Monday , Mar , 27 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

For The Love Of Basketball 59th edition

What has happened to the point guard in the NBA?

Has anyone else noticed the deft of insufficient play at that position? I can’t tell you how infuriating it is that running a fast break has become such a lost art. It’s an epidemic! How many times do you see a break being led by a point in the middle, two guys filling both lanes, and instead of dishing it to the guy who has a lay up, he gives it to the guy who’s standing behind the three point line? Asinine. The idea of getting out in transition is to get easy shots. Why shoot a jump shot (unless you need it), when you can get a dunk? Point guards today don’t even know how to initiate a break. Save for Jason Kidd, how rare is it to see a point guard grab a rebound and get his team in position for an easy bucket?

The reality of this situation scares me. Guys just can’t make the simple play. Everyone wants to throw it off the rim, or through his legs, or behind their backs… I mean damn! How about the classic bounce pass? Or for that matter, a point guard who passes? For the record, a point guard is supposed to be an extension of the coach. Someone who keeps his teammates organized and gets them in their sets. Not just chuck it every chance they get. The point guard is not supposed to be your team’s leading scorer. A true point guard leads the team, gets scorers the ball in their preferred spots, makes the right passes, and scores when it’s absolutely needed.
That’s what makes Steve Nash so good; he’s the best point guard in the league. When he has the ball, you trust and know that he’ll make the right decision. He is vital to the Suns success… and maybe a little too vital because whenever he’s not in the lineup, the Suns look awful, but that’s a whole other story. But looking at the NBA today, there’s only one future great point guard in the league, and that’s Chris Paul. How happy are the Hornets to have him instead of Baron Davis (who by the way is on the verge of being labeled a team cancer in Golden State)? The guy’s an absolute joy to watch. He’s quick, fast, and a great distributor. He’s a defensive nightmare for opponents because he’s not one dimensional, if you try to take advantage of his willingness to share the ball and force him to score, he can burn you that way as well. Nowadays you have point guards burning their own teams by their poor decision-making and play. It’s a sad thing I tell you, down right depressing.

Greatest Point Guards of My Lifetime
Magic Johnson
Isiah Thomas
John Stockton
Kevin Johnson
Jason Kidd
Mark Price
Steve Nash
Gary Payton (I’m a little iffy about him.)