The Final Lap. Thanks for the reads! Here's the NBA Rankings 10-1!!!
10. Tim Duncan- It's tough not to put Tim Duncan in the top 10 for many reasons. One, he's boring AND old. That's never a good combo. Duncan cannot defend power forwards anymore either. The best thing about Duncan? He's doing his damage even though he's slowing down a little bit. Last season, Duncan averaged 18- 10 and 1.5 for San Antonio while logging 31.3mpg ( the lowest in his career). Duncan has made everything possible for San Antonio last year. Had Duncan missed any amount of time last season- San Antonio would have missed the playoffs.
Is it fair to say Duncan is old and might drop into the 11-20 range next season? Yes. Might Duncan have another consistent season and keep his spot in the top 10? I wouldn't be surprised.
9. Dirk Nowitzki- Dirk is seen as potentially a overrated/underrated candidate. He's not a great rebounder for his size ( 7.7 rebounds per game last season) and defensively? Meh. He's underrated because he's been the #1 guy for Dallas for years and ALWAYS steps up in the playoffs. Dirk is one of four players with career playoff averages of 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Some people say Dirk cannot be a number one on a title team where I totally disagree. Unlike some other players- Dirk actually steps up in the playoffs by leaps and bounds. Other then the 2005-2006 Finals season, Dirk was missing that robin next to him. Micheal Finley and Steve Nash weren't the guys and Caron Butler and Shawn Marion aren't those guys either. With Dallas' expiring contracts, Dallas should look for someone to play next to Dallas.
8. Deron Williams- Williams finally did 2 things for me. A) He played in his first playoff game and B) He stepped up in the playoffs. When first planning out the top 20, I didn't know where Williams would fit. Would he be a top 10 player was more of the debate. Deron has a killer crossover, he's a strong defender and is a top playmaker in the NBA. What's I'm interested is how he will use Al Jefferson. Jefferson isn't as mobile as Carlos Boozer is. Paul Milsap isn't a ideal pick and roll partner either. Can Williams and Jerry Sloan use the flex offense to benefit? Time will tell.
I'm willing to go on the record in saying when Milsap, Jefferson, AK47 AND Okur are all healthy: Utah might be contending for a #1 seed in the West . I went back and forth on the Chris Paul- Deron Williams debate. When I look at some old games ( Thanks NBATV) of Williams' playoff games in 2009 and 2007, Williams was dominant. We will see how close Paul and Williams are on this lise.
7. Chris Paul- Yes, Chris Paul just a smudge over Deron Williams. I think it got to that point in this debate. The only reason I lean Paul over Williams is because when Paul had his team around him and they were healthy: Paul averaged 21.1 points, 4.0 rebounds, 11.6 assists and 2.7 steals. That's one of the best NBA seasons from a point guard in NBA history. What did Paul do the next season? 22.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, 11.0 assists and 2.8 steals. That means in a 2 year span, Paul put up 2 of the best seasons we ever seen from a point guard NOT named Magic.
Last season, Paul only played 45 games but he looked to have another great all around season when he played: 18.7 points, 10.7 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 2.1 steals. Paul has the lean for me over Williams. Now Paul had a couple " I'm the only guy playing hard" injuries and had he played 82 games, I think New Orleans would have been dangerous in the playoffs.
6. Carmelo Anthony- My Favorite player in the NBA today. I fell in love with his game when he played at Syracuse and watched almost all 82 games his rookie season. I also remember for the 2-3 year period, Carmelo was the " I wish he got it" guy. Fighting in New York, Suspensions, DUI's and more, Melo clearly needed guidance. Add in a Chauncey Billups and that fact he got the love on the national stage ( All Star Game MVP in 2006) and Carmelo has become a better overall player.
Carmelo has developed everything in his game. He's become a stronger rebounder, a more deadly scorer and even a even better leader. My only question is this upcoming season: What lies ahead for Carmelo? I think Denver is probably the 4th best team in their division behind Oklahoma City, Portland and Utah. Carmelo has to make the choice of either staying in Denver and probably never getting to that Championship.
