The Magic Don't Need a "Point Guard"

Every fan, pundit, and expert seems to believe that one issue the Magic need to address in the upcoming draft is to find a Point Guard; preferably in the lottery. We’ve all watched the Victor Oladipo experiment turn out not so pretty, and we continue to watch Jameer move further away from 30 with each passing day. So, the desire to find the next young PG is certainly understandable, if not down right logical. But, sometimes that "logic" is misguided or perhaps overly guided. When you fill in the NBA starting roster, there are 5 boxes that say PG/SG/SF/PF/C, and we so want to fit the logical pieces into that puzzle. But the league is changing. There is no longer a single set way to run an NBA-offense. The point guard is no longer the quarterback it once was. Or at least it shouldn’t be.

I can’t claim this point, because I am stealing it from two former players talking about it on NBATV, but one pointed out that great point guards do not a championship make. Here are the NBA champions of the last 25 years:

2013 – Miami Heat

2012 – Miami Heat

2011 – Dallas Mavericks

2010 – LA Lakers

2009 – LA Lakers

2008 – Boston Celtics

2007 – San Antonio Spurs*

2006 – Miami Heat

2005 – San Antonio Spurs

2004 – Detroit Pistons*

2003 – San Antonio Spurs

2002 – LA Lakers

2001 – LA Lakers

2000 – LA Lakers

1999 – San Antonio Spurs

1998 – Chicago Bulls

1997 – Chicago Bulls

1996 – Chicago Bulls

1995 – Houston Rockets

1994 – Houston Rockets

1993 – Chicago Bulls

1992 – Chicago Bulls

1991 – Chicago Bulls

1990 – Detroit Pistons*

1989 – Detroit Pistons

The years with an asterisk (*) are the years that a point guard was named the Finals MVP.

3 times.

3 times out of 25 did the point guard lead their team to Finals. Furthermore, think about teams that have lost in the finals and you start remembering that many of them were led by ball-dominant point guards (Jason Kidd, Allen Iverson, Gary Payton, John Stockton etc.). Does anyone wonder why Chris Paul or Deron Williams or Steve Nash has never made it to the Finals? The fact of the matter is, as good or great as these players are, when the best player on your team is also the shortest player on your team; it is not a good thing. Of course, Magic Johnson dominated the game from the point guard position, amongst others, and won two Finals MVPs--the difference is that Magic is 6’9". Unfortunately, Yoda, size matters a lot in the NBA.

It’s true; every team needs some form of point guard. Every team needs someone to initiate the offense. But, history shows that it is actually ideal if that person controlling the offense is not the shortest player on the team, but either one of the wings or a dominant center making plays from the post, (the latter being almost obsolete in modern NBA). It actually might be beneficial to have multiple players running the point guard position as the Heat have done over the past couple of years. This helps get the ball in the hands of their most unstoppable players.

So in no way should the Magic make it their top priority to find a point guard in the NBA draft. If Orlando does go the Dante Exum route, it won’t be because he is a point guard. If anything, he’s more "guard" than point guard, much like Oladipo. If they draft him, it should be because of his size (6-6), athleticism, and his potential to be unstoppable on the court, and not because it says "PG" next to his name. Even if the Magic are able to land Wiggins, Parker, or Embiid, I still don’t think that they need to pick a point guard with the WoNK pick.

I’m not saying that size wins championships. It requires a lot of different things to win a championship. It’s just that a dominant, short guy running the offense isn’t one of them.

This FanPost was made by a member of the Orlando Pinstriped Post community, and is to be treated as the opinions and views of its author, not that of the blogger or blog community as a whole.

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