If you were asked to come up with some of the best point guards in the league, these are easily three names you are going to see people list. All three have their flaws and over the years have had their fair share of criticsm, but there's no denying their talent is elite. All three are yet to prove they can carry a team to a title while being the #1 guy but at the same time can give you a historic performance on any given night. For the sake of this exercise I'll be using their 2019-20 version, and honestly this one wasn't too hard for me despite their production all being relatively similar. As always let's look at each one individually before we come up with our final order
2019-20 Stats: 27.5 points / 8.0 rebounds / 7.0 assists / 1.7 steals / 47% FG% / 25% 3P% with 1.0 3PM / 107 Ortg / 109 Drtg
Russell Westbrook is one of those players who you either love or you flat out can't stand to watch play. Sort of fits the narrative surrounding his running mate in HOU. It sounds weird but to me Westbrook is almost underrated. He's so fucking good. His season averages also don't tell the whole story because the Rockets changed up their style at the deadline and that's when Westbrook really took off to the tune of 31.7/8.2/5.5 on 54.6/38.5% shooting. That's the version we were dealing with in his 11 games before the hiatus. Westbrook is by far the best athlete of the three and a certified psycho on the court. He's found a way to calm down when it comes to taking threes which was huge for him, and if he is truly going to be that efficient version we saw before the break then he's the best point guard in the league at the moment.
2019-20 Stats: 28.9 points / 4.3 rebounds / 7.8 assists / 1.0 steals / 45% FG% / 39% 3P% with 3.9 3PM / 125 Ortg / 116 Drtg
You want to talk about stone cold killers at the point guard position, the list probably starts with Dame. I know it's been a while but does everyone remember his January/February? He was dropping 50 like every other night. Didn't matter who it was against, Dame was an unstoppable force. He's a player that rises up in the big moments and probably has the best range of the three. A 35 footer for Dame is a layup for basically anyone else. Now the issue is obviously on the defensive end, it's not great and it's why POR is fighting for their playoff lives. There's also a cool factor that I'm not willing to ignore when it comes to Dame. He's just so damn cool. Humble as shit but a killer on the court. I also love how loyal he is to Portland. That matters to me.
2019-20 Stats: 27.4 points / 5.2 rebounds / 6.4 assists / 1.4 steals / 47% FG% / 39% 3P% with 2.8 3PM / 119 Ortg / 109 Drtg
It was only 20 games and the Nets were 8-12 in those games, but there's no denying that small sample was one of Kyrie's best offensive seasons to date. It's not just the point total, but the efficiency as well. He's probably the best shooter of the three in terms of efficiency and for sure has the best handles of the group. When Kyrie gets hot there are few players who can match what he is able to do on the floor. I can hate him like poison but I still have eyes and can admit what he is able to do offensively is wildly impressive. It may not translate to winning basketball, but that's not what we are debating here. Defensively he's OK when he tries, but it's the trying part that gives me concern because when he checks out, boy is it bad.
So what's my decision?
Start: Damian Lillard
Bench: Russell Westbrook
Cut: Kyrie Irving
Here's my rationale. I think think in 2019-20, Dame is having the best season. If we had gotten post trade deadline Westbrook for the entire year, he'd be my start. But I need to start a guy who can shoot from everywhere on the floor and nobody does that better than Dame. I also know I'm not getting any drama with him. I'm in no way cutting Westbrook because he's the best athlete of the group and can basically do it all. He can score when you need him to be a #1, he can hold his own on the boards, and his passing is very underrated. That means I have to cut Kyrie and frankly I don't feel too bad about it. I just don't think his season is better than Westbrook's and I wouldn't choose him over this version of Dame either. Doesn't mean he stinks, it just means the other two were more of a beast this season.
I feel like this is how it should go, but if you have a different order tell me what it is and why.