Player Top 10, Day 5: Centers

Welcome to the final day of my player top 10’s. I will be looking at Centers today, and I hope you like the list!

#10- Kevin Garnett- BOS

Kevin Garnett surprised me last year because I wasn’t sold that he could play center. He is a fantastic defender and passer in traffic, but I was worrying that his skinner frame would be a problem. He ended p averaging 16 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, and a block last season and helped the Celtics reach the Eastern Conference Finals. He has a couple years left in the tank to get one more championship.

#9- Roy Hibbert- IND

Roy Hibbert had a great season in 2011-12. He averaged 13 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 blocks and was a force in the playoffs. He helped the Indiana Pacers push LeBron and  the Heat to 6 games in the Eastern Conference Semis. Hopefully he can keep up his production next season.

#8- Andrew Bogut- GSW

Andrew Bogut is a great player, but unfortunately his had the injury bug last year. Warriors fans should be excited that they finally have an inside presence. When healthy, Bogut is possibly a top 5 center and he has averaged 13 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 blocks for his career. His a legitimate defender who instantly makes the Warriors defense much better.

#7- Al Horford- ATL

Al Horford is another guy who was injured for much of last season. He came back for the playoffs, but Atlanta just couldn’t get the job done. Horford would be a better power forward, but Atlanta has been forced to use him as a 5. He will have a big bounce back season if he can stay healthy.

#6- Marc Gasol- MEM

Marc Gasol is the primary reason Memphis is a successful team. He is their anchor on defense and he is there primary low post scorer. I can’t wait to see where his game will be in 2 or 3 years because there is nowhere to go but up for the 2nd Gasol brother.

#5- Tim Duncan- SAS

The Big Fundamental was the big surprise of last season for me because he was a beast. He averaged 15 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 blocks. He was also the 2nd best defensive center behind Tyson Chandler. He continues to lead San Antonio to the playoffs. I doubt this future hall of famer gets another title, but it would crazy to see him get one.

#4- Tyson Chandler- NYK

Tyson Chandler is the best defender in the league. His toughness set a tone for his entire team and he improves the overall defense of a team drastically. He was also one of the few player to average a double-double last season and he will get better this season for New York.

#3- Al Jefferson- UTA

I may get some hate for putting Big Al here, but oh well. He is way underrated last season. He led the Jazz in points (19.2) and rebounds (9.6). He was a beast in the paint last year as well as an above average defender. Hopefully, he will get more national recognition this season because he is a great player to watch.

#2- Andrew Bynum- PHI

It will be interesting to see how much Philadelphia improves now that Andrew Bynum has come to town. He is a 19 and 12 guy who is great on both ends of the floor. He and Spencer Hawes will form a very good front-court duo.

#1- Dwight Howard- LAL

Wow, DH12 is a Laker… Crap. Everyone is in store for a world of hurt now that Dwight is on the same team as Kobe, Pau, and Nash. Anything less than a title is a failure for him and the Lakers. It will be interesting to see if Dwight can get healthy as well as how he will play with all the star power that the Lakers have.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed my player rankings! Comment, if you agree or not.

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Player Top 10, Day 4: Power Forwards

Day 4! Here is my list for the Top 10 Power Forwards in the NBA:

#10- Dirk Nowitzki- DAL

Dirk struggled early last season, but he dominated the playoffs. He averaged 23 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists for the season including the playoffs. The reason why I have Dirk at #10 is because his rebounding and assist numbers were down, and his scoring is the only thing that excites me about his game. The Mavs are a borderline playoff team this year and I don’t think Dirk can carry that team all season.

#9- Paul Milsap- UTA

Paul Millsap is a guy who is very underrated around the league. Nt many people know that he averaged 17 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and a block last season. He is also one of the top 4 or 5 defensive power forwards in the league. He is in line for a big pay day next July when he becomes a free agents.

#8- Chris Bosh- MIA

Chris Bosh had a very down year last season. He was a 18 and 8 player who was injured at the end of the regular season and for a big portion of the playoffs. He will jump up this list with a healthier and better statistical season in 2012-13. Heard he may be playing center for the Heat now, which worries me a bit because he is skinny. He could suffer on the defensive end.

#7- DeMarcus Cosuins- SAC

Many people think the DeMarcus Cousins is a center, but it always seems like he is defending 4’s, so I ranked him with the Power Forwards. He is a ridiculously talented guy who is going to be a star. He averaged 18pts-11rbs-2asts-2stls-1blk, one of the only players to average a double-double last season. The Kings need to figure their arena business because this guy wants to play in a place where he can be a star.

