Blogtable: The league’s best 2 guards

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.


BLOGTABLE: The best 2s | Charlotte vs. New York | A sweet 16



VIDEO: Isiah Thomas has high praise for Chicago’s Jimmy Butler

> Rank the top three shooting guards in the league … under 35. What’s your reasoning?

Steve Aschburner, NBA.com: 1. Klay Thompson, 2. James Harden, 3. Jimmy Butler. This is pretty straight-forward for me. Thompson has the reputation and the paycheck as the best two-way shooting guard, with Team USA credibility behind him. Harden is the most dangerous offensively, and the position is called “shooting guard” for a reason. And I’ve seen Butler enough to know that, while his offensive game isn’t as developed as Thompson’s, his brand of defense and toughness can win you a bunch of games. Just missing my cut: Bradley Beal. Scoring chops, mature, guy who does little things, but oh those injuries.

Fran Blinebury, NBA.com: James Harden, Klay Thompson, Bradley Beal. Harden is the most unstoppable backcourt scoring force in the league right now, ranks second in league in points per game. He’s the best at getting to the hoop and drawing fouls and can fill it up on 3s. Also gets a half dozen rebounds and assists per game and this season is also making a solid defensive effort. Thompson’s improved post-up game has him closing the gap, but Harden’s free throws make the difference. Beal just needs a long run of good health to stake his claim with the top two.

Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com: There’s a change at the top of the leader board. While I would have gone with James Harden in the past, I give Klay Thompson the edge now because of defense. Thompson has size, the shooting range, the ability to check multiple positions. And he’s only getting better. I’ll go DeMar DeRozan third.

Shaun Powell, NBA.com: Harden, Thompson, DeRozan. I just realized how watered-down this position actually is, especially compared to the golden age with Michael Jordan, Reggie Miller, Ray Allen, etc. None of my candidates are perfect, but Harden is extremely good at the skill that the position demands. So he’s my choice despite his defense. Funny thing, just a few years ago folks were wondering if the Raptors jumped the gun by giving DeRozan that extension.

John Schuhmann, NBA.com: 1. James Harden. 2. Klay Thompson. 3. Dwyane Wade. Harden’s efficiency at such a high volume (Kyle Korver is the only shooting guard who’s a more efficient scorer) makes up for his defensive issues. Thompson is a pretty complete player, though he hasn’t had to be the lead guy like the other two. And Wade still gets it done when he’s healthy and when he decides to care on defense. This isn’t an easy question to answer because there are a lot of solid guys and nobody that’s not without his faults. I came close to squeezing Korver, Jimmy Butler, DeMar DeRozan, Joe Johnson, or Wesley Matthews on the list. And give 37-year-old Manu Ginobili any time.

Sekou Smith, NBA.com: Once a position of extreme depth and power, the move to “hyrbid” point guards who could be classified at either backcourt position clouds these rankings a bit for me. That said, James Harden tops my list. He’s an elite scorer who cannot be contained most nights because he can beat you from deep or by attacking and finishing at the rim and free throw line. Klay Thompson is No. 2 on my list. He plays both ends at an elite level and, in my opinion, is just now coming into his own as a true All-Star caliber player. I know he’s older and a bit broken down at this stage of his career, but on his best night Dwyane Wade still makes my top 3 at shooting guard. He can still do things, albeit on a far more infrequent basis, that only a select few at the position can. Wade’s ability to post up on offense and play both ends at the highest level keeps him holding on, so to speak.

Ian Thomsen, NBA.com: So far Jimmy Butler is having the best year, just in front of James Harden and Klay Thompson. Butler impacts the game at both ends, and his offensive versatility has been tremendous. Harden and Thompson (another strong two-way player) have been crucial to their teams’ hot starts. Dwyane Wade and DeMar DeRozan would be challenging (in addition to Monta Ellis) if not for injuries.

Lang Whitaker, NBA.com’s All Ball blog: So, what, anyone but Kobe Bryant? Because Kobe is the only 35+ two guard I can think of to whom this question would apply. So with KB out of the picture — and he would probably be in my picture otherwise — I’m looking for players who do more than just score. I want guys who give a hoot on defense and provide leadership, as well, and also have some room to grow. So I’ll go Klay Thompson first, James Harden second, and DeMar DeRozan third, with Bradley Beal right on their heels. But if you want, you can have any of those guys and I’ll still take Kobe, regardless of age.

Nacho Albarrán, NBA.com/Espana: Dwyane Wade, because is a very versatile player, a good shooter, rebounder and passer, a leader at last. And already he’s won three championship rings in six Finals. James Harden is the future on this position, because his strength, his shooting abilities and in going powerfully to the rim. He only needs to play better in the clutch games. Monta Ellis has grown as a more complete player in Dallas and is just pure show.

