August 5, 2012

Ranking NBA Players: Top 25 in the Game Today

#6 LeBron James, SF, Heat (Left) | #35 Kevin Durant, SF, Thunder (Right)


When it comes to ranking the best players in the NBA, there are always some interesting debates. Whether it's to who is number one, or just in the top 10 in general, cases can be made for many players. Here, I rank the top 25 players in the game today. Let me know what you think (who's too high, who's too low, etc.)

PG | SG | SF | PF | C



1. LeBron James, Miami Heat
Height: 6-8 | Weight: 250 lbs.
Age: 27 | Experience: 9 Years


2011-12 Season Averages:
27.1 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 6.2 APG, 1.9 SPG, 3.4 TOPG, (53% FG), (36% 3PT)

Career Averages:
27.6 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 6.9 APG, 1.7 SPG, 3.3 TOPG, (48% FG), (33% 3PT)


Analysis: LeBron James has been the best "talent" in the NBA for several years now, and with a Championship under his belt, he should now be acknowledged as the best player in the NBA

He has always been a very consistent regular season player, and his numbers will back that up. He has that excellent blend of size, strength, and elite athleticism that makes him almost unstoppable. On the defensive end, he is spectacular, and he doesn't seem to lose intensity on this end.

You can still make a case for players like Kobe and Durant as the league's best player, but I believe the torch was unofficially passed to LeBron.






2. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
Height: 6-6 | Weight: 205 lbs.
Age: 33 | Experience: 16 Years


2011-12 Season Averages:
27.9 PPG, 4.6 APG, 5.4 RPG, 1.2 SPG, 3.5 TOPG, (43% FG), (30% 3PT)

Career Averages:
25.4 PPG, 4.7 APG, 5.3 RPG, 1.5 SPG, 3.0 TOPG, (45% FG), (34% 3PT)


Analysis: Kobe over Durant? Yes. You still have to respect the fact that Kobe is a 5 time NBA champion, and is still one of the top 3 closers in the NBA.

Kobe Bryant is still one of the top defenders at his position, and offensively, he can still score at will (even though he may have lost half a step). And let's not forget about his ability to close.

At this stage in his career, Kobe needs more help, and he'll get that this year with Steve Nash. Until he shows that he can't close or score anymore, he'll remain a top 5 player.








3. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
Height: 6-10 | Weight: 235 lbs.
Age: 23 | Experience: 5 Years


2011-12 Season Averages:
28.0 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 3.5 APG, 1.3 SPG, 3.8 TOPG, (50% FG), (39% 3PT)

Career Averages:
26.3 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 2.8 APG, 1.2 SPG, 3.1 TOPG, (47% FG), (36% 3PT)


Analysis: Kevin Durant is arguably best scorer in the NBA, and just ranks behind LeBron and Kobe as the third best player in the league.

Durant averaged a career high in rebounds this season,and he continues to improve his game. He may be the most clutch player in the NBA, as he is seemingly fearless on the court. He is pretty much impossible to stop when he is on, but just imagine how tough he'll be to defend once he gets stronger.










4. Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 220 lbs.
Age: 30 | Experience: 9 Years


2011-12 Season Averages:
22.1 PPG, 4.6 APG, 4.8 RPG, 1.7 SPG, 2.6 TOPG, (50% FG), (27% 3PT)

Career Averages:
25.2 PPG, 6.2 APG, 5.0 RPG, 1.8 SPG, 3.5 TOPG, (49% FG), (29% 3PT)


Analysis: Injuries has been slowing Dwyane Wade down as of late, but he is still one of the top 5 players in the league. He has two rings, and many people like to forget about his ability to close out big games as well.

He can get to the rim as well as anyone in the NBA, and he absolutely gets after it on the defensive end. Whether it's rebounding, forcing turnovers, or blocking shots, Wade makes his impact felt on the defensive end as well as the offensive end.










