The Best Guards in the NBA: A Year-by-Year Analysis
This thread is dedicated to the best guards to ever play in the NBA. Sometimes they are forgotten in center dominated eras, other times they are right in front of the spotlight. Let's take a look at the best guards throughout history.
Not only is the best guard in the NBA recognized year-by-year, but the 2nd and 3rd best are as well. Remember, these are the "best" guards. Not most talented 3 (guards with the most skill), nor the most valuable 3 (MVPs). Talented players are the ones who have all the talent and skill in the universe, however it isn't applied correctly or isn't necessary in order to win. MVPs or valuable players are the ones who are good, however they also require a great situation teamwise. Furthermore, MVPs are given in the regular season, however the best players are made in the playoffs. This analysis concentrates strictly on the best players. So how do we define best? The player is the one who can lead any particular or average team to more wins than the other player. The objective of the game is to win, and the player who can win you more games on any particular team or average team is the better player. The year by year analysis is based on empirical evidence, objective data, observational judgment, balanced criteria, inducible reasoning, and respected opinion. Let's get started from the start.
The 1st official season of the NBA. Quite frankly, the guards were not very proficient. Not only was the league inferior, but the guards had no business in the arguments of best players in the league at that point. Nonetheless, Davies was the best guard in the NBA in 1950. He played PG and was one of the top passers in the league. Zaslofsky played the 2 most of the time and was the best scoring guard in the league. Lastly comes Beard, similar to Davies, however he was worse.
For the 2nd straight year Davies was the best guard in the NBA. He had an even better season and was part of a championship squad. So it was quite obvious who the best guard was. Followed by Davies this year was Ralph Beard. Unfortunately for Beard 50 and 51 were his only years in the NBA. Andy Phillip came in 3rd. He led the NBA in assists that season.
Bob Cousy enters his prime and takes over the guard position in the NBA. He truly revolutionized the PG position and immediately made guards noticeable weapons in games. He finished Top 3 in both scoring and assists. He overtook Davies as the best guard in the NBA. Davies though was still a premier guard making All-NBA 1st and finishing Top 5 in scoring and assists. After that it was the best 'pure' PG at the time Andy Phillip.
Cousy would go on and repeat as the best guard in the NBA in '53. Cousy's backcourt partner Bill Sharman was the 2nd best guard in the league. So the Boston Celtics that season had the 2 best guards in the NBA in their backcourt. Davies remained Top 3 and finished at third at age 33. Though his game seems to be slipping a bit now.
For the 3rd straight Bob Cousy was the best guard in the NBA. He led the league in assists and averaged nearly 19 points per game. Following Cousy this year was Seymour who was a good PG for Syracuse. They made a trip to the finals only to lose in 7 games. Sharman finished 3rd this year. The NBA's guards still though are not very competitive. Cousy is the only guard who I would call a all-time top guard.
Bob Cousy for the 4thstraight season was the best guard. He led all guards in PER and led the league in assists. While doing so, he also scored over 20 points per game. Finished 2nd in the league in scoring, nearly becoming the 1st guard to lead the league in both assists and points. Sharman, his backcourt partner, finished 2nd. He averaged a career high 18.4ppg while stepping his game even further in the playoffs. Paul Seymour helped Syracuse win the NBA championship securing his spot as a top 3 guard.
Cousy once again repeats as the best guard in the NBA. There was really not much competition for him. His backcourt partner Sharman follows him and has his best year thus far. After Cousy & Sharman it gets tough with another strong backcourt duo of George and Gola. Both had outstanding years as the Warriors went on to win the championship. It's hard to say who was the better player, George was more of the veteran playing his role scoring when needed to and distributing theball while Gola was just a very talented rookie who could do it all. At the end of the season I would've said it's a toss-up, but Gola takes the small edge by playing a little better in the NBA finals.
Cousy has yet another dominant season. Averaging over 20ppg, leading the league in assists, and taking his team to the best record in the NBA, it was Cousy's year all the way. He also won MVP that season. Joining Cousy was another familiar face, Bill Sharman once again. Boston once again retained the top 2 guards in the NBA and this time won the championship with some help from Bill Russell. After Cousy and Sharman finally comes Slater's turn. He has been a Top 5 guard for a while but in '57 he was recognized as Top 3 with some good playoff performances and solid play on both ends.