#6- David Lee- GSW

David Lee is another underrated guy around the league. A lot of people hate on his defense, but the man is a player. He averaged 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 assists last season and he is going to be a consistent beast for a long time. People will respect him more when the Warriors start winning.

#5- Pau Gasol- LAL

Pau Gasol has been slowly declining with age, but he is still a top 5 guy. The Lakers are better across the board, so he doesn’t have to do as much as he has. Dwight is going to open things up for Pau and he will have another solid year where he might be earning another NBA title.

#4- Josh Smith- ATL

Josh Smith is one of the top 5 or 6 defenders in the entire league. He is really long and uses that length to block shots. He averaged 19 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, an 2 blocks last season. He is an extremely versatile player who is a beast on both ends of the floor.

#3- Amare Stoudemire- NYK

Amare needs to figure some things out in New York. The chemistry with him and Melo needs to get hammered out. But with Jason Kidd dishing him the ball, he should have a great bounce back season. He well get back to the 25 and 10 machine he has been for most of his career.

#2- Blake Griffin- LAC

Blake Griffin is easily the most exciting player in the NBA. Everyone loves watching his earth shaking dunks. But his knees are a problem, he was injured again this off-season and his health is a big question mark going into training camp. Hopefully, he can get back on the court soon, so that he can continue giving us sweet highlight dunks.

#1- Kevin Love- MIN

Kevin Love is a double-double machine, and just look at his numbers: 26 points and 13 rebounds. Damn, every team would love to have their power forward getting those numbers. The Timberwolves look poised for a playoff appearance, and K Love is going to lead them there.

Check out the last day of my player rankings tomorrow where I give my list of Top 10 Centers!

Player Top 10, Day 3: Small Forwards

Here we are on Day 3 of my Player Ranking Week! Enjoy my list of the top 10 NBA Small Forwards.

#10- Luol Deng-CHI

Luol Deng is a first and foremost, a great defender. He has guard the top small forwards in the league consistently and make it a hard night for the guys on this list who play against him. Deng is also solid from around the 3-point line and has a very nice mid-range game. He rebounds well for a small forward, grabbing around 7 boards a game last season and playoffs. There were some trade rumors surrounding him around the draft, but nothing happened and he should have big season.

#9- Ersan Ilyasova-MIL

I am well aware that Ilyasova played mostly power forward last season, but with Dalembert, Udoh, Henson, Gooden, Przybilla, and Sanders already clogging up the big man rotation in Milwaukee, Ersan will be playing small forward for the next few years. He is a tough defender and fantastic rebounder who had a big season averaging 13 points and 9 boards. With Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis dishing the ball to him, he is looking to have another big season.

#8- Gerald Wallace-BRK

Gerald Wallace is a defensive beast, he can block shots and he defends the opposing team’s best offensive player night in and night out. He is also an underrated passer who averaged 3 assists a game last season. I think the he was largely overpaid this off season by Brooklyn, but it is hard to find a guy that can average 13pts,7boards,3asts,and 1blk, as well as play killer defense.  Brooklyn’s starters are scary this year.

#7- Danilo Galinari-DEN

I think that this ranking may be too high for Galinari, but as a Golden State guy, I love guys who can shoot you out of the gym. Danilo can do that, but unfortunately he had rough last season. Danilo missed 35% of the games last season and never got into a rhythm. I think he will have a big year if he can stay on the court.

#6- Rudy Gay-MEM

One thing about these position rankings is this top 6 is clearly better than the other on the list, and it starts here with Ruy Gay. Gay averaged 19pts, 6boards, and 2 assists last season and he is always a threat to throw down a highlight reel dunk on you. He rebounded very well from an injury plagued season in 2010-11 with a year where he appeared in 65 of the 66 games. Look for more from Gay this year with the Grizzles back in the hunt.

#5- Paul Pierce-BOS

Father time may not be looking to kindly on Paul Pierce, but there no other player in the league has the heart and love for playing basketball like Paul Pierce. In my opinion, he is one of the top 5 clutch shooters of all-time because you know if the Celtic are down 1 or 2 with a few seconds to go, Paul Pierce wants the ball and always delivers. The Celtics have revamped their roster and look very good going into the season. Pierce and KG have 1 or 2 more year left in the tank to go after another title.

