The NBA: February 2013 Position Battle – The Top 5 Point Guards Right Now

He probably won’t win the MVP award this season, or maybe in any season, but that will not dim the fact that Tony Parker has been the best point guard of the past week or so. Joining him on this list are four young guns who will probably figure in the “Best PG” conversation long after Parker’s time is up.

Note: All of the following stats are based on the last five games of each player’s team as computed by Stats were retrieved on February 28, 2013 (Manila time).

5. Kemba Walker (CHA) - 22.8ppg, 4.0rpg, 4.2apg, 2.0spg, .494 FG%, .536 3pt%, .905 FT%, 21.4 EFF
Prior to his most recent game against the Clips, Kemba dropped a total of 99 points over four games. All but one of those games were losses, but, hey, that shouldn’t dampen the awesome production from this combo guard. He struggled from the field against CP3, but he made up for it with 4 steals and 5 rebounds. Charlotte has nothing left to lose this season, which means Kemba will probably play out the rest of the Bobcats’ games with no pressure – just the way he likes it.

4. Steph Curry (GSW) - 24.8ppg, 3.8rpg, 6.0apg, 2.2spg, .511 FG%, 23.8 EFF
Curry just scored FIFTY-FOUR points against the Knicks. That’s all we really need to know. Yes, GSW lost despite that, but one has to remember that the only guys who’ve scored more than that at the current MSG (a.k.a. Garden IV) are (you might know them) Bernard King (60 in 1984), Michael Jordan (55 back in 1995), and Kobe Bryant (61 in 2009). And don’t even get me started on his FG%. This Curry is mighty hot!

3. Ty Lawson (DEN) - 24.2ppg, 4.2rpg, 8.0apg, 24.6 EFF
The Nuggets’ 8-win and 4-loss February has pushed them to second in the Northwest and fifth in the Western Conference, and Lawson has been maybe the biggest factor in their solid play. He has scored double-digits in every February game, and scored less than 20 only twice. The former UNC Tar Heel should remain one of the best under-the-radar playmakers as the regular season enters its last quarter.

2. Russell Westbrook (OKC) - 27.2ppg, 5.2rpg, 7.0apg, .500 FG%, .615 3pt%, 24.6 EFF
For the past week or so, I haven’t heard any statement (nor read any Tweet or Facebook status) referring to Jet Zero as Westbrick. The former UCLA star has shot 47% or better from the floor in 8 of OKC’s 11 February games.  In those games, the Thunder went 6-2. Conclusion? Can Westbrook shoot this well at a consistent pace? For the season, his FG success rate is just a shade above 43%, so OKC fans should be wary of the law of averages catching up soon.

1. Tony Parker (SAS) - 25.8ppg, 4.5rpg, 7.0apg, 1.5spg, .544 3pt%, 27.3 EFF
Will Parker be the second foreign-born point guard to win the MVP in the past 10 years? Will he follow in the trail of one Steve Nash? Nope. The way things are going, the MVP race is just really between LBJ and KD, but, hey, if stats and team performance were the only criteria, Parker would be a prime choice. The Spurs’ success this season may be attributed to TD’s resurgence and the rise in the play of guys like Danny Green, but Parker’s solid playmaking has, by far, been the real x-factor.

Tony Parker is the best PG right now. Will he also
be the first French MVP?
(image by Ben Margot/AP)

Game Recaps (courtesy of the Sports Network):
February 26
Final Score: Indiana 108, Golden State 97
Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - David West tallied 28 points and Paul George added 21 points and 11 rebounds as the Pacers downed another opponent, defeating the Golden State Warriors, 108-97, to capture their fifth straight win. George Hill contributed 23 points with six assists and Roy Hibbert finished with 13 points, nine boards and five blocks before getting ejected for the Pacers, who have strung together five victories in a row twice in the month of February. Danny Granger, who returned to action on Saturday in Detroit after missing the Pacers' first 55 games with a knee injury, made his home debut on Tuesday, but scored just five points on a timid 1-for-7 shooting. Stephen Curry scored a game-high 38 points, but was responsible for six of the Warriors' 20 turnovers. David Lee totaled 12 points and 12 boards as Golden State saw its three-game winning streak come to an end.