Surprise, surprise; Cousy and Sharman were considered the top 2 guards in the NBA in '58. Cousy once again led the league in assists, while Sharman had another brilliant season. It was nearly a toss up between Cousy and Sharman, either could have been called the best guard in the NBA in 58. Gola made his return to the NBA and regained his top 3 position amongst guards with his great all-around play.
For the 8th straight year now Cousy was considered the best guard in the NBA. That is quite an accomplishment if you think about it. And no surprise as Sharman as the 2nd best guard in the NBA for the 5th straight year. Cousy & Sharman truly were one of the best backcourt duos of all-time. After that it was between the Slater the veteran leader, Gola the all-arounder, and Guerin the rising star. The edge went to Guerin, who was the best scorer out of the 3 and arguably best playmaker. Slater had become too old and Gola's team missed the playoffs.
Last edited by Gifted Mind : 07-15-2011 at 04:06 AM.
Re: The Best Guards in the NBA: A Year-by-Year Analysis
We are in the 60s, but the Cousy era continues. Once again Bob Cousy led the league in assists. Averaging nearly 20ppg and winning another title, there was still little debate on who the best guard in the NBA was. For the 1st time in 5 years though we would not see the 3 same names. Richie Guerin led all guards in PER and was a very quick all-around PG reminding us of a present Allen Iverson except a little bigger. Shue also was considered a top 3 guard in the league leading his detriot team to the playoffs while leading all guards in points per game.
Enters a rookie Oscar Robertson. Right away he was clearly the best guard in the NBA. Robertson ended Cousy's 5 year reign of being the best guard in the NBA. He literally left no debate. He nearly averaged a triple double in his rookie year. Most consider Robertson's rookie season to be the best season ever displayed by a guard in the history of the NBA thus far. Cousy, with age catching up to him, remained as the 2nd best guard. Cousy was able to win another championship. Gen Shue, playing more PG now, remained Top 3 with good averages of 21/7.
The Robertson vs. West era had begun. Both had tremendous seasons in 62. West averaged 31/8/5 while taking his team to the NBA Finals. However, Robertson's historic triple double season was fascinating. As a result, he was considered the best guard in the NBA over West. Cousy finally dropped out of top 3 guards thanks to a great season by Richie who made his 2nd appearance in top 3. Guerin averaged nearly 30 points per game, while dishing 7 assists per game. 1962 featured many breakouts seasons in the NBA.
Robertson for the 3rd straight year was considered the best guard in the NBA. Still in his prime at age 24, Robertson was unstoppable. West was limited by injuries in 63, ending any hopes of taking over Robertson. Both again though were fantastic. After Robertson and West came Greer. Greer was a rising star. Though in 63, with Cousy gone and Richie slowed down, there wasn't much competition after Robertson and West.
Oscar Robertson remained the best in 1964. This year he won his 1st and only MVP award. He averaged 31/11/9.9rpg that season. His PER was also 2nd in the league behind just Wilt Chamberlain. West once again was right behind Robertson for the 3rd consecutive year. Greer this time easily deserved the 3rd best guard spot with a career year in his debut in Philly.
West finally overtook Robertson as the best guard in the NBA. Robertson was dominant as usual, but West got the 1st spot with his play in the playoffs. After averaging a career high in points during the regular season, West was absolutely phenomenal in the playoffs. He averaged over 40ppg in a course of 11 games taking his team to the NBA finals. Sam Jones had a career season as he over took Greer for the 3rd spot. West and Oscar battled for the top spot, while Jones and Greer battled for the 3rd spot. All 4 players though were amazing. This year was probably the best year for guard in NBA history thus far.
Robertson and West once again had equivalent regular seasons, but West separated himself in the playoffs. Robertson was sent home right away with a below average playoff performance, while West again took his team to the finals averaging 34/6/6 on 52% shooting. After West and Robertson came Sam Jones again. Jones was once again part of a championship team. He was behind only West and Robertson in PER and MVP votes when it came to guards.
With West slown by injuries, Robertson once again took over West as the best guard in the NBA. Robertson continued to play fantastic and this year West had no playoff performances to overtake Robertson. He only played 1 minute in the playoffs in actuality. Greer overtook Sam Jones for the 3rd spot with a career year in Philly where he was outstanding both in the regular season and playoffs.
