Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Thursday Debate: Who is the 2nd best PG in the NBA?

I've got a new segment on here called Thursday Debate... this is the 3rd installment.

This is an interesting debate... who is the 2nd best PG in the NBA? Obviously this is assuming that we can all agree that Steve Nash is the best PG. I may not be high on Nash as MVP, but there's not much doubt in my mind that he is the premier PG in the NBA for different reasons.

So who is #2? The way I see it there are 7 candidates:

Tony Parker: Parker isn't a great scorer, but he has become a highly efficient offensive player. He doesn't take a lot of outside shots (only 38 attempts on the year), preferring to do most of his damage inside the lane. This has been a real effective thing for him, as he has shot over 50% each of the last 2 seasons.

Deron Williams: These playoffs have sort of been his coming out party, but he's been doing this type of stuff all season long. He finished 2nd in the NBA in assists with 9.3 per game, and also averaged over 16 PPG. He's also a pretty decent rebounder for a PG and a very good defender, and is developing a more consistent jumpshot. He has the quickness, vision, and all-around game to one day very soon be the best PG in the NBA.

Baron Davis: The playoffs has definitely been Davis' re-coming out party, as everyone sort of forgot about him for a couple of years. Honestly he's a threat to get injured at any time, but we've all seen what type of talent he has. He's quick off the dribble, has a very quick jumpshot, and like these other guys is a good passer. The other part of his game that's so good is his defense. He has shown that when he's healthy he is one of the best defenders at the PG position in the NBA.

Jason Kidd: He's getting older but he is still extremely effective. He's not a great shooter, but he's got a decent 3-point shot and he's pretty quick off the dribble. But more importantly is everything else that he does. He's probably the second best passer in the NBA, he's a great rebounder (over 8 per game this year!), and he's one of the best defensive PGs in the NBA.

Chauncey Billups: He wasn't quite as good this year as he was last year, but obviously he's still real good. The great thing about Chauncey is that even though he plays 36 minutes per game at PG, he only turns the ball over twice per game. That's fantastic, especially combined with the 7+ assists per game. Throw in the superb 3-point shooting and clutch performances, and he's a good candidate.

Gilbert Arenas: He's the best scorer on this list, but doesn't quite do as much as some of these other guys. He turns the ball over a relatively high amount of times compared to his assists, and he's not a great defender. But he's a solid shooter... and most importantly he gets to the line a lot. He averaged nearly 10 FT attempts per game which is one of the big reasons he's such an effective scorer.

Chris Paul: He's a guy that will probably always be compared some to Deron Williams because of the draft position, and he has not disappointed in his 2 years. He's extremely quick which allows him to get to the basket effectively. He was hurt some this year, but he was ridiculously good when he played. He averaged over 17 points per game to go along with 8.9 APG. He's also a pretty good rebounder with over 4 per game. His 3-point shot improved from 28% to 35% this year... if he can continue that he'll virtually be unstoppable.

This is extraordinarily tough choice that I have a hard time making. I would probably take Chris Paul right now, just because of his great all-around game... the shooting is coming along, quickness with the ball, great vision, and quick hands defensively. In only his second year, he has quickly moved up the charts.

But there is obviously room for disagreement here with lots of great choices. Who's your choice?

Who is the 2nd best PG in the NBA?
Tony Parker
Deron Williams
Baron Davis
Jason Kidd
Chauncey Billups
Gilbert Arenas
Chris Paul