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Dimes’ dish: The beginning of the end, part one: Point guards.
Don’t worry if you jumped to conclusions due to the ominous title, The Ankle Breaker is not coming to an end, the 2012-2013 NBA regular season is though and I’m beginning my first round-up (Hopefully not the last.).
So to begin here’s the low-down. This season’s top 20 point guards.
20. Ricky Rubio.
Rubio had a tough task this year in being the leader of a depleted and Kevin Love-less Timberwolves team and he seemed unable to cope. Eventually though he got some support from his teammates and it improved his shaky shooting and allowed him to once again show off his sleaky passing abilities.
19. Isaiah Thomas.
I, along with numerous others, was puzzled at the Kings’ offseason signing of Aaron Brooks after Thomas’ surprising rookie season. Thomas was relegated to the bench but pushed aggresively to win his starting position and eventually oushed Sac town into buying out Brooks’ contract and he ended up in Houston. Another consistent season including a sneaky game-winning floater.
18. Jose Calderon.
The Raptors signed up and coming pointman Kyle Lowry from Houston this summer and it seemed to spell the end for the efficient Spaniard’s spell in Toronto, especially after Lowry’s dominant early-season play. Injury to Lowry forced Calederon into the first five and he shone, notching multiple double-doubles and increasing his trade stock. That play ended him up in backcourt heavy Detroit as part of the Rudy Gay trade but he has held his own.
17. Raymond Felton.
Felton had a lot of question marks over his head coming into the season. Was he done? Was he in shape? Could he fit in the Knicks’ system? Was he too selfish? He got top marks in all categories with dominant displays throughout the season, especially when he willed the Melo-less Knicks’ 20 point rout of the HEAT. Felton still has his ‘Thinks he’s MJ’ tendencies, but overall he’s a good PG.
16. Goran Dragic.
Dragic left Houston and filled the shoes of his former tutor Steve Nash in Pheonix. It was a horrible season for the Suns but Dragic was a bright spot, though the fact that Gortat’s need for basically spoonfed is a worry for Dragic’s future in Arizona.
15. Deron Williams.
Injuries, coaches, systems, EXCUSES. Deron Williams isn’t half the player he was. He is an overpaid, selfish, spoiled player. He set the NBA three-point filed goals made in a half record but that’s all he’s done this year. D-Will has a long, long ill to climb if he wants to get back to where he fell from. He still is good enough to hold down this 15th spot but could well be out of the twenty by the end of next year.
14. Jeff Teague.
Teague was electrifying this year filling Joe Johnson’s shoes along with J-Smoove. His season was eclipsed by Smith’s trade fiasco but Teague’s explosiveness, ability to get to the rim, push the break and defend aggresively make him an exciting and very energetic point guard.
13. Kemba Walker.
Kemba was looking like a draft bust after his horrible rookie year but he percivered and turned it around standing out of a bad sitauation in Charlotte and putting himself amongst contenders for the Most Improved Player award. His maturity and experience are showing and he hasn’t lost his killer crossover.
12. Greivis Vasquez.
Most improved player. Double double machine. That is all.
11. Mike Conley.
Conley, like Teague was overshadowed again this season. He has a great ability to defend elite PG’s with relative ease and has a lovely outside stroke. Rudy Gay’s departure also opened more avenue’s for Conley on offence and will probably get much more assists now that the dribble heavy swingman is gone. His gamewinner was also a sign of the faith that has been put into him and sign of his maturity.
10. John Wall.
John Wall could challenge for a top 5/3 spot next year if he stays fit. He returned from a dubious knee injury mid-season and was mercurial in his return. Whatever it was; Splitting the D, doing 360 layups, dishing, dunking, stealing, hustling, blocking or shooting (Nah scratch that.). Well except for shooting the Kentucky alum was stunning for DC and it will be exciting to see his and Beal’s connection next season
9. Damian Lillard.
What can I say? Nothing. We all know the story. I’ll let Kobe do the talking for me.
8. Ty Lawson.
Lawson worried many through the season with his streaky outside stroke and inconsistency but willed his way to the top end of lists like this with his dominant displays when his team turned to him. It will be interesting to see his postseason role on offence now that Galinari is out.
7. Jrue Holiday.
Holiday was really good this year and deserved his Allstar nod and would be higher except for his startling turnovers. Much like Michael-Carter Williams of Syracuse, Holiday’s game is great but can cost numerous buckets sometimes with wayward passing and sloppy dribbling Don’t get me wrong, Holiday is a force to be reckoned with be at times can be inconsistent.
6. Rajon Rondo.
Rondo was a lock for the 2 spot but his ACL moved him back a bit. His assist streak was astounding but his own scoring game still needs work. His attitude and aggresiveness has its ups and downs but in the end of the day it’s a part of who he is and that’s hard to change. #TheReturn.
5. Kyrie Irving.
‘I’m a K-I double L E-R see y’all in hell.’ Yes That’s Kyrie Irving in a nutshell. He’s cold-blooded. An assassin Like a mamb-wait sorry, I confused him with Kobe. Yes, Kobe. I think in the future Kyrie will be as dominant as Kobe as long as his knee injury doesn’t persist. It’d be a shame if that smooth handle, slick jumper left at such an early age.
4. Russell Westbrook.
I don’t care what anyone else says. Russell Westbrook is not a ball hog. He averages 7.5 assists, more than Lillard and Irving, to name a few, plus he plays with KD who can be very dribble heavy himself. He’s grown up so much. It’s wuite easy to label him a ball-hog like Iverson or Marbury. Yes, his shot-selection is questionable, but if Westbrook got traded like Harden he could be MVP in a season.
3. Stephen Curry.
So yea, Steph wasn’t an Allstar. Yes. No Allstar selection for one of the greatest shooters of all time. Better than Ray Allen. Steph has pushed through and left his weak ankles behind him, shook off any knocks and took the Warriors to another level. I tip my hat to Curry. He could’ve given into his ankle troubles and became an overpaid spot-up shooter but he took the challenge and became a great point guard.
2. Tony Parker.
TP won’t be labelled old until he can’t walk anymore. But at the same time you could say that about the whole Spurs roster so it takes away a bit of the Frenchman’s magic. Parker kept up from where he left off last season with his dominant play splitting defenses, taking hits and finishing in traffic. He took a knock to his ankle midway through the year but it didn’t shake him. Excellente monsieur Parker.
1. Chris Paul.
CP3′s dominance has really set him apart from the rest of the signal-callers in the league but that has also been aided by injuries. The thing that intrigues me the most about Paul is his ‘Switch’ as I call it. Most of the time he plays like a coach, holding back and letting his other teammates showcase their own talents. Then when Blake goes down, Jamal goes cold or DeAndre is struggling out comes Chris Paul out of nowhere and turns the game on its head. I wrote about beast mode earlier and CP3 is the epitomy of what I meant.
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