Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 7/30/13
Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard unanimously won the 2012-2013 Rookie of the Year Award. Read why I believe that won’t be the only individual award he will be winning in his career. NBA point guards are like the quarterback of your team. The point guard is said to direct a team’s offense; the player is somewhat the general on the floor. The point guard is suppose to make the game easier for his teammates, assisting them to almost every basket that they make. When the game is on the line, you want the ball in your point guards hands, because most often then not, they know what to do with the ball. The point guard has to be the most unselfish player on your team. Even though they may be the best scorer on your team, you would want to your point guard to think pass first before shooting the ball. I mean that’s why we have shooting guards on our teams for, right? But with that said, it doesn’t mean your point guard can’t take the most shots on your team. If he thinks he has the best opportunity to helping his team win, than by any means do what you got to do. With all the responsibilities a point guard has, as a coach you would usually want the player to be the captain of your team. The roll of a point guard demands a player to be a leader, which is why I believe a point guard is the most important player on your team. So with taking all that information into consideration, in this 2-part series, I will now rank my top ten point guards heading into this 2013-2014 season, beginning with my 10-6 picks. 10. Jrue Holiday, New Orleans Pelicans Jrue Holiday finished last season averaging 17.7 ppg, 8.0 apg, 4.2 rpg and 1.6 spy for the Philadelphia 76ers. Those numbers earned Holiday a spot in the Eastern Conference roster for his first ever All-Star game. During the 2013 NBA Draft though, the Philadelphia 76ers decided to trade the 4th year point guard out of UCLA to the New Orleans Pelicans for the rights to their 6th overall pick, Nerlens Noel, and a 2014 first round pick. That trade shocked me just as much as it probably shocked Holiday himself, seeing that he and the 76ers reached a 4-year agreement worth close to $41 million the moment the 2012 season began. But a business is a business, and Holiday will now get to team up with young players on the Pelicans roster such as Tyreke Evans, Eric Gordon, and Anthony Davis. Expect Holiday to have an expanded role on this newly revamped Pelicans team. 9. Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers Damian Lillard finish his rookie season campaign averaging 19.0 ppg, 6.5 apg, 3.1 rpg, and 0.9 spy for the Portland Trail Blazers. Those numbers earned Lillard the unanimous decision of the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. Lillard has brought some life to the Portland Trail Blazers, even after finishing the season 11th in the west with a 33-49 record. He broke Stephen Curry’s rookie record for 3-pointers in a season, finishing with 185, and became just the third NBA rookie with at least 1,500 points and 500 assists, following Oscar Robertson and Allen Iverson. And the Blazers’ point guard swept all six of the league’s Rookie of the Month awards this past season. In his first season as the Trail Blazers point guard, Lillard worked well with All-Star center LaMarcus Aldridge, just as the organization wished would happen. Now with adding a young outside shooter with C.J. McCollum, from LeHigh University, the Trail Blazers have a young nucleus that can excite the fans in Portland to come watch the Trail Blazers during their home games. 8. Deron Williams, Brooklyn Nets Deron Williams finished last season averaging 18.9 ppg, 7.7 apg, 3.0 rpg, and 1.0 spy for the Brooklyn Nets. Deron Williams led his Brooklyn team to a 49-33 record and the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference. Their winning percentage went from a devastating .333 in 2011-2012 to a whopping .598  in 2012-2013. Now after the Blockbuster deal that sent future Hall of Fame players Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett  to the Nets, Deron Williams will now get to witness first-hand what Rajon Rondo was blessed with in playing point guard with the Boston Celtics. You can expect Williams’ assist numbers to rise in 2013. All Williams has to do is find the right guy open in this loaded offense and he will get to rack up assists on his stat sheet. And with guys like Pierce, Garnett, Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson surrounding him in the projected started lineup, finding the open man should not be that hard for the former All-Star. Expect the New Barclays Center to be rocking come the 2013-2014 NBA season. 7. Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics Before tearing his ACL, which eventually ended his 2012 campaign, Rajon Rondo averaged 13.7 ppg, 11.1 apg, 5.6 rpg, and 1.8 spg for the Boston Celtics. With Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett no longer on the team, and returning from a serious injury such as an ACL tear, you can expect Rondo to have many hurdles to overcome in this upcoming season. In an article written on ESPN.com right after Pierce and Garnett were introduced to the Nets organization, Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com wrote: Pierce said he talked with Rondo recently and, having been the leader on a team in transition before the Big Three was assembled, Pierce dispensed cautious advice about what lies ahead as Rondo rehabs his knee and the Celtics rehab their roster. “Right now, he’s injured, and I told him this is probably going to be the toughest year of your whole career, mentally and physically,” Pierce said. “Physically, you’re dealing with an injury. Mentally, you know nothing but winning since you came into the league… You may be put in a situation where you may not win a lot of games. You have to be a leader now; you know me and Kev are not there anymore. 6. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry bursted on to the NBA scene in 2012, averaging 22.9 ppg, 6.9 apg, 4.0 rpg, and 1.6 spg for his Golden State Warriors. He led his team to a 47-35 record and the 6th seed in the Western Conference Playoffs. The young Warriors later shocked the 3rd seeded Denver Nuggets by beating them in the first round series of the playoffs in 6 games. Last season, Curry set the NBA record for three-pointers made in a regular season with 272 made three pointers. In February, Curry averaged 25.4 points and 6.9 assists for the month, including a big game on February 27, 2013, when he scored 54 points as the Warriors fell to the Knicks, 109-105. He shot 18 for 28 from the field, making a Warriors franchise-record 11 three pointers on 11 of 13 shooting from 3 point range. The 54 points Curry had was the third highest total by a Knicks opponent in the infamous Madison Square Garden, trailing Kobe Bryant’s 61 points in February 2009 and Michael Jordan’s 55 points in March 1995. Curry has easily become a NBA fan favorite not only in the state of California, but all over the country as well. And with Golden State adding wingman Andre Iguodala to compliment Curry, you can expect the team to make even more noise in the Western Conference next year as well. Make sure to tune in tomorrow to read who I have as my top 5 point guards in the NBA. You can follow me on Twitter: @MrOT3  
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