Top 30 NBA point guards — 12. Darius Garland, Cavaliers
If not for injuries, we would have gotten an extended dose of Darius Garland in the playoffs. He elevated the Cavs to contender status, with elite pull-up shooting and playmaking out of the pick-and-roll. He was the spearhead for a good offense that is fairly limited in scope around him. His ability to create from scratch and find opportunities for teammates was the key to Cleveland’s rise.
Top 30 NBA point guards — 11. Fred VanVleet, Raptors
Fred VanVleet made the All-Star game and probably should’ve been in more All-NBA discussions. Injuries made him unrecognizable in the playoffs, but that shouldn’t stain an otherwise brilliant year from one of the NBA’s truly underrated stars. VanVleet’s confident shot-making and genuine two-way ability is right at the heart of this Toronto team. He won a championship in the sixth man role, and now he’s showing he can be The Man on offense when called upon.
Top 30 NBA point guards — 10. Jamal Murray, Nuggets
Jamal Murray’s long-awaited return from his knee injury should launch Denver back into the championship conversation next season. Assuming he’s anywhere close to 100 percent, Murray’s elite shot-making and chameleonic role within Denver’s offense makes him the ideal perimeter complement to the two-time MVP. He can dominate stretches on his own, or play without the ball and bend the defense with his gravity. A special player whose services we have been without for way too long.