West only played 51 games in 68 which once again cost him the spot for the top guard. He was still great, but Oscar Robertson had another season which gave him the top spot. Oscar Robertson at age 29 was still in great shape and continued to do whatever he desired. The 3rd spot this year was between Greer and Bing. Sam Jones had fallen off due to age. Bings might have put slightly better numbers, but he did it for a team under .500 while Greer did it for a team with over 60 wins. The playoffs further separated Greer and Bing.
Robertson finally showed signs of slowing down to age as he put up numbers very unlike himself. It was once again close between West and Robertson in the regular season, but West in the playoffs proved himself to be not only the best guard, but the best player in the NBA. He won Finals MVP in 1969. After West came Monroe, who had a breakout season for one of the top teams in the league in 69. He was clearly the 3rd best guard in the NBA.
Last edited by Gifted Mind : 07-14-2011 at 04:04 AM.
Re: The Best Guards in the NBA: A Year-by-Year Analysis
West continued to be called the best guard in the NBA for the 2nd straight year. He arguably had his best season in 70, taking his team to the NBA Finals once again and leading the whole league in PER. After West came Walt Frazier. Frazier was part of the championship team in NY and had a fabulous season contributing in points, rebounds, and assists. He also played very robust defense. Oscar's team missed the playoffs again but he was once again great averaging 25/8 and remaining a top 3 guard.
West remained the best guard in the NBA for the 3rd straight season. Despite being 32 years old now, West was not slowing down. Frazier once again finished 2nd behind West as the best guard in the NBA. Oscar Robertson finished 3rd once again. In 71 he finally won his 1st title. He also showed a lot of maturity in 71 playing his role and making the key difference for the Bucks.
West finally had been surpassed by Frazier as the Top Guard in the league. The pass actually came in the playoffs where West struggled mightily. Frazier on the other hand had one of his best seasons leading his team to the Finals without Reed. West though still remained a top guard in the NBA and finally won an NBA title. Archibald made his debut as the best guard in the NBA with tremendous ability to score and pass.
Frazier and West were neck to neck this year, regular season and playoffs. Frazier was given the edge by a hair as he led his team past West's Lakers in the finals. Otherwise, very close. Archibald had a historic season in 73 leading the league in scoring and assists. He averaged over 34 points per game and 11 assists per game to do it.
The wait is finally over. In 1974 Walt Frazier was officially the best guard in the NBA. He played effective defense and averaged over 20 once again. At this point many considered him the best defensive guard in the history of the game. West's partner in crime Goodrich had a career year finishing as the 2nd best guard in the NBA. Maravich made his debut in the top 3 with a 27/5/5 year. Archibald dropped out of top 3 with a injury prone season.
Archibald once again healthy, overtook Frazier as the best guard in the NBA. Frazier was not as good as he used to be while Archibald was still running strong. Archibald actually took his team to the playoffs for the 1st time in his career. The Kings that year actually finished with a higher record than the Knicks. After those 2 came Chinier, the leading guard of the team with the best record in the NBA during that season.
The guard era once again had kind of fallen weak lately with players like Robertson, West, and Frazier clearly gone. Nonetheless, Maravich in 76 was considered the best guard in the NBA. It was really between him and Archibald, 2 players loaded with individual talent on bad teams. They put similar numbers, however Maravich led his team to more wins. After those 2 came Phil Smith who edged Randy Smith for the last spot with a superior playoff performance.
Maravich for the 2nd straight year was the best guard in the NBA. He lead the league in scoring over players like Kareem and put all-around numbers after that. Thompson, who made his NBA debut in 77, also had a outstanding season. After that it was Gervin, who still hadn't blossomed as a player but was beginning to. It seems the era of SGs has begun as PGs have died out now.
It was as close as it gets between Gervin and Thompson this year. Both put up nearly identical stats and on nearly identical teams. I gave it to Gervin because he did have the slight edges in both season and playoff performances. But both SGs were superb. Westphal made his debut to the Top 3 guards. He was very versatile and offensively talented. Had an nice season with Phoenix that season.
The iceman for the 2nd straight year was considered the best guard in the NBA. Following him this year was Westphal who moved up to 2nd now. Gervin led the league in scoring for the 2nd straight year while Westphal averaged 24/7. Behind both of them was Free. A quick little guard who knew how to score the ball. He averaged over 28ppg that season on a medicore team.
