Isaiah Thomas gives his list of the top ball handlers in the NBA


The talent level at the point guard position is at an all-time high right now. When you look at every top team in the NBA they all have one thing in common, and that’s an elite point guard.  They can do it all: shoot the three, distribute the ball, and breakdown their defender to get to the rim.

What some of these guards do better than others is handle the ball. Being able to get your defender off balance is a pure craft and something that fans all across the globe love to watch. One of the League’s most underrated guards, Isaiah Thomas contributed to the Player’s Tribune where he gave very detailed insight on his top ball-handlers. Thomas’s list goes as follows:

Jamal Crawford
Rowan, Kavner/

6.) Isaiah Thomas (He couldn’t make a list without including himself.)

5.) James Harden

4.) Kyrie Irving

3.) Chris Paul

2.) Stephen Curry

1.) Jamal Crawford (Could be some Seattle bias lol)

Isaiah Thomas really provided great detail on his list and why he chose each player. Even though I agree with most of it, my order of 5 players would differ a little from Isaiah’s.

5.) Tyreke Evans

Tyreke Evans
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Evans is a guy that often gets left out of the ball-handlers conversation. I’ve seen much of his highlights and this guy can get down with the best of them. Although he hasn’t lived up to the hype that followed his rookie of the year season, his ball handling ability is quite underrated.

A few highlights of Evans’s ball handling ability. We haven’t seen much of this from him in the NBA but he has the talent to do it. 

4.) Chris Paul

Chris Paul

CP3 is a wizard with the ball and a true maestro at the pick and roll. This is one guy that can get whatever he wants on the offensive end of the ball. He’s not very flashy like the top 3 at my list but he’s smart with the ball and has the craftiness to do what he wants.

Chris Paul’s top 10 crossovers from the 2014-2015 season.

3.) Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry
Getty Images

I struggled with the order of my top 3 because they could go in any order but I chose to put Curry at the three spot. He’s very fun to watch and one of the most exciting players we have in the League today. We’ve never seen someone that can dribble and shoot like Curry and that’s what makes him so astonishing. If you’re not impressed with his dribbling, just watch his warm-ups.

Kids watch and learn. Steph Curry’s warm-up dribbling routine. 

2.) Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford
Jamal Crawford #11 of the Los Angeles Clippers handles the ball against the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center on April 12, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

This guy has to be near the top of everyone’s ball-handler list and if he’s not, you haven’t seen enough highlights. The number of defenders that he’s made drop to the floor are numerous. Crawford has been one of the best at successfully bringing his streetball talent to the NBA. His instincts and reactions to defenders are incredible, which is why he’s so hard to stop.

This is probably my favorite Jamal Crawford highlight of all time. He makes Wes Matthews look crazy. 

1.) Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving
Gary Dineen/Getty Images

I must say, I was surprised to see Kyrie so low on Thomas’s list. I feel that at the moment, he is undoubtedly the best ball-handler in the League today. He’s so hard to stay in front of and when you watch how he dribbles the ball, it seriously looks like he has the ball on a string. Irving can get through many cracks and holes in the defense and what makes him excel even more is his ability to finish at the rim. I truly believe that he is unguardable and the best ball-handler in the NBA today.

A compilation of Kyrie’s moves from the 2014-2015 season.


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