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Thursday, October 16th, 2008 at 11:00 am  |  254 responses

SLAMonline Top 50: Deron Williams, no. 11

The definitive ranking of the best players in the NBA today…

by Ryne Nelson

Somewhere, sometime, something happened to Deron Williams. Something that can only be defined by the look in his eyes.

We’re excellent at reading expressions. We can look at someone’s eyes and learn more than any words can attempt to explain. Try it yourself sometime. Take an old family photo and cover each person’s face but their eyes. The people who are truly happy stand-out clear as day. Now check a couple pictures of Deron Williams in the past four or five years. Cover everything but his eyes. See the absolute assuredness. And read on.

Whether it’s on the court or elsewhere, Deron Williams has a twinkle of confidence, and he’s had it for some time. It’s a swagger, a humbleness and a confidence wrapped into a single gaze. This look hasn’t wavered for years, and it almost scares me how constant it’s been. Deron’s drive and focus will not leave until his plan is complete. The fact that his confidence is so pure makes doubting him impossible.

Deron’s had this plan for a while, and he follows it to a tee. This is why he’s confident in his every move on the court. It’s why a fragile change of direction will send almost every defender off-balance (and often to the floor). This is why teammates and opponents immediately respect him as a leader. He has a plan, and he’s confident about executing it.

Remember, Deron Williams never was supposed to make it. He barely showed up on high school recruiting charts (49th in the Class of 2002). He wasn’t a McDonald’s All-American. Texas, the big hoops powerhouse in his home state, wasn’t interested in him. He was chubby, a bit too slow and a lot too normal to be anything but an average collegiate starter.

We may never know when it all clicked, but we do know what happened. His entire demeanor changed. He added a little strut to his stride. He would stare-down any opponent without a hint of fear. He began to believe he was better. He wasn’t faster. Not stronger. Surely not quicker. But better. He began believing he could make others better as well. Deron Williams learned what a true leader – in any walk of life – knows…somehow, some way.

And this is rare, you see. Extra rare. I’m not one to put stock in fate, but the majority of people either have it or they don’t. You’ve heard it before, and it’s true: some people walk into a room and go unnoticed, and others enter a room, demanding attention. Generally, this cannot be taught. What makes Deron Williams such an aberration is not only did he transform into that person who commands attention, but he intuited how to do it himself. He had no sensei; he had no teacher. It – whatever that indefinable it is – came to Deron at the very last possible moment in his basketball career. He knew right away what he could become and immediately created a plan to get there.

To give you a better picture of how profound this change was for Deron Williams, consider again his high school ranking. Scout had him at no. 56, Prep Stars had him at no. 54. For too many reasons, recruiting systems should not be taken as dogma, but their innate flaws prove a point. The rankings compare athletic gifts (which somehow extrapolates to potential?). Deron Williams ranked in the exact middle of the pack, and rightly so. His physical gifts didn’t change, but something else did.

Deron clearly found something. A light bulb came on, and the path illuminated immediately. He saw a way and began walking in that direction without one regret. Not one bit of fear. This confidence has not changed his skill set, per se. Yet, the confidence made him an infinitely better player. He puts the ball on the ground with a clear purpose. He shoots knowing it will go in every time. He defends like he can predict his opponent’s every move. He plays until the very end, understanding anything can happen when you believe. Deron figured something out, and it transformed him into a transcendent talent.

For the first time in his career, Deron Williams no longer looks round. As he lets his vision become more and more of who he is, I suspect Deron’s physique will continue to change. What Deron sees for himself will no longer just be in his eyes. His exterior will match that of his mental philosophy – an elite athlete. Clearly, Williams is transforming his body, but don’t think he didn’t know it would happen. That undying confidence is making him into the new point guard prototype only he envisioned.

He’s slowly painting a picture on an easel that’s facing away from you. He has the slightest hint of a smile, which makes you wonder what exactly he’s creating. All you can see is a faint reflection in his eyes. You wonder why he’s taking his time like this, barely moving his brush before altering the color ever so slightly on his pallet.

Of course, the painting could be the complete wreck. But something about the way he’s regarding his work – with so little struggle, so much vision – assures you. As much as you want to, you don’t need to see the picture yet because you worry even the slightest movement could ruin his concentration. Let the artist go to work. This is why he must be trusted to execute. This is why, In Deron Williams I trust.

Want more of the SLAMonline Top 50? Check out the archive.

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  • Funkdoc

    first

  • namik

    Is Carlos Boozer higher than Deron? There is no way that should happen. Deron is at this point, one of the two best PG’s in the game. Booz can’t make any such claim at his position. But nice work Ryne.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Boozer is much lower than Deron. Nice try. Ryne, nice write up. That Illinois team was very cool.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Ryne nailed this! Great description on Deron. I was never high on him in college and thought he was overrated coming into the draft. His rookie year in Utah was also underwhelming to me until about half way thru the season and I noticed he started to get “it”. He is still climbing.

  • Trevor

    Rondo’s better

  • Klayko

    1st

  • Ken

    Well-written.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Agree with TAD. I also think Deron has more room to expand his game than his contemporary, CP3 (since Chris is a little ahead in his overall game in my estimation) does, so there’s going to be a long battle for top PG supremacy for many years to come and these guys may someday sit in the top 5 on the SLAM top 50 together in the not too far away future.

  • Klayko

    ohh shoot; great ad for D-will he definitely changed his game a lot and will definitely givea run for their money to any point guard; Barkley might have put him in the backseat while Cp3 is ahead but years ahead it will be a tit for tat for those two

  • namik

    Whoops missed that completely. Deron could easily be the offensive focal point on the Jazz. His jumper is money. But the fact that he holds back a lot for the team is the best sign of his future potential.

  • COME ONE

    This is ridiculous…

    Paul Pierce higher then Deron? Paul Pierce higher then Bosh…Paul pierce higher then Melo???/?????

    WHAT A NONSENSE

  • Cupcake

    Great write up. Deron is the only Jazz player I can actually tolerate.
    (Is Paul Pierce really gonna be top 10?)

  • http://ngunioamosotho.com Nguni

    bout time we got the top 50. Williams is definitely up here. can he get better this year? he is sick as it is. he cud be one of the best players every year if he wants.

  • http://slamonline.com Khalid Salaam

    great spot for deron.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com H to the Izzo

    I respectfully disagree.

  • riggs

    cp3 better be the next spot up, cause he isnt THAT better than Dwill

  • http://ngunioamosotho.com Nguni

    PP has been killing it in the league for years. u only heard of him this past summer and u think that’s why he is a gud player? learn ur history. He is def top 10. u dont’ have to like him, bt his game talks for itself. don’t like him much either, bt there is a reason SHAQ named him ‘the truth’.