Last edited by Gifted Mind : 06-15-2012 at 02:26 AM.
Re: The Best Guards in the NBA: A Year-by-Year Analysis
The Iceman continues to stay at the top. 1980 was arguably his best season to date as he averaged over 33 points per game. Absolutely unstoppable when it came to scoring. After Gervin, it was the rookie Magic Johnson. Magic Johnson had a solid regular season but then he really showed off in the NBA playoffs with some monster performances, eventually winning the Finals MVP. Westphal continued to stay top 3 though his numbers were falling a bit.
George Gervin remained the best guard in the NBA for the 4th straight year. Not since Jerry West had some guard shown this much domination over his position in the NBA. This year the guards were not very strong following the top. Magic Johnson only played 37 games so he was automatically excluded from the list of elite guards in 81. Therefore, after Gevin this year came Dennis and Richardson. Both were 2 way guards who could contribute on both sides of the ball. DJ was more of a SG while Ray was more of a PG.
Gervin and Magic had very comparable regular seasons. Gervin might've had the small edge. But in the playoffs, Gervin was below average, while Magic was the Finals MVP. Magic for the 1st time became known as the best guard in the NBA in 82. Following both Magic and Gervin was Gus Williams. Gus Williams had a career year in 82 after a year of absence in 81. But the Magic Johnson era had just begun...
Magic and Moncreif were neck to neck in 83. Magic had his playmaking ability, while Moncreif had his defense. It could literally go either way in the regular season. But in the playoffs Magic got a slight lead over Moncreif. Sidney struggled in the playoffs and couldn't play at the same level he played in the regular season. The Iceman also barely missed the 3rd spot. His numbers dropped while Gus continued to play strong giving him a small edge over Gervin for the last spot.
This year it was more clear that Magic Johnson was the best guard in the NBA. The next 2 spots were between Isiah and Sidney. This one was also very close. Their scoring was nearly equal, Sidney had the defense, Isiah had the passing. Unfortunately Isiah's Pistons choked in the 1st round while the Bucks went all the way to the ECF with Sidney doing well in the playoffs unlike last year.
Michael Jordan makes his debut in the NBA. Magic Johnson though remains the best guard in the NBA. Winning the championship as the best player in the league while having another strong season, Magic was simply amazing. Isiah Thomas also delivered his best season of his career averaging 21 and dishing out 13 assists per game. Rookie of the Year Michael Jordan just edged Moncreif with his amazing scoring ability and decent all-around game. Many could already see some tough rivalries between Magic and Jordon forming over the top guard spot in the upcoming years.
For the 5th straight year Magic Johnson was the best guard in the NBA. This is the 1st time in NBA history that a guard was able to stay the best for 5 years in a row. Jordan missed 64 games during the regular season therefore was automatically excluded from the top 3. Isiah Thomas delivered another great season averaging 21/10. Sidney Moncreif returned to the Top 3 with another Sidney Moncreif season. Alvin Robertson just missed the cut for Top 3.
Magic Johnson continues his dominant run at the guard spot for the 6th year in a row now. Behind him came Michael Jordan who returned from injuries with a very explosive season. Magic Johnson won MVP and Finals MVP in 1987 while having a career year. Jordan on the other hand averaged a career high 37 points per game though could not match the team success Magic Johnson had or come anywhere close to it. Magic had all the intangibles with experience at this point which Jordan lacked. Isiah Thomas came in 3rd with his 4th consecutive 20/10 season.
Michael Jordan finally surpassed Magic Johnson as the best guard in the NBA in 1988. Both once again had outstanding seasons. The era of guards was very tough now. After the MJs, it came between Stockton, Drexler, and Isiah Thomas. Drexler was probably the best individual player out of the 3 but he didn't have that killer playoff instinct Isiah Thomas did in the playoffs. While Drexler choked, Isiah had a couple of amazing performances leading his team to the Finals.
Magic and Jordan defended their top 2 positions. Jordan once again remained the best guard in the NBA. It was really unfortunate for Magic that some of his best years came at the same time Jordan had his best years. After those 2 it became very tough again. Stockton, KJ, Isiah, Drexler, and Price were all in the mixes. Drexler didn't have a season as good as last year while Price/Isiah weren't at the level of KJ or Stockton individually. So ultimately it was between Stockton and KJ. Their regular seasons and playoffs combined results were very similar and tight. They both played PG so I went and viewed how both of them played against each other. Stockton did have the head to head advantage, as a result he claimed the 3rd spot.