Final Score: Orlando 98, Philadelphia 84
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Arron Afflalo scored 16 points and dished out seven assists, while Nikola Vucevic added 12 points and 19 rebounds to lead the Orlando Magic to a 98-84 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday. Tobias Harris added 16 points off the bench and Andrew Nicholson chipped in 13 points for the Magic, who snapped a five-game skid. Orlando also stopped a 10-game road losing streak. Maurice Harkless, who was traded from the Sixers along with Vucevic in the offseason, added 10 points in the triumph. Orlando forward Al Harrington made his season debut after missing the first 56 games of the season with a knee injury. He scored nine points and grabbed three rebounds in just over 12 minutes of play. Jeremy Pargo and Damien Wilkins scored 14 points apiece for Philadelphia, which has dropped six straight. Dorell Wright scored 11 points and Evan Turner dropped in 10 to go with eight rebounds in the loss. Jrue Holiday, who averaged 19.2 points per game entering the contest, scored just nine on 4-of-11 shooting from the field for the Sixers.

Final Score: Miami 141, Sacramento 129 (2-OT)
Miami, FL (Sports Network) - Despite playing their fifth game in seven days, the Miami Heat kept their season-high winning streak alive. But it wasn't easy. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade combined for 79 points, and the Heat tallied their 12th straight victory in a 141-129 double-overtime triumph over the Sacramento Kings. James had a season-high 40 points, to go with a career-high 16 assists and eight rebounds, while Wade added 39 points, eight boards and seven assists for Miami, which hasn't lost since Feb. 1 when it fell to the Indiana Pacers. The Heat are two wins away from the franchise's longest winning stretch of 14, accomplished from Dec. 6, 2004-Jan. 1, 2005. Marcus Thornton hit eight 3-pointers and netted 36 points to lead the Kings, who have dropped six consecutive tilts.

Final Score: Cleveland 101, Chicago 98
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Dion Waiters scored 25 points and the Kyrie Irving-less Cleveland Cavaliers held off the Chicago Bulls, 101-98. Shaun Livingston added 15 points for the Cavaliers, who snapped an 11-game skid against Chicago. Wayne Ellington and Alonzo Gee tallied 13 and 11 points, respectively. Irving missed Tuesday's game due to a sore/hyperextended right knee. He is listed as day-to-day. Cleveland was also without Daniel Gibson (personal reasons). Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng had 27 and 26 points, respectively, for the Bulls, who have lost two in a row. Kirk Hinrich donated 11 points and 11 assists in his return to the lineup.

Final Score: Brooklyn 101, New Orleans 97
New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Deron Williams poured in a game-high 33 points and dished out eight assists to help the Brooklyn Nets edge the New Orleans Hornets, 101-97, on Tuesday. Brook Lopez added 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists, and C.J. Watson dropped in 10 points for the Nets, who were without Joe Johnson (foot) for the third straight game. Greivis Vasquez scored 20 points to go with eight rebounds and seven assists and Robin Lopez added 14 points and pulled down seven boards for the Hornets, who have dropped four of their last five games. Rookie forward Anthony Davis scored six points before leaving the game in the third quarter with an apparent left shoulder injury. Brooklyn shot a blistering 66.7 percent (14- for-21) in the first quarter to race out to a 31-20 lead. Williams scored 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the floor in the quarter.

Final Score: Milwaukee 95, Dallas 90
Dallas, TX (Sports Network) - Monta Ellis had 22 points and nine assists in the Milwaukee Bucks' 95-90 win over the Dallas Mavericks. Larry Sanders added 13 points and 13 rebounds for the Bucks, who had dropped seven of their last eight games coming in. Dirk Nowitzki tallied 21 points and 20 boards to lead Dallas, which has lost two straight since prevailing in five of its previous six tilts. The Mavs were just 1-of-17 from beyond the arc.

Final Score: Phoenix 84, Minnesota 83 (OT)
Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Marcin Gortat scored 14 points, including the game-tying layup at the end of regulation to lead the Phoenix Suns to an 84-83 overtime win against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday. Wesley Johnson scored 14 points and pulled down nine rebounds and Markieff Morris added 14 points and six rebounds for the Suns, who had dropped three straight entering the contest. Derrick Williams scored 21 points to go with 12 rebounds and Nikola Pekovic added 18 points and 12 boards for the Timberwolves, losers in three straight.

