Today, more then ever, the NBA is dominated by the Point Guard position; it is arguable that the point guard is the key position to any great team.

Using advanced statistical analsysis based on John Hollingers PER performance based formula… as well as my personal predictions I will breakdown which players make my Top Five point guards for the 2012-13 NBA season.

For those of you new to PER, here’s how it works, and how to judge it.


The Player efficiency rating (PER)
is ESPN Insider John Hollinger's all-in-one
basketball rating, which
attempts to boil down all of a
player’s contributions into
one number.

Using a detailed formula,
Hollinger developed a
system that rates every
player’s statistical
Top 2 MVP Candidate: 30.0
Top 5 MVP Candidate: 27.5
Top 10 MVP Candidate: 25.0
All-Star Calliber: 22.5
Borderline All-Star: 20.0
Solid 2nd option: 18.0
3rd Banana: 16.0
Pretty good player: 14.0
In the rotation: 13.0
Scrounging for minutes: 11.0
Definitely renting: 9.0
The Next Stop: DLeague 5.0

Number 5: Kyrie Irving; CLEVELAND CAVALIERS (21-45)

2012 Stats:

18.5    5.4    3.7    21.49

SPG: 1.1
BPG: 0.4
FG%: 47
TO: 3.1
MPG: 30.5

Kyrie Irving isn’t LeBron James but his efforts this season has softened the blow felt from James departure in 2010. It maybe a bold statement and if it wasn’t for Derrick Rose’s ACL Tear, Kyrie wouldn’t be on this list.

The young rookie took the NBA by storm last year after playing in only 12 games in college prior to being drafted as the 2011 number one. Kyrie Irving was a lone shining light in another sad season for Cleveland who remain amongst the bottom tier of teams in the NBA. However, with some skilful draft day trading the Cavs were able to walk away with Dion Waiters, and Tyler Zeller, two natural scorers which Cleveland desperately needs. Expect Kyrie’s assists per game to increase with distribution of the offense to go through Zeller, Waiters, Thompson and the returning Anderson Varajeo.

I would also expect Kyrie’s PPG to increase. He played a lot less minutes compared to other starting point guards and could add as many as 6-8 extra points per night. Slowly his progress is the fact Kyrie is currently nursing a broken hand which is expected to be healed in time for training camp.

Kyrie will continue to flourish in head coach Bryon Scott’s free flowing offence that will allows him to distribute the ball at will.  There’s no saying that he won’t be a top 3 point guard entering the 2013-2014 season- after all, the kid has proved he has ‘The Clutch Gene’ on multiple occasions. If the Cavaliers make the playoffs, it’s going to be because of Kyrie Irving.

Number 4: Russell Westbrook; OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER (49-17)

2012 Stats:

23.6  5.5   4.6   23.00 

SPG: 1.3
BPG: 0.2
FG%: 43.9 %
TO: 3.62
MPG: 35.3

The 23 year old Russell Westbrook is one of the best up and coming point guards in the NBA. He is an offensive dynamo who was 5th in the NBA in scoring (in only 35 minutes per game last year) and no doubt will possess an Olympic gold medal within weeks. That’s pretty spectacular.

His biggest flaw is his Turnover to assist ratio where Westbrook turns the ball over ever 1.51 assists, not good for an All-Star point guard. Work on his basketball distribution is sorely needed and it seems he just needs to relax when he’s got the rock in is hands. With someone like Kevin Durant on your team, Westbrook could is capable of averaging up to 8 assists per game.

Westbrook is still young (only his 4th season) and  this young gun has oodles of potential. With proper nurturing  Russell could turn into a spectacular passer, which would return one of the youngest teams in the league to the NBA Finals.

Simply said, Russell needs to learn how to pass, and not turn the ball over. Simple.

