WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- There is no scientific method to the following list. This is meant to spark debate.
Obviously, it's much easier to be a better point guard when you're on a team that's winning. I'm mainly judging each player on their 2012-2013 season, and rewarding those who have taken significant steps forward from the previous season.
I didn't include players who have missed significant portions of the season, namely Derrick Rose. He'd probably rank at number three if he was healthy.
I dislike statistics when talking about basketball -- there's become an overabundance of NBA stat nerds -- but provided them for further analysis.
1) Chris Paul (27-years-old)
PPG: 16.4, Assists: 9.4, Turnovers: 2.2, 3P (59/175 = 33.7%) Usage: 23.6, PER: 26.11
Why: Even though he won't win the MVP award, Paul has a strong argument. He might be the best point guard of all-time in terms of controlling the tempo of a basketball game.
2) Russell Westbrook (24-years-old)
PPG: 23.4, Assists: 7.9, Turnovers: 3.6, 3P (76/222 = 34.2%), Usage: 30.9, PER: 23.74
Why: If Russell Westbrook took medication for his ADHD/Bi-Polar disorder on the basketball court, there's a chance he could be number one on this list. Outside of LeBron, he's the most athletic player in the league. He attacks the rim like a SWAT team member tackling a criminal. If his mental mistakes cost the Thunder in the playoffs though, he will slip on this list.
3) Kyrie Irving (20-years-old)
PPG: 23.3, Assists: 5.6, Turnovers: 3.1, 3P (86/205 = 42%), Usage: 28.9, PER: 22.69
Why: Only in his second season, Irving is one of the best shooters in the league, and arguably has the best crossover dribble since Stephon Marbury. He's sifting through garbage on his Cleveland roster, that is until 2014, when LeBron will make his triumphant return to Ohio.
4) Tony Parker (30-years-old)
PPG: 21.0, Assists: 7.6, Turnovers: 2.5, 3P (22/58 = 37.9%), Usage: 26.9, PER: 24.34
Why: Parker has been without question the best player on the Spurs roster, in one of their more impressive seasons during their dynasty run. With less than 15 seconds left in the fourth quarter of a game, I think I would trust his decison making over anyone on this list.
5) Ty Lawson (25-years-old)
PPG: 16.5, Assists: 7.1, Turnovers: 2.7, 3P (64/181 = 35.4%), Usage: 22.7, PER: 17.22
Why: People are going to think I'm crazy for putting Lawson this high, but I'll argue he's become one of the best finishing players around the bucket in the NBA. Denver uses more lineup combinations than any team in the league, and Lawson still finds ways to spread the basketball around and keep everybody peachy.
6) Rajon Rondo (27-years-old)
PPG: 13.7, Assists: 11.1, Turnovers: 3.9, 3P (12/50 = 24%), Usage: 22.5, PER: 18.27
Why: A year ago, Rondo may have been on top of this list. He's my favorite player to watch in the NBA, but his turnovers have increased every single season. The fact that Boston has discussed trading him for three straight seasons also proves his value has declined.
7) Steph Curry (24-years-old)
PPG: 22.1, Assists: 6.6, Turnovers: 3.0, 3P (183/405 = 45.2%), Usage: 24.8, PER: 20.70
Why: Just look at those three-point numbers. Curry is sizzling this season, is being guided by Mark Jackson, doesn't have to worry about Monta Ellis stealing all of his shots, and is finally healthy. Golden State will be nearly impossible to beat at home in the playoffs with Curry's big-game momentum factor.
8) Deron Williams (28-years-old)
PPG: 17.3, Assists: 7.5, Turnovers: 3.0, 3P (110/303 = 36.3%), Usage: 24.1, PER: 18.01
Why: I wanted to put him lower on this list. He's put on pounds throughout the years which has slowed his game down. His attitude issues are very apparent -- he's gotten two coaches fired throughout his career. But Williams is just so balanced at everything he does. It's hard to knock on his game.
9) Damian Lillard (22-years-old)
PPG: 18.5, Assists: 6.4, Turnovers: 3.0, 3P (126/360 = 35%), Usage: 23.4, PER: 15.96
Why: At this very moment, Lillard has the Rookie of the Year award firmly grasped -- Bradley Beal is starting to creep up from behind. He often takes the last shot for Portland, runs their complex offense fluently and has surprised us all with his defensive abilities.
10) Jeff Teague (24-years-old)
PPG: 14.3, Assists: 7.0, Turnovers: 2.9, 3P (64/174 = 36.8%), Usage: 22.3, PER: 16.37
Why: Atlanta wasn't supposed to be this good in 2012-2013, but they are remaining relevant thanks to Teague. Teague is fearless in the lane and has the speed to blow by most point guards in the league. He needs to work on his mid-range jumper to climb higher on this list.