5. Dwight Howard, Los Angeles Lakers
Height: 6-11 | Weight: 265 lbs.
Age: 26 | Experience: 8 Years


2011-12 Season Averages:
20.6 PPG, 14.5 RPG, 1.9 APG, 2.1 BPG, 3.2 TOPG, (57% FG), (49% FT)

Career Averages:
18.4 PPG, 12.9 RPG, 1.5 APG, 2.2 BPG, 3.1 TOPG, (58% FG), (59% FT)


Analysis: Dwight Howard is the most dominant big man in the game. He is arguably the best defensive player in the NBA, but still can improve on the offensive end.

Dwight Howard is one of the superstars in the league that needs to get a ring pretty soon to truly be considered a top 2-3 player in the league. Averaging 21 and 15 last year, Howard is a very consistent player, but seems to disappear in big time games.

He may be heavily criticized for his maturity, but on the court, he is a man amongst boys, and a top 5 player in the league.








6. Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
Height: 6-3 | Weight: 190 lbs.
Age: 23 | Experience: 4 Years


2011-12 Season Averages:
21.8 PPG, 7.9 APG, 3.4 RPG, 0.9 SPG, 3.1 TOPG, (44% FG), (31% 3PT)

Career Averages:
21.0 PPG, 6.8 APG, 3.9 RPG, 0.9 SPG, 2.9 TOPG, (46% FG), (31% 3PT)


Analysis: Derrick Rose is on his way to becoming a top 5 player in the NBA. Based on his talent, he is definitely a top 3 player.

He may not be the best pure point guard in the league, but he is one of the best at his position. An elite scorer and former MVP, he can completely take over a game with his ability to score the basketball, and he continues to improve as a shooter. He has also become a very good distributor of the ball.

Rose will likely miss a good portion of the 2012-13 season, but when he returns, expect him to return to form fairly early, and continue on his pace to become a top 3-5 player in the NBA.







7. Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers
Height: 6-0 | Weight: 175 lbs.
Age: 27 | Experience: 7 Years


2011-12 Season Averages:
19.8 PPG, 9.1 APG, 3.6 RPG, 2.5 SPG, 2.1 TOPG, (48% FG), (37% 3PT)

Career Averages:
18.8 PPG, 9.8 APG, 4.4 RPG, 2.4 SPG, 2.5 TOPG, (47% FG), (36% 3PT)


Analysis: Chris Paul is an elite point guard. He is a leader, a floor general, and one of the top 10 players in this league.

It's hard to think of a reason why he isn't the best point guard in the league. He is one of the quickest players in the NBA, and his ability to score the ball in many ways as well as his play making skills make him tough to guard. He makes his teammates better, and he is a very effective defender.











8. Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks
Height: 7-0 | Weight: 245 lbs.
Age: 34 | Experience: 14 Years


2011-12 Season Averages:
21.6 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 2.2 APG, 0.5 BPG, 1.9 TOPG, (46% FG), (37% 3PT)

Career Averages:
22.9 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 2.6 APG, 1.0 BPG, 1.9 TOPG, (48% FG), (38% 3PT)


Analysis: Dirk is one of the most versatile scorers in the NBA, and is still putting up good numbers at 34 years old.

His rebound numbers were down this season, but he has one of the best all-around offensive games, and can be relied upon to take and make the big shot. Until he shows signs of wearing down, he is a top 10 player.












9. Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves
Height: 6-10 | Weight: 260 lbs.
Age: 23 | Experience: 4 Years


2011-12 Season Averages:
26.0 PPG, 13.3 RPG, 2.0 APG, 0.5 BPG, 2.3 TOPG, (45% FG), (37% 3PT)

Career Averages:
17.3 PPG, 12.0 RPG, 1.9 APG, 0.5 BPG, 1.9 TOPG, (46% FG), (37% 3PT)


Analysis: Kevin Love is starting to prove that he may be the best power forward in the league. He can still get better on the defensive end, but he is the most productive power forward in the NBA.

