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

It’s our first NBA Position Battle of the 2013-2014 season, and this promises to be very interesting! The number one PG may not be a surprise, but more than a couple of the guys on this list might result in some eyebrows raised.

Note: All of the following stats were taken on December 6, 2013 (Manila time).

5. Michael Carter-Williams (PHI) – 17.7ppg, 7.3apg, 5.8rpg, 3.1spg, 1.5 triples per game, 20.1 EFF
The early season Rookie of the Year favorite reminds me a lot of Penny Hardaway. He has pretty much the same size, the same athleticism, and the same great offensive skills. And, of course, MCW gets it done on the other end with a league-leading 3.1 steals per! Now if he can only recover from his aching knee…

Michael Carter-Williams is the early favorite to win
the 2014 ROY.
(image by Howard Smith/USA Today)

4. Ty Lawson (DEN) – 19.3ppg, 8.2apg, 3.7rpg, 1.2spg, 1.2 triples per game, 20.1 EFF
Lawson isn’t exactly top-of-mind when it comes to the top NBA playmakers conversation, but he’s currently doing extremely well, and that has translated to the Nuggets’ 10-6 start. He’s a classic example of someone who doesn’t get a lot of print or hype, but delivers anyway.

3. John Wall (WAS) – 19.0ppg, 9.2apg, 4.4rpg, 2.3spg, 1.2 triples per game, 21.6 EFF
Wall is looking super solid for the Wizards, who, despite having a losing record, are ranked in the Eastern Conference’s upper echelon. The 2010 top overall pick is currently NBA’s second-best assists guy and fifth overall in terms of steals, and, honestly, he might still get even better.

2. Steph Curry (GSW) – 22.6ppg, 8.8apg, 4.3rpg, 1.9spg, 3.4 triples per game, 44.3 3pt%, 46.4 FG%, 87.0 FT%, 24.1 EFF
All we really need to know is Curry is the best three-point shooter among the league’s top point guards, and that he makes more than three treys per game. In short, this Curry is, more often than not, almost always on fire. Oh, and, in case you haven’t noticed, he is a top-level playmaker and defender, too.

1. Chris Paul (LAC) – 18.7ppg, 11.8apg, 4.2rpg, 2.3spg, 45.4 FG%, 1.1 triples per game, 89.9 FT%, 27.0 EFF
Here’s the thing. CP3 is tops in assists, top five in steals and overall efficiency, and top ten in free throws made. He has, in fact, outplayed every single point guard he has played against this season, at least in terms of player efficiency. That simply means Paul has had better EFF than every other PG he has faced. And, get this, he is the only PG who’s currently averaging a double-double. Nuff said.

Chris Paul continues to be the gold standard for the world's point guards.
(image from

Outside looking in:
Eric Bledsoe (PHX) – 19.3 EFF
Mike Conley, Jr. (MEM) – 18.7 EFF
Damien Lillard (POR) – 18.3 EFF

Game Recaps:

December 3, 2013
Final Score: Washington 98, Orlando 80
Washington, DC ( - John Wall tallied 16 points and 13 assists as the Washington Wizards cruised past the Orlando Magic, 98-80, to reach .500 for the first time this season. Trevor Ariza scored a game-high 24 points for Washington, which has won seven of nine after dropping four straight tilts in mid-November. Ariza shot 8-of-9 from the floor and drained all four triples he attempted. Nene added 14 points in the victory and Marcin Gortat had 13. Arron Afflalo's 21 points paced the Magic as they fell by 18 points for the second straight game. Maurice Harkless came off the bench and contributed 16 points in the setback while Nikola Vucevic went for 10 points and eight rebounds.

Final Score: San Antonio 102, Atlanta 100
San Antonio, TX ( - The normally even-keeled and stoic Tim Duncan isn't much for facial expressions. Monday was an exception. Duncan's go-ahead jumper with 0.4 seconds remaining lifted the San Antonio Spurs to a 102-100 win over the Atlanta Hawks. Jeff Teague tied the game with a tough step-back 3-pointer over the outstretched arms of Kawhi Leonard with 4.7 seconds left. Following a timeout, Manu Ginobili got the ball at the top of the key. Duncan came off a Marco Belinelli pindown screen from the lower right block, received Ginobili's pass near the right elbow and swished in the go- ahead shot. The ordinarily expressionless Duncan, who had 23 points and 21 rebounds, displayed his emotions. He emphatically slapped Ginobili's hand as he strutted to halfcourt following the make. Paul Millsap's potential game- tying shot from the left baseline at the buzzer ricocheted off the side of the backboard.

