Sports NBA point guard rankings 2022: Warriors' Stephen Curry stays on top; Grizzlies' Ja Morant rises up list
Fantasy TE Rankings Week 17: Who to start, sit at tight end in fantasy football
Travis Kelce figures to return, but what about Darren Waller and Pat Freiermuth? Either way, fantasy football owners need to explore every option ahead of their championship game, and our Week 17 fantasy TE rankings can help with one of the thinnest positions.Obviously, you're starting the guys mentioned above if they're active, and none of the premier tight ends have worrisome matchups, so don't overthink it.
Back in October, The Sporting News took on the task of, no small challenge considering the amount of talent at the position.
Now, at approximately the halfway point of the 2021-22 season, compiling the list is somehow even more difficult.
Where do you place Damian Lillard and Russell Westbrook, both of whom have struggled but have Hall of Fame resumes? How high should youngsters such as Ja Morant and LaMelo Ball climb?
For the rankings below, season performance was obviously taken into account, but overall track record does still matter. The 2021-22 campaign has only offered a small sample size, and every team in the league has encountered issues with injuries and players entering health and safety protocols. There is no perfect formula here, so feel free to (respectfully) disagree.
Morant leads Grizzlies over Nets; Antonio Brown looking on
NEW YORK (AP) — Ja Morant scored 36 points and five Grizzlies scored in double figures as Memphis extended its winning streak to five games with a 118-104 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Monday night. Desmond Bane scored 29 points, Brandon Clarke added 16, and Jarrett Culver and Tyus Jones had 12 apiece. Kevin Durant led the Nets with 26 points on 8-for-24 shooting from the field, including 2 for 8 from 3-point range. James Harden added 19 points in 5-for-14 shooting. Nic Claxton added 11 points and Blake Griffin and Bruce Brown each finished with 10 points as Brooklyn lost its third straight.
With all that said, here is The Sporting News' updated rankings, starting with the easiest decision on this list.
(All stats current as of Jan. 11)
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NBA point guard rankings 2021-22: The top 10
1. Stephen Curry, Warriors
By Curry standards, the two-time NBA MVP is having a poor shooting season. He is down to 42.2 percent from the field and 38.7 percent from 3-point range. Both of those figures would be the lowest of his career (excluding the 2019-20 season in which he only played five games).
And yet, Curry is still arguably the most impactful offensive weapon in the league. His mere presence shifts defenses and makes life easier for everyone around him. He is the sun in the Warriors' solar system, the reason everything works for Golden State. He is an easy choice at No. 1.
Highlights: Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki honoured with jersey retirement ceremony in Dallas
On Wednesday night, the German superstar became the fourth player in Mavericks history to have their jersey raised to the rafters in a postgame ceremony.When led by the 7-footer, over a 21-year stretch, the franchise recorded major landmarks such as:
2. Luka Doncic, Mavericks
The Slovenian star is averaging 24.8 points, 9.0 assists and 8.2 rebounds per game, but he has been in and out of the lineup, missing 15 of Dallas' first 40 games. Doncic has alsothat he must get into better shape.
However, it feels premature to drop Doncic after a "rough" stretch considering he is still nearly averaging a triple-double. The guys behind him are charging hard, but he is going to stay behind Curry for now.
3. Trae Young, Hawks
After a surprising run to the 2021 Eastern Conference finals, Atlanta has started off the season with a thud. If the Hawks continue performing at this level, they will be in danger of not only missing out on a playoff berth, but also the Eastern Conference play-in tournament.
Their shortcomings shouldn't be pinned on Young, though. The 23-year-old has been terrific, averaging 28.0 points, 9.6 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game while shooting a career-high 45.5 percent from the field and 37.0 percent from beyond the arc. There is no arguing that he has blossomed into a star.
Warriors' Klay Thompson makes season debut vs Cavaliers: Live updates, scores, stats, highlights
The Sporting News is tracking live updates and highlights from Klay Thompson's first game back after two years sidelined with injury. Follow the action here!941 days have passed since the Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson last played in an NBA game, going back to Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals.
4. Chris Paul, Suns
Which player is sitting at the top of the assists leaderboard? That would be "The Point God" himself, dishing out 10.0 helpers per game, his highest mark since the 2015-16 season with the Clippers.
He may no longer be in his athletic prime, but Paul is as reliable as ever for a Suns squad that is looking to reach the NBA Finals in back-to-back seasons.
5. Ja Morant, Grizzlies
Morant was just outside of the top 10 on The Sporting News' preseason rankings, so this may feel like too big of a leap.
