If there’s a D-Will there’s a Way……..to contend

Posted by By at 17 January, at 19 : 32 PM Print

It’s no secret that the League is absolutely stacked with quality point guards. Aside from the usual suspects like CP3, D-Rose, Westbrook, Rondo you have guys like Stuckey, Augustin, Conley and Felton who have all really stepped up their game this year. Naturally, not every NBA team with a PG stud can be a contender. Every non-bandwagon basketball fan knows that a championship formula always consists of a Guard/Big combo but I digress. The best point guard in the league, as of today, is Deron Williams.

This might be a bold claim to some but please hold your panties and allow me to explain. Allow me to substantiate my claim with statistics, immeasurable observations and some speculations. I will also abstain (or try) from making any references to D-Will’s black man’s comb over or I guess it’s more of a comb forward. There it’s out of the way, moving on. Let’s first define what makes a great point guard and why I will refine D-Will’s competition to only 3 other (nasty) players. There is a reason why the PG spot in basketball lexicon is referred to as the one (1). This player is the nucleus of the team, running the offense, directing the defence and essentially taking reigns as the leader. This is not an absolute truth in basketball land however it is more common than not.

Let’s define what I consider an elite point guard (besides being able to dribble with your head up and do a left-handed layup)
1) Ability to run an offense– at its core this is probably the most basic quality a PG must have in order to be considered “decent”. This is why Allen Iverson was never an elite point guard but rather a stellar shooting guard. He never ran the offense, he was the offense. A PG must have the uncanny ability to get their teammates involved while also being able to score on demand.
2) Be a good on-the-ball defender – Since PG’s cover other PG’s they must be able to defend other primary ball handlers and stifle their offense with stingy defense requiring quick hands, impeccable lateral movement, anticipation and high basketball IQ. Circa ’99 J-Kidd was the ideal defensive PG having size, IQ and quickness.
3) Vocal leadership – This is more of a “soft skill” as they say in business world. This is an intangible skill that is hard to quantify, kind of like a court “swagger” if you will but instead of convincing girls at the club of your sexual prowess you are motivating and instructing young athletic men. I know, bad parallel, but the point was conveyed.

The culmination of these three qualities will give you a point guard that is to the NBA what Jamie Foxx is to the entertainment industry, the real trifecta. Using the PG guidelines laid out, D-Will is the best in the league with only one legitimate challenger for the throne, Chris Paul. Before all my readers (aka Mom) are in disrepair that their PG was not picked I will provide a quick point why I left the other elite PG’s off. Steve Nash is not a great defender. Rondo is not a crunch-time scorer and has a mediocre mid-range (which is the bread and butter of most PG’s). D-Rose and Westbrook will undoubtedly become interchangeably the best PG’s in the league….just not yet. They must first become the irrefutable vocal leaders on their respective teams. Westbrook has to share duties with arguably the best player in the league, Kevin Durant while Rose comes off as a telepathic mute sometimes hardly squeezing out a peep. Statistically D-Will has seen an increase in scoring, FT percentage and FT attempts with a slight dip in assists. He is taking more of the scoring load while also penetrating to the rim more often, no homo. D-Will has been the leader of the Jazz since he entered the league and watching him play is like watching a conductor coordinate beautiful melodies of assists, give-and-go’s, mid range jumper’s and aggressive post moves. Deron has a Chauncy Billups-esque frame allowing him to back down other PG’s with exceptional handles and quickness which often go underrated. He has put so many of his defenders on skates leaving them absolutely perplexed as he hits them with a quick crossover or hesitation stutter step. He is absolutely inconsiderate of tender ankles and will back down a smaller guy faster than jersey shore’s “situation” will box out Vinnie for the next grenade. While Chris Paul is filthy in his own right he does not have the same strength and ability to score as D-Will. He does however have superior quickness, ball handling and court vision to D-Will but where he loses the ultimate battle is durability.

Since they have entered the league Chris Paul has missed 65 games and D-Will has only missed 24 which leaves us with a discrepancy of nearly half an entire season. With the confidence of Kanye West, I am convinced that Deron Williams is the best point guard in the league.

Why do you agree?

The Bowse's Word

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  1. Zig, 9 years ago Reply

    Wooooooah there…Lawrence….Easy there buddy……

    Yes I agree DWill is a TOP PG in the league BUT there are just too many intangibles to really define one as the clear cut “best”. In my opinion a true PG needs to have a pass first mentality (Rondo, Nash) but also make the clutch basket when needed (Dwill, CP3, Parker). Dwill is a scorer 1st, a facilitator 2nd and a leader 3rd.

    At this point in the season you could say its a toss up between DWill, CP3, Rondo and Nash, with no clear cut #1. You could even throw Parker in the mix with his teams success and his solid numbers.