Final Score: New Orleans 131, Chicago 128 (3-OT)
Chicago, IL ( - Jrue Holiday's 3-point play with 2.6 seconds remaining in triple overtime capped a wild thriller in which the New Orleans Pelicans outlasted the Chicago Bulls, 131-128, at United Center. Playing their first game without leading scorer and rebounder Anthony Davis, who fractured his left hand Sunday in New York, the Pelicans overcame the loss of the 2012 No. 1 overall pick behind big efforts from Holiday, Ryan Anderson and several others to finish off a perfect three-game road trip. Anderson poured in a career-best 36 points and Eric Gordon added 23 for New Orleans. Holiday, who sent the game into OT with a clutch jumper with 3.9 seconds left in regulation, finished with 19 points and 12 assists. Chicago was dealt its first home loss of the season and sixth in its last seven outings overall despite a 37-point, eight-rebound and seven-assist effort from Luol Deng. Taj Gibson delivered 26 points and 14 boards in defeat, with Mike Dunleavy recording 23 points for the Bulls.

Final Score: Utah 109, Houston 103
Salt Lake City, UT ( - Gordon Hayward netted 29 points and Marvin Williams helped put the game away with five crucial points late as the Utah Jazz shocked the Houston Rockets, 109-103, on Monday. With the Jazz in front by three, Williams picked off James Harden's nonchalant pass with just over two minutes remaining and coasted in for a breakaway slam. Both teams traded buckets out of a timeout and after Aaron Brooks missed a short hook- shot, Williams put the game away with a 3 from Hayward. Trey Burke recorded a career-high for the second straight tilt with 21 points for Utah, which won back-to-back games for the first time this season and three of four overall. Alec Burks added 21 as well off the bench on 7-of-11 from the field. Harden led the way for Houston with 37 points and eight assists despite the loss. Dwight Howard had 15 points with nine rebounds and Francisco Garcia, Omri Casspi and Brooks all deposited 13. Houston forward Chandler Parsons missed his first game of the year with back spasms.

Final Score: Portland 106, Indiana 102
Portland, OR ( - Portland took Paul George's best shot, but the Trail Blazers proved they have a closer of their own. Damian Lillard scored 14 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter and the Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Indiana Pacers, 106-102, on Monday night. Lillard was just 4-of-12 shooting through three quarters before coming alive in the fourth. George netted 17 of his career-high 43 points in the final frame. George nailed a pair of treys to whittle the Pacers deficit to 98-96 with 1:37 on the clock, but the cold-blooded Lillard answered with a three at the other end and Indiana didn't cut the gap below three the rest of the way. George hit his fifth 3-pointer of the quarter with 10.4 seconds left to trim the bulge to 105-102, but Nicolas Batum split a pair of foul shots to seal the outcome. LaMarcus Aldridge added 28 points and 10 boards for Portland, which has won 13 of its last 14 tilts. Roy Hibbert chipped in 16 points and 14 rebounds for the Pacers, who had their seven-game winning streak snapped. They dropped just their second game of the year.

December 4, 2013
Final Score: Philadelphia 126, Orlando 125 (2-OT)
Philadelphia, PA ( - Michael Carter-Williams recorded his first triple-double and the Philadelphia 76ers outlasted the Orlando Magic, 126-125, in two overtimes. Carter-Williams, who was named Rookie of the Month earlier Tuesday, totaled 27 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists for the Sixers, who had lost four in a row and eight of their previous nine. Thaddeus Young chipped in 25 points and 12 boards in a game that featured 23 lead changes and 16 ties. Evan Turner scored 24 points but committed eight of Philadelphia's 23 turnovers, missed a runner at the regulation buzzer and fouled Arron Afflalo taking a 3-pointer near the end of the first extra session.

Final Score: Boston 108, Milwaukee 100
Boston, MA ( - Jordan Crawford had a game-high 25 points, Jeff Green added 18 points and the Boston Celtics snapped a four-game losing streak against the Milwaukee Bucks with a 108-100 win at TD Garden. Brandon Bass netted 16, while Avery Bradley and Jared Sullinger tallied 15 and 12 points, respectively, as every Boston starter scored in double figures. O.J. Mayo paced Milwaukee with 19 points and Brandon Knight scored 15 points on 5-of-15 shooting in the loss. Milwaukee snapped an 11-game losing streak with a 92-85 win against Boston on Saturday, but couldn't secure the second leg of the home-and-home.