11) Jrue Holiday (22-years-old)
PPG: 19.1, Assists: 8.5, Turnovers: 3.9, 3P (61/169 = 36.1%), Usage: 26.8, PER: 18.09
Why: This season will always be known as the 'what if' year for Holiday and the 76ers. What if Andrew Bynum was healthy? What if Doug Collins changed his coaching style to not irritate his young players? Holiday is posting statistics that could warrant him at least a glance for the top six on this list -- that is until you look at turnovers. The 76ers roster is flawed right now, but Holiday (even with his increased statistics) has had a tough time making his teammates better.
12) Kyle Lowry (26-years-old)
PPG: 12.7, Assists: 6.0, Turnovers: 2.2, 3P (77/190 = 40.5%), Usage: 21.6, PER: 19.43
Why: Lowry is flourishing in Toronto, if there is such a thing. He's the most underrated three-point shooter on this list, also the best rebounder and is meshing well with Rudy Gay. Too bad he's stuck in Toronto.
13) Brandon Jennings
PPG: 18.4, Assists: 6.4, Turnovers: 2.6, 3P (118/320 = 36.9%), Usage: 24.0, PER: 16.60
Why: I thought Jennings' play was going to fall off once Monta Ellis was acquired, but the hyper lefty has maintained his own, and then some. Jennings has embraced becoming more of a pass-first point guard, a style change that most thought would deter his game.
14) George Hill
PPG: 14.7, Assists: 4.9, Turnovers: 1.7, 3P (98/264 = 37.1%), Usage: 19.1, PER: 16.96
Why: George Hill's statistics lie more than any player on this list. They don't give his decison making, his defense, or his deceiving quickness any justice. Would Paul George be the player he was if Darren Collison was feeding him the rock? No way, Jose.
15) Greivis Vasquez
PPG: 13.8, Assists: 9.4, Turnovers: 3.1, 3P (65/182 = 35.7%), Usage: 24.4, PER: 16.95
Why: It's been Vasquez who has blossomed more this season than Anthony Davis. Whoever thought that was possible? The Hornets point guard is aggressive, a skilled commander with the ball and a pretty decent shooter when called upon. This is bold, but Vasquez has a chance to become the best NBA player from College Park in at least 20 years. He will be a foundation piece for New Orleans roster for several seasons.
16) Jose Calderon
PPG: 11.3, Assists: 7.3, Turnovers: 1.7, 3P (79/184 = 42.9%), Usage: 17.4, PER: 19.37
Why: Look at his turnover numbers. Calderon is one of the most underrated players in the league. I feel guilty putting him this low. The Lakers would've thrived if they had his unique skill set in the early part of the season without Steve Nash.
17) Jeremy Lin (24-years-old)
PPG: 12.8, Assists: 6.2, Turnovers: 2.9, 3P (58/179 = 32.4%), Usage: 20.0, PER: 14.93
Why: People will call me crazy for picking Lin over John Wall. Both are turnover machines. Both are quite inconsistent on a nightly basis. But I'd rather have the turnover machine who is able to consistently bury clutch shots, than the turnover machine who relies too much on his athleticism at the rim.
18) John Wall (21-years-old)
PPG: 13.9, Assists: 7.3, Turnovers: 3.6, 3P (1/15 = .067%), Usage: 27.5, PER: 15.90
If Wall could bury fourth quarter jump shots like he did Sunday evening to beat the 76ers, he would be number 10 on this list. His inconsistencies are even more apparent now that avid viewers of the Wizards can compare his game to rookie Bradley Beal. Even though he's the fastest player in the NBA, he's the most one-dimensional player on this list. Washington has been winning with Wall at the helm, though. It isn't time to surrender because he's this low on the list. He has more room for improvement than any player in the NBA. This offseason, the Wizards have to closely monitor Wall's every movement. Next season will be a make or break year for his future.
19) Kemba Walker (22-years-old)
PPG: 17.4, Assists: 5.5, Turnovers: 2.3, 3P (81/226 = 35.8%), Usage: 24.2, PER: 18.94
Why: Some will argue he's playing better than Wall this season, especially since he's really all the Bobcats have -- yeah I'm already labeling MKG a bust.
20) Tyreke Evans (23-years-old)
PPG: 15.4, Assists: 3.3, Turnovers: 2.0, 3P (27/73 = 37%), Usage: 21.6, PER: 18.60
Why: Watching Kings games are worse than watching old episodes of the Rosie O'Donnell show.