If healthy, Chris Paul should average more than 20 points- per-game.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
What makes a good fantasy point guard?
It's not the same question as what makes a good NBA point guard. In the real world "winning isn't everything, it's the only thing." Lead your team to an NBA title and you are a great point guard who got the job done whether you scored 25 points or eight points a game.
But the top fantasy point guards are not based on winning and losing. It is determined by statistical production only. Which explains why this year's top-10 fantasy point guards own just two championship rings.
Let's take an early look at who will be the best point guards this season:
Chris Paul, New Orleans - Paul struggled with injuries in 2009 and played just 45 games. However, it was the only season in his five-year career in which he's played less than 64 games. With career averages of 19.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 10.0 apg and 2.4 spg, Paul is a fixture at the top of any point guard ranking. The Hornets even shipped rookie point guard Darren Collison to Indiana to make Paul more comfortable. If healthy, Paul should average more than 20 points- per-game.
Stephen Curry, Golden State - Curry is in the perfect situation for posting huge fantasy numbers. He has all the tools to be a multi-category contributor and a coach who loves the up-tempo game to make him a statistical phenomenon. As a rookie he averaged 17.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 5.9 apg, 1.9 spg despite a slow start (he scored single digits in six of his first eight games). With running mate Monta Ellis and a finisher like David Lee, Curry could challenge Paul for the top spot.
Deron Williams, Utah - When you look up "point guard" in the dictionary, Williams' photo should come up as the perfect example of how to play the position. In the tradition of John Stockton, Williams thinks pass first and only after that option is gone does he score. Yet he has still managed to average more than 18 points over the last three seasons. With his "best" finisher, Carlos Boozer now in Chicago, Williams might be called upon to score a little bit more which could make him a "20-10" guy.
Rajon Rondo, Boston - Rondo owns one of the two championship rings (2008) and carried the Celtics into The Finals last season. Two things keep him from joining Paul, Curry and Williams at the top of the rankings - free throw shooting and a career scoring average of 10.7 ppg. He's improving his scoring touch and is unstoppable when he drives to the basket, but a career free throw percentage of just 63 percent will slow his rise to the top of the rankings.
Steve Nash, Phoenix - Professor John F. Nash Jr. isn't the only Nash with a "Beautiful Mind." Nobody runs the fastbreak better than two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash. Since arriving in Phoenix, Nash has led the league in assists in four of six seasons, including last year. Meanwhile, he's averaged at least 15.5 ppg. His favorite target, Amare Stoudemire, signed with New York, but I'm sure he'll be able to adapt. The only fear about choosing Nash is a "balky" back, but he played 81 games last year and hasn't played less than 74 games since 2000.
Chauncey Billups, Denver - Billups is the other point guard who owns a championship ring, earned with the Detroit Pistons in 2004. Billups won't quite give you the assist total that some of the higher ranked point guards will, but he makes up for it with his three-point shooting and scoring. Beware that the Nuggets are a team in "flux" with both Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith seemingly headed out the door.
Jason Kidd, Dallas - When Kidd was scoring around 14 ppg (1998-2004), he was a top-five overall pick because of the variety of skills he brought to the table. Besides being a great passer, he's averaged as many as 8.2 rpg in a season. With his scoring average down to 10.3 in 2009 and his rebounding average down to 5.6 rpg, Kidd is still a top-10 point guard, just not a superstar in the fantasy world.
Tyreke Evans, Sacramento - As a first-year player, Evans posted 20.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg and 5.8 apg to win the NBA's Rookie of the Year Award. He should once again lead the young Kings in scoring, but he may do it with less than 20 ppg as the team has added some inside scoring (Carl Landry in mid-season and DeMarcus Cousins in the draft).
Derrick Rose, Chicago - Rose is the "new" prototypical point guard who looks to score as often as he looks to distribute. It may not work to get your team into the NBA Finals, but it's a great thing for fantasy owners. Rose averaged 16.8 ppg as a rookie and 20.8 ppg in his second season. The Bulls management brought in a finisher in Boozer which might slow Rose's rise in scoring numbers, but could help his assist total (6.0 apg in 2009).
Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City - As Kevin Durant's game has improved, so has Westbrook's assist total. While Westbrook's scoring-per-game has stayed relatively consistent (15.3 ppg in 2008, 16.1 ppg in 2009), his assist total jumped from 5.3 apg in 2008 to 8.0 last year. He should at least match those numbers in 2010.
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