Aldo Avinante, NBA.com/Philippines: James Harden, Klay Thompson and Monta Ellis. Harden is my top shooting guard at the moment, he may get some flak because of his defense but the way he controls the game is almost effortless — he can score easily and when he puts his mind into it he can guard positions 1-4. Klay just keeps on improving and he is with the right system, with great teammates that look for him on offense. While on defense he is tasked to defend the best guard in the opposing them on a nightly basis. Monta is the most underrated shooting guard in the league. if you watch the Mavs you will see that he is their primary option on offense and he also has underrated defense.

Karan Madhok, NBA.com/India: Number 1’s gotta be James Harden – knock him for his defensive inability or over-reliance on the free-throw line all you want, but Harden’s ability to create offense for himself and his teammates is currently above far and beyond all other comers at his position. I’d give Klay Thompson second place in the list for scoring nearly 21 points per game and also developing into an elite perimeter defender on the opposite end. Number 3 is a tricky choice – if we were in the playoffs, I would’ve probably chosen Dwyane Wade, but the Heat SG’s inconsistencies knock him down a spot for me. I’d say the third-best shooting guard in the league is DeMar DeRozan. Although he’s currently hurt, DeRozan is the Raptors’ leading scorer and has helped them to early success this season.

Juan Carlos Campos Rodriguez, NBA.com/Mexico: 1. Stephen Curry is averaging 23.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game, plus an impressive 41.3 percent on three-pointers, so in my opinion, he’s the best in the league. Let’s not forget that he’s also a great defender and he’s undoubtedly the Warriors’ leader.  It’s a delight to watch him play – spectacular passes, dribbles and stunning high-level layups. 2. Russell Westbrook with 24 points, 3.3 rebounds and 6 assists per game plus a percentage of 57.1 in three-pointers is an awesome weapon for the Thunder. What leaves me with doubts, even though his return was “wild,” was his aggressiveness when attacking the rim and defensively, the questions that we’d asked about him during his first seasons in the league. 3. James Harden‘s simply an offensive show, just look at his stats: 25.2 points, 6.3 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game – a confirmation of a great offensive talent that has the most famous “Beard” in the NBA.  However, his lack of commitment to become a better defender and his occasional lapses in the clutch forces me to put him in third place.

Marc-Oliver Robbers, NBA.com/Germany: How old is Kobe, after he fell into the fountain of youth? 28? I’m joking, but I’m really impressed by his performance so far at his age. I’ve expected a good comeback from him, but so good? Okay, let’s talk about the young fellas. I’m not a big fan of James Harden because of his defense, but his season is offensively so dominant, that you can’t choose someone else as the best shooting guard in the league so far. Behind Harden I have to pick Jimmy Butler. His improvement in the offense this season is so huge. Maybe he’s the upcoming franchise player of the Bulls. For third, I choose Klay Thompson. His game is not as variable as the ones of Butler and Harden, but if he catches fire no one can stop him.

Stefanos Triantafyllos, NBA.com/Greece: James Harden, Klay Thompson, Dwyane Wade. From No. 1 to No. 3. I think that there is no need to argue about Harden. His 25.2 points per game speak for themselves. Thompson is one the best pure shooters in the NBA and the best under 30 years-old. Wade,  on the other hand, still has got game. He scores 20.5 per game, dishes 5.6 assist and makes a trick or two to finish at the rim despite the nickname “Flash” starts to fade out as he slowly creeps toward 35 years old.

Davide Chinellato, NBA.com/Italy: Right now it’s James Harden, Klay Thompson and Jimmy Butler for me. Harden is an MVP-caliber player, a guy who can win games by himself. Devastating from distance, his Euro-steps are a trademark; he’s also trying to play more with his teammates. Thompson is more than just Steph Curry’s sidekick: he’s a star in the making, great on defense, awesome on offense. Butler is the new face of this season, an early candidate for the Most Improved Player award. He’s one of the best 2-way players in the league after he transformed himself into a reliable offensive weapon during the offseason.

Simon Legg, NBA.com/Australia: Klay Thompson, Wesley Matthews and James Harden. My reasoning for Thompson and Matthews is pretty simple: they’re two of the best two-way guards we have in the league. Both guys can lock down opponents and influence things on defense and have become so important to their team’s overall success. From an offensive standpoint, these guys can hurt you in a number of different ways, but mainly due to their elite 3-point shooting which has become so important in today’s NBA. As for Harden, I’m probably contradicting myself due to his defensive limitations but he is the most explosive scorer at the position so it’s hard to keep a guy out like that. He sets up teammates, gets to the line at an abnormal rate and can hurt you in a number of different ways. If it was two years ago, Dwyane Wade finds himself in this list.

BlogTableBestSg2Amended
For more debates, go to #AmexNBA or www.nba.com/homecourtadvantage.

129 Comments

  1. Darien says:

    http://basketball.realgm.com/nba/stats/2015/Advanced_Stats/Qualified/drtg/SG/asc/1/Regular_Season.
    James Harden #1 SG. Defensive ratings.
    More bpg more spg better block %, better steal % and better rebound % than Klay Thompson.