If the NBA settles this lockout issue before the 2011 season, I think Carmelo should move East. EVERYONE compares Melo to Bernard King, just like King, How many people in the East could guard Melo? In the East, Carmelo could play some 3 and 4 and be a mismatch almost every night.
5. Dwight Howard- The most dominant big man in the NBA clocks in at number 5. Alot could be said about Howard: He's the biggest defensive presence in the NBA (career average- 2.1 blocks per game) , he's a fantastic rebounder ( career 9.1 defensive rebounds per game) and has the small jumphook in his game. Around the basket, Howard is always efficient ( Career 60% from the field) He's mobile and is always active in the low post. With all that Howard does, he allows Orlando to play Rashard Lewis at the PF.
However, There are a couple issues in Howard's game. He's a terrible free throw shooter ( Career 60% FT) Howard is 6 seasons in and has not developed the low post game he needs. Bringing in Patrick Ewing had little to NO impact on his low post game. Now in 2010, Howard decides to bring in Hakeem Olajuwon after 6 years of terrible post play on offense. Another problem: Howard has not shown that he's the lead guy. In 2008, the Magic made the Finals but that was matchup problems Cleveland had guarding Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis. When they made it to the Finals...Howard has problems scoring against Gasol and Bynum and they would wear his down or just draw fouls to get him off the court.
The Upside in all this? He's just gonna be 25 years old.
4. Kevin Durant- In all honesty, this is probably a little too high for young superstar. Durant is only 3 years in but is he top 5 worthy? In a sense..Yes. In Durant's first season, he played the shooting guard position and clearly looked out of place. Durant looked out of place trying to attack from the wing and defending them made him look bad but yet, Durant averaged 20.3 points and 4.4 rebounds and won rookie of the year.
2 years later, Durant is possibly sitting on top of the world. With the help of Russell Westbrook, Jeff Green, Serge Ibaka and Thabo Sefolosha- Durant led OKC to the playoffs and lead the NBA in points with 30.1 points per game ( becoming the youngest player to ever lead the league in scoring). Where do we go with Durant? Last season, he also averaged 7.6 rebounds per game and he's deadly to defend. He could shoot over you or slash to the basket. His offensive game is just smooth.
I think Durant and Oklahoma City will make a steady climb within the West.
3. Dwyane Wade- Wade could be second on this list. He was the first player to ever be in the top 16 in points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals for a season. He's always been a playoff performer and does it all.
Wade also played with THE worst supporting cast since 2008. Micheal Beasley, Carlos Arroyo? DeQuan Cook? Jermaine O' Neal? Little to no help there. Yet, Wade let his team to the playoffs in back to back years AND posted crazy numbers (29-5-5 in 2008 and 33-5-7 in 2009). Overall, the addition of Bosh and James will lower his numbers but Wade should be good enough to remain a top 5 player.
2. Kobe Bryant- Earned his 5th ring this past season, showing NO signs of slowing down either. Overall, Kobe Bryant is the total package for the Lakers. He's already a top 10 player all time hands down and another championship could lock him into the top 5. One of the most clutch players as well. I believe he had 4 game winners last season off the top of my head and just has that want to dominate and make all the tough decisions on the court.
I don't think he's that all defender we remember. He can do it in spurts but not 7 times in a 7 game series. He's also a smarter scorer. Kobe can't go for 40 like he used to but he's still going to give you dominate performances. His playoff numbers were a little inflated due to the fact Jason Richardson and Grant Hill could not guard him in the Phoenix series. His Game 7 vs Boston was terrible ( He had the 3rd best game out of all the lakers) to some people even though they got the win. Some fans even argued Pau Gasol should have gotten the Finals MVP. I think Kobe earned it.
I doubt Kobe will slow down anytime soon and it's fair to say he shouldn't be ranked this low but I have to argue for my #1 player now.
1. LeBron James- You Surprised?
Don't be- Unlike most people, LeBron has my respect and I'm not letting his interview cloud my opinion. All the Things LeBron do on the court makes him the best player in my eyes. Let's look at it like this: If you removed LeBron, how many wins would you predict for Miami? 45? 50? Add LeBron to Miami and the potential of a 70 win season is right there. LeBron won 66 games without players like Wade or Bosh around him.
