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Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry poses for photos during NBA basketball media day Monday, Sept. 26, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
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Rosen: Best point guards in the NBA

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

This is the toughest position to rate simply because most current point guards play like shooting guards. Indeed, after bringing the ball across the timeline they’ll either look for their own scoring opportunities, or wait until the ball comes back to them before doing the same. As a result, most of their assists come on drive-and-kick plays.

These days, it’s the rare point guard who initiates an offensive set, always looks to pass and shoots only when necessary.

Anyway, here are my rankings of the best point guards (check here for best: C, PF, SF, SG). 

1. STEPHEN CURRY

For sure, he does make the pass that sets an offensive sequence in motion, but Curry is still a shoot-first guy. And, yes, he can shoot the lights out. However, as demonstrated in the Finals versus Cleveland, Curry can be sufficiently bullied on offense and defense so as to greatly diminish his effectiveness. Moreover, he’ll most likely turn the ball over when forced to make passes on the run. Curry’s quickness, handle and incredible long-range shooting are often breathtaking, which is why he heads the list.

2. RUSSELL WESTBROOK

He’s arguably the strongest, most athletic point guard in recent memory. Whereas Curry is all finesse, Westbrook combines power and quickness to rack up points and assists. Too bad he’s a sub-par shooter, inadequate defender and perpetrator of poor decisions. But with Kevin Durant elsewhere, look for Westbrook to average at least 30 points per game.

3. CHRIS PAUL

Even if his defense is overrated, CP3 has all the tools to be the perfect point guard. His only flaw is his tendency to monopolize the ball while looking for his own shots.

4. KYLE LOWRY

This guy is a classic point guard who admirably orchestrates Toronto’s attack. Plus, he can routinely bag treys and play better-than-average defense. If not for the spectacular game plans of Curry, Westbrook and Paul, Lowry would easily be at the top of the list.

5. JOHN WALL

A nice combination of scoring and ball distribution. His defense, though, leaves much to be desired.

Washington Wizards guard John Wall (2) gets a round a pick set by forward Markieff Morris (5) on Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, March 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)

AP Photo/Steve Dykes

6. DAMIAN LILLARD

He’s a shooting guard disguised as a point guard. Most of his assist-passes result when defenses collapse as he drives into the paint. Relatively high turnovers and mediocre defense are Lillard’s flaws. But he can score points by the dozen.

7. MIKE CONLEY

Hits treys, runs the offense, takes care of the ball and plays terrific defense. Another underrated player.

8. KYRIE IRVING

Perhaps the most egregious example of a shoot-first point guard. The only mitigating circumstance is that LeBron does most of the Cavs’ handling and playmaking, while Irving is left to play iso-ball.

9. PATRICK BEVERLEY

He combines exceptional three-point shooting with attack-dog defense.

10. ISAIAH THOMAS

A pint-sized scorer, Thomas must light up the scoreboard to make up for his defensive deficiencies.

HONORABLE MENTION

GORAN DRAGIC, KEMBA WALKER, JEFF TEAGUE, DERRICK ROSE and GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO (we need to see more out of him at the point before moving him up the list)

Rosen: Best point guards in the NBA

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