  • Niio

    Deron is a killer! by far one of my favorite players to watch, he really showed the world what he could do in the 08 olympics. Remember when people use to ask who was better “Deron or Dee Brown?” Its pretty much a joke right about now.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    Oh, and Deron Williams > Chris Paul. :-)

  • Funkdoc

    Pierce just gets his due because of the ring and mvp-trophee. But really, was it not for KG and Allen, pierce wouldn’t even be in the top 20

  • Diesel

    When Self coached that Illinois team he wanted Dee Brown to be the main player, ball handler, and focal point of the team. When Weber took over, he had seen Deron play in highscool and said that he needs to be the teams focal point. I think Weber showing that confidence in him and placing him above a semi-star in the state of Illinois in Dee Brown gave him that confidence and spurred his change.

  • COME ONE

    ^^Second that!!!

    he isnt top 20… no way close. Most overrated player in the league

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com H to the Izzo

    I agree with Ryne.

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    Perfetto Ryne. He is in my opinion going to have a longer and dare i say, more fulfilling career than the other PG he keeps getting compared to. Prototype PG, Jason Kidd 2008, Ason with a Jumper and mad hops (the Dunk attempt on Yao during the olympics was one of my favs, jeezus!). I love how the guy plays.

  • Diesel

    Deron Williams is better than Chris Paul because he plays defense.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Uhm……..apparently the Deron fans didn’t watch what CP3 did throughtout the entire seson that just passed….could they have? Nah…..they couldn’t have. Deron ain’t taking Chris’s spot in the drivers seat using sir Charles analogy until he makes the Jazz HIS team and not a shared effort with big Booze. D-West is an All-Star for the Hornets and there’s no mistaking it’s Chris’ team night in and night out regardless.

  • dfrance

    The Paul Pierce hate is out of control. You guys must be young because PP has been a killer in the league for years. Go look up his numbers. He just finally got to do it in Prime Time and now he’s not top 20? And it was KG and Ray? I’m KG’s biggest fan and I won’t even say that.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    That’s what a great lead guard does and Chris does it better than any other in the league.

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    And please Slamgods, do NOT put CP3 in the top 3 of the NBA. Great floor General he is, shoot, drive and dish he can, a fantastic 07/08 season he had. Know what? So did Deron

  • dfrance

    I think you can’t compare the two. CP3 is definitely a better traditional PG, but Deron can average 30 if he wants. His offensive game is ahead of CP3 by far…

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    Top ten coming up…. sharpen the swords people.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com H to the Izzo

    Eboy:Did Chris Paul have a really good season last year?Surely you jest.I didn’t hear that from every possible media outlet for roughly 4 straight months.CP3 obviously deserves to be higher(I would think #3,but have a suspicion that KG will take that for the whole ‘winning the championship’ thing) for last seasons accomplishments,but I can see the difference between them evening out soon enough.I’d still pick Deron over CP3 for a number of different reasons.

  • Diesel

    Eboy did you see the olympics? When Chris Paul couldn’t stop a single one of the taller foreign point gaurds? I think they’re on the same level offensively. Only thing seperating them is that Deron is probably the top defensive pg out there right now. The fact that Deron hasn’t taken the team over is a credit to his character. He doesn’t need to. CP3 is taking his team over out of necessity. There is no one else to help lead that team.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com H to the Izzo

    Oh and he should be top ten,this list is a farce,this somehow really upsets me even though it’s an internet list and so on.

  • http://slamonline.com Simone S.Y Lawy

    solid PG i ever meet…, gotta love him, he’ll be one of the great PG in NBA history.

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    actually Rondo gives Deron a run for his money in the “best defensive PG” debate. freak of nature that Rajon

  • http://www.where-basketball-b-longs.blogspot.com/ B. Long

    I knew that Deron wouldn’t be the top rated pg this year, but next year I expect a much higer ranking. Like top 5.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Diesel, this list has nothing to do with Olympic play as has been pointed out by the SLAM crew numerous times, because if it did include that criteria, D-Wade would be top three and as it is, I’m almost postive he’s not top 6.

    Izzo, you are a simp. Nothing new to report.

  • http://slamonline.com Simone S.Y Lawy

    Can anyone guess who’s next?

  • http://slamonline.com Simone S.Y Lawy

    i’d say PP…

  • Diesel

    Darksaber you have to factor in though that Deron is defending like that after using up so much energy on the offensive end. Rondo basically only has to worry about defense and not missing wide open jump shots.

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    @Eboy: yeah, flash a’int top 6. not happening on this years list. (sources)

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com H to the Izzo

    Eboy:Thanks.As smart and as well put as usual.May I comment that your hair is looking particularly shiney today?

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    @ Diesel. that is a very good point, although if i wanted to be mean, i’d point out Rajon trying desperately to listen to his coach(es), the one on the bench, and the 4 or 5 know it all Vets on the court is confounding him so badly, it’s a wonder he can still concentrate on D.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    Simone: Probably not.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Sure. Now go back to picking clovers.

  • Diesel

    We don’t even have to reference Olympic play. Deron is a much better shooter and defender, and just a tad behind CP3 when it comes to assists. I’d even argue that they’re equal there…Deron doesn’t have a 7 foot center with a 35 inch vertical on his team that he can just lob passes to and rack up assists.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    oh i meant to guessing who’s next, not to PP

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    whoa whoa, deron is a better shooter? Than Paul? I dont think that’s a sure thing at all.

  • http://www.where-basketball-b-longs.blogspot.com/ B. Long

    or higher.

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    But it’s probably impossible for a superb PG to be effectively stopped by another one. It’s the position with the highest skill set in the sport and be it Deron, CP13, or Rajon or Devin, they are great defensive guards who can occasionally contain and disrupt the other guard’s flow….

  • Mo

    RV, Deron might be a better shooter but Paul is a better scorer.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com H to the Izzo

    Ok.Deron IS a better shooter than Paul.Much,much better.Much more consistant.Never trust the opinion of a simp though.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    i got out of school at 11:00 today and have just spent all day balling. I think this is a little low for Deron, he and CP3 are on just about the same level in my book (one that nobody is reading), i realy think Amare or KG or Dwight should have gone here, but thats on my list, this is SLAM’s site so i will respect that.

  • http://slamonline.com Simone S.Y Lawy

    i’m not gonna say cp3 is better than deron or D is better than C,cause it’s pretty hard to compare between those two.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Are you backing up your assured claim, Izzo, or just expecting us all to believe the words of a cromag manboy and his love of feathery jumpers?

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com H to the Izzo

    My friend,I don’t even know what that means.

  • http://slamonline.com Simone S.Y Lawy

    until someday they play against each other in final…

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    Paul is a better scorer??? Who’s the more traditional PG and who’s more of a combo guard? i believe CP is the first and Deron the second. Deron is a scorer. Paul is not you’re typical “shooter”, but compared to deron he’s more of a shooter and arguably a better shooter. He’s definitely better at the free throw line and the 3pt % is almost the same. However, Paul tends to shoot as a last resort, so a lot of his threes are under pressure, while Deron will pull up whenever he wants.

  • http://www.where-basketball-b-longs.blogspot.com/ B. Long

    @E: What happen to the picture of Tad wearing the Kemp shirt on SKO? My comment wasn’t so brutal that he had to take the post down was it?

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    I’d agree Deron has more range on his J though..

