The Sportz Nutt Examines The Top Players In The NBA

Share Button

As we approach the midway point of the NBA season, I look and I see not just some good teams in the league, but some amazing players. In fact, we have some historic season long performances here, that, if you have been ignoring the league, you have missed out. I honestly do not know though, who has been the league’s best player this year. There’s the eye test that gives me one player, there’s the box score that gives me two others, and then there’s a dark horse. Let’s examine this, shall we?

Russell Westbrook: 30.9 PPG, 10.5 APG, 10.4 RPG, 1.3 SPG

Of all of the players on this list, he is the one player that has the weakest supporting cast around him. With nobody clutch to play with, he is forced to make plays on his own. Not your typical point guard, he drives to the net, creates opportunities and dishes to open teammates because he is getting double and triple teamed. Not only that, he is getting rebounds too. Some say he is stuffing the stat sheet, but I disagree. Despite being turnover prone, he is making the most of his opportunity to show the league (and Durant) that HE was the whole damn show. Recording a triple double is hard enough in and of itself, but imagine averaging that over the course of multiple games (or a complete season). Historic.

James Harden: 28.4 PPG, 11.9 APG, 8.2 RPG, 1.4 SPG

Moving over to the PG position has been natural for Harden who has thrived under new coach D’Antoni. He has turned it up defensively and been a complete player on both sides of the court. Much like his former teammate Westbrook, he is turnover prone, but he isn’t afraid to drive to the hoop, or pass the ball. He may not average a triple double like Westbrook, but he is making the players around him better than Westbrook, helping the Rockets win games and compete for a playoff spot. And when he does post triple doubles, he does so historically, becoming the first player in NBA history to score 50+ while also recording 15+ assists and rebounds. Incredible.

LeBron James: 25.6 PPG, 8.6 APG, 7.8 RPG, 1.4 SPG

He’s my eye test candidate, as when you watch him, he is clearly on a platform all on his own. He’s fast, smart, aggressive and opportunistic. He knows what’s going to happen before it even happens and has made his Cavs look even better than they were last season. He does, also, have the best supporting cast around him. Kyrie Irving looks almost elite, Kevin Love has gotten to know the team and system better, and the rest of the team is gelling together. Despite his teammates though, the team is 0-3 this season without him in the lineup and 26-4 when he plays. He’s a five tool player that can play any position and succeed with varying degrees.

Giannis Antetokounmpo: 23.8 PPG, 5.9 APG, 9.0 RPG, 1.9 SPG, 1.9 BPG

If you don’t know the Greek Freak, it’s not too late to get to know the next big thing in basketball. Take a look at those numbers and try to figure out what position he plays. He’s 14th in scoring, so is he a SG? Perhaps, but he’s also in the top 20 in assists, ahead of Curry and Kemba Walker, so maybe he’s a PG! Not quite, because he is 17th in rebounds and 6th in steals and 6th in blocks. So, is he a forward? Yes and no. Oh, did I mention that he is 6’11” as well? He is all over the place on the court and a beast wherever he plays. Give him sometime to prove to the world that he is the real deal, as he’s only 22 years old. Need more proof? His Bucks are in 6th in the East WITHOUT their starting SG. Perhaps not the BEST player in basketball, but he can make his case all day long.

When it all boils down to it, I think that Westbrook has been the best player this season. He’s done the most with the least, but I wouldn’t argue with anyone else listed above.

And there you have it.