Maybe I’m just not adjusting to the present NBA like others are. Maybe shooting point guards really are the “future” of the National Basketball Association. Maybe it’s better for the point guard to hold onto the ball for the majority of the shot clock without team distribution and passing.
Or maybe Gary Payton was right.
The great Gary Payton, who is currently in the Basketball Hall of Fame, was quoted in September of 2013 as saying:
“We don’t really have point guards in the NBA right now, we got, really, two-guards, and that’s just a fact. They score a lot and things like that. Nowadays, we have a lot of two-guards that’s ones, and they score and that’s what basketball is about right now. Basketball is about excitement and putting up points and that’s just the way it is. In my day, we had a lot of true point guards and we competed with each other every night. It is a little different now, it is different eras.”
I guess the NBA has changed. But unfortunately for the teams with shooting point guards, the results remain the same. Teams with exciting shoot first point guards aren’t winning anything. What’s worse is their opponents prefer that style of play because it restricts ball movement and shots from other teammates.
The Chicago Bulls and Oklahoma City Thunder are prime examples of how they are their own worst enemy.
Without a doubt the most mind boggling stat in sports last year was Russell Westbrook took 102 more shots than Kevin Durant. How in the basketball world does a point guard take over 100 more shots than the three time scoring champion? Again I just don’t get it. Maybe Payton and I are just behind the times.
A point guard is like an NFL quarterback, his job is to facilitate and pass the ball. Easily the most important statistic for a point guard is the assist. Well it was. Today’s NBA point guards are looking to score at whatever the cost, even if it means getting hurt, low field goal percentages, or little ball movement.
Derrick Rose is another perfect example of how a shooting point guard will always disappoint in the end. In Rose’s last full season (2010-11) he tried to do too much that he hurt the Bulls just as much as he helped them. That year Rose took over 400 more shots than anybody else on the team. The second most was Luol Deng 442 shot attempts behind Rose. So much for team balance.
On the notorious play where Derrick Rose tore his ACL nobody even made contact with him. He was just a victim of his own aggressive playing style. Rather than trust his forwards or centers to score he chose to drive to the basket at full force. Done for the season.
Rose and Westbrook are exciting players to watch, but unfortunately for the wrong reasons. They’ll make all the highlights, they’ll get picked for fantasy teams, and they’ll put up some good numbers. But if you want to win a championship avoid point guards like these at all costs. You can’t win a championship with this style of play.
Magic Johnson and John Stockton both share the distinction by most as being the two best point guards of all time. Why? Because they were pin point passers. Both Johnson and Stockton rank No. 1 and No. 2 in assists per game in NBA history .
Payton also went on to say that in today’s NBA there are currently only three real pure point guards: Chris Paul, Rajon Rondo, and Tony Parker. I tend to agree.