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Russell Westbrook rated NBA’s top point guard in poll of anonymous NBA personnel

Oklahoma City Thunder v Golden State Warriors

at ORACLE Arena on December 18, 2014 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.

Ezra Shaw

Who’s the best point guard in the NBA?

Jeff Goodman of ESPN asked a group of 25 players, coaches an executives to rank NBA’s point guards, 1-30. The leaders:

1. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder (732 points, 13 first-place votes)

“He might be an alien. I’ve never seen anyone like him before. His athleticism and antics are off the charts.” -- NBA executive

2. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors (727 points, 9 first-place votes)

“Maybe the best shooter we’ve ever seen in the NBA off the dribble. Probably the leading candidate for MVP this year.” -- NBA executive

3. Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers (652 points, 3 first-place votes)

“Everything you could ever want from a point guard. Leads, scores and defends and knows exactly when to do each of those things.” -- NBA executive

The NBA has hundreds of players, coaches and executives. It’s worth noting this isn’t necessarily a representative sample of the league’s thinking.

But these 25 nailed the top three. There’s a big drop to the next tier.

The order of the top three, though?

Westbrook is the most athletic/energetic player in the NBA, and with Kevin Durant sidelined, he’s showing the heights he can reach. Curry is an incredible shooter, very good passer and good-enough defender. Paul expertly controls the game on both ends of the court.

Honestly, on any given day, I could rank those three in a different order.

Paul was the best entering the season, but he’s showing signs of aging – at least enough for Curry and Westbrook to crack into the discussion. Curry reached this elite level sooner, and he has sustained it longer, but Westbrook has climbed even higher lately.

Today, I agree with Goodman’s panel – and I know that makes me a hypocrite.

Tomorrow, I don’t know.