  2. Mori says:

    Kobe’s defense is terrible, and shoots at least 20 attempt a night to get 20 points. He’s old and he cannot carry a team to the playoff anymore.

    At this point, it would be a joke if he starts at the all-star game.

  3. Jay says:

    If you don’t pick James Harden then you probably don’t watch any NBA games and follow what these so call experts says.

    James Harden is playing better defense than Klay Thompson this season. Rockets is rated top 3 defensive team in the nba.
    You put either Klay Thompson or Jimmy Bultler in the Rockets , that team won’t even be top 6 in the west. And note Rockets been missing 3 starters since the beginning of the season so Harden is playing unselfish basketball while carrying this team to the top.

  4. Texmarc59 says:

    NOTE: Saying Hardens defense hasn’t improved is a little misleading.
    I should have said…it’s showing up on a regular basis and shines.
    Ariza is the key to help lock down the perimeter….Parsons couldn’t do that last year.
    Harden has the much needed help this year….that’s the difference maker.

    My error isn’t clerical…it’s subjective.

  5. Texmarc59 says:

    Hardens defense hasn’t improved….he’s playing at a consistent level every game.
    His “D” has always been there….now it’s part of his discipline….he finally bought into the bigger scheme of team “D”.
    As a Rockets fan my emotional context is naturally swayed to pick Harden. As I try to be fair to all, I like the comment someone made about who would I trade Harden for in a heads up equal trade…..I’d stick with Harden over all others.
    Last year I picked on Hardens “lazy” style of playing defense…this year I’m impressed, but not surprised.

    If we take Harden and insert him into another contending teams lineup his play will be better or worse….it’s all about the fit and function, just like the other players we’re talking about.

    Bottom line: I wouldn’t trade Harden for any other 2 guard in the NBA. If you can make that statement about your 2 guard, then you’ve got the best 2 guard in the league….it’s that easy.

  6. Lando says:

    What are these “experts” watching? It’s Harden and it’s not even close! What is Aschburner talking about? Thompson has Team USA credibility? last I checked harden was one of the team leaders. Talking about defense? Please tell me who AVERAGES more steals and blocks between Harden, Thompson, and butler. Not only that but Harden is leading a 15-4 team while missing 5 rotational players for the majority of the season. Here’s another way of seeing it. Replace Harden on the Rockets with any other SG in the league and ask yourself if the Rockets still have the same record. Either way NBA.com your “experts” aren’t watching the games!

  7. Bruno Barreto says:

    Nobody commenting here has seen a complete Rockets game this season. Rockets has the second best defensive team in the league. Harden has 2 blks per game and 1.8 steals per game. He is probably the best defensive SG this season so far. Stop being influenced by Shaqtin a foll…

  8. beamMeUpScotty says:

    to be fair, titles specifically says shooting guard so focus is more on what traditional 2 guards do and that is to show their offensive prowess. If it would have been, 2 way 2 guard, than it’s Jiimmy Buckets and Thompson and that is even non-debatable.

  9. NBA Players says:

    This writer includes age 35 and below into the question TO INTENTIONALLY DISREGARD THE 36 YR OLD KOBE BRYANT 5 time champion into the conversation of the best two guard in the NBA right now.. simple as that.. WE TOTALLY AGREE THIS ARTICLE IS A COMPLETE BIAS AND PREJUDICE.. this article has no meaning and totally no purpose but just to shift out the attention of the public to other players of the league and not to Kobe Bryant..

    Check out how the writer fabricated his article.. on NBA.com website under the topic “Popular on NBA” the title of it “Blogtable: The league’s best two guards” and that’s it.. the Under 35 wasn’t included.. MAKE YOUR TITLE STRAIGHT MAN.. THIS ARTICLE IS A WASTE OF TIME TO READ AND A COMPLETE TRASH..

  10. Zain Mayeet says:

    Jimmy Butler is the best 2 way guard in the NBA. Not overrated at all, he deserves all the attention he has gotten.

  11. jake says:

    they said under 35 because Kobe would be number 1 and no one is even close to him

  12. Karlo Garcia says:

    1.Dwayne Wade-Plays both defense and offense/2.Lance Stephenson-very disruptive player on defense & offense/3. Klay Thompson-defense needs polishing but offense is on the rise.

  13. LBJ says:

    STOP THIS NONSENSE.. Why making a blog with age bracket? Was there any award for this? Was there any award right now in the NBA FOR THE BEST 2 GUARD UNDER 35?.. Whoever made this blog is surely a BIAS.. and surely a Kobe hater.. Make your story straight man.. THIS TOPIC IS ABSOLUTELY NONSENSE.. You’re talking about the league man.. Kobe is still the best 2 guard in the league.. It’s just no better teammates around him compared to Klay Thompson, James Harden and Jimmy Butler that’s why as for now LA is not winning but wait next season when Rondo is already with Lakers.. if you’re talking about individually with no age bracket the Black Mamba 5 time champion is still the best 2 guard even at age 36.. and hey! Kobe is the leading scorer in the league right now with a triple double win against Raptors.. so stop this nonsense.. PERIOD!..

