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Best NBA players 2013-14
This article features the best players of NBA 2013-14 season based on statistics and gameplay in clutch situations.Official rankings of espn have been referred to while preparing this list.
#1. LeBron James
Is LeBron James the best defensive player currently in the NBA?
Probably the most complete player in the generation following Kobe's era, 'King James' is considered one of the most dangerous players in NBA.Ending his 2012-13 season on a high note with 26.8 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 7.3 APG, 0.565 FG% and 0.753 FT% , he seems to repeat such an impressive performance in the current seson as well.With 40 games so far, he has maintained his shooting ability with 26.1 PPG.Field Goal and free throw shooting percentage remain nearly the same, 0.546 and 0.759 respectively.Kobe's absence has ensured his unanimous capture over the race to the MVP.He remains the leading shooter for the Heats and also, stands out as one of the most established defensive players in the NBA.
#2. Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant averages 30.6 points per game, 7.8 rebounds per game, 5.1 assists per game, 1.56 steals per game and 0.85 blocks per game.He has been the key to the Oklahoma City Thunder's success.He has earned All-NBA honors every season since 2010 and was voted Rookie of the Year in his debut season.In 2010, 2012, and 2013, he finished second in voting for the Most Valuable Player Award, a trend he has expressed frustration over.Since 2012, Durant has been ranked the second best player in the NBA by ESPN's NBA rank project.
Last season, Kevin Durant became the eighth member of the 50-40-90 club, meaning he shot at least 50 percent on field goals, 40 percent on 3-pointers and 90 percent on free throws. The only player in that club with a higher scoring average than Durants 28.1 is Larry Bird (29.9 points per game in 1987-88).He is one of the serious contenders for the MVP title.
#3. Chris Paul
Since being selected 4th overall in the 2005 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Hornets, Paul has been an NBA Rookie of the Year (2006), a six-time All-Star, an All-Star Game Most Valuable Player (MVP), and a multiple-time All-NBA and All-Defensive team honoree.Paul a.k.a. CP3 is among the only 2 players in NBA history to average at least 15 points, nine assists and two steals per game in six different seasons. No other player has done it more than three times.
Playing currently for the LA Clippers, averages 19.6 PPG, 11.2 APG, 4.6 RPG and an impressive field throw percentage of 0.870.
#4. James Harden
Last season, Harden became the fourth different player in NBA history to average at least 25 points, 5.5 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game at the age of 23 or younger. The only younger players to do so are LeBron James, Michael Jordan and Oscar Robertson.His astonishing performance helped him leap from the 26th rank to 4th in the 2012-13 rankings.Defined by the Rockets general manager Daryl Morey as a 'foundational player', Harden hs proved his metal in the NBA, especially after being traded to the Rockets in 2012.He was a first-time All-Star in 2013, his first season with the Rockets.
Currently, he averages 24.3 PPG, 0.449 FG%, 0.841 FT%, 5.3 RPG AND 5.0 APG for the 2013-14 NBA season.
#5. Russell Westbrook
Will the Oklahoma City Thunders maintain their successful run despite an injured Westbrook?
Though he is expected to stay out of his game for 20 games or so because of his knee injury, Westbrook presented an impressive show with 21.3 PPG, 7.0 APG, 6.0 RPG and 0.309 3-point shooting.He joined LeBron James and Dwyane Wade last season as the only players in the last decade to average at least 23 points, seven assists and five rebounds per game in a season.This 3 time NBA all star is one of the strongest pillars of the Oklahoma City Thunders.
Quoted by many as the funniest player to watch out for, Curry has put up a great show which has improved his rankings from 40 to 6 this season. Last season, Curry became the only player in NBA history to average at least seven 3-point attempts per game and shoot at least 45 percent from 3-point range.Averaging 23.5 PPG, 9.2 APG, 4.6 RPG and 0.864 FT%, Curry is the leading scorer for the Golden State Warriors.He is definitely one of the youngest and the finest players in the NBA.
Undoubtedly, one of the most feared players in the entire league, Dwight Howard has impressed the masses with his mammoth stats.In the current season, he averages 18.1 PPG, 12.6 RPG, 1.7 BPG with an astonishing 0.579 FG% and 0.400 3P%. Even though his rank has fallen from 3 to 7 this season, he continues to be among the dominant ones in the NBA.This 7 time NBA All Star and 5 time NBA rebounding leader plays with the Houston Rockets after playing for 8 seasons with the Orlando Magics and a season with the Lakers.
#8. Kyrie Irving
Some might consider Irving over rated, considering the fact that his team 'Cleveland Cavaliers' has not shown any extraordinary performance in the past season.But this man hasn't let any weakness crawl into his game.Praised to be one of the best shooters in the league, Kyrie Irving averages 21.6 PPG, 6.1 APG and 2.9 RPG.
He is one of the 4 players in NBA history to average at least 18 points and five assists per game while shooting at least 45 percent from the field in each of their first two NBA seasons.
#9. Kevin Love
Despite the lousy performance by the Minnesota Timberwolves this season. Kevin Love has continued to impress his fans worldwide with the monstrous figures of 25.1 PPG, 13.0 RPG, 0.4 BPG and 0.391 3P%.He is a two-time All-Star and holds the longest streak for consecutive games recording double figures in points and rebounds since the ABA–NBA merger.He achieved a double double recently against the Utah Jazz where he scored 18 points and managed 13 rebounds.He holds the franchise record for most scoring over 30 in most games .
#10. Tony Parker
Frequently referred to as being old school, this 31 year old has proved to be one of the most consistent ones year after another.Playing with the San Antonio Spurs, the Point Guard registered 17.9 PPG, 6.3 APG and 2.5 RPG.He has led the Spurs to 3 season victories and continues to be among the most dependable ones in the team.
Those who couldn't make it to the above list, mostly due to injuries.
The best that has ever been, and the best that ever will be.'Black Mamba' has been been out due to injury for a long time now.No doubt, he is the unchallenged winner on court and the sole pallbearer for the Lakers, who have seemed to struggle a lot since the senior players are out due to injury.Fans continue to pray to see the Mamba dominate the court yet again.
In his first year of professional basketball, Rose was voted the Rookie of the Year and was selected to the All-Rookie Team.In his second season, Rose was selected as an NBA All-Star for the 2010 NBA All-Star Game;he was also named a starter for the U.S. team at the 2010 FIBA World Championships.In 2011, he received the NBA Most Valuable Player Award, becoming the youngest player ever to win this award (age 22). Out due to knee injury which is expected to keep him out of the court for a long time.
Unquestionably, the best center in the NBA, Marc Gasol has provided the Memphis Grizzlies more than what one expects of a center.Ridden with knee injury, Gasol has managed to play only 17 games in which he has scored @ 14.7 PPG and rebounded @ 6.6 RPG.The Grizzlies were 10.9 points per 100 possessions better with Gasol on the court last season than they were with Gasol off the court. With Gasol on the floor, they scored 4.1 more points and allowed 6.8 fewer points per 100 possessions.
Earning more than $18,00,000, D-Wade a.k.a. Flash has established as one of the quickest and the most difficult players to guard.He holds the NBA all time record for blocks for height 193cm and under.He has led the Heats to victory thrice.Currently ranked 18th, his return will reinforce the Miami team yet again.
© 2014 Chinmay Das