Jake Heuskin’s Top 5 NBA Players
LeBron James: Hands down the greatest player in the game today, and perhaps ever. The 6’8” 250 pounder is a freak of nature and can play any position on the floor from running the point to posting up a 7 footer. The 3 time NBA champion and 4 time NBA MVP looks like he will not slow down anytime soon just because of his age, and has many more rings coming his way.
Kevin Durant: As much as I do not like KD, he still is #2 on my list. I have never seen someone built the way he is that can shoot at such a high level. He was dominant on OKC, and he is still dominant with the Warriors even with all the weapons he has behind him. At 28 years old, and the way the Warriors have been playing without him, it’s scary to see what that team can do with him in the lineup. It looks like KD will have a handful of rings before he makes his way to the HOF.
Russell Westbrook: “His teammates give him rebounds.” “He shoots 40 times per game.” I’m a huge Russell Westbrook guy, and I do realize he doesn’t have the guys around him to help him win so he does have a much larger workload than anyone else in the league, but when a guy averages a triple double for a whole season it is pretty impressive no matter how it’s done. His playoff performance against his former teammate and the other MVP candidate, James Harden, did give me second thoughts about where he should be on the list, but he did score 42 points and had a triple double. He might not have the “clutch gene,” but when someone is playing 48 minutes a game it becomes a little difficult. He’s 3 on my list.
James Harden: After an epic playoff performance against his former team, and an incredible season, James Harden is #4 on my list. He and Westbrook could be switched around and I would have no argument; they’re definitely 3 and 4. Harden plays on an incredible team. The Rockets have 10 players on their team that average over 9 ppg. He is probably the most dangerous offensive player in the league right now, but his defense puts him a little below Westbrook.
Kawhi Leonard: I am still not all in on Kawhi. He does have a championship under his belt, but also plays for probably the greatest coach in NBA history in Gregg Popovich. He plays under the “Spurs system” where everyone who goes in seems to excel at such a high level. His defense puts him above and beyond many players in the league, and his offensive game is up and coming, so he earns the #5 spot on my list. It is hard to ignore that he is only 25 years old and will only get better (hopefully). His first round performance against the Grizzlies was impressive and if he continues to play at that level it’ll be hard to ignore him in the conversation for one of the best in a few years.
Honorable Mentions: John Wall, Steph Curry, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Anthony Davis, Kyrie Irving
* photo via Google Images under the Creative Commons license