The point guard is one of the most important positions in today's era of the NBA. Without a serviceable point running your team's offense, it is extremely hard to compete in your respective conference. That's why the five players ranked below are the cream of the crop when it comes to NBA talent.
5 - Damian Lillard
2015-16 season averages: 25.1 pts, 4.0 reb, 6.8 ast, 0.9 stl, 3.2 tov Lillard proved himself last season as a top-tier PG in the NBA, regardless of how many individual awards he was snubbed out of. He managed to lead a team that everyone thought was lottery-bound to the Playoffs, after losing 4 out of 5 starters from the year before.
And on top of that, he managed to make it past the first round matchup against the Clippers, even though he was helped along by substantial injuries to LA's star players and even stole a game in the series against Steph Curry and the 73-9 Warriors. These feats alone prove just how valuable Damian Lillard is to the Portland Trail Blazers franchise, and just how deserving he is to be a perennial all-star and All-NBA guard in the years to come.
4 - Chris Paul
2015-16 season averages: 19.5 pts, 4.2 reb, 10.0 ast, 2.1 stl, 2.6 tov Year in and year out, Chris Paul shows us again and again why he is considered one of the top point guards to ever play the game. Paul is one of the greatest we've ever seen at being able to control the pace of a game and dictate an offense exactly how he wants. His defensive prowess is nothing to laugh at either, with Paul leading the league in steals a combined six times.
He may have lost half a step last year, but the man's consistency is undeniable. And he's only 31 years old, right in the middle of his prime. He has career averages of 18.8 points, 9.9 assists and 2.3 steals a game. That level of production over an 11-year span is only rivaled by the likes of John Stockton. Pretty good company to be in.
3 - Russell Westbrook
2015-16 season averages: 23.5 pts, 7.8 reb, 10.4 ast, 2.0 stl, 4.3 tov Russell Westbrook could very well be at the top of this list come to the end of next season, but as of right now, he's a couple of steps below number 1 and 2. There's only one way to describe Westbrook: Intense. He is a constant threat to collect a triple-double almost every night he's on the floor, and I don't think he's ever met a shot he didn't like.
The only thing I have against Westbrook is team success. The trio of Westbrook, Durant and Harden should have ripped off multiple titles when they were together. But I place most of that blame on the OKC management, and the fact that LeBron James was literally unstoppable that season. The man never says die, and his intensity for the game is only matched by greats such as Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan. Jordan has even said that he sees a little bit of himself in Westbrook. What more needs to be said when the G.O.A.T sees himself in you?
2 - Kyrie Irving
2015-16 season averages: 20.8 pts, 3.4 reb, 5.5 ast, 1.4 stl, 2.8 tov NBA Champion Kyrie Irving. Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? Kyrie has proven this past season that he no longer just belongs in the conversation for the best point guard in the league, he should be contesting for the number 1 spot. There has been some criticism regarding his passing, which is warranted, as he only averages 5.5 assists for his career. As a point guard, 5 and a half assists a game isn't terrible, but it sure isn't great.
But what Kyrie lacks in his passing game (Which he has been improving), he excels at in scoring. Irving arguably has the greatest handles in the league, or at least on par with Steph, and he can get to any position on the court that he wants to. His shooting stroke is a thing of beauty, and his ability to get into the paint and spin an acrobatic layup off the glass is amazing, to say the least. With LeBron's athleticism and performance most likely declining over the next couple of years, 24-year old Kyrie can only improve from here, and take over the reins of the Cleveland franchise.
1 - Steph Curry
2015-16 season averages: 30.1 pts, 5.4 reb, 6.7 ast, 2.1 stl, 3.3 tov The first unanimous MVP in league history. 402 threes in a season. League leader in points per game. League leader in steals per game. League leader in Player Efficiency Rating. All-NBA First Team. 73 wins in a season. I could go on and on, but these are just some of the accolades Steph Curry piled up during his 2015-16 season. Those alone should speak for his position as the best point guard in the league today. I'm not even a Curry fan, but I can give props to a great player when I see one. Curry is one of the most offensively-gifted point guards we've ever had in the NBA.
He is single-handedly changing the game, and how defenses should react to him. It is unfair that the opposing team has to guard him as soon as he crosses half court, it shouldn't happen. But Curry's range demands that type of respect. On top of this, he has been blessed with 2 All-Star teammates in Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, as well as adding Kevin Durant this offseason. The coaching of Steve Kerr as also helped his game immensely. Without these factors, I highly doubt Curry would be the player he is today. I don't see any of these factors changing anytime soon, so Curry may have the number 1 spot locked down well into the future unless Kyrie Irving or Russell Westbrook can up their game next season.