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    I never saw it, B. I wish I had. I’m supposed to put one up too.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Ok, if we are to argue that Deron is a “much better” shooter, then we can also argue that Paul is a “much better” driver and finisher, right?

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com H to the Izzo

    TAD:Pretty much,yeah.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    B, the pic was cropped and too small to really see. I’m trying to get it up with a better view of the shirt, which was the whole point. I didn’t even see that you commented.

  • http://www.where-basketball-b-longs.blogspot.com/ B. Long

    Honestly these guys are so close its hard to really choose one over the other. Where CP3 has the speed advantage D-Will makes up for in brute strength. Their shooting touches are about on the same level and they are both equally great driver and finishers they just do it diffrently.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    @Darksaber: Deron probably set the record for most failed dunks in the Olympics, but that’s part of why he’s great. Had he got Yao, it would have shook the world.

  • http://johnhotmail.com dongles

    deron williams shouldve been around 9

  • http://www.where-basketball-b-longs.blogspot.com/ B. Long

    @Tad: Cool, my comment really wasn’t that bad anyways. I was just hoping I didn’t hurt anybodys self esteem. You know me, always looking out for my fellow man’s feelings and what not.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Uhm….then it must have been bad, no, b?

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    None taken. I’m quite sure I self-depricate myself much worse than what you could say.

  • http://www.where-basketball-b-longs.blogspot.com/ B. Long

    @Ryne: Deron made me wake up wifey about 3 diffrent times screaming for false alarms on nasty missed dunks. I definitely appreciated the effort from D-Will though. If he trys half as hard to bang on big dudes during the NBA season I see a slamadamonth in this mans near future.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    I agree completely with B Long’s 12:59 comment. If you put them on a balance scale they’d be equal, but each would have different things on each side.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    “TADOne says:
    Ok, if we are to argue that Deron is a “much better” shooter, then we can also argue that Paul is a “much better” driver and finisher, right? ” and dont forget CP3 is a ‘ slightly better’ playmaker and Deron is a ‘slightly better’ defender. Advantage- CP3.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Very true BET. I already got into a full on back-and-forth last week about this very subject and just didn’t feel like rehashing old arguments.

  • NBK

    Good write up Ryne, Hopefully Deron brings that excitement from the Olympics to the L this year, if he does he is gonna dunk on someone he isn’t supposed to. I’m predicting TD gets yoked on by DWill this season

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    I liked this write up. It captured something I hadn’t noticed before. As I’ve said before, I think Deron is the best point guard in the league, but I’m not going to complain about his ranking. Once again, good point about Deron’s confidence.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    NBK!!! NBK! NBK! NBK! NBK! NBK! How many dumb comments will you post today. (j/king, whats good mr.disagreer)

  • Nadia Comaneci

    Deron is CLEARLY the best point guard in the world at the moment,although Chris Paul’s game is a better match for the NBA. CP3 is quicker (and for this reason he seems to be slightly more effective on the run and gun NBA game) but Deron is bigger (which enables him to be a better defender, and overpower guys on the offensive end) and a better three point shooter. I remember him fighting all alone at the end of the game against an overly superior N.Carolina team…

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    Nadia, you do realize that this is a NBA ranking not a global one. Even in the global game, CP3 is still the guy i would pick to run any team, anywhere and make it into a contender.

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the balla

    NO WYA IN HECK IS PP ABOVE DERON!!!

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the balla

    this is the craziest thing ive ever seen … PP has not been killing it. I CANNOT believe PP is going to be higher than Deron, Iverson and Melo … this reminds me of that great movie, “the happening” … and by great i mean terrible.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    Yes, James calm down. PP = Finals MVP, one of the greats in Celtics history. Deron Williams = no finals apperances, no Utah Jazz records, no place in Utah Jazz history YET

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    CLEARLY i’m an idiot then.

  • Nadia Comaneci

    @everybody with a well respected nickname…:pleeeeease don’t concentrate that much on the dunking abilities of one of the few NBA super-athletes with a complete-balanced game.The kids here have enough bad influence from those video games…do it for the sake of team U.S.A !!

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    you must have not seen Paul Pierce v. Lebron James 2008 ECF, that was some crazy sh!t. Or Paul Pierce v. the Lakers 2008 NBA Finals. P Squared is doing his thing, thats why he was razing that Finals MVP trophy over his head.

  • Nadia Comaneci

    @betcats…:I know this is an NBA ranking ,that’s why i tried to make the distinction clear.(propably i failed once again)

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the balla

    So than why isnt MJ on this list? We are talking about the top 50 right now …PP because he has a finals MVP does not mean sh1t!! Would you take PP over KOBE … obviously not and he doesnt have a finals MVP. PP does not deserve top ten … and how do you explain him over Iverson and Melo?

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com H to the Izzo

    Nadia or whatever you’re calling yourself today:The video game analogy is getting very old.Very old.We get it,you don’t think much of the IQ of those who frequently watch the NBA.
    TAD:I thought that was me?

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    Nadia, i also disagree with that “Deron Williams is the best in the world” comment. CP3 anywhere, any teaam>=Deron Williams

  • Nadia Comaneci

    Only in an NBA list can D.Howard be over Deron, Dirk(ha,ha,ha!!!!)and Manu…(ok,he could be over them in a SLAM DUNK contest and a Mr . Olympia list also…)

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the balla

    If you take PP off the celtics and put almost anyone else in that pos. that is on this list, they do the exact same thing.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com H to the Izzo

    James:Does that include Ben Handgloten?

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    Nadia did you SEE Dwight in the Olympics? Had he gotten the ball more, he would have gotten WAY more points. He was handling other contries ‘big men’ at will.

  • Nadia Comaneci

    @H to the Izzo…:don’t underestimate the I.Q of many kids exceling in videogames,i never do. I do underestimate though their bball I.Q…

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    CP: 21,1 – 4,0 – 11,6 with 2,7 steals and 2,5 TO’s
    DW: 18,8 – 3,0 – 1-,5 with 1,1 steals and 3,4 TO’s
    Both played 37 mins a game.
    Quite frankly, I don’t see the argument.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    DW: 10,5 assts*

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the balla

    YEs, that includes Ben!!

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com H to the Izzo

    BET:In fairness,Dwight was very poor at the Olympics.He has no inside game whatsoever.Zone D is not his friend.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    James you are a silly silly goose if you think Lamar Odom, Shawn Marion, Andre Igoudala, Tayshaun Prince, Kevin Durrant, or Ron Artest could ever even dream of replocating what Paul Pierce did in the playoffs last year.

  • vegas

    WHAT, HE SHOULD BE IN THE TOP TEN. The only people that sould be higer is chris paul, kg, lebron, kobe, and maybe pierce and if hes lucky steve nash

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com H to the Izzo

    inside moves*

  • Nadia Comaneci

    @BETCATS…:i take your 1:40 comment as ironic to Howard cause if U.S. had gone with him the would not have been champs ,the guy’s post moves is out of the Hakeem book!!!(of course the U.S. coaching stuff knows this,unfortunatelly for the rest of the world…). And i don’t have to mention again what happened to the final…(Marc Gasol…????)