Not only that, LeBron could play 2 roles for this Miami team next season. He could be the power forward for a small ball lineup and the Magic Johnson role. Most likely, James should be a starting SF for the team next season.
I also seen people eliminate LeBron from the MVP race when in fact- It might have gotten even stronger. We all know LeBron could score BUT what about his assists numbers. With D-Wade and Bosh PLUS knockdown shooters like Mike Miller, Eddie House and James Jones? He could average 10-12 assists as well as 20-22 points next season.
Not to Mention- LeBron steps it UP in the playoffs. LeBron averaged 29-9-7 in 2009 and kept Cleveland in the playoffs with that Game 3 performance against Boston. The Game 5 performance is the one everyone harps on because to some, he quit. The Game 6 vs Boston- He had a terrible shooting night.
Between Kobe and LeBron- It's not what Kobe doesn't do but LeBron does in my eyes.
Hope you enjoyed the Top 50 rankings and be on the lookout for the season previews and predictions!
i like that you put lebron first..he really is an amazing player, but his only problem is that so far he hasnt won anything in his 7 year career
i think howard should be ahead of durant, until durant proves otherwise. that is because howard is much more dominant(already got to the finals) while durant barely(8th seed) made the playoffs once
i also think paul and williams should be ahead of carmelo, putting carmelo at #8. that's because carmelo isn't the clear cut leader of his team(billups) and i'm not sure how far he would get without him, while williams is the clear leader and paul is really the anchor of his team, that unexpectedly managed to get the #2 seed in the west back in 2008
I think that fair about Howard and Durant.
True about Melo too.
The only thing i dislike, is Curry didn't even get a HM, I consider him better than Jennings.
I still think Kobe is the best player, for the same reason you said Lebron is better than Kobe. We'll see how Lebron does after he gets to the point to where he can't rely on his athleticism to be one of the best. It's all a matter of opinion though, so I'm not upset about it
Curry is not better then Jennings. Curry is a great scorer and all that but I think if you switch the two, Milwaukee wouldn't have gotten to the playoffs.
Jennings will have a breakout year this year. It's hard to tell if Curry's stats are legit or if they are the result of the offensive run-n-gun system he plays in
Curry is better re-bounder, stealer, and passer than Jennings in addition to Scoring, the only thing Jennings does better is, on ball defense. Its not Curry's fault he plays for the Warriors, with Monta Ellis one of the biggest hogs of the NBA.
Yeah I'm not gonna lie, I like Jennings over Curry too. I think Jennings is a better pure playmaker and scorer. Curry is a better shooter and honestly that's where it ends IMO. I truly believe if you switched Jennings to GSW, he would've hovered around 20 ppg and closer to 7 apg and would've been more efficient than he was last year with Milwaukee. And as Q said, Curry wouldn't have gotten Milwaukee to the playoffs.
Curry is better re-bounder, stealer, and passer than Jennings in addition to Scoring, the only thing Jennings does better is, on ball defense.
Uhhhh.....Other then scoring and rebounding- Jennings is better then Curry in everything you just named.
Curry is NOT the passer Jennings is. Curry would have not gotten Milwaukee to the playoffs last season.
Iggy 9, what do you think about the rankings?
they had almost flip flop seasons. Jennings came out on fire and looked like a future all star but finished weak. Curry looked okay early but finished really strong once golden state wasnt playing for anything. If i had to pick one for the future i would go with jennings although i do believe curry had the slightly better rookie year.
if i were to rank these 10, it would be:
I thought they were strong. I won't criticize anyone for an opinionated and time-consuming thing like this unless it's something real glaring, so I like it. I have some disagreements here and there, but it's your post so I let you have your own opinion.
if you go stat wise Curry averaged more assist than Jennings, more points, more rebounds, more steals and better shooting %, yes Jennings go the Bucks to the Playoffs, but hey even Steve Nash, would not have gotten that team to the playoffs.
Yep, but then again Curry did play in Nellie's system.
Curry did most of that in the 2nd half after teams give up even playing Golden State and rested for the playoffs. Also, Ellis got hurt and missed some time ( I think he played like 67 games) so Curry got chances to score.
