Saturday, November 10, 2007

2007-2008: NBA's Top 10 players (Updated)

List based on skill sets, completeness as a player, and value to team.

1) Kobe Bryant: Kobe is doing it all. He is on his way to winning his 1st NBA MVP award, he has his team on top of the most competitive conference in NBA history, and is doing it without even breaking a sweat. Did I mention he is playing through a torn ligament and broken bone in his shooting hand?

2) Lebron James: It is easy to forget that Lebron James is only 23 years old. Arguably the most physically gifted player in the NBA, James managed to take his Cavs all the way to the NBA finals. Despite of his post-season success and international stardom however, James possesses many basketball deficiencies as a player. He is still only a 69% free throw shooter and has a reputation of choking in crunch-time. Lebron's Impact on the game is huge and he preforms consistently night in and night out for his team.

Chris Paul: What can we say about Chris Paul that hasn't already been said? This guy has one of the highest basketball IQ's, making him the best 'anticipator' in this league. He has also replaced Allen Iverson as the best ball-handler in the league. Paul is just so poised and mature at this young stage of his career, he is truly a coaches dream. He is putting up remarkable numbers and has his team among the top in the toughest conference in NBA History.

4) Kevin Garnett:
Kevin Garnett was the second-best player in the NBA for the past few years. Despite Garnett's struggles in Minnesota, his amazing skills, accentuated with his exuberant passion and insatiable hunger makes him the most dominant force in the Eastern Conference.

5) Dwight Howard: As I predicted, Dwight has led his team to the top of the Southeast Division. After winning up the Slam Dunk Contest, Dwight is on his way to winning the rebounding title, averaging a monstrous 21 ppg and 15 rpg.

Tim Duncan: Duncan has fallen off his game substantially. In fact, I have argued that Ginobili and Parker are more important to the teams success than he is. That being said, Tim Duncan will continue to provide his Spurs with his usual leadership and solid numbers. His poor man-to-man defense and his weak free-throw shooting are the only deficiencies in his game.

Yao Ming: How do you stop a 7 foot 6, 320 pound center, who is amazingly one of the best shooters in the entire NBA? You don't. The only thing stopping Yao Ming from dominating the entire league is his conditioning. When Yao gets that down - look out. Unfortunately, Yao has gone down with another leg injury. Its a tragic setback for one of the great personalities of his game.

8) Deron Williams: The Sky is the limit for Deron Williams. His amazing leadership, his flawless work-ethic, and amazing decisions on the court ensures his place among the game's elite. Williams is the second best shooting PG in the league after Steve Nash, and he will likely be in the Hall of Fame when it is all said and done.

Dirk Nowitski: Despite his reputation as a choker, Dirk is a top 10 player in this league. His jumper is virtually unstoppable when hes on, and he averages down double-digits in rebounds to go along with it.

10) Manu Ginobili: Manu has been the 2nd best SG in the NBA for a while now. He can do it all, and if he wasn't so unselfish, there is no doubt in my mind that he could average 27+ ppg in this league.