  • NBK

    Ya’ll are nuts if you think Paul Pierce is overrated. The reason he didn’t put up big numbers is because he didn’t have to he has every other season of his career. He just won a title and a finals MVP and your asking for two guys on the same team who lost in the first round to be ranked above him? And the Dwight thing if this list is based on skill level alone then your right but if this is how good a player is in terms of getting him the ball and letting him dominate then i would take dwight over dwill every day of the week. This is a good spot on this list. Whats good Bet i don’t need to fight with you today you haven’t said anything rediculous yet

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/prcasey Pete Casey

    Good job Ryne. I agree with this ranking.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    NBK, good seeing you are thinking strait today. BUT Paul Pierce had several games of +30 points throughout the playoffs and a couple +40′s.

  • Nadia Comaneci

    P.Pierce is top-15 but not top-10.

  • Joey E.

    So top 10 is looking like: Kobe, Wade, LeBron, CP3, Pierce, KG, TD, Dwight, Nash, idk the rest lol

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    @NBK & B. Long: Yup, if Deron yams one on Duncan and/or Yao this season, you’ll know where to find it a month later…

  • NBK

    someone send deron an email and let him know we are waiting

  • zzz

    good write-up, but man, no mention of his passing, his defense, his basketball abilities! just because he has “it”– that confidence in his eye, he is already top 11 in the NBA? C’mon!

  • http://www.myspace.com/hemantsbeats what

    Good spot for Deron, but he’ll be a lot higher before this season is over. I’ve been a Deron fan since he was in college and I never got the whole “too slow and unathletic” thing.

  • NBK

    Joey Amare would be the name your missing

  • UK Bball head

    Firstly, CP3>>DWILL>>Every other point guard in the league. The battle for No1 should be interetsing next season

    2) People saying D.Wade isn’t top 6 in the league need to gtfoh! Personally, I’d have Kobe and Lebron over him, and then it’s up for grabs. Lets not forget that Dwade when fit, is unstoppable, commands a double team, and has won a chip with a bunch of grandads in relative terms (i.e past their prime Shaq, JWill, Payton, Mourning). If he isn’t top 5at worst I’m gonna be hella mad at Slam

  • einstein

    where’s caron butler? forgot about him? better than deron and dirk? no way. d-will is way too low.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    Caron Butler is on the list.

  • Becky MacDonald

    As Deron’s former high school principal, I can tell you how wonderful it is to see Deron getting the recognition he absolutely deserves. He has made us proud, not because of his fame or fortune, but because he had a dream and it has become his reality… because of the role model he has become for every student in our school. From all of us at The Colony High School, Congratulations, Deron.

  • Thomas

    Deron over Dirk??? You got to be kidding…

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    einstein, Caron was no. 24…

  • Nadia Comaneci

    @Thomas…:equal level of talent, both of them top-8. You choose between them depending on your team needs…

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    Nadia, Deron wasn’t the best pg in the olympics, wasn’t even clearly the best pg on the team, so how is he the best in the world??

  • einstein

    aaah sorry…

  • Nadia Comaneci

    @Ryne….:great minds like Albert quite often appear to be out of focus…!!!

  • http://www.docksquadsports.com docksquad

    Nice post Ryne, keep up the great work. DWill is sick. I’ve been watching him play since his U of I days, and everyone knew back then he was going to be something special. I’m glad he’s blowing up.

  • Nadia Comaneci

    @RV: Kobe wasn’t the best in Olympics but he is hands down the best in the world. Of course Deron wasn’t bad at the olympics either. For the global game he has a more balanced game than CP3(i value outside shooting a lot on a perimeter guy) and he can defend bigger-taller guards. Also he seems to me better at half-court sets(the usual offensive scheme when things get serious) .That doesn’t mean that CP3 is not super…

  • Jay

    cp is the best, but whats wrong with 2d place?

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    Nadia: Kobe’s got a lot more to show for his career than Deron. No contest, so of course he’s still the best even though he had a below average (below Kobe’s average) performance. Deron has no more than a year or two since he blew up in the NBA, not enough to be declared the best in league and especially not enough for the world. I think the words you’re looking for are “Deron has a game better suited for international play than CP”…but maybe so does Sarunas/navarro/etc, so thats not saying much…

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    Jay, ask McCain after the election. Or Kobe.

  • Young C

    Chris Paul: 1st Team All-NBA. Rookie of the Year. 3(?) Time All-Star. Olympic gold medal

    Deron Williams: Olympic Gold medal….

    Lets just grade these guys based on what they have done and where they are now. If thats the criteria, then Chris Paul is obviously better at this point.

  • Nadia Comaneci

    @RV…:i never said that Deron is over Kobe. And your “Deron has a game better suited for international play than CP” comment is very precise. But since i consider the WORLD’s and the OLYMPICS as the most important bball stages-tournaments on earth, i will go with Deron as “best PG on earth”. once again: CP3 is a very close second but i understand the reason why this is considered bad thing for most of people here .I will not write though (the reason) of fear of waking up my secretery on this forum (sweet dreams “flux”).She will start again these “clever” Stalin comments…!!!

  • Dark

    Overall, I take Chris Paul as the better PG. That said, in a head-to-head matchup between the two? I’d take Deron every time.

  • Ryan.T.

    CP3 is better so lets stop the debate. If I remember correctly, Chris Paul was a LEGIT MVP Candidate last year, not Williams. I think CP3 means alot more to his teams success than Williams does. I’m not saying the Jazz will for sure be a playoff contender without him, but they could still win alot of games by feeding their big guys in the post. Is Deron Williams one of the top PG’s in the League? For Sure. But I wouldn’t put him ahead of Nash or CP3?

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com DP

    Yes sir. my number two draft pick in my fantasy draft.

  • J.E

    I dont think the direct stat comparison between D-Will and CP3 is fair. Honestly, Chris Paul is almost in point guard heaven. He has as much freedom as Nash had back in the D’antoni days and he’s always surrounded by shooters, a big who’s almost automatic from 15, and a freakish athletic big who will catch Oop thrown. I still really don’t know how schematically, u can stop NO’s pick and roll. D-Will is playin under Sloan’s system, with two of the softest big men in league history.. well maybe not in league history but you get the picture. His wings positions can’t really shoot so his penetration and kick game is destroyed. So honestly I’d pick D-Will over CP3, because I personally like his game better, and think he’s a more consistent jump shooter. However, CP3 is nice. I’m not a hater.

  • Green18

    ID Take Deron over Chris and any other PG in the L and IMO he is TOP 7 (YEAH I SAID IT) TOP 7 in the League

  • andy

    just want to say awesome write up Mr Odenized! i actually bookmarked it, filing it in a folder called ‘Training’, which contains links to various fitness blogs, articles and workout plans, because it struck such a chord with me. very inspiring!

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    It’s stupid to get too bent out of shape over who is better between Deron and CP3; they are so close you can’t be considered stupid for choosing either one.
    And Deron is clearly better than Steve Nash. That’s the real problem with this ranking. Deron Williams is better than Steve Nash and nobody is upset that he’s ranked below him. That’s a clear indication for just how far the Steve Nash hype has gone. (And Nash is great, number three in the league, but he can’t be considered better than Deron or Chris right now. Didn’t both Chris and Deron have better playoff success than Nash last year, despite playing with less talent?)