Plus Jennings had Andrew Bogut, John Salmons to work the ball to.
Curry had who?
Nash wouldn't have gotten GSW to the playoffs, no doubt about it. That would've taken the Sweet Lord above to get the Warriors to the playoffs last year. But he would've put up better all-around stats than Curry did. I think Jennings would have too if put in the same situation.
Curry is good, and I doubted him as a prospect coming out. He's already proven me wrong by his rookie year, and even though he had a stronger statistical season than Jennings, alot of that was in the part of the season where the Warriors gave up on the season and gave the team more freedom. The same thing happened to a bunch of rookies. Jennings was playing on a playoff team and was in a more structured environment, and still had a very strong year that rivaled that of Curry's. That tells me something. I think Jennings will have a breakout season next year too.
I would put Howard 4th.
Jennings would of won Rookie of the Year playing for Golden State theres no doubt in my mind. He would of averaged atleast 2 more points possibly up to 3 or 4 more points playing Nellie Ball but more importantly he would of averaged around 8 assists a game which may seem high for a rookie but no in Nellie Ball. Jennings is an infinity times better play maker then Curry. Curry however is one of my favorite young players in the league and he is gonna be a menace from behind the arc in this league for the next 15 years.
Any list that doesn't have Kobe as number 1 is null and void.
Any list that doesn't have Kobe as number 1 is null and void.
That's your opinion....Which to me is null in void.
I hate to nickpick, but Carmelo Anthony did not win the All-Star MVP in 2006. In fact, Carmelo did not even play in the 2006 All-Star Game. Please review basketball-reference.com for historical/statistical data.
I was off a season....relax.
Carmelo was in the 2007 All Star Game
To repost something from an earlier thread of mine:
1. Kobe Bryant ( The best player in the game today with the most to show for it.)
2. Lebron James ( Rivals Kobe in skill but his attitude has yet to catch up.)
3. Dwyane Wade ( I do not think there is much argument here.)
4. Dwight Howard ( The best center in the game today, so dominate on both ends.)
5. Chris Paul ( People forget that when healthy there is not a single thing he is not great at.)
6. Carmello Anthony ( Super skilled at two positions but still lives in Lebrons shadow.)
7. Kevin Durant ( Great scorer, leader, descent defender, needs to repeat last year to rise IMO.)
8. Deron Williams ( CP3’s injuries allowed people to focus on just how good Deron is.)
9. Dirk Nowitzki ( Elite competitor who desperately needs a ring to solidify him in NBA history.)
10. Pau Gasol
Also, I would take Curry before I would take Jennings if given the choice. People act like Jennings would have put up incredible scoring stats on GS but neglect to realize that Jennings had that same opportunity on the Bucks. In fact Jennings averaged more shot attempts per game than Curry did, although unlike Curry he only made 37% of them, which is terrible. I also do not think Curry is really that far behind Jennings in passing ability having watched them play many times at the end of the season last year. I would call rebounding a wash even though Curry had more, I would say that is just do to higher possession amounts playing in GS, and I think their defense is very comparable. I think people underestimate Curry's leadership abilities and potential just like I think people tend to overstate Jennings current skill level.
What do you mean LeBron doesn't have the attitude to match with Kobe?
Curry is not a playmaker like Jennings is. Curry would not have been a the leader Jennings was for the Bucks.
I have never seen Kobe back down from anything on the court, he is almost always focused on what needs to be done and finding the best way to do it. Lebron IMO lacks that killer instinct; he has yet to show the ability to constantly take over a game vs. a really tough opponent and, even when you think you have the game, steal it from you with his unrelenting effort.
Also, I know that everyone thinks that Jennings has this amazing playmaking ability that somehow trumps just about everyone in the NBA, but as long as that is a skill that is almost impossible to consistently define and measure I will refuse to use that as the only reason as to why a player is obviously better than another.
Also, there is no possible way you would ever know whether or not Curry would have been better or worse on the Bucks, so please stop using an "if" situation as an argument.
That's my issue.
People say LBJ Lacks the Killer instinct yet I cannot remember one game where he had the game close and made a terrible play to cost them the game. I don't think he lacks it. He never really gets a chance to show it.
