Is John Wall the NBA’s Best Point Guard 21 Years Old or Younger?


January 2, 2012

Is John Wall the NBA's Best Point Guard 21 Years Old or Younger?If the Celtics got tired chasing around John Wall on Sunday night, wait until they have to come right back and do it again Monday.

Wall, the Wizards' lightning-fast point guard, is at the forefront of a strong generation of point guards. In addition to Wall, there are at least five other players in the NBA who could stake a claim to being the best budding floor general in the league. A couple of them can't even legally order an alcoholic beverage.

As the runner-up for the Rookie of the Year Award last season, Wall, 21, is the first one to come to mind when discussing the top point guards 21 years old or younger. He led the Wizards with 8.3 assists and 1.8 steals per game last season and was third on the team in scoring at 16.4 points per game.

Wall committed nearly four turnovers a game, however, and barely hit more than 40 percent of his shots. Rather than improve on those areas, he's gotten worse so far in his second season, shooting just 27 percent from the field and turning the ball over 14 times in three games.

The Celtics got a look at another impressive young point guard, Kentucky alum Brandon Knight, when they hosted the Pistons on Friday. Knight, 20, has shown a natural scoring touch by averaging 12 points in his first four games, but it is difficult to judge him until he gets a few games under his belt.

While Knight might only be familir to dedicated fans, Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker and Ricky Rubio's names have become familiar to casual basketball fans — for very different reasons. Irving, 19, in the wunderkind who was taken first overall in the draft and was immediately granted the starting job in Cleveland. The Cavaliers, whose fans are in need of something to root for after LeBron James bolted two summers ago, have been pleased with Irving's play so far. He is averaging 13.3 points, 6.0 assists and only 2.3 turnovers in his first three NBA games.

But while Irving's draft position was built more off his high school reputation than his one-year stop at Duke, Walker, 21, leapt his way into the discussion with his stellar junior year at UConn. Although he's only played in bursts with the Bobcats, his 9.7 scoring average shows he hasn't lost his stroke from college, and his nearly 3-to-1 assist to turnover ratio shows he's capable of playing more under control than many scouts believed.

Rubio's start has been surprising because, after two years of hearing what an amazing talent the Spanish point guard is, American fans finally have a chance to see him firsthand. His court vision already rivals some of the best in the game, like that of Jason Kidd, Andre Miller or Rajon Rondo, as his 7.3 assists-per-game average attests. It is only a matter of time before Rubio, 21, pushes his way into the Timberwolves' starting lineup and sets fire to the league.

The best of the bunch right now may be 76ers third-year guard Jrue Holiday. The 21-year-old UCLA product has steadily improved and currently holds a career-high 15.5 points-per-game scoring average. He's automatic from the free-throw line, where he is hitting better than 85 percent of his attempts.

None of these players right now is in the stratosphere of Chris Paul, Derrick Rose or Deron Williams, but in two or three years it's possible one (or more) of them will slide into the conversation of the best five point guards in the NBA.

Who is the NBA's best point guard 21 years old or younger?

Previous Article

Patriots Happy With AFC’s Top Seed, Know They Must Play Better to Advance in Playoffs

Next Article

DeMarcus Cousins Sent Home By Kings Due to Poor Attitude, Further Hurting His Reputation

Picked For You