  • Nadia Comaneci

    @Allenp….:E-X-A-C-T-L-Y. (although you can make a case of Nash being slightly more valuable in a run&gun league than Deron..just like CP3)

  • http://www.myspace.com/hemantsbeats what

    Kinda following up on what allenp said, this entire list has placed a little too much weight on past accomplishments rather than present value for my taste.

  • http://www.myspace.com/hemantsbeats what

    The writeup itself was great though by the way.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Actually, that is debatable Allenp. Yes, Nash has Amare, which clearly gives you a bump in the talent category, but what else? Shaq, while still a load, is clearly way past his prime. Grant Hill is now relegated to a very good role player. Deron plays with Boozer (who is better than the hate he gets), good shooters in Okur, AK, and Ashton. Nash was still the best percentage shooter in the NBA last year.

  • Tom

    both cp3 and nash lost to the spurs allenp…i’m just saying. But your right, you can’t go wrong picking either cp3 or deron. Its just the utah offense is much more structured so you don’t get to see Deron create and cause havoc like cp3 does…and he’s in utah, which automatically means you get less shine.

  • http://www.where-basketball-b-longs.blogspot.com/ B. Long

    @Allenp: Your right, but please don’t make this a race issue. I think he’s ranked ahead basically because a lot of people on the Slam staff see Nash having a big year under Terry Porter’s more half court based scheme and having Shaq hopefully in better shape and going through a full training camp with the Suns. I think pretty much everyone agrees that if you were building a team from the ground up today pretty much everyone would take either Deron or CP3 over Nash. Not even debatable.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com DP

    I like the Steve nash hype because every damn time I think he’s overhyped, he proves me wrong. Yes, the young gunners are better than Nash but the guy is still top 3 in the L as a point guard.

  • http://coco-vents.blogspot.com Co Co

    We’re almost to the top ten and I still have no idea what this list is based on, but whatever. Deron is very very good.

  • http://www.myspace.com/2536545 Bryan

    Deron is not as good as Nash or Paul… if we’re talking about hype machines Deron has a pretty strong one. What does he do better than Nash other than defend? And what does he do better than Paul? Cp has better numbers across the board and had a better record..how is this even debateable?

  • Mo

    CP3 is a top 5 player on just about everyone’s list. If people would just watch more of Paul they wouldn’t be so upset. For all you haters, go to youtube and search for “Katt Williams haters”. Just because Deron is the point guard right behind Paul doesn’t make him a top 5-10 player. CP3=first point guard to average 20ppg and 10apg in 15 years while leading the league in assists and steals, All-Star, All-NBA first team, All-Defensive 2nd team, Runner Up MVP, #2 in PER, led the league in wins produced. You’ve got to seriously be dumb, crazy or a serious hater to not think CP3 is at least top 5 in the league. It doesn’t matter that Deron and his team wins the head to head matches. What matter is the overall body of work.

  • Mo

    CP3 is a top 5 player on just about everyone’s list. If people would just watch more of Paul they wouldn’t be so upset. For all you haters, go to youtube and search for “Katt Williams haters”. Just because Deron is the point guard right behind Paul doesn’t make him a top 5-10 player. CP3=first point guard to average 20ppg and 10apg in 15 years while leading the league in assists and steals, All-Star, All-NBA first team, All-Defensive 2nd team, Runner Up MVP, #2 in PER, led the league in wins produced. You’ve got to seriously be dumb, crazy or a serious hater to not think CP3 is at least top 5 in the league. It doesn’t matter that Deron and his team wins the head to head matches. What matters is the overall body of work.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    CP3 being only on the All-Defensive 2nd Team means he clearly sucks at defense.

  • http://www.where-basketball-b-longs.blogspot.com/ B. Long

    @Bryan:”What doe he do better than Nash other than defend?” Comment of the Day.

  • scott

    This is a good spot for Deron Williams. If you were starting a team from nothing there is nobody on this list so far that would go ahead of Deron Williams. Nobody. Top two young point guards in the NBA. Williams might even catch Paul someday. Maybe.

  • Mo

    One more thing, yes Deron is a bigger guard but bigger doesn’t always mean good defender. Yes, he’s a decent defender but he’s not an elite defender. He gets blown by often by smaller, quicker, slippery waterbug guards such as Paul, Parker, Ford. He can defend bigger guards better than Paul though. Guards that like to try to post up (which not many of them like to do in today’s NBA).

  • Mo

    That’s alright TADOne, if Deron is so great on defense why didn’t he make an All-Defensive team? Paul got there mainly because of his steals but he’s also a pesky type of defender. One that is good at making opposing players turn the ball over. One that will make you travel, lose the ball out of bounds, etc. Unless you’re a great man to man defender, as long as you lead the league in a defensive stat (blocks, rebounds, steals), you’ll be on one of the All-D teams. I don’t know what the h*ll people are so mad about. This is a good spot for Deron. You all knew Paul would be ahead of him so stop acting like this is some big d*mn surprise.

  • scott

    Deron Williams > Steve Nash

  • Mo

    If being bigger automatically means you’re a better defender then Eddy Curry must be the sh*t! LMAO!!!

  • Mo

    #11 is not disrespecting Deron Williams.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Hey Mo, that was strictly sarcasm. I happen to agree with you that Paul is a better defender than people give him credit for.

  • scott

    No #11 isn’t bad at all but Williams should be ahead of Nash.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Ya’ll just hating on the white man. :)

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    Nadia…my point when talking about Kobe is that kobe has YEARS of experience in big stages where he’s shown what he’s capable of doing time and time again. Therefore you can make a case for him being the best in the world because you know how he plays in every possible scenario. You can’t say that for Deron, so how can you possibly say he’s the best pg on the planet, especially when he wasn’t a top pg 2 yrs ago?

  • scott

    @Tad…Nash deserves to be in the top ten without a doubt but not at the expense of Williams.

  • scott

    Olympics and international play has nothing to do with this list Balki. Russ made that clear the other day.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    as for nash, i honestly forget about him not because Im following the hype, but because lately he’s forgettable. In an earlier post i was trying to figure out the remaining players on the list and i was missing one guy, couldn’t figure out who and i finally realized it was nash. CP and deron are rising, along with their teams, and since a lot of the “whos the best” talk revolves around playoff success, nash is often forgotten since the suns’ window appears closed.

  • Nate T

    Ryne! Nice write-up my dude. You got a way with words, most def. I’m a lil biased on this one tho, lol. For real tho, glad to see you’re doing so well in your new position.

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    TAD, AK is a not a good shooter. He’s not as good on offense as Barbosa, Raja or Grant Hill. Remember, those guys also played for Phoenix. And you are vastly underrating Shaq, who I would still rather have over Okur. Point blank, the Suns are one of the most talented teams in the league and have been for the past four years. Neither Deron nor Chris walked into a situation like that.

