Point guard is the deepest position in the NBA, but it may also have the least impact when it comes to winning a championship.
Half of the league’s starting point guards averaged more than 15 points per game during the regular season, and that list didn’t even include Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo or Deron Williams. (In comparison, just five point guards reached that mark 10 years ago.)
But of the four teams in the conference finals, two have starting point guards — the Pacers’ George Hill and the Heat’s Mario Chalmers — who didn’t even rank in the top 25 in their position in scoring.
And the starting point guards on the past five NBA title-winning teams averaged less than 10 points a game: Chalmers (twice), a 37-year-old Jason Kidd and Derek Fisher (twice).
|Year||NBA Champ||Starting PG||Reg-season PPG|
The trend of the NBA champion having a low-scoring floor general may be coming to an end, though, with the Spurs’ Tony Parker and the Thunder’s Russell Westbrook facing off in the Western Conference finals.
The highly anticipated matchup lived up to expectations in Game 1 on Monday night.
Parker led the Spurs to a 122-105 win with his second double-double of the postseason — scoring 16 points and dishing out 12 assists. Westbrook, meanwhile, erupted for 25 points, seven assists and five rebounds in the losing effort.
In the playoffs, Westbrook and Parker each have raised their scoring average from the regular season.
If San Antonio goes on to win the NBA title, Parker would be the first point guard since the Pistons’ Isiah Thomas in the 1989-90 season to lead his team in scoring the same year he won the championship.
If Oklahoma City goes on to win the NBA title, Westbrook’s 21.8 points-per-game average during the regular season would be the highest by a point guard who won the championship since the Lakers’ Magic Johnson averaged 23.9 points per game in the 1986-87 season.
This could be the era of the point guard in the NBA, but one of the league’s elite floor generals must first win a championship.
Jeffrey Tomik is the sports editor at Washington Post Express. Follow him on Twitter: @Tomiksports.