Final Score: Denver 111, Brooklyn 87
Brooklyn, NY ( - Timofey Mozgov led six Denver scorers in double figures with 17 points and grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds, as the Nuggets used a third-quarter surge to blow past the Brooklyn Nets, 111-87, on Tuesday at Barclays Center. Jordan Hamilton and Kenneth Faried both netted 15 points, while Ty Lawson added 13 points and six assists for the Nuggets, who have won seven straight. Randy Foye and Darrell Arthur added 11 and 10 points, respectively, in the victory. Joe Johnson led the short-handed Nets with 22 points, while Andray Blatche tallied 15 points off the bench for Brooklyn, which has lost eight of its last 10 games.

Final Score: Detroit 107, Miami 97
Miami, FL ( - Kyle Singler led seven Pistons in double figures with 18 points, and Detroit snapped Miami's 10-game winning streak with a 107-97 victory at American Airlines Arena. The Heat hadn't lost since Nov. 9 at home against Boston on a 3-pointer at the buzzer by Jeff Green. Miami played Tuesday without star guard Dwyane Wade, who was held out due to knee soreness. Greg Monroe and Rodney Stuckey both added 16 points for the Pistons, who have posted back-to-back triumphs. Brandon Jennings and Josh Smith posted 15 points, while Andre Drummond totaled 10 points and 18 rebounds before fouling out in the game's final minute. LeBron James and Michael Beasley scored 23 points for the two-time defending NBA champions, who lost to the Pistons for just the third time in the last 17 matchups.

Final Score: Memphis 110, Phoenix 91
Memphis, TN ( - Mike Conley scored 18 points and handed out 14 assists to lead the Memphis Grizzlies to a 110-91 win over the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday. Jon Leuer added 23 points and nine rebounds and Ed Davis finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who have won two of their last three games. Grizzlies power forward Zach Randolph missed his second straight game due to a toe injury. Marcus Morris netted a team-high 18 points and Goran Dragic added 16 points and five assists for the Suns, who have dropped two straight.

Final Score: Dallas 89, Charlotte 82
Dallas, TX ( - Dirk Nowitzki poured in 21 of his game- high 25 points in the second half, Monta Ellis added 22, and the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Charlotte Bobcats, 89-82, on Tuesday night. Jose Calderon netted 12 and Vince Carter added 10 points off the bench for Dallas, which maintained its perfection at home against Charlotte with its 10th win in as many chances. Al Jefferson scored 19 points with 12 rebounds, while Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson tallied 16 points apiece in the setback. Jefferson became the first Bobcat to record three straight double-doubles since Gerald Wallace Feb. 4-7, 2011.

Final Score: Oklahoma City 97, Sacramento 95
Sacramento, CA ( - Isaiah Thomas put the Kings on his back in the fourth quarter and nearly rallied them from a 17-point deficit against the Thunder. Thomas scored 21 of his 24 points in the final frame but was short on a 14-footer at the buzzer as Oklahoma City escaped Sleep Train Arena with a 97-95 victory. Kevin Durant totaled 27 points and 11 rebounds and Russell Westbrook chipped in 15 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in the Thunder's eighth straight win.

Final Score: Golden State 112, Toronto 103
Oakland, CA ( - Stephen Curry poured in 27 points and 10 assists, Klay Thompson netted 22 points and the Golden State Warriors outscored the Toronto Raptors 42-15 in the fourth quarter en route to an improbable 112-103 win. Harrison Barnes scored 19 points, while David Lee added 18 points and eight rebounds for the Warriors. DeMar DeRozan paced the Raptors with 26 points, Kyle Lowry scored 20 points with nine assists, and Rudy Gay tallied 18 points in the brutal setback.