Over the past two seasons he has averaged 23 points and 14 rebounds per game, even expanded his range to beyond the 3 point line. He is very tough to defend, and he'll only get better. Look for him to possibly lead the T-Wolves to a playoff season.










10. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
Height: 6-3 | Weight: 187 lbs.
Age: 23 | Experience: 4 Years


2011-12 Season Averages:
23.6 PPG, 5.5 APG, 4.6 RPG, 1.7 SPG, 3.6 TOPG, (46% FG), (32% 3PT)

Career Averages:
19.0 PPG, 6.8 APG, 4.7 RPG, 1.6 SPG, 3.5 TOPG, (43% FG), (29% 3PT)


Analysis: As a point guard, he still has some growing to do. As a talent, Russell Westbrook is top 10.

He was so important in Oklahoma City's championship run this past season, and he improved a lot as a shooter. His mid-range game is much improved, and he is hard to stop in transition. As his game grows, he'll move up this list.












11. Deron Williams, Brooklyn Nets
Height: 6-3 | Weight: 209 lbs.
Age: 28 | Experience: 7 Years


2011-12 Season Averages:
21.0 PPG, 8.7 APG, 3.3 RPG, 1.2 SPG, 4.0 TOPG, (41% FG), (34% 3PT)

Career Averages:
17.6 PPG, 9.2 APG, 3.3 RPG, 1.1 SPG, 3.2 TOPG, (46% FG), (35% 3PT)


Analysis: Deron Williams is arguably the best point guard in the NBA, and one of the best scorers in the league in general.

Not only can he score 20 a night, he is one of the best distributors in the NBA, and can average double-digit assists. You can make a case for D-Will being a top 8 player.













12. Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks
Height: 6-8 | Weight: 230 lbs.
Age: 28 | Experience: 9 Years


2011-12 Season Averages:
22.6 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 3.6 APG, 1.1 SPG, 2.6 TOPG, (43% FG), (36% 3PT)

Career Averages:
24.7 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 3.1 APG, 1.1 SPG, 3.0 TOPG, (46% FG), (32% 3PT)


Analysis: Carmelo Anthony is one of the top 3 scorers in the game, and a guy I want to take the last shot.

Offensively, he is one of the most complete players in the NBA, and can really light it up. The only reason why he is probably not a top 10 player, is because of his defense. Honestly, his effort was much better this season, and he really improved defensively.

If Melo can prove to be a good defender on a consistent basis, coupled with his amazing offensive game, he'd be considered a top 5 player.








13. Andrew Bynum, Philadelphia 76ers
Height: 7-0 | Weight: 285 lbs.
Age: 24 | Experience: 7 Years


2011-12 Season Averages:
18.7 PPG, 11.8 RPG, 1.4 APG, 1.9 BPG, 2.5 TOPG, (56% FG), (69% FT)

Career Averages:
11.7 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 1.2 APG, 1.6 BPG, 1.6 TOPG, (57% FG), (69% FT)


Analysis: Andrew Bynum still has some maturing to do, but once he does that, he could be considered the best center in the league.

He is the best offensive center in the league, and is the second best player at his position. Last year, he was probably better than the 13th best player in the NBA, and he was able to prove it because he was finally healthy.











14. Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics
Height: 6-1 | Weight: 186 lbs.
Age: 26 | Experience: 6 Years


2011-12 Season Averages:
11.9 PPG, 11.7 APG, 4.9 RPG, 1.8 SPG, 3.6 TOPG, (45% FG), (24% 3PT)

Career Averages:
10.8 PPG, 8.1 APG, 4.4 RPG, 1.9 SPG, 2.7 TOPG, (48% FG), (24% 3PT)


Analysis: Rondo is the best passer in the NBA, and he is a tough as they come. His strong personality can be a problem at times, but he runs the point guard position as well as anyone in the league.

The gripe about Rondo is that he is a poor offensive player, but he doesn't have to be for Boston. With Ray Allen gone, and KG and Pierce getting older, he'll have to take on a more defined scoring role.