  14. josh says:

    I also like mathews, thompson, and buckets. Keep your eye on the rookie McDaniels, he will be joining this conversation soon, though, I am not sure if he is technically a sg or sf. Defense wins games.

  15. josh says:

    Paul George? He is a shooting guard yes? Just because he is going to miss most, if not all, of this season, doesnt mean he is not in the league anymore.

  16. jwseibert25 says:

    Stephanie Curry is a pg, why he is on the list don’t understand. I think Beal this season will also be a top three by seasons end. He has came back hasn’t missued a beat.

  17. Shawn Milli says:

    As I am a fan of a specific team, I’d have to say that when discussing who’s the best RIGHT NOW in the shooting guard position I would have to say James Harden, Steph Curry, and Dwayne Wade. I think Jimmy Butler is great, But I agree he is over-rated. With that said, I think Most of you would Agree with Dwayne Wade being an inconsistent player because he is Injury prone. BUT, the fact that he can post up on the block like a 6’10” PF and his ability to dominate on defense alone when he’s at his best, there’s no question he’s gonna be one of the Greats. I think the most under-rated player in this whole Topic is Steph Curry! Obviously his scoring is second to none, and his Handles are Highly under-rated! He handles the ball just as good as the BEST Point Guards in the League!

  18. dan says:

    To see Harden’s improved defense, see Shaqtin a Fool.

    http://allball.blogs.nba.com/2014/12/05/shaqtin-a-fool-vol-4-episode-5/

    DPOY right there!

    • Wen says:

      Good try. And try harder.

      Guess you watch Shaqtin a Fool but not any of Harden’s games. He’s averaging 25.7p, 6.0r, 6.5a, 1.9s, 1.1 blocks

  19. Cavsforever says:

    man the author is really dumb how is dion waiters not top 3 when he and kyries the best backcourt in thr entire nba

  20. GEB says:

    Juan Carlos Campos Rodriguez. comment thoooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. jaime says:

    Juan Carlos Campos Rodriguez speaks spanish, if you doesnt speak very well english you may understand that the blog is about the TOP2 guards, thats why he picked curry and westbrook. but yeah they are PGs not SGs..

  22. lbj says:

    being the best 2 guard in the league wont win you championships playing with the king will. We will trade future hall of famer Noris Cole for James Harden and send Mike Miller for Klay Thompson.

    • melo says:

      being lbj wont win you championships as seen in 2014 finals. We will trade the greatest shooter JR Smith and international star Jose Calderon for Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love.

      • kobe says:

        being melo and lbj wont win you championships but playing with the goat will. We will trade linsanity for John Wall and future goat Swaggy P for James Harden.

      • Cavsforever says:

        man u guys are so dum lebron has 2 rings how many melo has yeah i thought so and jr smith is not even good and no ones ever heard of jose calderon

      • MCW says:

        being LBJ, Melo, or Kobe won’t win you championships. I will trade myself and Prince Luc Mbah a Moute for Kyrie Irving, James Harden, and some picks.

      • "Smart" NBA fan says:

        Nba dot com and ESPN are biased and not correct about any of there articles. Want proof? Ever hear them talking about Kobe? i sure don’t sounds fishy huh? talk about lebron derrick rose or klay thompson and wow! the articles are everywhere. i sense alot of biased reports and articles flying around just like that shady trade that comissioner nixed with cp3 to Lakers and Gasol and Odom leaving. Mr Stern shot it down like a duck out of the bushes. Can anyone say biased NBA and ESPN and Kobe haters galore? to think you people call yourself true fans of the sport make me sick to my stomach. please go watch tennis or golf and leave my sport alone. Kobe is the best shooting guard in the NBA and maybe ever. MJ better move over bc Kobe is coming and hes not slowing down even at 36!

  23. kz says:

    Demar Derozan gets better every game.

  24. Dirt says:

    First off Harden is best hands down. I like Beal derozen & thompson. I think yal are over rating butler. & i cant believe yal forgetting about Monta Ellis and Lance Stephenson.

  25. justin says:

    James harden is playing great d this year obviously these guys don’t actually watch the games

  26. brbrb says:

    James Harden is NOT the best 2 guard in the league by far! He CAN’T PLAY DEFENSE! He is rubbish at defense, in offense ok, but not defense! And if James Harden doesnt work on defense, he is not so tired on offense, it easier to score on offense if you play only on one end of the floor! If he play on both ends of the floor i would say he wouldnt be so efficient on offense!

    I would give it to Klay Thompson because of his play on BOTH ends of the floor!