December 5, 2013
Final Score: Cleveland 98, Denver 88
Cleveland, OH ( - Tristan Thompson grabbed a career-high 21 rebounds on top of 17 points as the Cleveland Cavaliers took down the Denver Nuggets, 98-88, from Quicken Loans Arena. Kyrie Irving netted a game-high 23 points for the Cavs, who won their second straight tilt for the first time this season. Anderson Varejao contributed 18 points and 13 rebounds off the bench and Andrew Bynum scored 14 points one game after his season-high 20 in a win over Chicago. Randy Foye made three triples en route to 16 points to lead a balanced Denver attack. J.J. Hickson registered a double-double with 15 points and 11 boards, while Nate Robinson and Wilson Chandler deposited 14 and 13 points, respectively.

Final Score: Atlanta 107, LA Clippers 97
Atlanta, GA ( - Paul Millsap scored 25 points and Kyle Korver netted 23 as the Atlanta Hawks got back on track with a 107-97 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers at Philips Arena. Millsap added nine rebounds and six assists for Atlanta, which had dropped five of six coming in. Korver, back from a four-game absence caused by a rib injury, made good on 6 of-9 attempts from 3-point range in a sharp return. Al Horford contributed 21 points and nine rebounds in a contest the Hawks shot 51.2 percent from the field and were in front most of the way. Blake Griffin finished with 24 points on 10-of-17 shooting in the loss, the Clippers' second straight following a four-game win streak. Chris Paul recorded his 16th double- double of the season with 19 points and 11 assists.

Final Score: Phoenix 97, Houston 88
Houston, TX ( - Eric Bledsoe had 20 points and seven assists to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 97-88 victory over the cold-shooting Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Goran Dragic added 19 points and P.J. Tucker scored 18 as the Suns halted a two-game skid and dealt the Rockets their first defeat at home since Nov. 9. Playing without a pair of key players in Chandler Parsons and Omer Asik, Houston managed a meager .352 field goal percentage and was held to its lowest scoring output of the season. Top weapon James Harden went 3-for-17 from the floor and 0-for-10 from 3-point range while mustering 14 points. Dwight Howard posted 15 points and 18 rebounds for the Rockets, who had won six in a row at the Toyota Center. Aaron Brooks finished with 17 points and six assists.

Final Score: Detroit 105, Milwaukee 98
Milwaukee, WI ( - Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe each recorded double-doubles to lead the Detroit Pistons past the Milwaukee Bucks, 105-98, in a Central Division clash on Wednesday. Drummond and Monroe made sure there was no letdown following Tuesday's win against the Miami Heat, as the duo combined for 42 points and 36 rebounds. Josh Smith added 17 points and Brandon Jennings provided 17 points and 11 assists against his former team, which fell 1-14 against clubs not named the Boston Celtics. Ersan Ilyasova led the Bucks with 22 points off the bench, while John Henson chipped in 12 points, nine rebounds and three blocks in the setback.

Final Score: Dallas 100, New Orleans 97
New Orleans, LA ( - Dirk Nowitzki led six Mavericks in double figures with 21 points as Dallas held off the New Orleans Pelicans, 100-97, from New Orleans Arena. Nowitzki split a pair of free throws with 32.3 seconds left to break a 97-97 tie and put Dallas in front. The Pelicans had two looks at the rim on the ensuing possession but may have passed themselves out of the game. Jrue Holiday, the hero from a Dec. 2 triple overtime win over Chicago, gave up an open look which led to an Al-Farouq Aminu 20-footer, which was off the mark. Eric Gordon corralled the offensive rebound but was stuffed by Nowitzki, who came away with the board and made two free throws to result in the final margin. Ryan Anderson's 3 in the final seconds missed long, and Jae Crowder grabbed the decisive rebound for the Mavs, who won their second straight. Monta Ellis had 14 points and 10 assists in the victory, while Vince Carter dropped 15 off the bench. Jose Calderon and DeJuan Blair scored 12 points apiece. Holiday paced the Pelicans with 26 points and nine assists while Aminu pulled down a career- high 21 rebounds to go with 16 points. Anderson also registered a double- double with 18 points and 13 boards.

Final Score: Indiana 95, Utah 86
Salt Lake City, UT ( - Paul George led a balanced Indiana scoring attack with 19 points as the Pacers surged past the Utah Jazz, 95-86, Wednesday at EnergySolutions Arena. Lance Stephenson scored 15 points, Roy Hibbert registered 13 points and nine rebounds and Luis Scola added 14 points off the bench for the Pacers, who bounced back from Monday's 106-102 setback in Portland. David West and George Hill supplied 10 points apiece for Indiana, which had dropped its last six trips to Salt Lake City. Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter each registered double-doubles for the Jazz, who had won two straight. Favors scored 22 points and grabbed 13 boards, while Kanter tallied 20 points and 10 rebounds.

