Point guards are asked to do a lot. They are asked to start the offense and know everybody’s position on the floor. A point guard’s job is tough; they are essentially the quarterbacks of the team. A good point guard can take a regular team into a great one. Few point guards can play effectively on both offense and defense though. Those two-way point guards can take over a game on both sides of the ball, which is far from a common feat.
Ranking the Greatest Two-Way Point Guards in NBA History
Top Two-Way Point Guards #3: Chris Paul
Chris Paul is one of the most competitive players in NBA history. Paul can do it all. He can create his own shot, he can set up other teammates and also he plays defense for 48 minutes. Paul has a will to win that is like none other. He took a Los Angeles Clippers franchise that had almost next to no signs of success to a being a year in and year out 50 win team. That team needed all of him and they got it from him when he got there to when he left. Even as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder, his competitive nature has led them to become a playoff team.
Paul’s ability on defense is not talked about often. He is a nine-time All-Defensive player. In terms of steals per game, he is seventh all-time. Also, he is a six-time steals champ. If you’re a point guard playing Chris Paul you have to be ready on both sides of the ball because he will be in your face the whole game. We all know Paul can facilitate and score but he is an all-time great defender and one of the greatest two-way point guards in NBA history.
#2: John Stockton
Most younger people don’t know how dominant John Stockton was in his heyday. Stockton is one of the greatest players and arguably the greatest point guard ever. His ability to pass was ridiculous and he could also shoot the three. He and Karl Malone were the cornerstones of the Utah Jazz franchise for a long time. When it comes to most of the top point guard type categories he is at top of all those categories. He is second in terms of all-time assists per game. He averaged a double-double for his career.
If most young people don’t know about his game then they surely don’t know about his defensive ability. In terms of total steals for a career, he is first with 3,265. He is a two-time steals champ and a five-time All-Defensive player. In terms of the greatest two-way point guards, Stockton is the cream of the crop.
#1: Gary Payton
While Stockton was great the greatest two-way point guard is Gary Payton. Yes, he won a defensive player of the year award but for his whole career he would simply lock down opposing players. His nickname of course was The Glove. While the groundbreaking documentary The Last Dance was being aired Payton made headlines because he said that he locked up Michael Jordan in the Finals. While we all know it is impossible to lock up Jordan he got some people that agreed with him. Payton is one of the greatest defenders in the history of the league and the greatest two-way point guard.
He is a nine-time All-Defensive player and a steals champ. In terms of total steals per game in NBA history, he is fourth with 2,445. In the top five of total steals per game, he and Michael Jordan are the only players with 20,000 or more total points and 2,000 or more total steals. That more than solidifies his seat on the all-time two-way point guard throne.
Embed from Getty Images