  27. IrieChat says:

    Once Demar develops a consistent three point shot, he will become Mr. Elite. His defense has arrived and he always demonstrated great work ethics which is why he will lead his Toronto Raptors Team to a Championship before Mr. Lebron James and his Cavaliers.

  28. Jimmy says:

    James Harden.. by far..

  29. nbafan says:

    I don’t understand why people still choose Kobe…..
    he is not worth for being one of best players anymore. he cant lead his team to win anymore, he cant play as much as he used to be anymore and he cant win championship anymore. now he is just …. old, hog, selfish, cranky, arrogant, inefficient and may b lonely lol

    I feel so sorry to LAL players that they have to play with Kobe…

    I don’t want to see old people anymore…. like Kobe, Tim, Manu, Ray etc. I want to see new NBA era.

    • "Smart" NBA fan says:

      i want to see you play Kobe 1 on 1 and post the video on NBA dot com. what do you say big mouth?

  30. MV3 says:

    Would have been mostly Wade if not due to injuries/health

  31. Weedmoker says:

    WADE HARDEN ELLIS

  32. Sammy Hajomar says:

    I have a question. Why is it only about guards under the age of 35? That is clearly saying something about Kobe Bryant. Even if you include the top guards above 35, the only player that will make it is Kobe Bryant. So, why would you do that and not include him on purpose? Was that exclusion necessary?

  33. Kobe fan says:

    They put age restrictions because they know Kobe will still get the unanimous acknowledgement of best 2 guard.

    • "Smart" NBA fan says:

      wrong! you want the real list of the top 3 best shooting guards in the NBA ages 36 and under? 1. kobe 2. kobe 3. kobe harden,thompson butler and beal trail him just barely. lol how do you like them apples? you wanna not include kobe i’ll erase the other 3 altogether. fair is fair right? stop being biased nba dot com.

  34. PatrickD says:

    An interesting addition to this conversation would be: Which of these 2 guards would you trade for which of the others? As a Wizards fan, I’m not sure Beal has earned top 3 yet, but the fact that he isn’t being discussed by ore of the original writers means they aren’t watching him play enough. And here’s where the first part of my post comes in to play: I’m not sure if there are ANY of these guys I’d trade Beal for. An offensive game that is only getting better, one of the sweetest shooting strokes in the NBA, underrated defensively, and a quality young man. Whether he is top 3 right now or not, I’d rather have him than any of these other guys.

  35. Mr Money says:

    ok Klay Thompson is a good guard i mean he can shoot play D shares the ball and everything right? But look at James Harden he can do all that and MORE don’t get me wrong Klay is a great Guard but what James Harden can do on a night to night basis it just beats Klay. I mean Summer basketball George and Durant didn’t destroy him in 1 v 1 so if they cant do it then Klay probally couldnt do it either right? But thats just my opinion my top three are James Harden, Dwayne Wade, and Bradley Beal.

    • MR J says:

      james harden has earned best 2 guard in the leauge. look where he came from. came from completely choking in the finals vs a great heat team. to leading the rockets. all his numbers are up this season. its still early yeah but still. dude is on fire right now. derozan is nice too. but as far as best 2 guards in the leauge u gota look at who is really a 2 guard. this list is garbage because there arent real 2 guards anymore. u have more small fowards that impact a game than SG. so harden may not be the best sg to play the game. but in 2014-15. YES james harden is the best SG in the league.

  36. NBA blogger says:

    If you leave monta ellis off of your list your horribly mistaken. He might even win a championship this year with dallas team soooo yeah

  37. Paul says:

    Just ask him.

  38. Jackitup says:

    Most people you talk to don’t really care who’s best at what. What they really care for is who is winning. Why don’t we talk about that. Right now its Memphis and Toronto. Not enough talk about these teams. I would say that if NY and LA were there instead, we would be reading 95% on them. So, the guys who write for NBA, give me a brake please and stop listening to what your boss might be saying.

  39. rico says:

    Interesting that none of the American writers picked Monta Ellis in their top 3. He is a co-focal point of by far the best offense in the league and his d is miles better than his Warrior days.

  40. Jeff says:

    Everybody’s knocking Harden’s D… but if you’ve actually been watching these past couple of Rockets games, Harden’s D has improved tremendously! He’s been able to stay infront of guys and defend well down the stretch. He’s currently 6th in the league for steals and ranks number 1 in steals at the 2 guard position

    • justin says:

      Exactly these guys don’t watch the games harden could be first team all defense this year the rockets have 3 starters out and start Jason Terry at the point and they win because of James harden clay could not be the number 1 got to guy on a team he plays with another great shooter that gets him. Good shots

  41. jnba says:

    1. Klay Thompson 2. James Harden 3. Jimmy Butler

    Klay Thompson – most efficient player compared to other SG players. can score 20+ with only 33m/g. can defense too

    James Harden – he can score and lead his team to win but not efficient as Klay Thompson and his defense needs to be improved more.

