DAR Sports: Top 9 NBA Players This Season

By @TrueGodImmortal

With the NBA season over a quarter of the way done and teams settling into what they are going to be for the year, the awards for the season are starting to take shape and the playoff pictures are looking interesting already. As the season progresses beyond this point and the All Star break, some stars will take a drop off, others will continue to rise, but after almost 30 games, the question is who are the top players so far this season? Today, we look at the top 9 players so far this season and what makes them so special. Let's get into it.

*Giannis Antetokounmpo
(25.9 PPG, 13.1 RPG, 6.0 APG)

-The jump that Giannis has made as a player isn't really that big this year actually, it is just more of a standout season due to the success of the Bucks. His numbers may have went up slightly, but overall Giannis is mostly the same player using his length to disrupt other teams on the defensive end and using it to destroy opposing defenses. When it all comes together for Giannis, he is damn near unstoppable. Will the Bucks go further than they have before this year? Only time will tell. I like their chances however.

*Kawhi Leonard
(26.1 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 3.0 APG)

-Kawhi is playing some of the best basketball he has ever. Clearly, if the record was the most important factor, the Raptors' success would make Kawhi the MVP by far. However, the Raptors have won games without Kawhi who has missed a number of games so far this year as well. They have a winning record I believe without him so that is a hard sell for MVP, but regardless, Kawhi is the best player on the best team in the NBA right now. If he stays healthy, it will be interesting to see what the rest of this season holds for him and the Raptors. Truth be told, if I'm Kawhi, I stay in the East and build something in Toronto. This is a team that can win games with or without him, which speaks to their versatility and talent. Kawhi is having an excellent year. Let's hope Toronto doesn't disappoint too much in the playoffs.

*Steph Curry
(28.9 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 5.7 APG)

-Steph has been amazing this year, posting numbers that are up there with the best of his career. His most recent game took his numbers down considerably as he wasn't aggressive or hitting shots, but he was on a 50/50/90 clip and averaged 30 a game. Before his groin injury took him out for a few weeks, Steph was the MVP without question. Even with the poor performance against the Raptors, Steph still has the MVP in his sights and one would imagine that he will have a bounce back game for sure. If Steph goes a nice run of games where the Warriors win perhaps 5 or 6 in a row and he scores 30 points or more in each of those games, watch that MVP ladder again. He will be back at the top of it.

*LeBron James
(28.4 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 7.0 APG)

-So, it should come as no shock that Bron is on this list. He hasn't been extremely amazing this year in terms of what he does on the court, but as his decline slowly starts to take place, we see the evolution of LeBron taking shape in front of our eyes. He can get to the basket at will always and that hasn't changed at all, but he is becoming more and more reliant on the three, which is a gift and a curse. LeBron goes through periods where he is super efficient from three and then he has games where he doesn't make a single three pointer, so his reliance on a long three when he could probably get an easy layup or dunk at the basket is sometimes a problem, but in year 16, these are things you sort of expect. He has been one of the best players this year, but unlike last year, he has a very solid young supporting cast. When they get to the playoffs, it is no telling how these young players will play, but one thing we know is that Bron will be ready as always. He has had some great games this year and the Lakers are winning. Will Bron find a way to secure another MVP in LA? Only time will tell. I doubt it however.

*Kyrie Irving
(22.5 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 6.4 APG)

-Love him or hate him, Kyrie is the most central piece to this young Celtics team. While Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are having their growing pains, Gordon Hayward is having his troubles getting back to his peak shape, and other pieces are struggling at times, Kyrie has been the pillar of consistency ever since he cut that horrible fro he came into the season with. Kyrie has dazzled at times and is slowly working his way into the MVP conversation as the Celtics continue to win games and slowly but surely move up higher in the standings. Kyrie just had one of his better games against the Wizards where he pulled the team to victory in the clutch and even when his stats aren't jumping off the page, he is still making the smart plays and playing good defense. Kyrie could very well be looking at a possible MVP award if his numbers continue to rise and the Celtics continue to win.

*Anthony Davis
(28.1 PPG, 12.4 RPG, 4.7 APG, 2.8 BPG)

-So, AD is honestly a 3 or 4 game winning streak away from taking the top spot on the MVP ladder for me. He has been excellent and his numbers are outrageous. He gets it done on both ends and that's exactly what you want out of your star player at all times essentially. AD has put the Pelicans on his back for numerous games, but this year is actually a little different. Jrue Holiday and Julius Randle have become formidable players for the team and they actually have a nice chemistry on the floor together. While the wins aren't piling up yet, the Pelicans should be able to make a nice win streak in the coming weeks and find a nice spot in the playoff standings. If the Pelicans can manage a 5th seed or better by the end of the season, AD is going home as the MVP like he really should have last year.

*James Harden
(30.8 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 8.3 APG)

-So, the Rockets aren't in playoff contention yet. Not at this present moment. However, it feels like a foregone conclusion that they will end up in the playoff picture at some point when the season is near the end. Maybe they run off a solid win streak. Maybe they only finish at a 7th or 8th seed. Whatever the case, at some point, I expect Houston to step into a playoff spot. If they do, it will likely be because of Harden's play. While last year, it seemed as if CP3 was the piece that mattered more in a sense, this year it has mostly been all Harden. He's rose to become the current scoring leader and with the ball in his hands more and more, he is likely to win another scoring title. While MVP seems unlikely for him this year due to record, he still can put up those numbers and have those great games like his 50 point triple double against the Lakers.

*Kemba Walker
(26.0 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 6.3 APG)

-Cardiac Kemba is not the best name, but the truth is, Kemba has been excellent this year. This isn't necessarily his breakout year, as Kemba has been an All Star before, but this is definitely his best season yet. He has been everything the Hornets need and more, scoring at will, facilitating when needed, and making the right plays when it calls for it. What makes this season so intriguing with Kemba is that he is essentially keeping the Hornets in the playoff race for the East. If the Hornets are able to pull it together and get a decent winning streak going, then there is the chance that Kemba can rightfully get back into the MVP conversation like he was early on in the year. The rest of the season will be interesting and I'm sure Kemba will continue to play his best basketball.

*Kevin Durant
(28.9 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 6.2 APG)

-So, both Steph and KD are averaging 29 points a game and are tied for the second spot in terms of scoring leaders. Draymond drama aside, KD has been magnificent this season on the court minus a few games where he wasn't attacking like he could. He is the most efficient scorer we have seen in this era and perhaps ever, and when Steph went down and Draymond was out with an injury, KD had to shoulder a large amount of the work and he was up to the task, going on an epic three game run with two straight 40 plus point games and a 51 point game in an OT thriller against the Raptors. When KD is on the court, he is doing it all. Defending, scoring, passing, protecting the rim, pulling down rebounds, and that's what makes the Warriors team so special. They've got so many talents who can do so many different things, and are at their peak. KD is easily a top player this year and every year.



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