February 27
Final Score: Cleveland 103, Toronto 92
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - Though Kyrie Irving has played a major role in the Cleveland Cavaliers' improvement over the second half of this season, the team is proving it can also win without him. With their All-Star point guard sidelined for a second straight night by a knee injury, the Cavaliers posted their second consecutive triumph by earning a 103-92 decision over the Toronto Raptors at Quicken Loans Arena. Six Cleveland players scored in double figures to help offset Irving's absence, with Dion Waiters leading the charge with a 23-point, six-assist effort. Shaun Livingston added 15 points and six helpers for the Cavs, while Tristan Thompson contributed 14 points and eight rebounds to Cleveland's fourth victory in its last five games. The Raptors dropped their second in a row despite a 34-point performance from DeMar DeRozan and Rudy Gay's 24 points and eight rebounds.

Final Score: Sacramento 125, Orlando 101
Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - John Salmons had 21 points and Marcus Thornton scored 20, as the Sacramento Kings snapped a nine-game road skid with a 125-101 rout of the Orlando Magic. The Kings pushed Miami to double- overtime on Tuesday, and one night later snapped a season-high six-game losing streak. Tyreke Evans contributed 17 points and seven assists for the Kings, who also received 13 points apiece from DeMarcus Cousins, Patrick Patterson and Jimmer Fredette. The Magic failed to build on a 14-point win at Philadelphia the night before and lost for the sixth time in seven contests. Tobias Harris led the way with a career-best 23 points for Orlando, which also got 15 points from Arron Afflalo and 14 from Beno Udrih.

Final Score: Detroit 96, Washington 95
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Jose Calderon's layup with 1:06 remaining proved to be the difference-maker, as the Detroit Pistons picked up a much- needed 96-95 victory over the Washington Wizards, on Wednesday. Brandon Knight netted a career-high 32 points and had five 3-pointers and Greg Monroe scored 26 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Pistons, who ended a three- game losing skid. Kim English came off the bench to add 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting and Calderon finished with just six points, but dished out a game-high 18 assists in the victory. Knight had missed the last three games with a hyperextended right knee. Trevor Ariza paced Washington with 22 points and grabbed six boards, while Bradley Beal had 16 points and six rebounds for the Wizards, who were coming off three straight victories. The Wizards continued their struggles in the series, having now lost six straight and 14 of their last 16 games overall versus Detroit.

Final Score: Milwaukee 110, Houston 107
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Monta Ellis hit the game-winner on a one-footed 3-point heave in the closing seconds, and the Milwaukee Bucks stunned the Houston Rockets with a 110-107 decision on Wednesday at the Toyota Center. Ellis capped his 27-point, 13-assist performance with his off-balance buzzer- beating triple to push Milwaukee to its second straight win. The Bucks got two offensive rebounds on their final possession to hold for the final shot. Jennings held the ball at the top of the key and tried to blow by Jeremy Lin, but was denied. He then passed off to Ellis, whose shot circled around the rim before eventually falling through. Ersan Ilyasova added 20 points and 10 boards, Mike Dunleavy and J.J. Redick scored 16 and 14 points, respectively, off the bench and Larry Sanders contributed 10 points and nine rebounds in the victory. The Rockets, who were seeking their sixth win in a row at home, blew an early double-digit lead in dropping their second straight contest. James Harden had 25 points, Chandler Parsons came through with 20 and Omer Asik tallied 16 points with a career-high 22 rebounds in the defeat.

Final Score: Memphis 90, Dallas 84
Memphis, TN (Sports Network) - Marc Gasol had 21 points, 12 rebounds and five assists to help the Memphis Grizzlies to a 90-84 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday. Zach Randolph scored 22 points and pulled down 10 boards and Quincy Pondexter donated 12 points off the bench for the Grizzlies, who trailed by as many as 25 points, matching the largest comeback in franchise history (Portland, March 25, 2002). Shawn Marion scored 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds and Elton Brand added 12 points off the bench for the Mavs, losers in three straight.

Final Score: New York 109, Golden State 105
New York, NY (Sports Network) - Stephen Curry put on quite a show just a few blocks away from Broadway, though the final ending wasn't exactly what the Golden State Warriors' star hoped for. Curry racked up a career-high 54 points in a dazzling individual display, but the Warriors still wound up on the short end of a 109-105 decision against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks received a few tremendous performances of their own to prevail. Carmelo Anthony scored 35 points, J.R. Smith put up 26 off the bench, and Tyson Chandler pulled down a personal-best 28 rebounds while chipping in 16 points. Curry nearly offset the absence of teammate David Lee, handed down a one-game suspension by the NBA for an on-court altercation with Indiana's Roy Hibbert in Tuesday's 108-97 loss to the Pacers, by hitting on an astounding 11-of-13 shots from 3-point range, one shy of a league single-game record for that category. He added seven assists and six rebounds on the evening. Carl Landry and Jarrett Jack had 15 and 14 points, respectively, for the Warriors, who had been on a three-game win streak prior to Tuesday's setback in Indianapolis.

