Ranking the Top 10 Point Guards in the NBA

11 of 11

1. Chris Paul

Feb 23, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul (3) is defended by Utah Jazz guard Alec Burks (10) at the Staples Center. The Clippers defeated the Jazz 107-94. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

I thought long and hard before I settled on Chris Paul as the top point guard in the league.  I thought about Parker’s playoff pedigree, and the championships, and how Paul is the sexy choice but not necessarily the best point guard right now; but then I remembered one thing: Chris Paul was born to play point guard, and pretending that he’s not the very best at what he does would be heresy.

Here’s a personal anecdote on Chris Paul that I remembered when making this decision: I went to three or four random Golden State Warriors games when Paul was in town with the Hornets about four, five, maybe six years ago.  I hadn’t selected those Warriors-Hornets games for any particular reason; the opportunity was presented to me to go to a game, and I went simply because I wanted to see a game.

Each and every one of those games were competitive.  Neither the Warriors nor the Hornets had very good teams at that point in time.  All of those games took on the same shape, where a close game at halftime turned into a 4-8 point Hornets lead in the third quarter, and every time the Warriors would lose by approximately 10-12 points.

The one thing I distinctly remember about each and every one of those games was the poised, polished execution of one Christopher Emmanuel Paul.  Whether it was pick-and-roll with Tyson Chandler that led to an alley-oop, a jumper from the elbow that was practically automatic, or a nifty pass in transition for an easy two points, Paul always had the answer for whatever the Warriors were going to throw at him.  When everyone else on the floor was moving at 100 miles per hour, he looked like he was in slow motion (in a good way).  Always in control, never rattled.

Say what you want about the other guys on this list, but I don’t think there’s a game situation you could throw at Chris Paul where he would not know exactly what do to and when to do it.  I mean, does anyone actually think that Vinny Del Negro knows more about basketball than Chris Paul?  If anyone but Donald Sterling owned the Clippers, Del Negro would be one boneheaded, playoff-costing mistake away from running a summer camp in Encino while Paul leads the Clippers to their first championship as player-coach.

Take a look at this video and ask yourself if there’s any other point guard in the game today that’s on Chris Paul’s level as far as controlling their own play, as well as that of their team and the overall flow of the game.

You could look at his stats, but the truth is that those numbers don’t even begin to describe the effect that he has on a basketball team, and his time in with the Hornets certainly skewed his number because if he wasn’t scoring 20+ points and getting 10+ assists every game, they weren’t ever going to have a chance to win.

Now that he’s with the Clippers, you don’t get that sad feeling when you look at a great player wasting away on a team with no future (I can’t believe I just wrote that about the Clippers).  They’re in a position to make a serious run at the title this year, one of maybe four teams that can say that, five if you’re being incredibly generous to some wild card team like the Knicks or the Pacers.  That’s not possible without Chris Paul, and he’s single-handedly transformed them into a contender and saved Blake Griffin from being the next victim of the Clippers Curse.

You can look at his All-Star Game MVP this year as recognition of his supremacy over all other NBA point guards, but personally, I’m more impressed by his instant removal of that losing stench that the Clippers were mired in for so long.  When you can remove that type of bad juju, you’re doing alright.

Disagree with any of these rankings?  Have some cool video clips to point to to prove me wrong?  Post it in the comments below.