But consider this: The former Rookie of the Year is currently posting career-highs in — deep breath — points, rebounds, steals, blocks, field goal percentage, 3-point percentage and free throw percentage. He has emerged as a legitimate MVP candidate, leading the Grizzlies into the top four of the Western Conference standings.
Oh, and he may have already locked up the Coolest Highlight award. (That's not a real thing, but it should be.)
6. Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers
Yikes. This has not been a fun season for Lillard, who could. He didn't look like himself before the Trail Blazers decided to put him on the bench, as he is scoring 24.0 points per game on inefficient shooting. (His 55.0 true shooting percentage would be the second-lowest figure of his career.)
How close is Ja Morant now to Derrick Rose during his MVP season?
The Ja Morant-Derrick Rose comparisons have started to get hotter as Morant has stepped up his play this season. It’s easy to see why. Statistics via Basketball-Reference as of 1/12/22
Should Lillard be lower on this list? Possibly, but we're giving him the benefit of the doubt because of his health issues and the overall dysfunction in Portland.
7. Jrue Holiday, Bucks
Hey, there's Holiday sliding under the radar again. The 31-year-old is chugging along to the tune of 18.4 points, 6.7 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game. After an ugly stretch of shooting early in the season, Holiday is up to 49.9 percent from the field and 38.2 percent on 3-pointers.
Fresh off an NBA championship, Holiday has continued to bring his two-way brilliance to the court and help Milwaukee keep pace with the East's elite.
8. LaMelo Ball, Hornets
Ball flashed his stellar court vision and offensive creativity as a rookie, but he has really elevated his shooting this season. He has seen jumps from the 3-point line (35.2 percent to 37.9 percent) and free throw line (75.8 percent to 87.3 percent). If those changes are real this early in his career, his ceiling needs to be pushed up even higher.
Yes, the defense is still a work in progress, but at just 20 years old, Ball has already entered the top-10 point guard discussion.
9. Fred VanVleet, Raptors
VanVleet is no longer just a great "Bet on Yourself" story. He is receiving All-Star consideration, and he definitely deserves it.
He is averaging career-highs in points, assists and rebounds, and he is shooting over 40 percent from deep on more than nine attempts per game. He has been his usual pesky self on defense, too. Let's give "Steady Freddy" some respect.
Splash Brothers Curry, Thompson lead Warriors past Pistons
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Klay Thompson found his shooting stroke and Warriors fans roared at every chance. Just like the old days. Thompson had 21 points, reigning scoring champ Stephen Curry added 18 and Golden State returned from a tough trip to beat the Detroit Pistons 102-86 on Tuesday night. “I had a great time tonight, wish I made a couple more shots, but I just had a great time, it was fun,” said Thompson, who knows he will continue to regain his rhythm in time. “I don’t care if I miss 100 shots in a row, I’m never going to stop shooting the ball. I love it too much and I work too hard not to.
10. Mike Conley, Jazz
No longer the "best player who has never made an All-Star team," Conley has been incredibly consistent for a Jazz team that is tailor-made to rack up wins during the regular season. He doesn't post eye-popping numbers, but he is the definition of a winning player. He rounds out the top 10.
NBA point guard rankings 2022: The best of the rest
11. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Thunder
12. Kyle Lowry, Heat
13. Russell Westbrook, Lakers
14. Malcolm Brogdon, Pacers
15. Kyrie Irving/Patty Mills, Nets
16. Dejounte Murray, Spurs
17. Lonzo Ball, Bulls
18. Darius Garland, Cavaliers
19. De'Aaron Fox, Kings
20. Marcus Smart, Celtics
21. Monte Morris, Nuggets
22. Tyrese Maxey, 76ers
23. Kemba Walker, Knicks
24. Reggie Jackson, Clippers
25. D'Angelo Russell, Timberwolves
26. Spencer Dinwiddie, Wizards
27. Kevin Porter Jr., Rockets
28. Devonte' Graham, Pelicans
29. Jalen Suggs, Magic
30. Killian Hayes, Pistons
Undermanned Pacers stun Curry, Warriors 121-117 in overtime .
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Golden State Warriors were frenzied, rushing shots and being careless with the basketball. It led to perhaps their worst loss this season to an Indiana team with a handful of injured stars watching in street clothes. Keifer Sykes hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:41 left in overtime and a layup the next possession, Chris Duarte scored 27 points and the undermanned Pacers beat Stephen Curry and the Warriors 121-117 on Thursday night. Golden State got one last chance with 6.4 seconds left after a jump ball and Klay Thompson checked in but couldn't get a shot off.