Denver Nuggets: Top Five Point Guards in Franchise History
The Denver Nuggets have had many great players over the years. Every avid basketball fan knows about players such as Alex English, Dikembe Mutombo, Kiki Vandeweghe, Allen Iverson, and of course, Carmelo Anthony. However, the point guard position seems to be one of the most overshadowed positions in the franchise’s history. With this in mind, we are going to count down the top five point guards in Nuggets’ franchise history. Without further ado, let’s begin the countdown.
Miller may not be a household name, but he was a steadying presence for the Denver Nuggets. In his two stints with the Nuggets, Miller put up 12 points per game to go along with 6.7 assists per game. Miller also boasts one assists title for his career (2001). He rarely made a bad decision and even had a streak of consecutive games played until Brian Shaw benched him for no reason. The man was as consistent as one could ask for and he was a true professional for the Denver Nuggets.
Abdul-Rauf had one of the wettest jump shots in NBA history. During his Denver tenure, he shot 35.4% from three-point territory coupled with 14.6 points per game. Abdul-Rauf was a part of the infamous 1994 team which became the first eight seed to upset a one seed in the postseason. The same team led by Dikembe Mutombo which defeated the Seattle SuperSonics.
He did not get much playoff time during his career, but he was still a key staple when he was on the floor. Abdul Rauf still averaged double figures in the playoffs at 13 points per game. Many Nuggets fans still consider Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf as not just one of the best three-point shooters in franchise history, but one of the best point guards in franchise history as well.
Nuggets PG#3: Allen Iverson
Iverson is a bit controversial due to the fact that he played a lot of shooting guard in his career as well. However, he played enough point guard during his time to make this list. Iverson’s short stint in Denver was impressive. During his three seasons with the Nuggets, Iverson would average 25.6 points per game, an impressive 7.1 assists per game, and even a three-point percentage of 34. 4%.
He helped the Nuggets maintain their postseason streak and actually meshed pretty well with Carmelo Anthony. At the time, people were concerned about the two sharing the floor together, but they proved they could co-exist together. Iverson didn’t spend much time in the Mile High, but he still cemented his place in the pantheon of great Denver point guards.
Billups was traded for Allen Iverson. While Allen Iverson was the better player, Billups proved to be a better fit for the Denver Nuggets. Billups brought a leadership quality to the team which was missing. He led the Nuggets to the 2009 Western Conference Finals and averaged 20.3 points per game during those playoffs.
Like Andre Miller, he had two different stints with the Nuggets, but it was his second stint where he really shined. One could make the case he could have gotten a second Finals MVP in 2009 to add to his resume if the Nuggets did not run into a Los Angeles Lakers team led by Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. Billups will always have a spot in Denver fans’ hearts, but there is one historic point guard who beats Billups out for the first spot by just an inch.
Fat Lever is one of the most overlooked stars in NBA history. He is in the top 10 on the career triple-double list and formed a dynamic duo with Alex English in the 1980s. During his stint with the Nuggets, Lever put up 17 points per game to go along with 6.2 assists per game. However, it is his defense that stands out among the pack.
Lever averaged 2.5 steals per game during his time in the mile high and even possessed a defensive differential of +2.2. He even made the All-Defensive Team in the 1987-88 season. Lever also spent three seasons in the top 20 in terms of defensive win shares. Not to mention, he achieved the majority of his triple-doubles in a Denver Nuggets uniform. While Chauncey Billups is the first legendary point guard to come to recent memory for the Nuggets franchise, Fat Lever was a key staple of Denver’s success in the 1980s. Due to all of this, Lever gets the honor of being considered the best point guard in Denver Nuggets franchise history.
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