Last edited by Gifted Mind : 07-14-2011 at 03:58 AM.
Re: The Best Guards in the NBA: A Year-by-Year Analysis
A very similar year to last year. Magic and Jordan took the top 2 spots with their brilliant play once again. Magic continued to follow right behind Jordan. After those 2 it was between the myriad of guards again. KJ, Isiah, Stockton, Drexler, Dumars, and Price all playing for the third spot. Ultimately KJ and Stockton both had the best regular seasons once again. It was between them in actuality. But this year KJ outplayed Stockton in the regular season and and the playoffs in their head to head meetings. This clearly gave KJ the edge and the number 3 spot for the 1st time.
Magic and Jordan once again took the top 2 spots. The next spot was between KJ, Drexler, and Stockton primarily. KJ's choke in the 1st round took him out of the equation. Stockton had a slightly better regular season, however Drexler was on a superior team and received more recognition at the end of the year. To me it came down to their head to head meeting in the NBA playoffs. Drexler's Blazers beat Stockton's Jazz and Drexler performed better than Stockton did. This to me gave Drexler the overall edge over John Stockton.
Jordan was simply untouchable and the top spot was all his. Magic had retired therefore now the guards who have been missing out would have a higher chance of being top 3. Drexler had arguably his best season in 92 leading his team to the NBA finals losing to MJ's Bulls. After Drexler came the on going battle between Kevin Johnson and John Stockton. They once had similar playoff/regular season performances, however KJ dominated Stockton in their head to head meetings proving himself as the better PG in 92.
The top spot was once again undebatable. KJ missed a large chunk of the season due to injuries and had a bad year overall so he wasn't really in the debate for top 3 like usual. It came down between Stockton, Drexler, and Mark Price. All 3 didn't have very good playoff performances, so just their regular season determined who was better than who. Stockton made his return to the top 3, while Drexler remained a top 3 guard, though barely.
With Jordan and Magic gone, we were going to have a top guard besides those 2 for the 1st time since 1981. It was once again between old rivals Kevin Johnson and John Stockton. And once again their regular seasons and playoff performances all combined were similar. And once again, it came down to their head to head meetings. KJ was leading 2-1, but 94 was Stockton's year. He outplayed KJ in his head to head meetings and took his team farther than Kevin Johnson was able to in the playoffs. Drexler remained top 3 over newcomer Latrell Sprewell. Though it may seem like Sprewell has the far superior statistics, the minutes played difference is the cause for this difference.
With Jordan gone, Stockton remained the top guard in the league. He led all guards in PER. He was bounced out in the 1st round, however that was against the eventual champions Houston Rockets. Hardaway came close to taking the top guard spot away from Stockton, however Stockton outplayed him head to head which basically finalized his repeat as the best guard. After Stockton and Hardaway came Drexler who continues to remain a top 3 guard. Drexler had a shot at being called the 2nd best guard, however Hardaway outplayed him in the Finals despite the sweep of Houston. Gary Payton was also a honroable mention however him and his team have choked out of the 1st round 2 years in a row now and hasn't displayed enough maturity.
Michael Jordan returns. He not only returned to the NBA, but returned to being the best in the NBA. After Jordan the next 2 spots were between Payton, Hardaway, and Stockton. Drexler had officially fallen off due to age. Hardaway this year was simply unstoppable dropping a career year. He was so good that some considered him the MVP of the Magic. He led the Magic to 60 wins despite O'Neal playing only around 50 games. In the playoffs his explosive run continues. He was only behind MJ in PER. The last spot was between Gary and Stockton. Though at the end of the WCF, it was clear Gary Payton had surpassed John Stockton as a player.
Jordan remained the best guard and player in the NBA. The spots after Jordan were really between Payton, T.Hardaway, and A.Hardaway. Stockton and KJ were also still in the mix. However Gary Payton was simply too good with his impact on both sides of the ball. Tim got the last spot as his team won over 60 games while being named to All-NBA 1st with Jordan. John Stockton was simply not good enough anymore, and A.Hardaway suffered from injuries. KJ put his numbers on a team below .500.
