Changing of the GUARD
Posted by Erik on November 13, 2007
Tried and tested, consistent and reliable – bottom line solid; this is just a facet of how I would begin to describe the likes of Steve Nash, Jason Kidd, and Chauncey Billups. Sorry Gilbert (Arenas), I know you’re an elite PG, but I classify your production as more of a good passing SG.
These 3 guys were, and still are, top choices when it comes to choosing quality PGs on draft day. Nash has ridiculous passing ability to go with his un-PG-characteristic high FG%. Jason Kidd has a low-scoring, poor-FG%-shooting yet great passing, “I will rebound like a Power Forward” stat line that owns the triple-double market! and of course there’s Chauncey Billups, who consistently contributes across the favored “guard stats” (assists, 3′s, and steals, FT%)
These guys are just great! – but are all nearing the autumns of their careers. They’ve got 3, maybe 4 more good years in them.
This season we’ve seen the emergence of the new kids on the PG block! Young guns, who appear to be the heirs apparent to Tier 1 point guard throne. They represent the future of the position for years to come. Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Raymond Felton are all on their 3rd year of playing in the NBA and are now primed to create waves across the NBA with their real-life and fantasy impact!
They’re off to a great start this season with the slight exception of Felton who got sidelined a while due to a sprained ankle.
One of the more boisterous debates that went on most pre-season and is still burning to this day around fantasy hoop circles is the “Who’s better, Deron or CP3?” argument. I’m not going into that in this post, but let’s just say that if Chris plays at least 75 games this season, I feel he’s the hands down winner. He really just need to get passed his stigma of fragility to be able to move forward as an elite guard.
All 3 of these guys can pass the ball and make some considerable contributions across other stat categories as well. The 3 have varying yet clearly present stroke from beyond the arc; Chris Paul and Raymond Felton are great pickpockets and while Deron is not as defensively inclined, his bulked-up physique adds to his staying power (avoiding injuries) and reliability. – Both CP3 and Felt were nailed by injuries last year.
So how do these guys matchup against their more seasoned counterparts?
Just today, NO had a game vs NJ. It was a good battle of old school vs new school. The Hornets managed to squeak past the Carter-less Nets 84-82.
Jason Kidd flirted with a triple-double: scoring 14 PTs, grabbing 9 boards and dishing 10 assists while adding 2 bogies from beyond the arc and 1 block.
On the other end, Chris Paul was equally impressive: scoring 27 Pts, grabbing 6 boards, while passing 7 assists. His additional contributions of 3 triples and 3 steals helped make his 5 TOs (compared to Jason’s 2) more palatable.
I give this matchup to the youngster as he was also able to prove that he had “clutch” and dependability, scoring the tie-breaking lay-up to seal the deal and give his team the W.
It looks like these new kids will sooner rather than later get the torch passed to them as they continue to improve on their already competitive skill sets and natural talents.