Kobe can have a bad game in LA, LeBron couldn't have a bad game when he played in Cleveland.
but as long as that is a skill that is almost impossible to consistently define and measure I will refuse to use that as the only reason as to why a player is obviously better than another.
While that might be true, I was not referring to bad plays from Lebron, simply that I have yet to see him make that truly spectacular play when it really counted. Who knows, maybe this year Lebron will prove me wrong, but for now I still think Kobe is at # one and no lower.
I understand people talking about how good a playmaker a player is, but using that as the base of an argument is quite dicey IMO because it is not something that you can measure and is also very subjective, especially when there are a lot of people who have not seen either of them play very much due to the fact that they were rookies.
While that might be true, I was not referring to bad plays from Lebron, simply that I have yet to see him make that truly spectacular play when it really counted.
I have seen a few, but nothing that I would not expect from a good player at some point in their career, and nothing that comes even close to the level of difficulty and amount that I have seen from Kobe.
I think you're underrating what a playmaker is. It's actually EASY to see who are good playmakers and who aren't. It's not assits numbers, it's overall team play.
Eh, I'm still on the side of- When LeBron was in Cleveland, Everyone knew he had to take the last shot. In LA, We've seen Gasol make game winners. It tough to make a game winner or even be in position to hit one with 3 defenders on you.
By that argument Mike Bibby would be a great playmaker, which he never was, just because the 2002 Kings played so well together as a team. You could put a lot of PG's in the NBA on a team who they would complement well and that team would play better together than before, but how well a team does or plays is no measure of play making abilities...
Gasol has made game winners off of offensive rebounds, but I do not think I have seen them regularly go to him when they could have gone to Kobe. I do not think there was any more pressure on Lebron, defense wise, than there was on Kobe. You cannot seriously think that guys did not rotate to Kobe as soon as he went into some sort of shooting or driving motion, or that Lebron would not have passed the ball to a wide open teammate if he was triple teamed.
Wrong, the 2002 Kings were a special team. Webber, Bibby and Divac were all decent playmakers. You add those 3 to decent shooters ( Peja, Hedo, B.Jackson) and you have success.
I am still not sure what you are using to classify someone as a good playmaker; you are not using their assist numbers, but rather how well their team did, is that what you mean?
bibby was probably the like the 4th best passer on that kings team in 2002. Christie, divac, webber all created for teammates more then bibby. It was really an excellent spot for bibby since all he had to do was come off screens and knock down shots. Just jumping in here and not sure why we are discussing bibby though.
I guess we were not really discussing Bibby, I was trying to ascertain what Mr.Knick believes constitutes a player to be classified as either a good playmaker or a better playmaker than someone else.
Yes, Bibby was not a good playmaker.
You compare Jennings to Curry- Jennings is the better playmaker. If you want to dumb it down- Jennings is a better passer and is better at making his teammates better. Watching the Bucks in the 2nd half of the season, Jennings actually helped players like Moute, Illusova and Delfino by creating baskets for them in a slower offense ( which is tough to do)
Curry did well in the 2nd half but he did it in a faster offense and even then, alot of his passes were bad passes or rushed passes that caused turnovers.
Umm, I do not see a huge difference in turnovers between Curry and Jennings. Curry averaged 3 a game and Jennings averaged 2.4 a game, but that is probably for the same reason that Curry averaged more assists, because he had more possesions playing for GS. Also, you say that "Jennings is a better passer and is better at making his teammates better" but once again, those qualities are extremly subjective and there is no way to prove it either way. Who knows if curry would have done better, or even if Jennings was not playing if players like Moute, Illusova, and Delfino would have done even better.
Considering Curry had 3 turnovers per game when most of his PT was after the all star break: That's not good. At least Jennings started day one and averaged 2.4 turnovers.
Also, I guess you don't watch the games
if you don't know what a good playmaker is: I don't know what to tell you. That's a you problem. Most people can tell who's the quarterback of the offense is or even the leader ( whatever term you want to use) on the court is. I'm pretty sure almost EVERYONE on this site know what a playmaker is. Watching 50 plus games of both- Jennings made his teammates better, got them the ball in scoring opportunities and during a playoff push: played better and even helped Andrew Bogut get to another level last season.
