Mario Chalmers Thinks He's a Top 10 Point Guard - Middle Part, Not Lower Part

Mario Chalmers of the Miami Heat told Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports this, when asked about his place on the NBA’s list of best point guards:

“I’d say top 10. I’m not in the lower part (of the top 10), I’m in the middle part. I just have confidence in myself. I think I can compete with the best of them.’’

I’m a Mario Chalmers fan. After he hit this shot to send the 2008 NCAA title game against Memphis into overtime, I jumped off the sofa and celebrated as if I were wearing a Kansas jersey. The Jawhawks won (and covered) in overtime, and I thought Chalmers would be a nice NBA player.

Playing with LeBron and Wade and Bosh, he’s got a ring, a Finals loss, but modest stats. He’s a dogged defender, but only shoots 41 percent for his career from the field, and 36 percent from three. How does one quantify a Top 10 point guard? Here’s my attempt:

1) Chris Paul
2) Russell Westbrook
3) Kyrie Irving
4) Rajon Rondo
5) Tony Parker
6) Deron Williams
7) Stephen Curry
8 ) Jrue Holiday

[UPDATE: Obviously, Derrick Rose would be on this list if he were healthy. He’s not. Why is Rondo on the list? He just played half a season.]

I know, I know – Irving is too high, Rondo could be 1st or 2nd, and Deron Williams is too low. You disagree, I get it.

But I’d say there’s no doubt those are – in some order – the eight best point guards in the NBA. Let’s say you swap Holiday and Chalmers. Is Chalmers going to put up 19-9 and shoot 46 percent? Doubtful.

The next batch are difficult to rank – Mike Conley, Ty Lawson, Brandon Jennings, Ricky Rubio. Can Chalmers crack that group? I might take him over Conley and Jennings, but not Lawson and Rubio.

Another problem – LeBron is the de-facto point guard with the Heat – he leads them with 7.1 assists per game, which is more than several other very good point guards (Lawson, rookie Damian Lillard, Goran Dragic, Jeremy Lin, Jennings).

Bottom line: Mario Chalmers – very nice player, but no, he’s not a Top 10 point guard. Top 15, yes.

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