In February I ranked who I felt were the best players in the NBA. We are almost half way through the NBA playoffs and I feel I need to address this again, because I would like to make some changes. It’s one thing to rank the players in the regular season, but the post season brings out the best of the best.
10 STEVE NASH (previous ranking, 10) What this guy brings every night to the Phoenix Suns is spectacular to watch. If the Suns didn’t play San Antonio in the first round, I believe we are still watching Phoenix flying up and down the court in the second round and Mike D’Antoni is still the coach of the Suns.
9 MANU GINOBILI (previous ranking, 6) Manu didn’t drop on my list because of anything he did, but more because of what Chris Paul, Deron Williams, and Kevin Garnett are currently doing. When Manu is playing at his best, the Spurs are nearly unbeatable. His energy and fearless attitude can’t be matched by anyone in this leauge. I’m sure any coach in this league would love to have Manu on their team.
8 YAO MING (previous ranking, 5) Yao was having another fantastic season for the Rockets, but a broken foot sidelined him again and left his team hanging by a T-Mac thread. If Yao was healthy for the playoffs, we might be watching the Rockets and not the Utah Jazz right now. I’m still a firm believer that a true big man is the most important piece to a basketball team.
7 DWIGHT HOWARD (previous ranking, 4) Superman dropped three spots because he was MIA in a couple playoff games this year against Detroit. Howard is getting better and in two to three years will be the best big man in the game.
6 KEVIN GARNETT (previous ranking, 9) The Big Ticket had a great regular season and is playing outstanding in the post season. I ranked him nine on my last list because he missed the playoffs the previous three seasons. However, he’s back and playing as impressive as ever.
4,5 CHRIS PAUL/DERON WILLIAMS (previous ranking, 10,10) These two point guards were drafted three (Deron) and four (Paul) in the 2005 NBA draft and both are well on their way in becoming the two best point guards in this league (if not already). I can’t rank either one over the other, because I feel both are amazing and spectacular. However, heads up, Deron has gotten the better of Paul. They play in very different offenses that both fit perfectly in.
3 LEBRON JAMES (previous ranking, 3) Wait until Lebron gets teammates that can actually play basketball. He has too many responsibilities playing with this core of players. Once he is surrounded with the right personnel there is no doubt in my mind a beast will be released and numerous NBA Championships will follow. D’Antoni will be waiting for him in New York once Bron’s contract is up.
2 KOBE BRYANT (previous ranking, 2) Kobe is awesome. Plain and simple, just completely awesome.
1 TIM DUNCAN (previous ranking, 1) The majority of coaches in this league would start by picking Tim Duncan and building a team around him.
Dropping off the list (but still great): Dwayne Wade (7), Carmello Anthony (8), Jason Kidd (10) & Baron Davis (10)
Honorable Mentions: Dirk Nowitzki, Carlos Boozer, David West, Rasheed Wallace, Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, Chauncey Billups, Tracy McGrady, Pau Gasol, and Chris Bosh.
UPDATE: Perry has updated his Top 10 players in the NBA. You can find his 2009 version here.