I know your a Curry guy but you cannot deny Jennings made that team better.
I was not denying he made his team better, simply that you keep saying that Jennings is a better play maker, and therefore a better player, and there is nothing tangible you can point to other then saying "Also, I guess you don't watch the games. If you don't know what a good playmaker is: I don't know what to tell you." As if watching the games, which I did, somehow lets you divine who is a better playmaker, even though you cannot define why. I know that Jennings did many good things last season, but I think it is ridiculous to infer that Curry would not have been able to do them as well.
P.S. "Considering Curry had 3 turnovers per game when most of his PT was after the all star break: That's not good. At least Jennings started day one and averaged 2.4 turnovers." You can use this same logic on Curry's assist numbers, and it makes him look good...
Yea he did that team, better, I have Jennings ever since he skipped out on college.
I'm surprised he didn't have Gasol in the top 10 since he's better than Duncan now clearly.
If you think Stephen Curry is a better pure playmaker than Brandon Jennings and makes teammates better than, you either didn't watch the Bucks play last year or you don't have a true understanding of what it means to make players better. Jennings clearly better in that regard.
I have a hard time believing Curry would've put up better numbers than Jennings or make the Bucks better as Jennings did for Milwaukee. I also believe Jennings would've put up better numbers than Curry in the Warriors offense.
I would not say either one of them is clearly a better "playmaker", if I had to give one of them a slight edge, I would give it to Jennings just because I feel he was in a better situation last year, in terms of having players to pass to and rely on constantly throughout the year. Curry never even had a chance to settle in before someone would get hit by a falling anvil or get their pubes caught in a mo-ped wheel. Not only that but he had to deal with a coach who seems to despise rookies, until he realized how good the kid is. Jennings had a much more dependable system that pretty much gave him the reins from day one and said "Here, we don’t know what to do... Can you help us?".
I'm still kinda baffled at the "I was not referring to bad plays from Lebron, simply that I have yet to see him make that truly spectacular play when it really counted" Orlando buzzer beating 3 in the ECF, maybe? That was kinda big if you ask me. You do make good points, but playmaking is a skill that you can tell who is better if the margin is wide enough. Personally I believe Jennings has that wide of a margin, but hey I'm a Bucks fan, quite possibly biased.
the fan: Thank you for a quality well thought-out post that while still disagreeing manages to concede that the other person still has at least a well thought thesis. I do agree that Lebron has hit some really key shots, the one you mentioned was the main event that came to my mind, but I would expect just about every player who is in my top ten to be able to still hit shots comparable to that one. I want to see not only more shots like that from James, but also more success in the playoffs before I move him ahead of Kobe IMO. I was really impressed by Jennings play last year, having watched him play more towards the end of the year, but I also was really impressed with Curry's play and I feel that many people underrate his abilities to do things other than score. I think they are both very good players and the fact that I would take Curry over Jennings is just my opinion, just as it is yours that you would take Jennings.
I'll take Mello over Dwight Howard.
Howard against Bynum/Gasol did very lil.
He can dominate Big Z, Varajeo but against real defenders what does he do agains the Celtics he was very avg. till the series was 3-0 and 52% at the free throw line in the playoffs thats a joke.
Not to mention him missing 2 free throws against the Lakers cost them a game in the Finals.
Sorry but the game on the line you want Mello or Dwight Howard with the ball in his hands.
Mello can hit tough shots against guys like Lebron but Howard better hope he has an open dunk or else your in trouble.
Also you can switch Dirk and Durant, yeah Durant is a better defender.
Still until he does it in the playoffs he's not better than Dirk who shot 55% against the Spurs not his fault they lost.
Also why is Chris Paul better than Dirk he hasn't done much in the playoffs.
Actually his last series he had 5 to's a game and Billups outplayed him.
Deron Williams he's at least his some big shots just keeps getting stop playing the Lakers.
Kobe only reason I have him as #2 is he doesn't pass, rebound, create as much for teammates as Lebron.
This is ranking who's the best player not who you want the ball with the game on the line.