#4- Danny Granger-IND

I hate to love Danny Granger because he is one of the biggest assholes in the league. He is always in someone’s face or talking too much trash (Example: East Semis vs Miami). With that said, the man can play. He averaged 19pts, 5boards, 2asts, and played great defense. He also was leader for that young Pacer team that gave Miami a run for their money. Look for bigger things from Granger this season.

#3- Carmelo Anthony-NYK

Melo is definitely the root of some chemistry issues for the Knicks, but he one the best scorer in the NBA. He averaged 23 points per game last season, while grabbing 6 boards and 4 assists. The Knicks don’t need Linsanity when they have Melo and Amare ready to take games over. If Melo can improve his defense and work out his chemistry issues with his teammates, the Knicks will be a title contender this season.

#2- Kevin Durant-OKC

Kevin Durant showed in Olympics that he and LeBron are just in a league of their own. Kevin Durant is the best scorer in the league and he is becoming of the best defense players as well. There are no holes in his game and his 28pts, 8board, 4ast, 1blk, and 1stl numbers from last season back it up. He is league’s 2nd best player behind the man sitting at the #1 spot on this list.

#1- LeBron James-MIA

Well well well, look who we have here… LeBron. LeBron James is the best player in the NBA, as well as the world. He is scary good in every aspect of the game. Here are his numbers for last season including the playoffs: 95 games played, 29 points- 9 rebounds- 6 assists- 2 steals, and 1 block per game. The man is a beast and he is hungry for more rings. There is no debate around the league that LeBron is the best SF and the best player. It will be interesting however to see if the Heat will transition him to the power forward position because there have been rumors they will be doing that this season. We will have to wait and see if he will win “not 2, not 3, not 4, not 5, not 6…” championships as he so famously proclaimed when joining Miami.

Thanks for reading! Come back tomorrow for Day 4,  Power Forwards!

Player Top 10, Day 2: Shooting Guards

It’s Day 2, and now it is time to look at Shooting Guards!

#10- Jason Terry-DAL

Jason Terry has been a great scorer off the bench for a long time, and now he is bringing his talents to the bench of the Boston Celtics. The book has been out on him for while, JET is a great scorer, solid defender, and clutch shooter. Terry is the first of the bench brigade on this top 10 list.

#9- Paul George-IND

Paul George had a breakout year last season and looks to be one of the up-and-coming stars in this league at the 2 spot. He is long and plays great defense as well as being a good shooter. He can create his own shot and get to the basket with ease.

#8- Eric Gordon-NOR

Eric Gordon is a great scorer and an elite shooter, but my knock on him comes at the defensive end. He needs to work on his on ball defense. If he can improve on the defensive end this season, he will shoot up this list quickly.

#7- Manu Ginobili-SAS

Manu is aging fast, but he is still a fantastic defender and a great scorer. He has one of the highest basketball IQs in the NBA and is most definitely deserving of this ranking. San Antonio will continue to succeed because of guys like Manu.

#6- James Harden-OKC

This is the last member of the bench brigade on this list. James Harden is the best scorer off  the bench and he is a pesky defensive player. His defense isn’t elite, but his offense covers the issue of defense. Harden gets to the basket with ease and can come up big in the clutch. I think Harden will become one of the best in the league when he finally gets a chance to start in a year or two.

#5- Andre Igoudala-DEN

I know that Igoudala has been a small forward for most of his career, but in Denver, he will be playing the shooting guard. Igoudala is the whole package. He can score, rebound, pass, and play defense. He is going to help Denver take the next step in becoming a top contender in the West.

#4- Joe Johnson-BRK

Joe Johnson is a great scorer, shooter, and defender. He is going to be part of one of the top 2 or 3 backcourts in the league now that he is with Deron Williams in Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Nets have a great group of starters and Joe is going to help that team become a top contender in the East.

#3- Monta Ellis-MIL

I watched Monta for years in Golden State, where is was consistently ignored by the league. No one would recognize that he is one of the best in the business. He can score at will, dish the ball, and create turnovers. Over the past 5 years, he has consistently been at the top of the league in scoring and steals as well as had the highest assist average amongst 2 guards. Monta is in the prime of his career and will work well with Brandon Jennings in Milwaukee.