    Jimmy Butler – has potential to become best SG in the future. his defense is impressive. No SG can defense LBJ or KD except Jimmy. he needs to improve his 3pt shooting

  42. Brian says:

    I’m surprised no one picked Kobe. Honestly Kobe can out play all of these guys. Hands Down.

  43. Marko says:

    Harden is the main focus of any defense and is being doubled regularly, also playing without three starters for half a season now. Thompson has benefit of opposite defenses focusing more on Curry, and same with Matthews (Lillard). So before you bash Harden, you have to look at the context.

  44. Andrew says:

    Besides the obvious Kobe at No. 1, Harden 1. Derozan 2. and Beal 3. (PS: Steph Curry and Russell Westbrook are not 2’s.)

  45. NBA says:

    Lang Whitaker stressed defense as a factor in his choices but he didn’t even pick Butler who always had the defensive gifts and is now showing improvements on offense.

  46. ko0kiE says:

    James Harden is the best SG in the NBA right now. he does it all and his commitment to defense is better than ever.. which is huge, because the rockets could be the best defensive team in the nba.. they have 3 really good defenders in howard, ariza and beverly, if harden and the starting PF (jones, or monejunas) can buy in on defensive end, they’re one of my favourites in the west.

  47. Jalen King says:

    I can’t believe James Harden Is Still Being Knocked For His Defense Despite Leading The League (Tied With Marc Gasol) In Defensive Win Shares W/O Dwight Howard Half The Season

  48. Thierry says:

    haha how wesley matthews is put ahead of harden is beyond me, im australian and thats just embarrasing

    Harden is the number 1 SG and its not close, his defense has improved out of sight, so much so that klays defense isnt much ahead anymore

    Watch some houston games before you comment on Hardens defense, so ridiculous

    • BBBBALLLL says:

      No way people can say Harden is playing good defense. He might be average defense, watching and spacing out less. But you will see him looking at some hot girls in the crowd or something that takes him away form the game. I remember people kept trying to argue that he was playing defense last year then the video came out…… Until Harden has a whole year + playoff of average defense i will not believe he has changed. Its a mind set he does not have.

      • ddarqwon says:

        The fact that you cite a youtube video as your point of reference disqualifies your whole comment. Try watching actual games.

  49. Dan says:

    A best shooting guard has to at least lead his team to the Conference Finals.

    For Harden, Thompson, Butler, Beal, DeRozan, and the others mentioned.

    Playoffs are the true test.

    Harden always chokes in big games…just saying. Call me a hater, but he can’t guard 1 to 4. At most 1 and 2 if any.

    Also whatsup with the hate to the Mexico writter, those 2 he mentioned really shoot a lot, so he isnt that crazy.

    • T gas TT ako says:

      heres another idiot,, u and that mexican guy shud play together,, youre on the same LEVEL!!!!

      • dan says:

        Do you even play basketball? OR you one of those couch fan know it all that can play squat.

        Why do you need to call someone an Idiot? Just cuz he has a different opinion? Sure hope you dont reproduce, vermin.

  50. Dan says:

    Thompson is good but he also plays next to Curry. He hasn’t yet had to do it with the 3rd and 4th point guards on the team on a night in and night out basis like Harden. Ohh and Harden has started playing defense now too…

  51. DX24 says:

    Kobe still No.1, Harden may be #2, DeRozan #3.

  52. marcus says:

    derozan is still mad underrated its disrespectful …very good defense…even guarded lebron majority of the game ..didn’t shut him down …who can really….he slowed him significantly though …harden or Thompson guard lebron both get eaten…hes a solid 3rd pick

  53. brandon bryant says:

    These guys have not watched enough of harden this yr becuz his defense has been outstanding!!!!

  54. harriethehawk says:

    Fear that beard!

  55. Jade says:

    Manu Ginobili, Monta Ellis, James Harden.

    Ginobili high IQ, Ellis aggressive, Harden scores. Whatever this 3 scores more 14 pts+ every night but Ginobili is special if you got him… you WIN 🙂

  56. Rob A. says:

    Nacho from Spain, Wade has only been to 5 finals not 6.

  57. Steve says:

    How people can say Harden over Thompson is laughable. Thompson never hogs the ball, plays great D and doesn’t flop to get calls. He works within the teams framework to get his scores and can play offensively off the ball, ie relocates to the right spots on the floor while harden pretty much stands and watches when he hasn’t got it. If you put these two against eachother 1 on 1 Thompson would smash him. Why, coz his defense is so far inferior it would be a lay up drill for thompson.

    • Lance Evans says:

      Exactly

    • ko0kiE says:

      oh, so it has nothing to do that Thompson is playing alongside one of the elite point guards and shooters in the game?
      while harden plays with.. mhh.. who was their starting PG again against Memphis? I have no clue, because he’s a nobody.
      harden is asked to handle the ball, because he’s their best playmaker.

      if you had any knowledge about those two teams, u wouldn’t have posted such a dumb statement.

