Top 10 Point Guards in the 2019/20 season so far- Part 1
Photo via Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

The Point Guard position has for a long time been one of the most important positions on a basketball court, running the offense and taking control of the team. 

This year, the crop of PG's has been significantly upgraded, and three VAVEL writers have attempted to unpick this ranking dilemma

So, without further ado, here is VAVEL's take on the Top 10 Point Guards so far this season, numbers 10 to 6 being in this article, while 5 to 1 will be released at a later date.

Disclaimer: Only players listed as Point Guards by Basketball Reference will be considered (This adds LeBron James and Luka Doncic while excluding D'Angelo Russell, James Harden and Spencer Dinwiddie). Players who have not played at least half of their team's games this season will also be excluded (Steph Curry, Kyrie Irving).

10. Ja Morant- Memphis Grizzlies 

Picked 2nd overall in this year's NBA draft, Morant has taken the NBA world by storm. His ability to create shots for himself and for others has propelled his team to be in a playoff spot in the midst of a six-game win streak. 

His main attributes include his fiery athleticism and speed, his unreal finishing ability and very underrated playmaking, which has led to comparisons to another guard that makes this list, Russell Westbrook.

While he is clearly very talented, one of Ja's most impressive attributes is his unwavering leadership qualities, something that will undoubtedly allow him to have great success throughout his future in the league.

His numbers back up this ranking, averaging 18 points and almost 7 assists with a True Shooting Percentage of 57.6% in just 29.7 minutes per night.

9. Chris Paul- Oklahoma City Thunder

From rookie to veteran we go, and Chris Paul has enough talent that even at 34 years of age he is still in the league's upper echelon. For years he has tortured defences that come up against him with a combination of both talent and genius, and even age cannot take away his basketball IQ.

Paul is quite possibly the best leader in the NBA, and he has played a huge part in the Thunder looking like a playoff team, having won 12 of their last 16 games. His team is also 4.5 points per 100 possessions better off with him on the court, an unsurprising number considering how much of an impact he has in that locker room.

Overall, he is putting up 16.5 points, and 6.5 assists on 59.4% True Shooting while being a consistently productive defender. 

The numbers may argue that Morant deserves to be higher, but no one impacts the game quite like CP3.

8. Kyle Lowry- Toronto Raptors 

Just one year removed from his championship victory, Kyle Lowry continues to help his team towards overachieving. The on/off numbers in the article linked above still remain similar, but that does not mean much considering his team still remains 4th in the East at 26-14, even though they have missed their two best players in Pascal Siakam and Lowry for 11 games,

In those 11 games that Lowry has missed, Toronto is 9-2. This probably represents how deep this Toronto team is, rather than anything about Lowry himself.

A smaller player with surprising strength, Lowry has made a living by being a pest on both sides of the ball. He manipulates screen actions particularly well and has a knack for getting teammates involved aswell as being an incredible defender for his height, measuring at just 6 foot.

He is averaging 20.5 points and nearly 8 assists with a 57.8% True Shooting and a career high in turnovers.

7. Ben Simmons- Philadelphia 76ers 

Can’t shoot, won’t shoot, still one of the top players in the NBA. Simmons is without a doubt proving that you don’t need a jumpshot to be effective. While he still hasn’t put it all together scoring-wise, his combination of defensive prowess (linked above) and playmaking has made him the all-star that he was awarded last season. 

He has a very versatile low post game and has shown to be an imposing fast break player, also specialising in finding three point looks with his passing. There is still a stigma around him though, as their is with many first overall picks, many people suggesting that he has not lived up to expectations.

So far this season, he has put up 15.3 points, 7.6 rebounds with 8.4 assists and led the league in steals for a 76ers team which has underperformed from their high expectations. After a slow start, Simmons has really picked it up recently, especially in terms of efficiency, and as a result his True Shooting is slightly higher than last season's, at 58.3%.

The Magic Johnson comparisons may be far-fetched for the time being, but somewhere in the near future those predictions could easily come true.

6. Russell Westbrook- Houston Rockets 

Once an MVP, now not even a Top 5 PG. It’s been quite a ride for Russell Westbrook since the glorious 2016/17 season. It is making it very clear that his MVP was a result of everything clicking. We haven’t seen an outlier season to that extent in a while, and Westbrook continues his slow decline.

His athleticism is still sprightly, and he hasn’t changed much in terms of his finishing, it has been more his shot selection that has taken a hit. He is shooting inefficient jumpshots like wildfire and as a result his efficiency remains well below average, with a 51% TS. It is possible that coach Mike D’Antoni allowing him free reign in the offense was a bad idea, as it has created an abundance of mid range shots. 

His counting stats, on the other hand, are very impressive as usual, with averages of 24.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and 7.2 assists. The Rockets have been very good so far this year, but serious questions have been asked about how much Westbrook has been a part of that. 
 


Thanks for reading, make sure to stay tuned for the release of 5-1, as well as all the other positional rankings that will be hitting VAVEL soon!

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