Number 3: Deron Williams; BROOKLYN NETS (22-44)

2012 Stats:

PPG       APG      RPG      PER
21.0      8.7       3.3       20.3

SPG: 1.2
BPG: 0.4
FG%: 40.7
TO: 4.0
MPG: 36.3

It’s safe to say that Deron Williams is a legit stud on the basketball court. Although New Jersey were only capable of winning one in  three games Williams continued to put up numbers night after night after night.

Although his team had one of the worst field goal percentages in the league, the 7 year veteran still managed 9 assists a game, a phenomenal effort considering his team mates struggled to make a buckets.

The return of injured Brook Lopez and acquisition of All-Star Joe Johnson means Deron will have a legitimate shooter and scorer, like those he has rarely had before. Pick and Roll options with Lopez and corner transition three’s with Joe Johnson will make Brooklyn a vastly different team in 2012-13.

Head Coach Avery Johnson has full trust in Williams so expect him to be running a free lance offence, easing the coaching burden somewhat.  Williams’ PPG, APG, and FGP will more then likely increase over the next season, especially with his ability to distribute to higher quality players.

Number 2: Rajon Rondo; BOSTON CELTICS  (39-27)

2012 Stats:

PPG      APG     RPG      PER
11.9     11.7     4.7      17.5

SPG: 1.8
BPG: 0.1
FG%: 44.8
TO: 3.7
MPG: 36.4

Rajon Rondo is a TRUE point guard. Chris Paul and Derrick Rose call themselves pass-first-players, but nobody in the NBA embodies a pass first point guard like Rondo who averaged 11.7 assists last season. Although that did include two assists a game which were the precursor no doubt to corner three’s by Ray Allen. Allen is now a member of the Miami Heat however expect Rondo’s assists numbers to increase not decrease. Jason Terry’s arrival in Boston makes this Celtics team even better on paper than the Eastern Conference Finals squad who fell in 6 games to the eventual champs. Not to take anything from Ray Allen who will no doubt finish up as in the NBA Hall of Fame but Jason Terry is younger, faster, stronger and at this stage of their careers Terry is possibly the better shooter right now.

As Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce continue to age, Rondo now looks to become more of a focal point on offence. In the playoffs, it was clear Rondo has been working on his shot and at times was a clear threat  against the Heat in as he knocked down jump shots. This hopefully leads to an increase in scoring for Rondo as he begins to lead the Cetlics transition from their ‘Big Three’ to ‘Rondo’s team’.

Rondo has always been a lock down defender and although statistics may not show but it, Rajon is a real scrapper. His basketball IQ  is out of this world, letting him read the game better then any other player in the league. Take note that Rajon Rondo is only 26. He’s only been around the league 6 years. This is the year where Rondo takes control of the Celtics and confirms his spot as a tier NBA player

Number 1: Chris Paul; LOS ANGLES CLIPPERS (40-26)

2012 Stats:

PPG    APG    RPG    PER
19.8   9.1     3.6     27.1

SPG: 2.5
BPG: 0.1
FG%: 47.8
TO: 2.1
MPG: 36.4

Chris Paul is the best point guard in the world. Entering a contract year, the 27 year old is probably the most efficient point guard in the league who delivers with an MVP quality PER of 27.09. He is a near flawless player. Fast, Strong and he is surgical with the rock. All Star point guards in my generation are not often tenacious defenders yet Paul is able to bring that to the Clippers.

Paul nearly lead the league in assists last year, just falling short to Rajon Rondo and although still being relatively young in the NBA (he has only been in the NBA for 7 years) Paul is more than likely not yet at his prime. If Paul could perhaps develop a rebounding game to his skill set he could find himself vying with Lebron James and Kevin Durant come MVP time.

Paul should focus on on his efficiency this season because if he was able to play an extra four or five minutes per game whilst limiting his  turnovers he could average 20 points 10 assists, and 5 rebounds a game without breaking a sweat.

Also, if teammates Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan take it to the next level, there will be NOBODY saying that the Clippers can’t take out the West, let alone be serious title contenders for the NBA Championship.

Written by Nicholas Fabrici 

Author: Nich Fabrici - Twitter: @nfabrici55 (3 Posts)