    • Tyler says:

      Harden went 1 on 1 with George and Durant last summer during FIBA practices. Pretty sure if those guys didn’t “destroy” him, Klay isn’t going to either. I get it, you are a GSW fan, so you are going to be biased, but please educate yourself before you post. I know you all get mad about other fan bases ragging on Curry’s defense, because he has actually become a pretty darn good defender this year. It’s the same thing with Harden, where their reputation precedes their actual play this season. His defense has actually been extremely good this year. Check out the stats, you might be quite surprised to see how much of an impact he is making on that end. Trust me, last year the Rockets would not be winning down 3 starters, and their back up point guard. They are this year because Harden is actually playing D and team ball.

    • justin says:

      You don’t know anything about basketball could clay be the number 1 guy on. A team like harden? No way

  58. asdada says:

    Whats with them putting dwayne wade on the list. Hes a part-time player. He hardly plays! And I would pick Jimmy Butler and Klay Thompson over James harden anyday. While James’s 25/6/6 are “impressive” the other 2 players are better defenders than him and are more efficient. James Harden, at his age is scoring at an abysmal fg%. He can fill up the stat sheets and score but not as efficiently as the other 2.

  59. gaoyefei258 says:

    I’d put MJ there if there’s no age limit – technically he is still in the league, right? 🙂 Haha I doubt he can play more than 20 minutes of NBA ball now…

  60. Flash says:

    These people aren’t showing Wade enough respect. He’s a three time world champion. None of these other guards have even gotten to the Finals. Wade all the way!!

  61. gaoyefei258 says:

    Haha, I’d put MJ in there if the age limit was not there. Because technically he is still in the league, right? 🙂

  62. Flash says:

    These people are showing Wade enough respect. He’s a three time world champion. None of these other guards have even gotten to the Finals. Wade all the way!!

  63. jason johnson says:

    That Juan Carlos guy is dumb af!!! and You guys must not know that harden has been playing stellard D this season.. what kind of idiot has wesley mathew in the ranking..

    • sedare says:

      The same one that realized Matthews SHUT DOWN the beard in the playoff series and made him look like a D league wannabe.

  64. CALucky says:

    I think Harden is easily number 1, then Kobe, and the 3rd spot can be argued between Klay and Jimmy Buckets, but Bradley Beal is probably the most over-rated player in the league right now.

  65. fan says:

    it’s just a bunch of stupid experts(aka jerks), u idiots talking about james harden’s inability in defence, why dont u go defend yourselves? james harden is having a great defensive years, just throw away your prejudice on his defence you bunch of noobs.

  66. kevin says:

    i really hope the day never comes when the face of the nba is james harden…that will be a very sad day.

  67. Michael says:

    Juan Carlos Campos Rodriguez picked Curry and Westbrook. WHAT? We are talking about SG and not PG.

  68. Adam says:

    Still criticizing Harden’s defense? Their entire job is to watch nba games and yet it seems clear they don’t actually do it

  69. Ryan Terry says:

    Harden has been the best SG in the league so far. 25/6/6? no other SG is playing so well rounded. he makes free throws at an almost 90% rate while shooting a ton of them and you can mock his defense all you want but he has improved drastically this season getting 2 spg and 1bpg. derozan and thompson arent the best players on their team, so its tied between them.

    • MR J says:

      i agree with you. to be the best SG in the league. u first have to be the best player on the court. in 90% of the games houston has played. james harden has been the best player on the court. period. mock his defense all u want. dude is an unstoppable force on offense.

  70. Dave says:

    Demar Derozan over Jimmy Butler any day the man is an all-star and his defence is underated those that watch the raptors would know

  71. Oscar says:

    How can you choose Harden???Just look at his stats 40%FG (after a good game, always under 40%) , 33% from deep and 4.1 TO per game, (Leading NBA)… C’mon… Butler, Thompson, Ellis, Wade, Beal, those guys are the best of the best, but Harden??… Please… Call him the top Defense player of the year too.

  72. Harden. Guy gets it done efficiently and has stepped it up on defense this year. Klay Thompson. Dude is money this year and is having a pretty solid season, really showing he’s a top guy. D-Wade. One of the most efficient guys in the league. Sure he’s lost speed and athleticism, but he plays so smart that he makes up for it. He could be like an Andre Miller.

  73. Nick K says:

    I believe there’s still a guy by the name of KOBE BRYANT that is still playing at a high level…take him over harden and klay anyday

  74. Nathan says:

    Is it me, or did they just include the <35 distinction in order to include Wade? Every other player mentioned is under 30 I think. C'mon NBA, Wade's time is over.

  75. Ivan says:

    How can you not pick Harden as number one? He’s a much better defender this season, and his offense is as amazing as usual.