Michael Jordan unsurprisingly remained the best guard in the NBA in 1998. Gary Payton this year was more clear cut as the 2nd best guard in the NBA than before. He led his team to over 60 wins despite losing Shawn Kemp. The guards weren't as deep as they used to be anymore. Tim Hardaway remained top 3 despite having a worse season. His biggest competition was a old John Stockton and Rod Strickland.
Jordan was gone. We would have a new best guard in the NBA. It was between the 2 Oakland legends this year, Jason Kidd and Gary Payton. This one was as close as its ever been. Both put comparable numbers in the regular season, Kidd with 17/11/7, while Payton averaged 22/9/5. Though their team records were similar as well, Kidd's team slipped into the playoffs while Payton's Sonics missed the playoffs. This small difference made Kidd the best guard in the NBA in 1999. This was also the only year Kidd actually shot a higher % than Payton. Following Payton and Kidd was Allen Iverson who played SG for the 1st time this year. He played it brilliantly and was a rising star.
Last edited by Gifted Mind : 07-14-2011 at 03:54 AM.
Re: The Best Guards in the NBA: A Year-by-Year Analysis
After finishing 2nd for 3 years in a row, Gary Payton was finally recognized as the best guard in the NBA in 2000. He had arguably his best season. Following him were terrific guards such as Kobe, Kidd, and Iverson. However, I felt Kobe was still too mature at age 21. He had a decent regular season, but played very poorly in the NBA Finals. So it was really between Kidd and Iverson. Kidd had a stronger regular season than Iverson, but I felt Kidd choked in the playoffs. Iverson was 2nd behind O'Neal in scoring and led his team to the 2nd Round.
2001 was MVP Iverson's year. He fought like a warrior and led his team all the way to the NBA Finals. Kobe Bryant had a career year in 2001 as he continues to get better and better. He was also once again part of a championship squad. The last spot came between rivals Kidd, Payton, and rising star T-Mac. T-Mac was not quite at the level of Payton or Kidd yet. Payton still had the small advantage over Kidd with his ability to score, dish, and play defense. Kidd still lacked the playoff extinct as he choked once again right away. Though the difference between Kidd and Payton that year was very small. Vince Carter also had a spectacular year.
Kobe Bryant for the 1st time in his career was recognized as the best guard in the NBA. He had another great season and led his team to yet another NBA championship. After Kobe; Payton, Kidd, McGrady, and Iverson were all options for top 3 guards. Kidd was given a lot of credit for turning around the Nets franchise and nearly won MVP. Payton had another great individual year. McGrady and Iverson also were fantastic. Kidd definitely deserved his credit, after all he did lead his team all the way to NBA Finals as well. Gary Payton had simply had slowed down to age, he was now 33. Kidd had the intangibles advantage over Payton. McGrady got the slight nod over Iverson due to AI's injuries in 2002. McGrady also led all guards in PER.
Both McGrady and Kobe had very dominant seasons in 2003. Both put up similar statistics, 30/7/6 and 32/6.5/5.5. Though McGrady might have had a better scoring season, Kobe was the better defender and played for the 50 win Lakers with those numbers. Following McGrady and Kobe's impressive seasons was Jason Kidd once again. Kidd was able to lead his team all the way to the NBA finals again averaging 20/8/8 in the playoffs.
Kobe Bryant once again was the best guard in the NBA in 2004. This year the competition for guards seemed a little lower. Kobe didn't have the greatest statline, yet he was still clearly the best guard in the NBA. Following Kobe Bryant was Jason Kidd once again. Kidd also not his best, but with the low competition this year was able to slide to 2nd. Iverson finished 3rd this year behind Jason Kidd once again. McGrady finished out of the top 3 this year as his team won only 21 games. Iverson's season wasn't too impressive either as his team also missed playoffs.
