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Mave1002
09-09-2012, 08:28 PM
September 9, 2012, 5:05 pm ET
By Derek Page
NBA Writer
http://www.hoopsworld.com/the-nbas-top-5-playmakers/

It takes a special set of skills to be considered a playmaker in today’s NBA. Playmakers are players that can change the game at the drop of a hat with a spectacular pass that elicits a collective gasp from the arena crowd.

Assists are the main benchmark for a playmaker but being a dual threat as a scorer goes hand and hand with getting teammates open looks. These players use that to their advantage the best and help to make the game easier for everyone around them.

For all intents and purposes, these guys are the engine behind their team’s offensive success.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the top-5 playmakers heading in the upcoming season:

1. Steve Nash, Los Angeles Lakers

For the majority of his career, especially since his relocation to Phoenix after the 2003-04 season, Nash has been the epitome of the prototypical, John Stockton-like facilitator. The combination of first rate handles to get to the basket at will, nifty finishing moves when he gets there, and deadly accuracy practically anywhere on the court allows his teammates to get open looks all game long. Tack on Nash’s court vision and ability to thread the needle in any given situation and you’re looking at the top playmaker in the game.

For the better part of the last decade, Nash has been near the top of the league in assists per game every season. In fact, Nash led the league in assists per game in two of the past three seasons (five of the last eight overall) and has finished no lower than third in the NBA in dimes since 2003.

This is a huge reason why the Lakers were so aggressive in their pursuit of the former two-time NBA Most Valuable Player. Nash’s ability to get everyone both involved and satisfied on this potent Lakers’ offense will pay dividends in helping LA to gel more quickly in the upcoming season.

2. Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics

The reigning leader in the NBA in assists per game, Rondo has the ability to take over a contest with his dynamic penchant for getting teammates open. As with the rest of the players on this list, the key is to be a multi-faceted threat on the offensive end so that defenses have to respect every dimension of a players’ game.

Rondo’s shot, while still a work in progress, has gotten gradually better over the past few seasons and his penetration game is one of the best in the league. These talents help set Rondo’s talented group of teammates up with open looks on a night-in, night-out basis over the course of an NBA season.

The most impressive thing about Rondo is that he continues to evolve as a distributor. Since his rookie season in 2006, Rondo’s assist totals have risen each year which culminated in the All-Star point guard leading the NBA in 2012. As a whole, Rondo has finished no lower than sixth in the NBA in assists per game over the last four seasons – including top-2 finishes in each of the past two years.

3. LeBron James, Miami HEAT

The only non-point guard on this list, and also the only non-point guard in the NBA last season to finish in the top-15 in the league in assists per game, James is a different animal at the forward position. Featuring the body of a power forward, the athletic ability of a guard and the court vision of a point guard, it’s easy to see why James is such a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses.

With the ability to play distributor from virtually any position on the floor, James’ versatility helps put his teammates in the best position to succeed on the offensive end. For his career, James’ nearly seven dimes per contest is a number that many starting NBA point guards would love to have on their resume.

Especially with the addition of Ray Allen to secure open looks from behind the arc, expect James’ playmaking ability to be an even bigger factor throughout the upcoming season.

4. Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers

When healthy, many would argue that Paul is the best point guard in the NBA.

Paul’s combination of speed and savvy both on the break and in half court sets makes him one of the most dangerous players on the floor. That combination of quickness and skill has resulted in Paul finishing as one of the league’s best passers practically every season since his rookie year. This includes back-to-back NBA-leading finishes in assists per game average between the 2007-08 and 2008-09 regular seasons.

Residing with the Los Angeles Clippers in Lob City with Blake Griffin for at least next season, Paul will have plenty of opportunities to pad his nearly 10 assists per game career average in 2013.

5. Deron Williams, Brooklyn Nets

Possibility the most unheralded player on this list due to the fact that he’s toiled in obscurity with the moribund Brooklyn Nets over the past few seasons, Williams is undoubtedly a top playmaker in the NBA. Built like more of an NFL linebacker than an NBA point guard, Williams uses his size and strength to his advantage, bullying many other point guards around the league.

Since becoming a full time starter to begin his second season in 2006, Williams has finished no lower than fifth in the NBA in assists per game as he’s been one of the most consistent players at his position.

With a more talented cast expected to surround him in Brooklyn for the upcoming season, it’s difficult to imagine Williams not finishing among the league leaders in assists once again in 2013.
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Agree or Disagree?

I personally think that CP3 should at least be tied with Rondo.

Longhornfan1234
09-09-2012, 08:29 PM
Rondo...and everyone else.

Avenged
09-09-2012, 08:34 PM
Chris Paul should be #3.

jerellh528
09-09-2012, 08:36 PM
cp3 should be 3 or 2

DoMeFavors
09-09-2012, 08:36 PM
Deron should be above LeBron, LeBron never avg 10 assists a game

tredigs
09-09-2012, 08:37 PM
D. Rose is right there #1-4. Chris Paul is #1. Steve Nash is great, but unfortunately nearing 40 adds up. Still top 5, not 1.

Rondo's lack of anything resembling a consistent shot makes him far less of a playmaker than the ultra elite. Making shots is making a play.

Swashcuff
09-09-2012, 08:37 PM
Well Nash at #1 is a no brainer but Paul should be #3 at worst IMO.

BranWingss
09-09-2012, 08:40 PM
I would have rathered they done position rankings.

tredigs
09-09-2012, 08:40 PM
Deron should be above LeBron, LeBron never avg 10 assists a game

Deron's scraping to average 20ppg, and did it on a FG% a struggling Iverson laughs at this past season. Again, making shots is making a play.



Well Nash at #1 is a no brainer but Paul should be #3 at worst IMO.

It's not 2009.