  76. Skerge says:

    Basing everything on numbers… Check the impact of the game…. the leadership and tempo control…… D. WADE, Harden, then Klay Thompson…….

  77. Jimmy Buckets says:

    Dwayne Wade HAHAHAHaHA that was a good one

  78. Indiana'sownLarryBird says:

    Kobe Bryant leads the league in scoring, Harden is 2 in scoring in the league, Wade is not a everyday player any more, Beal, Derozan, Butler, Thompson, Matthews, are good players. What about the really young talent at the 2 like Antetokounmpo of the Bucks, Oladipo of the Magic, Wroten of the Sixers, What about a player on a good team that shows up every year in the playoffs and finals Danny Green? Kobe and Harden are the two best, after that any of them other players are in the convo…

  79. deematthew14 says:

    that Juan Carlos guy cannot read, this article is about SG and he just pick his top 2 PG over Harden…ahah what an idiot… anyway, what’s up with these writers, don’t tell me you guys are not watching the Houston Rockets games, Harden’s defense is a lot more improve this year than last year… come on, don’t show negative side on Harden’s D cuz he’s been good at it since the start of this season…

  80. steve richards nba.com says:

    Curry Klay d James Harden ???

  81. Chutes 2 Narrow says:

    So Harden leads the in defensive win shares, just about dominates all SGs in all offensive categories. And does this with very little help because of all the teams practically carrying his team to wins. Oh, lets not forget that his % is high in clutch situations, so yes, he is very clutch.

  82. Nahrek says:

    Harden was terrible on defense last year because of lack of effort. But apparently these writers don’t actually watch the Rockets ever…

    Because HARDEN IS FIRST IN THE NBA IN DEFENSIVE WIN SHARES THIS YEAR.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/leagues/NBA_2015_advanced.html

    These writers are scrubs.

  83. Makapatakki says:

    Mr Mexico your 1 and 2 are PG’s… I don’t believe you get paid for this SMH!

  84. T gas TT ako says:

    @ JUAN CAROS AMPOS RODRIGUEZ ,,, the article says “best shooting guard”not POINTGUARDS ,, dummy….

  85. T gas TT ako says:

    @ JUAN CAROS AMPOS RODRIGUEZ ,,, the article says “best shooting gurd”not POINTGUARDS ,, dummy….

  86. T gas TT ako says:

    @ JUAN CAROS AMPOS RODRIGUEZ ,,, the article says “best shooting gurd”not POINTGURADS ,, dummy….

  87. T gas TT ako says:

    @ JUAN CAROS AMPOS RODRIGUEZ ,,, the article says “gest shooting gurd”not POINTGURADS ,, dummy….

  88. vanman says:

    Once again these writers are on about harden’s defense. Please, watch his game since the beginning of this season. Look at how he defends. He is so much more focused. he has guarded positions 1-4 this season. Look at his defensive numbers and that alone shows you how much more impact he is making at the defensive end. Apparently some people are still stuck on the youtube loop.

  89. ross says:

    this is remarkably stupid. harden is playing above average defense this year and is putting up 25, 7, 7.

  90. Baller says:

    The disrespect for Monta Ellis smh……..

  91. Arkh says:

    @Juan Carlos Campos Rodriguez: Curry and Westbrook are now SGs?! Come on now…

    @Shaun Powell: I would like this guy to define what was the “Golden Era” of SGs because Allen wasn’t in his prime at the same time MJ & Reggie Miller were.

    Kinda funny how writers easily put Thompson as a top 2 SG right now. The dude main impact on the game is his 3-game and I don’t think he’ll be able to sustain a 45% clip for the season.

    • bee says:

      Klay is actually the best defensive shooting guard and has a post up game mid range and 3 ‘s for days…If it wasn’t for curry he would have led the league in 3 ‘s the last couple years. With that said Harden is more of an offensive weapon and can score at will sometimes. 1 Harden 2 Klay.

    • Carl says:

      Russell Westbrook is a shooting guard playing point guard. I thought this was known. That’s why he takes so many shots.

  92. lazymason says:

    mexico need to learn the difference between 1 and 2

    • MemphisTruth11 says:

      How in the world is Jimmy Butler overrated, Defense is a huge part of playing the 2 as the pg technically traditionally the Point runs the Offense the 2 or 3 acts, if not both act as defense spearheads. James Harden is often like watching Rick Ross try to play in the NBA. Hall of Fame wise Kobe, Wade; Shooting wise Thompson, Athletic- Derozan, Potential- Durant (rusty of not) Paul George when healthy, 2 way – 2 guard- Jimmy Butler (as he is a better 2 way player stats wise) Fact is Kobe can play a lot more than Wade, if they both were playing every game, who knows- but the fact is Kobe plays every game the Lakers have and is on his way to 3rd all time. The “point guard. shooting guard” argument Please, Curry can slide to 1-2, just like Westbrook can, Kemba Walker can as can Monte Ell