Final Score: Portland 111, Oklahoma City 104
Portland, OR ( - The Portland Trail Blazers are proving their hot start is not a fluke. Two days after beating the NBA-best Indiana Pacers, the Blazers used an all- around effort from LaMarcus Aldridge to dispose of the Oklahoma City Thunder, 111-104, at Moda Center. Aldridge finished with 38 points, 13 rebounds and five assists in leading the Blazers to a seventh straight home victory. Robin Lopez added 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Nicolas Batum capped his 14-point night with a back-breaking 3- pointer down the stretch. Kevin Durant poured in 33 points to lead the Thunder, who had their eight-game winning streak snapped. Russell Westbrook had 21 points on 7-on-17 shooting in the setback. Oklahoma City had also won seven in a row against its division rival but failed to keep Portland from improving to 16-3 on the season.

Final Score: San Antonio vs. Minnesota (postponed)
Mexico City, Mexico ( - Wednesday's game between the San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Timberwolves has been postponed due to smoke in Mexico City Arena. An hour before the Spurs and Timberwolves were set to tip off, a generator malfunction occurred and filled the venue with smoke. Players and fans were immediately evacuated from the arena and team personnel began loading gear into each team's respective bus soon thereafter. The game, part of the NBA's Global Games international initiative, is the first scheduled by the league in Mexico since Dallas and Houston squared off on Dec. 6, 1997. The makeup will be at Target Center in Minnesota but the date is still to be determined.

December 5, 2013
Final Score: New York 113, Brooklyn 83
Brooklyn, NY ( - Carmelo Anthony called the Knicks the "laughing stock of the league" before Thursday's visit to Brooklyn. By the end of the cross-town showdown, however, it was Anthony and the Knicks laughing at the expense of the Nets as New York rolled to a thorough 113-83 victory. Anthony filled the box score with 19 points, 10 rebounds and six assists and was an efficient 8-of-12 from the floor. Iman Shumpert and Andrea Bargnani added 17 and 16 points, respectively, as the Knicks snapped their nine-game skid in convincing fashion, albeit against a struggling Brooklyn club. The Nets can point to a slew of injuries and an influx of new faces trying to fit into first-year head coach Jason Kidd's system, but it doesn't change Brooklyn's pitiful 5-14 record and a losing streak at home that has reached six games. Brook Lopez put up a 24-point, nine-rebound effort, while Joe Johnson shot a woeful 4-of-15 from the field for 13 points.

Final Score: LA Clippers 101, Memphis 81
Memphis, TN ( - Chris Paul finished with 15 points and eight assists and the Los Angeles Clippers used a balanced scoring attack to down the familiar Memphis Grizzlies, 101-81, on Thursday. Jamal Crawford and Darren Collison added 15 points apiece off the bench for the Clippers, who outscored the Grizzlies in the second half by a healthy 61-39 margin to win going away. DeAndre Jordan posted 10 points and 14 rebounds while Blake Griffin chipped in with 14 points, nine boards and five assists as Los Angeles snapped a two-game skid and helped Doc Rivers earn his 600th career victory as a coach. Zach Randolph returned to Memphis' lineup after missing two games with a toe injury and recorded a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds but was limited to 4-of-13 shooting. Kosta Koufos totaled 17 points and nine rebounds while Mike Conley netted 16 points for the Grizzlies, who fell to 1-2 on their six-game homestand.

Final Score: Chicago 107, Miami 87
Chicago, IL ( - Joakim Noah recorded 17 points and 15 rebounds and Carlos Boozer added 27 and nine as the Chicago Bulls pounded the Miami Heat, 107-87, at the United Center. Luol Deng made four of Chicago's 10 3-pointers in another 20-point performance, and Taj Gibson came off the bench and contributed 19 points in the surprisingly easy win. The Bulls, who were coming off their first home loss of the season and had dropped six of their previous seven, made half of their shots and held the Heat to 17 points below their season average. Miami was abused down low for the second straight game, getting outrebounded by a 49-27 margin while allowing 24 second-chance points. LeBron James had a team-high 21 points but no other Heat player really stepped up in the absence of Dwyane Wade.

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