Well, it’s now been a month of the NBA, so we’ve had a look and rated our top 15 players of the season to date.
Last years MVP has managed to get better on last years numbers. 30.5pts, 13.8 rebounds and 6 assists are his return from his 14 games to date, and more importantly he’s both attempting more and hitting more 3’s than last year, up from 2.8 to 4.4 which is allowing him to spread the floor more, opening up the lane.
It’s his second year in the NBA, he’s won the Rookie player of the year last season, and he’s every chance to push the MVP this season. He’s averaging 29.9pts, 10.6 rebounds and 9.4 assists a game, and he’s the main reason that Dallas is sitting in a play-off spot currently. He’s upped his output from last season, the offence goes through him and has been huge so far.
Look, I’ll be honest, I don’t like the way he plays, ISO-ball is no fun to watch, but he’s a genuine freak. Sure, it’s easy to score when you put up more shots than anyone else but his numbers are getting ridiculous. He’s upped his scoring from last year to 38.4pts a game, whilst still maintaining his assist numbers. He’s helped the Rockets to 3rd place in the West, and his partnership with Westbrook is looking strong. Needs work on the defence, but when you have the ball 40% of the time, you can probably let others do that!!
4. LeBron James
And people thought he’d start to slide. He’s still averaging 25pts a game (remarkably the lowest he’s averaged since his debut season), but’s averaging double figure assists (11.1), whilst still keeping his work on boards strong, averaging 7.9 rebounds. He’s directing the play and has mixed between forward and the point. Will be interesting to see if he can keep it going for the whole 82 games, but right now, he’s looking like the king of old.
5. Kahwi Leonard
He’s had a few games off, playing just 10 games to date, under his ‘load management’ strategy. Of those 10 games, he’s helped the Clippers win 8 of them. Whilst he’s not been at his best, he’s still averaging 25.8pts, 8.6 Rebounds and 5.7 assists……not bad for a bloke not playing at his best.
6. Anthony Davis
He got the move he wanted to LA to play with LeBron, and he’s certainly making the most of the opportunity. Averaging 25.2pts a game, 9 rebounds and importantly 3.1 Blocks a game, giving the Lakers defensive strength to match their attacking output. I have a feeling he’ll only get better as the year goes on, but right now, he’s No.6 on the list.
7. Karl Anthony-Towns
The Timberwolves are holding on to a play-off spot, and are just better than 50% for the year, but without KAT they’d be a lot worse off. He’s leading their scoring (26pts a game), rebounds (12.1) and Blocks (1.5), and top 3 in Assists, steals and field goal percentage. There’s not a lot more a guy can do really. Plus, he’s added a hard edge to his game.
8. Pascal Siakam
Every thought the Raptors would drop off, but they’ve been mightily impressive to date and Siakam has been a big factor in this. He’s taken on the challenge of filling the massive gap that Kahwi leaving created, and you have to say he’s delivering. Scoring up from 17pts a game to 25, rebounds up from 7 to nearly 9, and assists are up as well. He’s taking more shots, especially 3s, whilst maintaining his efficiency. He’s been talked as an outside MVP chance, and whilst it’s unlikely the fact he’s in the conversation shows how well he’s playing
The Phoenix Suns have been one the surprise packet of the season so far, and Booker is one of the main reasons. He’s averaging 25.4pts a game, but more importantly, he’s more effective with his scoring hitting 53.4% form the field, 50% from 3 and 93.8% from the free throw line. He’s still getting his 5.9 assists a game, and the presence of Rubio has helped him immensely.
10. Damian Lillard
Another guy that has stepped up this season thus far, and he was bloody good last season. 28.6pts a game, assists are up, rebounds are up and he’s shooting more 3s than previous years. He’s had some big games this season already, with a 60pt game the feature.
11. Brad Beal
Signed on at Washington when he could have gone to just about any team he wanted, such is the quality of him. He doesn’t have a lot of support around him but he’s stepped up across the board in trying to make them competitive. Averages 30.3 and has increased his assists from last year too (5.5 to 6.7). He’s a class player
12. Joel Embiid
He’s played 11 games, of which the 76ers have won 8. Whilst his points have dropped slightly this year, he’s still having the impact around the boards with 11.5 rebounds a game.
13. Kemba Walker
Whilst statistically not his best season to date, it’s the change he’s made to the Celtics that is the most impressive. They are playing a much faster game, the ball is going through more hands more regularly, and he’s brought a fantastic feel to the club.
14. Brandon Ingram
Was brought to New Orleans as part of the Davis trade, and he’s been superb since arriving. Whilst the hype preseason was all around Zion, Ingram could prove to be the gem for this team. He’s picked up his scoring significantly, going from 18.3pts a game last season to 25.6 to date, whilst rebounds, assists and shooting percentage has all improved.
15. Trae Young
Atlanta are poor, this guys not. Sadly, will be forever remember as they guy that Atlanta received in the swap of Doncic, but if he can continue to perform like this it will ease the frustrations slightly. He’s approved across the board and is taking more responsibility on the ball. 26.8pts a game and 8.6 assists show he’s having a great season.