It was released on twitter as a countdown. Here’s a look at the Heat players that cracked the list and where they rank.
In very non-surprising news, the Heat have three of the top twenty-five players. An argument could be made for Chris Bosh being ranked higher then number twenty-four, but I am not here to make that today. Instead today, I am going to take a look at ESPN’s top 10 rankings of the players, as well as give you analysis of what I think of the list.
Here’s a look at the top 10 with links to their ESPN page dedicated to the rankings:
Let’s take a look at the list going from number 10 to number 1. First off, ESPN has way overrated Blake Griffin. I like the kid and think he has a very bright future in the NBA, but I don’t agree with him being a top-10 player after just one NBA season. Maybe after another season like last, I’d gladly put him up there. Instead, I’d give another big man some love at this spot, Pau Gasol. Sorry Knicks fans, love Melo, but he isn’t a top-10 player in my view.
Next two players are Deron Williams and Derrick Rose. Williams was ranked #9 and Rose #8. In my honest opinion, Williams is the better overall point guard. Rose is the better scorer of the two. I’d give Williams the edge over Rose.
Moving down to #7, this is a joke right? I know Kobe isn’t exactly the player he used to be, but I don’t see him as the seventh best player in the NBA. He’s still a top-5 talent in the NBA still if not just because he can still be very dominant on both ends of the court. Plus, I don’t think there’s anyone else in the NBA that I’d rather give a game-winning shot to. I’m moving Kobe up three spots to number 4.
I believe that ESPN got the order right for the next three on my list, but they were just misplaced, being put ahead of Kobe. I believe that Kevin Durant is the #7 player in the league. This may seem very low to many people, but I have a hard time placing him above Dirk, who I have as #6, after his incredible playoffs this past season. Durant is probably the best pure scorer in the NBA though. Dirk just seems more polished to me at this point.
At #5, I have Chris Paul. Apologizes to Deron Williams and Derrick Rose, but Paul remains to me the standard in point guard play right now. Last postseason, he had a pretty dominant run against the Lakers. It’s a shame he lost, otherwise he would have gotten more public love. I expect a big season from him in 2012, if there is a season.
I had already moved Kobe up three spots to #4, so next on to the top three. ESPN did a really good job here. This is exactly how I would rank the top three in the NBA right now.
Dwyane Wade is the third best player in the NBA and the second best player on the Heat. But it should not be forgotten, he is still the man on the Miami Heat. In the closing minutes, his teammates look at him as the closer. Wade had a dominant finals appearance last season in a losing effort, but I still expect him to be better in 2012.
Number two for me has to be the most dominant big man in the NBA right now. That’s Dwight Howard. The man was a monster on both ends of the court last season. Howard seems to be getting better and better on the offensive side of the ball every season. He’s already a dominant beast on the defensive side. If I were to start a franchise today, I’d take Superman over anyone.
That of course is no spite to Lebron James, who is the best player in the NBA, and I’m not even sure it’s close. Lebron James is so physically gifted, it’s not even funny. The man is so well built, yet can run as smooth as a point guard. He posterizes his opponents and leaves them scratching their heads. I don’t care that he hasn’t won an NBA championship yet, he still has lots of time to do that. And oh, did I mention that I am not a Lebron James fan at all. I don’t like him much but there’s no denying he’s the best player in the NBA.
So here’s a quick recap of what I believe the top-10 players in the NBA right now are:
And for some humor, here’s a look at the top-5 lists that Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless actually believe in:
Stephen A Smith: