Sunday, June 15, 2008

Ranking the best 2 guards in the NBA:

1. Kobe Bryant – the best player in the NBA and it’s not that close. Kobe is an amazing offensive player and a very good defender (although his D is a bit overhyped). KB24 has become a more trusting team player this year, elevating his teammates in the process.
2. Dwyane Wade – Wade is scary good. It was tough to decide between he and AI for the #2 spot. AI is more durable and has superior stats, but Wade is an absolute game changer. When healthy, he is one of the 5 best players in basketball. Wade is strong and extremely athletic. He is in line with Kobe when it comes to determination to win ball games – he will do whatever it takes. Wade is a solid defender and his outside game is improving rapidly. As his jumpshot becomes more consistent he will become that much scarier.
3. Allen Iverson – AI might play harder than anyone in the league. He takes so much punishment and gets right back up. AI averaged 26 ppg, 3 rpg, and 7 apg this season, great numbers at this stage of his career. AI is a better defender than he gets credit for and distributes the ball like a point. A guy this size putting up these numbers is a bit ridiculous.
4. Tracy McGrady – While I feel like T-Mac is a bit overrated, he is a very solid all-around player. He gets 20-5-5 consistently and has become a more effective floor leader in the past few years. If he was a more consistent defender he would be higher on this list. It was tough to keep Joe Johnson out of the top 5.
5. Gilbert Arenas - Arenas is a bigtime scorer and is one of the fastest players in the league. I don't know that Arenas is as good as he thinks he is, but when he is on he scores at will. When healthy he is as good offensively as anyone not named Kobe or LeBron. Arenas is not as solid all-around as the players above him on this list, but he is one of the best clutch players in the league. It will be interesting to see what happens next year when he is healthy.

Best defender: Raja Bell – Raja is the only person on the Phoenix roster who even knows what defense is. Bell isn’t above giving a good cheap shot to get the job done, either. Bell is very physical and uses little tricks to keep his man from scoring – how many times do we see him grabbing a jersey or dropping an elbow. Whatever it takes…
Best scorer: Kobe Bryant – KB24 might be the best perimeter scorer in NBA history. Kobe and MJ are the only two even in the discussion. Kobe can score every way – getting to the line, getting to the rim, posting up, outside shot, in transition. He can do it all.
Best shooter: Michael Redd – this one is tough, with guys like Peja and Ray Allen being great shooters, but Redd is unreal. He is the focal point of the opposing team’s defense and still shoots a high percentage. Redd can hit from anywhere and does it with a hand in his face.
Best dunker: Vince Carter – Vince is the best dunker in NBA history. Period. An argument for anyone else is futile. Vince is the best in-game dunker ever. Jason Richardson is pretty insane too. He and Kobe are the only two you can even make an argument for, but no one matches Vince’s in-game dunks.
Most overrated: Manu Ginobili – He probably doesn't actually deserve this spot, but I’m giving it to him because I hate him. He flops too much and needs to recognize that his bald spot is very noticeable to the people in the crowd (Manu – they are above you and can see it easily).
Most underrated: Monta Ellis and Brandon Roy – these two are absolute stars in the making. Roy has a surprisingly complete game for such a young player and Ellis is beginning to find his stride in the league. Ellis shot over 50% this season – awesome for a SG. Kevin Martin is close behind these two but he doesn’t have the all-around game that Ellis and Roy do.
Best in five years: 1. Kobe 2. Wade 3. Joe Johnson 4. Roy 5. Ellis