Swashcuff
09-09-2012, 08:41 PM
D. Rose is right there #1-4. Chris Paul is #1. Steve Nash is great, but unfortunately nearing 40 adds up. Still top 5, not 1.

Rondo's lack of anything resembling a consistent shot makes him far less of a playmaker than the ultra elite. Making shots is making a play.

Being 40 really hasn't made a difference he's still the best passer in the entire NBA and has continue to elevate his teammates play in a way no other play in the NBA.

For your reasoning against Rondo Nash should be a clear #1. Also I think they are speaking of making plays for others.

Raps18-19 Champ
09-09-2012, 08:41 PM
Paul should be 3. Lebron 4.

Longhornfan1234
09-09-2012, 08:43 PM
PG: Rondo

SG: Manu or Kobe?

SF: LeBron

PF: Pau Gasol

C: Marc Gasol

DoMeFavors
09-09-2012, 08:46 PM
Deron's scraping to average 20ppg, and did it on a FG% a struggling Iverson laughs at this past season. Again, making shots is making a play.




It's not 2009.

9 assists with the talent he had, is hard to do.

Brooks, Deshawn, Humphries,Shelden is who he started with look at their numbers.

Mave1002
09-09-2012, 08:46 PM
D. Rose is right there #1-4. Chris Paul is #1. Steve Nash is great, but unfortunately nearing 40 adds up. Still top 5, not 1.

Rondo's lack of anything resembling a consistent shot makes him far less of a playmaker than the ultra elite. Making shots is making a play.

I actually think that age has a major role in being a great playmaker. Going through all the trials and errors through the years sharpens your judgement and decision making.

Especially during crunch time.

tredigs
09-09-2012, 08:46 PM
Being 40 really hasn't made a difference he's still the best passer in the entire NBA and has continue to elevate his teammates play in a way no other play in the NBA.

For your reasoning against Rondo Nash should be a clear #1. Also I think they are speaking of making plays for others.

Eh - If you're not a threat to put up 15+ a game then you're not the best playmaker in the game. Not unless you're some kind of 14+ ASP passer. But being such a dead eye shooter definitely does help playmaking ability by always demanding a player sticking to you when you don't have the ball.

DoMeFavors
09-09-2012, 08:46 PM
PG: Rondo

SG: Manu or Kobe?

SF: LeBron

PF: Pau Gasol

C: Marc Gasol

Garnetts a better play making center

tredigs
09-09-2012, 08:49 PM
9 assists with the talent he had, is hard to do.

Brooks, Deshawn, Humphries,Shelden is who he started with look at their numbers.

I've seen Rondo put up 14+ assists on +consecutive efforts without any of the big three in the lineup. He could avg 9+ with the local YMCA.

Swashcuff
09-09-2012, 08:49 PM
Eh - If you're not a threat to put up 15+ a game then you're not the best playmaker in the game. Not unless you're some kind of 14+ ASP passer. But being such a dead eye shooter definitely does help playmaking ability by always demanding a player sticking to you when you don't have the ball.

You know the article is talking exclusively of playmaking for others right?

DoMeFavors
09-09-2012, 08:51 PM
I've seen Rondo put up 14+ assists on +consecutive efforts without any of the big three in the lineup. He could avg 9+ with the local YMCA.

He doesnt avg a lot of points so how is he up there?

10 ppg isnt high playmaking

JasonJohnHorn
09-09-2012, 08:55 PM
LBJ shouldn't even be on this list, let alone ahead of CP3. Rondo is first in my book... then Nash or CP3. There's a few guys with not only higher assist-per averages than LBJ, but also better assist-to-turnover ratio than LBJ.

The goods
09-09-2012, 09:15 PM
LeBron is a better play maker than Chris Paul? Get the **** out of here, you can make a case for him being better than D.Will last year but not Chris Paul.

douglas
09-09-2012, 09:27 PM
All of the listed players are really good at passing the basketball. When they pass the ball to their teammate, the teammate usually has a better chance of making the shot because they are in a position where the can shoot the basketball at a high percentage.

JNoel
09-09-2012, 09:55 PM
Chris Paul is way overrated. The list looks right to me except swap Deron with Calderon.

Ill21
09-09-2012, 10:15 PM
Yeah this list is pretty much dead on. Maybe swap Deron with LBJ.

Ill21
09-09-2012, 10:17 PM
Chris Paul is way overrated. The list looks right to me except swap Deron with Calderon.

Really??? Calderon over Williams?

naps
09-09-2012, 10:25 PM
Deron should be above LeBron, LeBron never avg 10 assists a game

Playmaking is more than just collecting assists.

JNoel
09-09-2012, 10:28 PM
Really??? Calderon over Williams?

I know that Calderon slightly averaged more assists, but I didn't watch enough of Deron to know about his playmaking ability, I just knew about his scoring.

_KB24_
09-09-2012, 10:44 PM
Paul, Rondo, Nash, Ginobli, and Rose.

Mishmin
09-09-2012, 11:21 PM
Nash and Rondo.

Zefflin
09-09-2012, 11:30 PM
Really good list.

THE MTL
09-10-2012, 12:42 PM
1. Rondo
2. Nash
3. Paul
4. Williams
5. Lebron James- amazing playmaker but still not that of elite PGs in the top 4

JasonJohnHorn
09-10-2012, 12:45 PM
Really??? Calderon over Williams?

I gotta say... he has a point.. Calderon has a much better assist-to-turnover ration.

IndyRealist
09-10-2012, 12:55 PM
I gotta say... he has a point.. Calderon has a much better assist-to-turnover ration.

If I have other players to be the primary and secondary scorers, I'd take Jose Calderon over Deron Williams. If I need the scoring, I'd take Deron. Point guards who score alot have a tendency to call their own number too often for low percentage shots.