15. Pau Gasol, Los Angeles Lakers
Height: 7-0 | Weight: 250 lbs.
Age: 31 | Experience: 11 Years


2011-12 Season Averages:
17.4 PPG, 10.4 RPG, 3.7 APG, 1.4 BPG, 2.2 TOPG, (50% FG), (78% FT)

Career Averages:
18.7 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 3.2 APG, 1.7 BPG, 2.3 TOPG, (52% FG), (75% FT)


Analysis: Paul Gasol has been labeled "soft" on numerous occasions. He is the most skilled big man in the NBA, and averages 19 and 9 for his career.

He had a down season with the Lakers, but with Steve Nash coming to town, he'll get more touches this season, and hopefully will embrace the "clutch" moments.












16. LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers
Height: 6-11 | Weight: 240 lbs.
Age: 26 | Experience: 6 Years


2011-12 Season Averages:
21.7 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 2.4 APG, 0.8 BPG, 2.0 TOPG, (51% FG), (81% FT)

Career Averages:
17.8 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 1.8 APG, 1.0 BPG, 1.5 TOPG, (50% FG), (78% FT)


Analysis: Aldridge has improved each season in the NBA, and was rewarded with his first All-Star appearance. Offensively, he is very skilled, and he has an excellent face-up game.

He is still pretty underrated compared to some of the other guys at his position, but Aldridge will soon get the credit he deserves.













17. Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs
Height: 6-2 | Weight: 185 lbs.
Age: 30 | Experience: 11 Years


2011-12 Season Averages:
18.3 PPG, 7.7 APG, 2.9 RPG, 1.0 SPG, 2.5 TOPG, (48% FG), (23% 3PT)

Career Averages:
16.8 PPG, 5.9 APG, 3.0 RPG, 1.0 SPG, 2.5 TOPG, (49% FG), (31% 3PT)


Analysis: Another point guard with excellent quickness, Tony Parker is a very good point guard. He didn't shoot the ball well from deep last year, but he still had his best year this past season.

Parker can be a threat to score 25 a night, and he averaged a career best 7.7 assists per game last year. It's hard to argue that he isn't a top 20 player.












18. Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers
Height: 6-10 | Weight: 251 lbs.
Age: 23 | Experience: 2 Years


2011-12 Season Averages:
20.7 PPG, 10.9 RPG, 3.2 APG, 0.7 BPG, 2.3 TOPG, (55% FG), (52% FT)

Career Averages:
21.7 PPG, 11.5 RPG, 3.5 APG, 0.6 BPG, 2.5 TOPG, (52% FG), (59% FT)


Analysis: Griffin is one of the best young power forwards in the league. He has elite athleticism, and is a human highlight reel.

He rebounds the ball very well, and he is one of the best young players in the league. He does need to expand his offensive game, and when he does that, he'll be considered a top 10 player in this league.












19. Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics
Height: 6-7 | Weight: 235 lbs.
Age: 34 | Experience: 14 Years


2011-12 Season Averages:
19.4 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 4.5 APG, 1.1 SPG, 2.8 TOPG, (44% FG), (37% 3PT)

Career Averages:
22.0 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 3.8 APG, 1.5 SPG, 2.9 TOPG, (45% FG), (37% 3PT)


Analysis: "The Truth" can still get the job done at 34. He still managed to average 19 points per game leading the Celtics to the Eastern Conference finals.

Even though he's a little older, he is proving that he can still hang with and even school some of the best the game has to offer. He can still close as well as anyone in the league, and is one of the best 20 players in the NBA.











20. Rudy Gay, Memphis Grizzlies
Height: 6-8 | Weight: 230 lbs.
Age: 25 | Experience: 6 Years


2011-12 Season Averages:
19.0 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.5 SPG, 2.5 TOPG, (46% FG), (31% 3PT)

Career Averages:
17.9 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 1.9 APG, 1.3 SPG, 2.3 TOPG, (46% FG), (35% 3PT)


Analysis: Rudy Gay seems to be on the trade block often, but he'll definitely be the go to guy for Memphis with O.J. Mayo gone, though he should've been already.