    • Lawrence, 9 years ago Reply

      Zig, Your point is taken but the reason D-Will is the best is because he encompasses all three qualities equally. His floor demeanour is certainly that of a leader. Sure you can make an argument for other PG’s, I just happen not to agree (and I said why).

      • Zig, 9 years ago Reply

        I don’t know man….I agree with your assessment of Rondo, Rose, Westbrook, Nash ..but I would say CP3 clearly has all 3 qualities you listed above…at an even higher level then DWills. It’s definitely a toss up. I also think if Rondo played on a weaker team where he wasn’t surrounded by All Stars/Hall of Famers his scoring and leadership would see a huge boost…regardless great article will check back for more!

        • Nelson, 9 years ago Reply

          Yes, but u gotta think, would Rondo be as good without those all star players around him. You got to believe that most coaches would leave Rondo to beat them, rather than “the big three”.

  2. Hammer, 9 years ago Reply

    It was actually Vinnie boxing-out Situation last time I saw…….

    Well written, Lawrence……what a game Deron had today in a losing effort!

  3. Edelsteinmanberg, 9 years ago Reply

    you know with who my allegiances lie in this debate, I think CP3 is the best pg in the league. If you compare Paul and D-Will only then you can look at those 3 criteria that you listed but it can’t just be limited to that (ps. I think chris…yeah, we’re on a first name basis, is the better vocal leader as well). If you look at advanced stats, such as true shooting percentage, taking into account fg, ft and 3pt percentages, their numbers are almost identical with CP3 edging out DWill slightly. The real difference is in their career PER, CP has a career 25.7 PER as compared to deron’s 19. You also have to look at the collective teams/systems. No one can argue Jerry Sloan’s greatness, his system has only changed slightly in his 200 years as head coach of the Jazz. I also believe that Deron has always had very good pieces to surround him on his team, whereas Paul has had to elevate the games of the likes of Sean Marks, Darius Songalia and a Peja Stojakovic that was more washed up than that pair of jeans that he wears on the bench at every game.

    pps. I love you more than a game of bourre on a team airplane and great article! You put the shkenazi in Ashkenazi!

  4. ChubbyJake81, 9 years ago Reply

    I agree. Well written article. I think DWill shares the spot with Chris Paul. I think you are also forgetting about Damon Stoudamire (also black).

  5. Berdman, 9 years ago Reply

    Maybe I’m just being partial here because I own him in 2 leagues, but I feel like you have really sold Raymond Felton down the river. Everyone is looking at the Knicks recent success as the Amare effect, maybe even the Dantoni effect, but I ask, what about the Felton effect?

    Everyone on the Knicks are putting up career numbers, including Felton (whose averages are just about the same as D Will). Although I don’t doubt Amare’s ability to get open shots for everyone else on the team, at the end of the day, the Knicks up tempo style of ball is helmed by Felton. The same can be said about D Will with regards to making everyone around him better, but I give the edge to Raymond Felton because he is much newer to his situation than D Will is – Felton’s numbers will only get better as he gels more with Amare, Chandler, Galo and Co.

    In an age of Superstars and phenoms, guys like Felton always go under the radar mainly because of where they were drafted (5th overall). Had he been taken 2nd or 3rd, maybe there would be more hype. Had he not been in the wasteland that is playing for Larry Brown for the past few seasons, we might have seen this earlier. Let us not forget, arguably the greatest point guard of all time, John Stockton, was drafted 16th overall.

    The true test of grit and will come during playoff time, and we can see which of the PG’s can carry over their all star caliber seasons to the time when it counts the most, until then, the debate continues…

    • Andrew68, 9 years ago Reply

      100% agree with this !! Felton has been a monster this season and is probably the most under rated player at this point in the season. In my opinion he deserves to be an all star this year. Without Felton the knick are not in the playoff hunt this year !

    • Lawrence, 9 years ago Reply

      Berdman, whoever you may be, I agree with your assesment of Felton and his value to the Knicks. Despite his unfortunate circumstances with Larry Brown he has still not proven that he is a PG of the same calibre as CP3, D-Will.

    • ChubbyJake81, 9 years ago Reply

      I have a John Stockton rookie card, so, whatever.

  6. LindenBowse, 9 years ago Reply

    It’s hard to disagree and say he’s not the best. There are so many good PGs in the league right now though. Picking one is like deciding between the blonde or brunette – to each his (or her) own. The game I like ot play though is if I were a GM starting a team, who would be my first choice for a PG. I don’t think it would be D-will in that scenario, as good as he may be. I’d probably want CP3.

    One of the key features for a PG not mentioned above is how good they make the players around them and their ability to bring out the best in many players. CP3 wins hands down, from the guys mentioned above, on that one.

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