his most solid spot of his career ever since being traded to the Boston Celtics.
Career – 24.0 PPG / 4.2 REB / 6.5 AST / 37.1 3PT%
A full-time baller and a part-time rapper, Damian Lillard’s rise to fame from Weber State to the Portland Trail Blazers has been amazing to watch. What has been even more amazing is how he has stayed humble throughout all of it.
Lillard has been tasked with leading the Trail Blazers out of mediocrity ever since he was drafted as the sixth-overall selection back in 2012. His entire career in Portland has been filled with big on-court moments, including sending the Trail Blazers onto the next round in two playoff series by sending through game-winning daggers from outside the arc.
For the entire sport of basketball, it is better off with Lillard in it, and his stats prove that to be very true. His time in the league has been dominant since day one, and he is one of the best to currently be doing it in the league.
Career – 20.0 PPG / 3.8 REB / 5.4 AST / 41.8 FG%
The franchise savant for the Charlotte Bobcats, Kemba Walker’s time as a Bobcat was overshadowed by how bad the rest of the team was. That is not the case in Boston.
On a max deal with the Celtics, Walker helped replace the void left by Irving when he bolted for greener pastures, and Walker was finally a part of a dominating team that could compete for years to come.
In a much tougher East than it used to be, the Celtics needed a final piece to add to the core of Jayson Tatum, Jaylon Brown, and others, and Walker was that perfect piece. With a deadly stepback arsenal and the ability to knife through the lane to get a hard-earned bucket, Walker is a top-five PG in the league for sure, due to his abilities to come up big when called upon and to be able to balance taking over a game and taking a back seat when needed.