He is a great scorer, and just a very good player in general for Memphis. He could really move into the elite category with a strong season for the Grizzlies.












21. Amar'e Stoudemire, New York Knicks
Height: 6-11 | Weight: 260 lbs.
Age: 29 | Experience: 10 Years


2011-12 Season Averages:
17.5 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 1.1 APG, 1.0 BPG, 2.4 TOPG, (48% FG), (77% FT)

Career Averages:
21.6 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 1.5 APG, 1.4 BPG, 2.6 TOPG, (53% FG), (76% FT)


Analysis: Amar'e Stoudemire looked a step slower last season, and seemed to have lost his edge at one point. He is a little overrated, but he is a very good player.

On the offensive end, Amar'e is one of the best in the league at his position, as he is very difficult to guard. Defensively, he needs to improve. He also averaged less than 8 rebounds per game, so he needs to crash the boards a little better.











22. Steve Nash, Los Angeles Lakers
Height: 6-3 | Weight: 178 lbs.
Age: 38 | Experience: 16 Years


2011-12 Season Averages:
12.5 PPG, 10.7 APG, 3.0 RPG, 0.6 SPG, 3.7 TOPG, (53% FG), (39% 3PT)

Career Averages:
14.5 PPG, 8.6 APG, 3.0 RPG, 0.7 SPG, 2.9 TOPG, (49% FG), (43% 3PT)


Analysis: Nash is still one of the best pure point guards in the game. For 16 years he has been playing the position the best way possible.

He is one of the best shooters in the league, and though he's not going to get you 15 points a game anymore, he can definitely average double-digit assists at this point in his career. He makes everyone better, and that is very important.











23. Chris Bosh, Miami Heat
Height: 6-11 | Weight: 235 lbs.
Age: 28 | Experience: 9 Years


2011-12 Season Averages:
18.0 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 1.8 APG, 0.8 BPG, 2.1 TOPG, (49% FG), (82% FT)

Career Averages:
19.8 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 2.1 APG, 1.1 BPG, 2.1 TOPG, (49% FG), (80% FT)


Analysis: Bosh proved how important he was to Miami this season, and was a key reason why they won the NBA Championship.

His numbers have decreased over the past few years, but that is expected, as he is playing with two of the top 4 players in the NBA. His mid-range game is excellent, and he crashes the boards very well.











24. Josh Smith, Atlanta Hawks
Height: 6-9 | Weight: 225 lbs.
Age: 26 | Experience: 8 Years


2011-12 Season Averages:
18.8 PPG, 9.6 RPG, 3.9 APG, 1.7 BPG, 2.5 TOPG, (46% FG), (63% FT)

Career Averages:
15.1 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 3.1 APG, 2.2 BPG, 2.5 TOPG, (46% FG), (67% FT)


Analysis: Josh Smith is one of the better all-around players in the NBA. He is very underrated, but will be the go-to-guy with Joe Johnson now in Brooklyn.

Smith is known mostly for his elite athleticism, but he has a very good offensive game, especially his mid-range game. He averaged almost 10 boards as well this past season, and can go for a triple-double on any night. He'll probably be a little higher on this list next season.










25. Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies
Height: 7-1 | Weight: 265 lbs.
Age: 27 | Experience: 4 Years


2011-12 Season Averages:
14.6 PPG, 8.9 RPG, 3.1 APG, 1.9 BPG, 1.9 TOPG, (48% FG), (75% FT)

Career Averages:
13.1 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 2.4 APG, 1.5 BPG, 1.9 TOPG, (53% FG), (72% FT)


Analysis: Marc Gasol like his older brother, is skilled on the offensive end, but he is much better on the defensive end.

Gasol is proving to be one of the league's best centers, and is arguably a top 25 player in this league.




Honorable Mention: Zach Randolph, Joe Johnson, Danny Granger, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, Andre Iguodala