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    B. Long, there is not way people can think that Nash will thrive in a half court offense. Why? What proof is there that will happen? This has never been his strength. He’s never been successful at a slower pace at any level of basketball. That’s the funny thing. The incredible benefit of the doubt Steve Nash gets, it’s uncanny. The dude is great, one of the best ever on an up and down team, but in a slower game he’s not superstar material. He never has been.

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    Hold the eff on. Jason Kidd was all defense first team last season. he and Kobe. Now I challenge anybody on this damn board to tell me that Jason Kidd and Kobe Bryant were the best defenders at their respective positions last year. Nobody can argue that crap. Stop using All-defense or MVP as proof that somebody is great. Breakdown what they do on the floor. After the starters on the all-star team there aren’t that many other spots for guards and Deron is behind some vets who still deserve spots based on their reputations and fan support. That’s life. I still think he’s the best point guard in the league. He’s better off the bounce than Nash, particularly at finishing in traffic, he’s better in the half court running a team, but proved in college he could go uptempo, he’s so much better at defense we shouldn’t even discuss it. He’s putting up better numbers now than Nash put up his first MVP season in an uptempo offense surrounded by outstanding finishers. Respect his mind.

  • scott

    Actually if you win the MVP in the NBA you’re great. So far everybody is in the Hall of Fame and the players who aren’t eligible yet will be in the Hall of Fame.

  • http://www.myspace.com/2536545 Bryan

    Forgettable happens when you’ve been so good for so long and been putting up the same numbers for the last 5 years and making more than half of every shot he takes. He’s been so consistently good that people only notice when he has a bad game. Nash is a great player and has been great for more than just his time in Phx also. Deron has had two good seasons so far. Nash is a better shooter, a better and more natural passer , basically just better period on the offensive end and he is not a good defender but he still makes plays on the defensive end of the floor when he needs to. People just look for holes in his game cause they dislike him for whatever reason but he’s as complete on offense as it gets.

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    Bryan, when Nash vaulted into the discussion as one of the ten best point guards of all-time, he had only had two good seasons. ACtually, it was one and a half. He had some of the least impressive numbers of any MVP in history the first year he won the award. Deron Williams is making half of his shots and I think he makes over 40 percent from three, but I would need to verify that. He’s doing that in his fourth year in the league. He’s avering nearly 19 points and 10 assists in Utah’s structured offense that is not geared to him being the main decider. That’s outstanding. Look at the type of teams that Deron, Paul and Nash have, and ask yourselve, which teams are best suited to take advantage of each point guard’s talent? Chris Paul and Nash clearly when in that discussion. They are still great, but Deron is putting up the same numbers they put up in a system that’s clearly not designed the same. I’m not saying that it’s impossible to get good assist numbers in Utah, that would be foolish considering John Stockton’s history. I’m saying it’s much easier to get those numbers in Phoenix and somehwat easier in New Orleans.
    Nash is complete on offense. He’s better than Deron at almost every category except of the dribble one-on-one moves and running a halfcourt offense.
    Nash is also a freaking disaster on defense. Tony Parker abused him in the playoffs. Tony parker couldn’t handle Deron Williams when they went head to head, and did very little in the series. Deron also took it to Baron Davis.
    You can’t say Deron hasn’t been doing it long enough, when poeple were calling Nash on of the best ever after he only had two superstar caliber years. That doesn’t make sense to me.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    I’m not sure either of them is clearly better than the other (nash/deron), their situations are too different, but i do think Nash could do well in the halfcourt, maybe not as well, but he’d still be considered and all-star. He plays the pick and roll well and is a great shooter. He still passes very well when he’s in the paint. He also finishes drives, with crazy shots at times, but he finishes. His handle isn’t flashy, but its very solid. You don’t always need speed to get open or by your defender. The open court just makes it easier for him and creates more highlights.

  • http://www.slamonline.com James The Balla

    I agree with Allen on this … Nash can’t be on of the best with D like that. Deron is a beast, if you put him on a team with solid half court offense but give him the chance to break out of the Sloan Shadow … he would be up there with Kobe, Bron, CP for MVP mentions!!

  • Nadia Comaneci

    @RV…:i don’t mind what Deron (or Lebron,or Kidd, or whoever) was 2 years ago (CP3 wasn’t what he is now 2 years ago either). YES, Deron hasn’t proven himself again & again on big stages BUT you can understand how a player will perform if you are able to visualize his skills-set applied on a different circumstances. Example: you don’t need to actually see A.I. playing on a top Euroleague team in order to see the problems that will arise. Deron’s set of skills are giving him a bigger advantage on international bball(compared to CP3) than the one CP3 has over Deron in the NBA. CP3′s weaknesses would be exlpored over&over by Euro-coaches.This is exactly what Greece did in 2006 with two very smart point guards(Papaloukas & Diamantidis ,both over 196cm)making CP3 looking like a lost overmatched kid.Diamantidis block on him is one of the best i have seen.check it:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2ebcBgmNVE&NR=1

  • scott

    @RV…If you were starting a team who would you take Williams or Nash?

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    RV, Nash has all the qualities you mentioned, but he’s always struggled in offenses that slow things down. Why is that?
    I said on another post, that when the game slows down, a premium is placed on every shot, every pass and ever defensive possession and Nash is not suited for that.
    Every possession cannot be do or die for him to be at his best as a player. He needs the option to freelance and try stuff. He can’t be asked to defense every time down the court because it takes a direct toil on his offense.
    Finally, his defense his putrid. People who bring up his charges, would do well to look at Iverson’s steal numbers. The simple truth is that Nash is constantly getting exposed on defense to the point where the Suns had to rejigger all of their defensive rotations to hide him on Bruce Bowen. That is unacceptable.

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    Just by virtue of the gap on defense, Deron and Paul are better in my book. Seriously, how can Paul be better than Nash and Deron not be? Nash is better than both of them as an offensive player. And both of them are light years ahead of him as defenders.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    not that question again scott…i’m tired of that question because it doesn’t mean anything unless you’re talking about guys like MJ, lebron, Kobe, shaq, etc. The true SUPERstars. Those are guys you’d want on your team regardless of who else will be on the team. Guys like Nash and Williams aren’t like that. Obviously you’re thinking Deron because he’s got more yrs left to be good than Nash, so there’s no point in answering this question because that’s the most reasonable answer. That changes every year though, today its deron, next year its rose, etc.

  • Terrell

    Deron could, maybe not would, but could have more gaudy numbers than CP3 if he didnt play in Jerry Sloans ball control offense and played a more open style like New Orleans. How Nash is stil in the top 10 while showing major signs of decline the end of last year is beyond me. I thought this list was based on prediction and potential..thats what they said about AI who has shown no signs of decline…and PP in the top ten? I guess…If they say so.