This year, Wade, Iverson, Bryant, Nash, and McGrady all could have been 1st. It was really that open and close. Based on regular season alone, I would not have Nash at #1 despite him winning MVP. Though he was the best playmaker in the NBA at the time, elevating the game of his teammates, he was really also in the right system. However, in the playoffs he played incredibly well and deserved the spot for #1 guard in the NBA. He displayed excellent offensive scoring the ball at will, which cemented his spot at #1. Best offensive player in the NBA by far. Iverson had arguably his best season as well. He averaged 31/7 in 2005 while leading his team to the playoffs. Though Nash's unselfish play gave him the small edge over AI. Kobe I feel was slown too much by injuries and didn't show any leadership as his team miserable missed the playoffs with only 34 wins. If Kobe was healthy, then he would have a strong argument for top 3. Kobe also received no All-NBA selections in 05..McGrady got the nod over Wade. McGrady was still very much in his prime in 2005 while Wade was just now starting to learn. Kobe once again would have been top 3 had he been healthier.
Healthy Kobe makes his return back to being the best guard in the NBA. He averaged over 35 points per game in 2006 and led his team to the playoffs. He was simply unstoppable in 2006. Wade was right behind Kobe with a big season himself leading his team to the playoffs and eventually winning Finals MVP. This year Nash got the nod for being the 3rd best guard. His competitors Iverson and McGrady were either slown by missing playoffs or injuries. Nash also proved himself to be elite by stepping his game even further in the playoffs. Not to mention his back to back MVPs.
Kobe Bryant once again was the best guard in the NBA for the 2nd consecutive year. He had another impressive season in 2007 doing great again. Behind Kobe came Steve Nash who continued to play at a high level. This was arguably his best season yet as well. Nash also played very well in the playoffs once agian. Behind Nash & Kobe was Dwyane Wade. Wade would've been 2nd had he been healthier. However even though he played just 51 games, he was too good to be left out of top 3.
And finally we arrive in 2008. Once again, Kobe Bryant was the best guard in the NBA. He won MVP and proved himself further leading his team to the NBA finals. Behind Kobe this year were too young PGs. Players like McGrady, Nash, and Iverson were a little slower due to age. Wade's injuries had become too much. It was a perfect opportunity for some young ones to take over. Chris Paul was easily and a clear cut Top 3 guard in 2008. The last spot was between Nash and Deron primarily. Deron just had the slight edges both in the regular season and playoffs.
For the first time in his career, I felt Dwyane Wade was the best guard in the NBA. He had arguably his career best season. He led the NBA in scoring and was Top 10 in assists and steals. His play was just a little stronger than Kobe's this season despite Kobe winning the championship. Wade did not have a great starcast around him, though he showed what he can do when given a strong starcast in 2006. Kobe once again played at an elite level and led his team to the NBA Championship. Chris Paul once again was a Top 3 guard, leading his team to the playoffs. He continues to display brilliance on the floor both scoring the basketball and setting up teammates. He might have been 2nd, if it wasn't for the embarrassing 1st round performance against Billups.
Last edited by Gifted Mind : 07-12-2011 at 05:07 PM.
Re: The Best Guards in the NBA: A Year-by-Year Analysis
Kobe regained his position as the best guard in the NBA.He led his team to another title and received another Finals MVP for himself. He demonstrated great leadership throughout the playoffs. Wade just missed the #1 spot. Though you can't blame Wade for his 1st Round exit. He did as much as he could. But I think the leadership Kobe possessed this year was quite impressive on his way to the title. After Kobe & Wade, it was a close call between Deron and Nash. But I went with the younger Deron. Nash slowed down in the 2nd half of the season, and Deron is not that far behind in the playmaking category while is the better scorer and defender.
For the 2nd time in his career Dwyane Wade was considered the best guard in the NBA. This was very close though. Ultimately, Kobe's small fall in his athletic ability was the deciding factor. He played much less minutes and was not as effective taking the ball inside especially later in the season. Wade though a small drop in statistics, was as good as he was as the year before. Overall though, Kobe was nearly as effective as the year before, but just a small drop in athletic ability and their respective playoff runs put Wade over Kobe. After that it was really between Rose and Paul. Though I agree when both are completely healthy Paul is the best point guard in the NBA, however for most of this year this was not the case. Thus, Rose has the 3rd spot.
Now let's quickly analyze all the information given in the last 6 posts
First let's see which NBA Guard has been considered the best guard in the league the most:
Michael Jordan and Bob Cousy have been considered the best guards in the NBA longer than anyone else. After them come Kobe Bryant. Then we see Magic, Robertson, and West. Of course this is all relative due to era. So by no means is this a ranking, just a quick summary of the best guards in history.
Last edited by Gifted Mind : 07-27-2011 at 03:00 AM.