#2- Dwyane Wade-MIA

D Wade has taken a back up role to LeBron in Miami, but he is still putting up crazy numbers. There is no mystery about what D Wade brings to the table: Great Scoring, Solid Defense, Good Ball handling, and a killer instinct in the clutch. D Wade is a beast.

#1- Kobe Bryant-LAL

Kobe, 5 Rings, 2 Final MVPs, 1 MVP, 14 All-Star Selections, 9 NBA 1st Team All-Defense, 10 1st Team All-NBA, 2 Scoring titles, and a Slam Dunk in 1997. He is an all-time great, and I believe he still has 3 or 4 years left in the tank. I think he will get at least one more title that will tie him with MJ. It will be an intriguing year now that he has DH12 and Nash as teammates because I think Kobe will need to take a step back for it to work.

 

Stay tuned for Day 3: Small Forwards tomorrow!!!

 

Player Top 10, Day 1: Point Guard

Over the next 5 days, I will be ranking the top 10 players at every position.

Today I am starting with Point Guards:

#10: Stephen Curry- GSW

Last season was tough for Steph who had a banged up ankle for much of the year, but when healthy, he is a 18ppg-4rpg-6apg-2spg guy that is a pesky and scrappy defender. I think that if he stays healthy this season he will earn and improve on this ranking and lead the Warriors to the playoffs.

#9: Kyle Lowry-TOR

Kyle Lowry is a great young point guard that I think has been placed into a great situation in Toronto. He has DeMar DeRozan, Landry Fields, Terrance Ross, and Andrea Bargnani to dish the ball to as well as a great back up in Jose Calderon.

#8: Ty Lawson-DEN

I love Ty Lawson’s game and I think he is way under appreciated around the league. He is a good floor general, great scorer, and solid defender. He is also a guy who is in a great situation with Denver now that Andre Igoudala has been added to the roster. Lawson will show his abilities to the world come playoff time.

#7: Tony Parker-SAS

Tony Parker was a big part of the success that San Antonio had last season while Manu Ginobili was hurt. He stepped big time and showed that he can still be considered an elite point guard. He is getting older, and with a lot of up-and-coming point guards, I think that Tony Parker will be lower on this list after this season. I am not saying he will be worse, just that others will pass him up.

#6- Russell Westbrook-OKC

There is no denying Russell Westbrook’s skills after leading OKC to the NBA Finals last season. He is probably the fastest man in the league, and possibly the strongest and most powerful point guard right now. My only knock on him is that his assist numbers could be a bit better. I would love to see him get around 8.5-10 apg. If he can get there, he would be #1 or 2 on this list for sure.

#5- Steve Nash-LAL

Steve Nash is a beast. He is still averaging 10-11 assists this late in his career, which is ridiculous. The one thing that concerns me about Steve Nash this year is his new teammate Kobe. Kobe is a ball hog, everyone knows it, and it has been the one question mark for the Lakers now that they have assembled a super team. Can Kobe stand to have ball in his hands less and allow Nash to be the main ball handler for the Lakers? We will find out.

#4- Deron Williams-BRK

Deron Williams is a great point guard that I feel has gone under the radar since being traded to what is now Brooklyn Nets. He is one of the best passers and defenders at the point guard spot, as well as an elite scorer who has the ability to take a game over. I think he will only improve now that he is surrounded by Joe Johnson and a hopefully healthy Brook Lopez.

#3- Derrick Rose-CHI

Man are the Bulls really going to miss this guy for the 1st half of the season. Seeing him tear his ACL in the playoffs was a big bummer because to me, the Bulls would have really given the Heat a run for their money. DRose makes the Bulls tick right, and without him for a large portion of the season, the Bulls may not even make the playoffs. Not one player outside LeBron means more to the success of their team than Derrick Rose.

#2- Chris Paul-LAC

Chris Paul is definitely one of the best. He consistently averages better than 16 and 10, and is always their for his team in the clutch. He is the perfect guard for the “Lob City” offense, and is going to get paid big time next summer. Many people believe him to be the #1 PG, but I have him slightly in 2nd.

#1- Rajon Rondo-BOS

Rajon Rondo is the best point guard in the NBA, hands down. He is always grabbing a double-double, always a threat for a triple-double, an elite defender, and the best rebounding point guard in the league. The knock on him is his scoring ability, but I disagree. I think he showed us in last year’s playoffs that he is the best. He has come out publicly and said that he thinks that he is the best in the game, and I agree.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post where I will be ranking the NBA’s Best Shooing Guards!