BY REDCHAIR; Sports Editor
The season has been going long enough that the rust should all be knocked off and the best players of the league should be the ones who have emerged ahead of the pack with the best stat lines and best team records. Although the best players in the league constantly fluctuate on the list of great players we are going to do the top 10 players in the NBA this season currently.
1. 1. LeBron James – 29.7 PPG, 7.3 APG, 8.3 RPG, 2.07 STPG (15 Games)
a. Heat – 11-5 Record
LeBron is arguably the most athletically gifted player in the NBA. He can score, distribute, and rebound. I actually feel he plays better without Wade. He has missed a few games with injuries and gets the label of being a bad closer but who needs to be a closer if you win games by 10 points anyways? He’s still a stud.
2. 2. Kobe Bryant – 30.5 PPG, 5.6 APG, 5.7 RPG, 1.28 STPG (18 Games)
a. Lakers – 10-8 Record
The Lakers team is aging and even last season in the finals Kobe looked to be past his prime. Kobe must have noticed and felt it as well. He has come out this season and looked great. He’s leading the league in points and he’s managed to get his team tied in his division even with the Bynum suspension starting the season, having poor guard play and Gasol slowing down. I would have put him #1 but record matters and LeBron helps his team more.
3. 3. Dwight Howard- 20.2 PPG, 16.1 RPG, 2.3 BLKPG, 1.40 STPG (15 Games)
a. Magic – 11-4 Record
Howard is a beast. If he could only make his free throws he’d be averaging 25 points a game and stand out more. He leads the league in rebounds, fifth in blocks, and leads all big men in steals as well. He is definitely all first team when it comes to his defense and he’s a great offensive presence. His team is off to a great start as well and if he really doesn’t want to be there he’s not showing it.
4. 4. Derrick Rose – 20.8 PPG, 8.7 APG, 3.5 RPG, 0.92 STPG (13 Games)
a. Bulls – 15-3 Record
As I stated before this list can fluctuate quite a bit during the season and Rose could easily bounce upwards but right now I put him at #4. He has missed some time lately with his ankle injury. As expected the Bulls are the top team in the eastern conference and that counts for something. Averaging almost 21 points and 9 assists as a point guard is amazing.
5. 5. Chris Paul – 18.0 PPG, 8.4 APG, 3.0 RPG, 2.78 STPG (9 Games)
a. Clippers – 9-5 Record
The argument on Rose follows for Chris Paul as well. He has suffered injuries lately but averaging 18 points, 8.4 assists and leading the league in steals per game is amazing. He has been a great change in the Clippers records and has lead them to first place in their division. In only a short time with the team he makes the players on their team better and will continue to with the more games played together.
6. 6. Kevin Durant – 26.1 PPG, 3.3 APG, 7.4 RPG, 1.19 (16 Games)
a. Thunder 13-3 Record
First place in the west and he’s actually not leading the league in scoring for once. #6 seems like a good spot for Durant though. He has added new shots and post moves to his arsenal making him even more deadly. Add in his quick trigger and being able to shoot it from half court Durant can post 40 point games out of nowhere and we all wouldn’t be surprised. His defense and rebounding has improved as well so far this season.
7. 7. Kevin Love – 24.1 PPG, 14.1 RPG, 0.6 BLKPG, 1.00 STPG (16 Games)
a. Timberwolves 7-9 Record
Love & Rubio have made the Timberwolves watchable. When I looked at Love’s stat line I was a little bit shocked and that’s why I picked him as #7. He’s a machine on the boards and he can now hit the three pointers. That’s impressive for a guy who plays the 4-spot. He trimmed down a little bit and appeared to be quicker. For a team that’s not supposed to compete he has the team around a .500 record.
8. 8. Russell Westbrook – 20.6 PPG, 5.6 APG, 4.9 RPG, 1.75 STPG (16 Games)
a. Thunder 13-3 Record
Anybody that knows me knows I like Westbrook. He’s not the typical point guard that’s going to lead the league in assists but he will be in the top ten when it comes to rebounds and steals at his position. He’s a scorer who is learning the position of distributor. He will be in the top five when it comes to points at the position though for sure. His team is also first in the western conference and not all the credit belongs to Durant.
9. 9. Dwyane Wade – 19.6 PPG, 5.4 APG, 4.3 RPG, 2.00 STPG (9 Games)
a. Heat – 11-5 Record
I started writing this article and had Wade higher. I know he’s a special talent but he has been injured lately and the team has continued to win without him. I also took a look at his stat line and noticed it was very similar to Westbrook’s except Westbrook can’t play the scorer. It’s also hard to not hold it against him that he has two all-stars on his team to separate the floor and draw attention. To be fair Wade could easily be top three any given week when he comes back from injury.
10 10. LaMarcus Aldridge – 23.3 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 0.8 BLKPG 1.31 STPG (16 Games)
a. Blazers – 9-7 Record
The Blazers started off the season hot. Aldridge is a huge reason why. He’s one of those players who is incredible talented and incredibly overlooked. If he’s not an all-star this year I will be upset. He’s tied sixth in points per game. This #10 spot was hard to decide but if no one else is going to give Aldridge respect I will be the one to give him some.
Key Close Calls: Dirk Nowitzki, Deron Williams,