  • Nadia Comaneci

    Lebron has no place in the M.J,KOBE,MAGIC,THOMAS,BIRD, company yet…(except if we are talking shoe commercials)

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    Nadia: look at the examples you’re using. Kobe, AI. Both have been in this league for years, so again, you know how they perform in every possible scenario. Deron may be better suited for int’l game than Paul, but he didn’t show it in Beijing. They both need to go through more experiences before being declared the best in the world.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    I didn’t say “legends” or “best to ever play”, i simply meant more than stars, stars are not common, but not exactly rare, superstars are rare. Stars can be replaced in a generation, superstars can’t always be.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    @ TADOne: The shooting clinic he put on in that incredible comeback against Arizona didn’t make you a believer?

  • scott

    What’s up Teddy!!

  • scott

    Nash did show signs of decline this last year. The days of him playing 35 – 38 minutes a game for 90 – 100 plus games are done. Plus they don’t even have a back up for Nash.

  • Nadia Comaneci

    @RV…:if Kobe and A.I have played in the league a lot(i never thought it this way,it’s just that i picked two players that are easy to understand what they would do in a more organized game) then i am telling you that Oden whould have been ok this year in a top Euroleague team(if healthy) and D.Rose wouldn’t even be a starter(can’t shoot). Again, you don’t need to see a player playing 500 times and at all posible environments to figure out his talent.

  • Caleb

    Nash isn’t better than Paul even when it comes to offense. Paul is a scorer as well as a dynamic playmaker.. Nash can score too, but not at the same level.

    As for the Paul vs. Williams debate… eh, I claim my allegiance to Paul because I’m a Hornets fan and because Paul’s past season was absolutely legendary and will go down in basketball history. But I like Williams too… as for Williams being able to replicate Paul’s stats if he played for Byron Scott – I don’t know, I don’t think you can really use that as an argument because its just something that can’t be tested. Still… on that point -The Hornets do like to play the transition game to an extent, but overall they are actually more of a slower-paced, low-possesion team – Byron likes the Princeton system.

  • Caleb

    As for defense, that could be one of the few areas Williams has an advantage in… but Paul isn’t a bad defender, and he’s certainly one of the best at stripping and deflecting the ball away. The other area is shooting touch, particulary from the perimeter – but Paul’s shot is slowly catching up to Deron’s. He shot a respectable percentage last season.

    I do love to watch Deron play as well… and ultimately its wonderful that we have these two young, exciting, uber-talented PGs in the game.

  • Caleb

    Oh and the CP3 not being suited to international ball is such crap. 3 years ago he may not have been, but now? Did you watch the olympics Nadia? Paul ended up being far more productive for USA than Williams was, and I’m not trying to knock Williams.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    Teddy, did you say you wanted to join the fantasy league? If so, click my name.

  • Caleb

    Is Moose around here? He needs to go look at the comments I left on his Hornets preview.

  • Camb0dia

    no 11 is good biggestquestion is whose next

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    Teddy, Eboy, Moose, Lz, B. Long, tad…all need to click my name. I didn’t mean to hijack your idea Tad, but i had the time, we can always switch if you got one started already.

  • http://www.where-basketball-b-longs.blogspot.com/ B. Long

    @Allenp:Nash has never struggled in a half court offense because he has never PLAYED in a half court offense. Do you think those Nellie coached Maverick teams he played for were walking the ball up to court and making an entry pass to their center? Hell no. Nash now has two fully healthy and legitimate big men on the inside and his passing ability is just as good in half court situations as it is in fast breaks. How many times have we seen him drive to the basket and make an impossible kickout to Raja for a three. He can still do that but now he has two of the top 10 bigs in the league to toss it inside too. It’s kinda scary to think but his assists could actually go up. And let me make this perfectly clear. Deron and CP3 are both better in my opinion I’m just stating why I think Slam is gonna rate Steve higher than D-Will I hate the Suns and Shaqs not exactly my favorite person in the world either.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    SLAM, do i get a free SLAM shirt for extending my subscription?

  • Caleb

    An interesting stat I just found… Utah’s “pace factor” was ranked 10th last year. Meaning of all the teams in the NBA, they had the eleventh highest number of possesions per 48 minutes. The Hornets? 26th.

    Yeah, I realize that doesn’t tell the whole story.. but it’s something to look at when people start saying Paul’s stats overshadow Deron’s because of New Orleans playing a “looser” game. Utah has become faster over the years – they had four more possesions a game than New Orleans last year. In some ways that just makes Paul’s stats all the more impressive.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    And while you’re over at Bachi, check the T’Wolves preview!

  • Marques

    So the top ten is (in no particular order):
    Kobe
    Lebron
    Wade
    Pierce
    KG
    Duncan
    Nash
    Chris Paul
    Dwight
    Amare
    right?

  • Caleb

    Marques… you’re forgetting Hedo Turkoglu.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    PP better be next . . . even as a Celtics fan I feel that he is going too high on here.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    But seriously, click my name and read the Wolves preview. The comments are at a disappointingly low number.

  • scott

    @Caleb…Turkoglu shoulda been top 50.

  • Caleb

    Who would you remove in order to accomodate him? Just curious.

  • justin

    If KG is ahead of Duncan, then this list is bogus. Pierce better be next because I couldn’t see him being ahead of Williams in the first place. Top 10 should be Kobe, James, Wade, Paul, Duncan, Garnett, Nash, Amare, Howard, and Williams. Guarantee Kobe and James are top 2.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    PP! PP!

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    Caleb: Josh Howard, Jermaine O’Neal, Lamar Odom.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    BETCATS! What’s good, my man? You read the Wolves preview that I wrote for Bachi? If you haven’t click my name and party on.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Allenp: Fuunny thing is, I would take Deron right now if I was starting a team from scratch. But, if I had a team already set and needed to pick one player between Nash and Deron for one season for all the chips, i’m taking Nash. I understand the hate on his defense and it is warranted, but I know Nash has that “take over” mentality and leadership that Deron just doesn’t have yet. Trust me, I love all three players. I clearly like Paul above all 3, but Nash still is very good and is a lot more athletic then people give him credit for. He is also smarter and a better shooter then all 3 players, so that tells me he would be just fine in a half court offense. The thing is, i’m not sure why it’s a bad thing that Nash is very good in the transition game? The point is to score more than the other team, not how you do it. Who is to say that Deron wouldn’t struggle in the Phoenix offense pre-Shaq? I don’t think he would, but you can’t hate on Nash and say he cannot run a half-court offense without allowing him to prove he can or cannot.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    TAD, he is smarter and a better shooter. But with Deron and CP young and improving, both of those things will improve as well.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    Especially the “smarter” category.

  • http://twentythreenine.blogspot.com Russ Bengtson

    From some of the things that get written about Nash, you’d think he was the second coming of Scott Brooks.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    Nash is like Nate Archibald. Great for part of their career and good for the rest, just not quite at the level that they were at at one point in their career.

  • Melo Man TO

    i am canadian but i still feel Deron is better than Nash

  • scott

    @Caleb…Off the top of my head I would take Josh Howard out of the top 50 and replace him with Turkoglu. Your thoughts?

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Why is Nash smarter than CP3? No, seriously… on what basis?

