Ranking the Top 10 Point Guards in the NBA

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Honorable Mention: Damian Lillard, Ricky Rubio

March 2, 2013; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) shoots over Minnesota Timberwolves forward Mickael Gelabale (15) on the first half at the Rose Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

These two players have really bright futures ahead of them, and it’s earned them an honorable mention in these rankings.  I’m sure they’ll take note and rank it up there with being drafted on their list of career accomplishments one day.

Damian Lillard is a virtual lock for Rookie of the Year, and any Golden State Warriors fan reading this will remember how he nearly single-handedly brought the Portland Trailblazers back against the Dubs in his homecoming game, dropping a career-high 37 points, including seven threes.  He’s as good of a natural scorer as there is in the NBA, and he also averages six and a half assists and three rebounds for good measure.

Lillard represents the new prototype for an NBA point guard in that he can carry a team with his scoring prowess, but he still possesses the playmaking abilities that are associated with traditional NBA point guards.  He’s on pace to have one of the best rookie seasons ever, and people are taking note.  Big things ahead for this guy.

Ricky Rubio is a bit of a different case.  He’s had to work against the lofty expectations that have been put upon him by the basketball world ever since he made his Euroleague debut at the age of 16.  It’s always tough to live up to a hype that takes on a life of its own, and people that aren’t familiar with Rubio’s style of play knock him for his lack of scoring ability and not-s0-flashy numbers.

The thing to remember with Rubio is that he’s never going to be someone who puts up 20+ points on a nightly basis like you’d expect with a player like

Feb 24, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio (9) dribbles as Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry (30) defends in the fourth quarter at the Target Center. Warriors won 100-99. Mandatory Credit: Greg Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Lillard.  His vision is unparalleled in the league amongst point guards, and his innate sense of timing on his passes often brings up comparisons to the likes of Jason Kidd and the late “Pistol” Pete Maravich.

At 6’4″, his length is also an asset on defense, and it’ll be interesting to see how he improves as he makes his way back from a knee injury that knocked him out of the Rookie of the Year race in 2012.

As this article points out, there’s going to be some growing pains, and Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Rick Adelman will be happy to take the good with the bad, because they’re simply a better, more dangerous team with Rubio on the floor.

Additionally, we got to see some leadership from the young Spaniard last week against the Lakers as he implored his teammates to have fun and change their faces (otherwise he’ll have to do it for them).