Steph Curry scored a career-best 54 points against New York, but
the Warriors still came out with a loss.
(image by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Final Score: Oklahoma City 119, New Orleans 74
Oklahoma City, OK (Sports Network) - Kevin Durant played only three quarters, but still notched his third career triple-double with 18 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, as the Oklahoma City Thunder walloped the New Orleans Hornets, 119-74, Wednesday night. It was Durant's second triple-double in a week. He had 16 points, 12 boards and 11 assists in the Thunder's loss at Houston on Feb. 20. Russell Westbrook had 29 points and Serge Ibaka totaled 18 points and seven rebounds, as Oklahoma City won its third straight game. It marked the first time in Thunder history they beat an opponent by at least 30 points in consecutive games. They blew out the Chicago Bulls, 102-72, on Sunday. Kevin Martin and Reggie Jackson each had 14 points off the bench for the Thunder. It was the largest margin of victory in the series, surpassing a 40-point triumph for the Seattle SuperSonics on Nov. 7, 1989. Ryan Anderson scored 14 for the Hornets, who lost for the fifth time in six games. They were outrebounded 48-25 and shot just 35.1 percent, compared to 55.3 percent for the Thunder.

Final Score: Phoenix 105, San Antonio 101 (OT)
San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) - The Phoenix Suns made just two field goals in overtime, but it was two more than the San Antonio Spurs. And the Suns unfathomably snapped the Spurs' 18-game home winning streak. Wesley Johnson hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer in regulation to send the game into overtime and Marcin Gortat's go-ahead tip-in with 1:07 left in the extra session helped the Suns down the Spurs, 105-101, on Wednesday. The Spurs missed all 10 of their field-goal attempts in overtime. San Antonio, which was an NBA best 22-2 at home coming in, last dropped a game at the AT&T Center on Nov. 19 against the Los Angeles Clippers. Jermaine O'Neal added 22 points and 13 rebounds for Phoenix, which has won back-to-back overtime tilts. The Suns went just 2- of-9 from the field in the extra period. Tony Parker returned from a one- game absence due to a sore right triceps and tallied 22 points and eight assists for San Antonio, which capped a 7-2 road trip with a victory in Phoenix on Sunday.

Final Score: Atlanta 102, Utah 91
Salt Lake City, UT (Sports Network) - Al Horford and Josh Smith each came through with impressive double-doubles and the Atlanta Hawks cruised to their fourth straight win with a 102-91 triumph over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday. Horford tallied 34 points and 15 rebounds, while Smith finished with 24 points and 14 boards for the Hawks, who improved to 3-0 on their six-game road trip. Jeff Teague added 19 points with seven assists in the victory. The Jazz, who lost in overtime to visiting Boston on Monday, dropped consecutive games at home for the first time since a two-game swoon from Dec. 26-28 and have now lost three in a row overall. Al Jefferson totaled 26 points with 11 rebounds and Derrick Favors, who started for an injured Paul Millsap, finished with 17 points and a season-high 15 boards in the setback.

Final Score: Denver 111, Portland 109
Portland, OR (Sports Network) - Andre Miller's go-ahead layup with 24.9 seconds left lifted the Denver Nuggets to a 111-109 win over the Portland Trail Blazers. With J.J. Hickson defending him on the lower right block, Miller spun around him for the layup to make it 108-106. LaMarcus Aldridge missed a fadeaway at the other end and Ty Lawson knocked down two free throws with 13 ticks to go. Damian Lillard nailed a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 110-109 with 3.9 ticks on the clock. Miller then split a pair of foul shots with three seconds to go, but Aldridge's left baseline jumper with three-tenths of a second remaining was off the mark. Lawson had 30 points and six assists, while Andre Iguodala added 29 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and five steals for Denver, which has won three straight games. Lillard netted 26 points and Hickson added 18 points and 14 boards for the Blazers, who have dropped eight of their last nine tilts.

Next Post »
0 Comment