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    Z: More experience, sees the court better, etc . . . in time, CP will be smarter.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    And Deron will be, too.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    CP3 has a ton of basketball smarts and is very mature for his age, but Nash is like a coach on the court. He knows the plays and knows what his coach wants to run before he calls it. He has that uncanny ability to always make that right play. Trust me, Paul is my man and I think he is better than both, but you cannot front on experience. I’m quite sure Paul would say the same thing if asked.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    Agreed, TAD. You think Paul will take his rightful position at number three on this list?

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Now, i’m not sure who could figure out a New York Times crossword first or who could figure out a Geometry problem, so Paul may have an overall higher IQ. I haven’t gave them a litmus test lately.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    I’m not sure Moose. I can’t say it’s his “rightful” position either. People seem to forget that there was a 4th person in the MVP race last year named Garnett. I also cannot sleep on Duncan, age be damned.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    TAD, I of all people should be aware that Garnett has a shot at number three. I think he deserves it, and I think Duncan will be number 5, behind Paul and Garnett. Not quite sure who’ll be third and who’ll be fourth, though.

  • scott

    Paul only saved basketball in New Orleans. Turned them into a contender and maybe even the “favorites” out West this year. Replace Paul with an average point guard and they probably win 35 games last year. Paul had the single all round greatest year by a point guard since who knows (Oscar Robertson?). I think Paul will in the top 5 without a doubt.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    An argument can be made for all, a very convincing one. Unlike others, I have enjoyed the list. The write-ups have been phenomenal.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    scott, I know that the Hornets would be a lot worse without Paul, but check out the rest of the team. 35 games??? Most teams would win more than that with West, Chandler, Stojakovic and an average point guard would win 40-45.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Scott: NO QUESTION Paul will be top 5. I’m just not sure where exactly he will be.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    And scott, Paul WILL be in the top 5. Just which spot is in question.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    I’m out. Y’all better check Hibachi and read my Timberwolves preview, too.

  • scott

    Paul means that much to New Orleans without him they wouldn’t be a playoff team. I don’t think Devin Harris could lead Orleans to the playoffs. Paul should be top 3 only behind Bryant and James.

  • Caleb

    Agreed.. Moose, 40-45 is probably right. CP3 is the backbone of the franchise, but NO has a lot of talent… the front office has built this team very well.

  • Caleb

    Well, considering they are in the West.. yeah they probably wouldn’t be a playoff team without Paul. But as we saw last year, good teams can miss the playoffs when they play in the West..

    But hey I’m with you. In fact I think Paul ought to be higher than Kobe.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Scott: Just so i’m clear, I think Paul should be #3. He is in my book. I just wouldn’t be surprised if Duncan or Garnett were ahead of him. We are only talking about two of the best PF’s ever, with Timmy #1 all-time.

  • scott

    Chris Paul for #3.

  • scott

    Dare I say Chris Paul had the best all around single season by a point guard in the last 40 years in 07-08.

  • Caleb

    scott – probably. The only rival would be some of Magic’s best seasons, but I’m not sure its fair to (To Magic or to all the PGs out there) to even classify Magic as a point. That said, even if you do include Magic – you could still make a case for it.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    You guys are reading too much FanHouse. :-)

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    Tad, did you visit hibachi?

  • Todd Spehr

    Anyone else find the much-anticipated Nash Decline good comedy? People point to his age – but no PG has ever played as well from ages 31-34 as Nash (Stockton included); people point to his dipping in numbers after the ASG – but he has done that every year in PHX, including his *THREE* MVP seasons (please note the sarcasm); And for someone who is expected to slow down, isn’t that just what his TEAM is doing – slowing down their tempo? Let’s have the Nash Decline argument in about two years.

  • KA

    I like how deron came totally out of left field, this piece is on point. and I’m not arguing the potential paul>nash>deron ranking either. I like the fact for all the disimilarities between them, deron n stock are more alike than not. but yeah, deron is stud, not bad for a light skinned brother.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    As most of you guys said, 3-4-5 will be CP3, TD and KG… and I wouldn’t be mad at any ranking amongst them. Now we all know who’s 1 and 2. The order? Well it depends on what your criteria are. The best individual talent and best flat out baller on the face of the Earth is 24. However, I think that LBJ gives you a better chance of winning. I can’t prove this in any way, but I’m convinced that if they had switched teams last year, the Lakers would have won the chip. I can’t back this up with any evidence, of course.

  • Ryan.T.

    I wouldn’t say Deron has better 1 on 1 ability than Nash. They’re about even, I’d say…. And I don’t feel it’s fair to judge the two teams on their playoff success last year. It was obvious that Phoenix had a tough time adjusting to having Shaq on there team. And I’d pick Nash over Williams THIS YEAR. If we are for sure talking about NOW, the only thing really separating the two of them is age. If they meet in the playoffs I’d pick Phoenix to win, not because of Shaq or Amare, but because of the guy running the team. The guy with the ball dictates the whole game, I’d say Nash is much better in doing so. And wasn’t Nash’s body supposed to broken down by now?? Mark Cuban said this a few years ago.

  • Gaz

    I liked this article from the moment I realized that BETCATS didn’t write it.
    Man that Charlotte Bobcats preview was some ugly $h!t.
    Hopefully that was just a one off and SLAM never need BETCATS to write a single word for them again.
    A-fkn-MEN

  • http://www.lkz.ch/basket Darksaber

    DAAAMN! Gaz done yammed one on Bet! Me like ;-)

  • tealish

    Dwight or PP or Nash tomorrow. PLEASE.

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    Agree on this ranking. Had Deron at the same spot.

  • underdog

    Man, I loved that Illini’ team. They were nasty. Anyway this is the second point where I have any problem with this list. (The first was AI) So I say D-Will is top10. And Paul Pierce is not.

  • hugo

    this is q bs article. Hes never made an allstar team he aint better than dirk, the olympics made slam rank him higher cuz the memories of him playin well are fresher.

    ps PP is already ranked overrated. this isnt based on how constant the players are i assume, because how would he have been ranked 1 year ago?

  • jasondolemite

    For those of you hating on Pierce must be too young to understand how great of a player he is. We all know his offensive skills, but his defense is better than most. Everyone forgets basketball is a 2 sided game. That’s why the Celts won the championship. Also keep in mind that Deron is very good at defense and can take on more assignments that Chris Paul because of his size. Not to mention that he is also a slightly better shooter…

  • Cyrell

    ryne nice piece! inspirational! just what i need!

  • j-smoov 5

    Great article, oh, and EASILY BETTER than Rondo. He can actually MAKE shots unlike him.

  • Anton

    Hey Deron, tell me how CP3′s shadow tastes

  • Wayne

    He seems very strong.

  • http://www.youtube.com/mandiixoxo Amanda

    great article on him.
    i think someone has a man-crush though….
    ….”gazing into Deron Williams eyes”….

  • balla

    cp3 is over rated if your gonna talk about cp3 d will is right there not in the botom not in the top

    cp3 is over rated period

  • Ryan

    Vey nice article about Deron, although the year is now 2012. Compaing Deron to today’s standards I would say he’s decent but not a #11 ranker..definetly top 50 though. We’ll see what he can bring to London!

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