I need to make a few changes from last year’s Top ten players in the NBA.
10. Dirk Nowitzki: Dirk beats out Danny Granger because he’s been performing at a high level for more seasons. And also because he’s a better player. Granger is having a great year, but don’t be mesmerized by a player putting up great numbers for an awful team. Somebody has to score.
8 & 9. Paul Pierce & Kevin Garnett: They play huge in huge games. They also play huge in non-huge games. The Eastern Conference playoffs will be very interesting this year with Cleveland and Orlando getting better. It means that Pierce and Garnett will need to play huger.
7. Chris Bosh: Who would have thought that Toronto would be this bad and at the very bottom of the Atlantic Conference? Do you think that Bosh will be back in Toronto when his contract runs out? In related news, Jermaine O’Neal is making over $21 million this year.
6. Chris Paul: CP3 is the best point guard in the NBA and there’s no arguing that except if you are from Utah.
5. Dwight Howard: Dwight Howard is an absolute monster. Can you imagine if Orlando took Emeka Okafor with the number-one pick in 2004 and Howard went to Charlotte? Actually, it’s quite possible that Charlotte would have drafted Shaun Livingston. Anyway, Dwight Howard is an absolute monster.
4. Dwayne Wade: He was absolutely spectacular to watch during the Olympics this past summer and he hasn’t slowed down at all. I would love to see Wade face Lebron in the playoffs this year, because he is quite capable of out-shining the Cleveland phenom. It’s nice to have a healthy Dwayne Wade back in the NBA. There aren’t any flaws in his game. Well, besides 3-point shooting.
3. Tim Duncan: I always get hammered for putting Tim Duncan up so high in my top-ten lists, but I will continue to do so until he stops winning. All the new-age fans love the flashy, playground-style, highlight-reel players, but they don’t always win you games. However, Tim Duncan does. Who was more important to have on their team last year during Game 7 of the Spurs-Hornets game (in New Orleans)? Chris Paul or Tim Duncan? The answer was Tim Duncan.
2. Lebron James: As soon as Lebron wins his first NBA title be prepared for a run of about six in a row. Also be prepared for Lebron to jump up and sit on the rim this year. It’s very close to happening. If Lebron was in the slam dunk contest this year I would love to see him jump from the 3-point arc and dunk Nate Robinson. If Nate got stuck in the net, Pau Gasol and Rudy Fernandez could hit him with sticks like he was a pinata.
1. Kobe Bryant: We can debate about who is better between Kobe and Lebron until our faces turn blue or until Yao Ming plays a full season without getting injured. The reason I put Kobe at the number-one spot is that there is no other player in the NBA that I want shooting the ball with the game on the line more than him. Furthermore, Kobe has mastered the turnaround jumper, something that Lebron is still trying to perfect. Lebron might be able to jump out of the building and provide SportsCenter with endless highlight dunks, but there isn’t a better assassin in the NBA than Kobe Bryant.