Who is the best point guard in the NBA?

New Jersey Nets guard Deron Williams prepares for the third quarter of their NBA basketball game against Toronto Raptors in London March 4, 2011. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh (BRITAIN – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

Welcome to the latest chapter in “John Pretends He Writes for ESPN.” The Worldwide Leader asked its network of blog writers to answer a few questions about the point guard position, so I thought I’d chime in with my (totally unsolicited) take.

Who’s the best point guard in the NBA today?

Today? As in right this very second? I had some questions about CP3’s knee, but after the way he torched the Lakers in the playoffs, I have to go with Paul. No other guard combines a pass-first mentality with an ability to take over when needed quite as well Paul does.

Here are my top 10: 1. Paul, 2. Rose, 3. D. Williams, 4. Nash, 5. Curry, 6. Rondo, 7. Westbrook, 8. Parker, 9. Wall, 10. Kidd

Who’s the most underrated point guard in the NBA?

Williams jumps out, only because people forget him during “best point guard” discussions. I also like Ty Lawson and Kyle Lowry as two up-and-coming PGs who will eventually break into the top 10.

Who’s the most overrated point guard in the NBA?

I have them ranked #6 and #7, but I would not want Rondo or Westbrook running my team. I prefer Rondo (that’s why I have him ranked higher), but he’s too moody to lead a team with any consistency. Westbrook is talented, but he shoots too much and turns the ball over WAY too much. (By the way, once we have a new CBA, I think the Thunder should offer Westbrook for Paul straight up and see if the Hornets bite.)

Who’s the most promising point guard in the NBA?

I have to go with Wall given all the upside. I’m really interested to see what kind of player he turns into. I like Lawson as well. The most interesting young point guard is probably Ricky Rubio — is he going to pan out? If not, David Kahn will finally be without a job.

Who’s the best point guard of all time?

Magic. He could take over when he needed too, but got more joy out of getting his teammates involved with easy buckets.

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Just how good is James Harden?

Oklahoma City Thunder guard James Harden (L) drives against Memphis Grizzlies guard O.J. Mayo (R) in the second half of Game 2 of their second round Western Conference NBA basketball playoffs in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, May 3, 2011. REUTERS/Bill Waugh (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

When the Oklahoma City Thunder drafted James Harden #3 overall in the 2009 draft, it was a sign that the team had confidence in Russell Westbrook as their point guard of the future. After all, the 2009 draft was loaded with point guards (Ricky Rubio, Ty Lawson, Brandon Jennings, Stephen Curry, Jrue Holiday and Darren Collison, to name a few), but the Thunder elected to go with a shooting guard instead.

After the 2009-10 season, while Tyreke Evans was winning Rookie of the Year, and while Jennings, Curry, Collison and Taj Gibson were joining Evans on the All-Rookie First Team, Harden was something of a disappointment. He was an important player in the Thunder rotation, but he came off the bench and could only muster an All-Rookie Second Team nod. It was a solid if unspectacular rookie season.

Now, with the Thunder in the Western Conference Playoffs, Harden is playing 31+ minutes off the OKC bench and is often closing out games. He’s like Manu Ginobili — he’s not a starter, but he’s a closer, and that’s what matters.

It got me wondering — how does Harden’s playoff performance (12-5-4 on 46% shooting) stack up with other guards his age (21)?

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How does Ty Lawson compare to Chris Paul?

Denver Nuggets guard Ty Lawson celebrates a three-point shot in their NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Denver April 9, 2011. REUTERS/Rick Wilking (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

Whenever I see Ty Lawson play, I think of Chris Paul. The two players have different games, but physically, they’re similar. Paul stands 6’0″ and weighs 175 pounds. Lawson is 5’11” and weighs in at 195 pounds, so he’s a little stockier than CP3, but they’re both fairly undersized for the point guard position.

Here are the per 48-minute stats from each player’s rookie and second season. Since Paul played about 16 minutes more per game in his rookie season (and 10+ minutes more in his sophomore season), we need to adjust per minute for an apples-to-apples comparison.

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Top 10 plays of the season from Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade and Russell Westbrook [video]

Since the season ended, NBA.com’s editors have been working tirelessly to bring us the Top 10 plays from all the NBA’s superstars. Below are the clips for three of the best athletes in the league: Derrick Rose, D-Wade and Russell Westbrook.

Who is the NBA’s greatest Road Warrior?

Miami Heat forward LeBron James gestures to a fan in the crowd during the second half of their NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center in Minneapolis April 1, 2011. REUTERS/Eric Miller (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

In general, NBA players play better at home. That’s a fact. The Top 250 players (in terms of total minutes played this season) are 6.3% better in Efficiency Per Minute (EPM) when playing at home.

But as with anything in life, there are exceptions to this rule. There are certain players who, for whatever reason, play better on the road.

The table below shows the Top 50 players (in terms of Efficiency Per Game), along with both their home and away EPM, and the “percent better” they are when playing at home. If the number is negative, the player actually performs better on the road.

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