Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.
With Derrick Rose out and Rajon Rondo still mending, who is the best point guard in the East?
VIDEO: Inside Stuff takes a closer look at John Wall’s play and growth
Steve Aschburner, NBA.com: George Hill and Mario Chalmers have helped steer their teams to the best records. John Wall has taken Rondo’s customary spot as East assists leader and tops his peer group in efficiency. Deron Williams has been hurt. Jeff Teague has been solid, has an experience edge over many of these guys, is durable and plays most like the point guards I prefer … but this comes down to a one-game, one-season, one-career test for me. If I were drafting an East point guard for any of those three situations, I’d still grab Kyrie Irving. He is far from a finished product but has the talent and potential to be best of the bunch.
Fran Blinebury, NBA.com: It should be Deron Williams. But he’s got recurring problems with his ankle and his head and until he gets the latter on straight, the Nets are going to be the biggest underperforming disappointment in the East. While it may certainly be tempting to pick the rookie Michael Carter-Williams — and the long haul could prove that to be a good choice — I’ve got to go with John Wall.
Jeff Caplan, NBA.com: Is LeBron an acceptable answer? As impressive as what the rookie in Philly is doing, Michael Carter-Williams is still a rookie. This has got to be John Wall. He’s really become the man of late as the East player of the week now has three consecutive 30-point games.
Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com: John Wall–Kyrie Irving is a push at the moment. That could change on a season-long basis, and probably will. And it would be foolish to completely discount the possibility that Deron Williams finds his way and puts together a streak as a reminder of his talents too often tucked away. But it’s Wall and Irving for now. Neither is shooting well, but both have the ability to lead playoff clubs. Irving is an All-Star and look at the difference in the Wizards last season once Wall returned. Now if we could only get Wall and Bradley Beal on the floor at the same time. That would be a backcourt to watch.
John Schuhmann, NBA.com:With Deron Williams on the shelf too, you’d think the easy answer would be Kyrie Irving. And he would have been my answer before the season started. But Irving and the Cavs are off to a disappointing start and his defense is still a major question. Meanwhile, a couple of guys who got paid this summer – Jeff Teague and John Wall – have taken big steps forward. Teague is the better defender, but Wall’s explosiveness offensively gives him the edge. Did I just say that Wall is better than Irving? I think I did.
Sekou Smith, NBA.com: This is an excellent tug of war between two surprise players and neither one of them is named Kyrie Irving. The Wizards’ John Wall and the Hawks’ Jeff Teague have both been pretty damn good this season. Teague is proving to be an improved decision-maker and floor general in the system of new Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer, who made it clear during the preseason that he felt Teague would improve this season. Wall and Teague’s numbers are nearly identical in all of the categories that translate to doing their job well. Wall has the edge in physical tools and ceiling, and he seems to be putting things together as a young leader on and off the court as well. Irving is still the young point guard in the East with the greatest upside, but if we’re talking about right now, as of this moment, I’m going with Wall in a photo finish over Teague.
Lang Whitaker, NBA.com’s All Ball blog: Does LeBron count as a point guard? Jokes aside, there are only four point guards in the East averaging more assists per game than LeBron: John Wall, Jeff Teague, Brandon Jennings and Michael Carter-Williams. And to me the best all-around point guard in the East this season has been Wall. He’s averaging 18.6 ppg to go with 8.9 assists per, and he’s a true game-changer offensively — of the point guards I mentioned, to me Wall is the most dynamic of the bunch. With Bradley Beal out for at least a few weeks, it will be interesting to see if Wall can take on more of a scoring load for the Wizards as they try to turn things around. But so far Wall has made that big contract extension he inked this summer look like a good deal for the Wizards.
Karan Madhok, NBA India: The path is clear in the East for one of the young guns to ascend to the top. In recent form, John Wall has been the one making his stake as the best PG in the East, but over in Cleveland, Kyrie Irving has the talent to challenge him for the number one spot. But don’t forget about Deron Williams: a few years ago, he was in conversation amongst the top PGs in the league. If he can rediscover his form and health, he has the skillset to start dominating again.
Philipp Dornhegge, NBA Deutschland: John Wall, and in my mind it’s no contest. Jeff Teague is playing terrific and the Hawks are doing okay. But Wall is great, elite even with his combination of athleticism, speed and court vision. He can score, pass, is a respectable defender and helps his team win. Right now, it’s tough to make the same argument for Kyrie and the Cavaliers.
Adriano Albuquerque, NBA Brasil: Wow, that’s a tough one. Seems like all the great ones are out West, huh? Paul, Parker, Westbrook, Curry, Lawson, Rubio, Lillard. My favorite point guard in the East besides Rose and Rondo would be Kyrie Irving, but he does share some of the burden for Cleveland’s lousy start. Right now, John Wall has been playing like the best point guard in the East. He is the answer right now. Michael Carter-Williams has star potential, but is still raw.