3 Detroit Pistons ranked among NBA’s 25 greatest point guards

Detroit Pistons shooting guard Chauncey Billups (1): Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons shooting guard Chauncey Billups (1): Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports /

Three Detroit Pistons made a list of the 25 greatest point guards in NBA history as posted by Clutch Points. You probably won’t be surprised by the names on the list. You might, however, be surprised by the order.

Chauncey Billups, Dave Bing, and Isiah Thomas all made the list.

Mr. Big Shot came in at 22, ahead of Rajon Rondo (23), Deron Williams (24), and Dennis Johnson (25). DJ was an exceptional point guard who won finals MVP in Seattle and helped Larry Bird and Company to the Finals four years in a row, winning two. Transitioning from a scorer to more of a facilitator and all-around playmaker, he was, in fact, the piece the Celtics needed to get past Philadelphia.

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Rondo was another great Celtic whose defense and passing helped Boston’s second Big Three to the finals twice and the podium once. Rondo playing with a dislocated elbow in a playoff win against Miami in 2011 was all heart.

Today, debating who would be better between Chris Paul or Deron Williams feels a little like debating over Prince and Michael Jackson. Time makes fools of us all.

It’s a compliment for Chauncey to be listed above these two Celtics greats. Billups grew into one of the greatest leaders in basketball, and he led his teams wherever he went. In Detroit, he led the Pistons to a championship, winning a finals MVP along the way. While I respect his being slotted above Dennis Johnson in particular, I would’ve placed both DJ and Billups higher than they were listed.

3 Detroit Pistons named among the 25 greatest point guards in NBA history

Dave Bing came in at #17. An amazing scorer, especially for a point guard of his era, the man played almost blind. If that isn’t true brilliance, he also became a successful businessman and Mayor of Detroit. Unfortunately, Bing’s personal accomplishments outpaced his team success, and the players on the list after him are the best of the best.

Isiah Thomas was named the third greatest point guard in NBA history, behind only Magic Johnson (2) and Steph Curry (1). Thomas came in one slot ahead of Oscar Robertson, Mr. Triple-Double. That’s mighty rare company.

These are the moments where lists like this fall apart. It’s almost impossible to compare players whose styles were so different. At times, it feels as though we only make these lists to have something to talk about. And why not? We’re fans, and it’s fun.

As a Detroit Pistons fan, would I place Isiah Thomas above Oscar Robertson? Well…maybe. At least I’d listen to both sides of the argument.

The list places Thomas above Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, and Steve Nash. To be fair, Thomas won two championships playing against Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, and Magic Johnson. His individual statistics show his brilliance, and he led the league in assists. Anyone who has ever watched games from that era of Pistons basketball know he was the leader of the Bad Boys, and he put his body on the line every night.

Isiah Thomas was a consummate competitor and surely the greatest point guard in Pistons’ history. Where he stands in NBA history is still up for debate.

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