With almost half the season having gone by, some players have been their usual selves, others have been much better than expected, and others have actually been quite bad.
There could be a long list of players who have been really great this season, but we will try to list the best ten here and hope that no one is left out (even though some will be).
Players that have lost matches due to injuries are not yet on this list, as we would like to see some more matches from them before putting them in a top 10 list. Without further ado, here is the list of the 10 best players in the NBA this season:
* Kristaps Porzingis: The Unicorn posts 24.5 points per game, 2.2 blocks and 6.7 rebounds, but he has been nagged by injuries this season. He is quite the miracle to watch on the court, and when will be a scary opponent when fully healthy.
* Victor Oladipo: He could easily feature in the main body of our list, as Dipo has been truly spectacular this season. He has increased his points per game from 15.9 last season to 24.9 this season, to go along with 5.3 rpg, 3.9 apg, 1.8 spg and 1.0 bpg. These are all career-highs, and Victor Oladipo is having a career year without a single doubt.
10. DeMar DeRozan
Stats: 24.9 ppg, 4.9 apg, 4.3 rpg, 1.2 spg, 48.5% FG, 82.4% FT
While not posting the insane scoring numbers he did last season, his 24.9 ppg are the second most in his career so far. His 4.9 assists per game are a career-high, as DeMar DeRozan shows that he is much more than a scorer.
Moreover, he is having great shooting percentages, recording a career-high in field goals, while his free throw shooting is great as ever.
He recently set a record for the Raptors with a massive 52-point performance, while his best improvement so far is his long-range shooting. For the first time in his career he is averaging more than one three-pointer made per match, and that was his only offensive weakness. Beast performances are on the way for DeMar.
9. Kyrie Irving
Stats: 24.7 ppg, 5.0 apg, 3.0 rpg, 1.2 spg, 48.9% FG, 89.2% FT
Kyrie Irving probably had enough of being the number two option in the Cleveland Cavaliers, so he welcomed the change in scenery. A quick look at his numbers will reveal that they are almost identical to last season though.
However, he is a much more integral player of the Celtics’ offense, while his defense has also been improved. He has adapted to the Celtics’ systems, and he has become the leader the Celtics were looking for.
8. Anthony Davis
Stats: 25.8 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.1 spg, 2.1 bpg, 56.3% FG, 80.7% FT
The addition of DeMarcus Cousins has surely stolen a bit of Anthony Davis’ thunder, but AD is posting some sneaky career-highs. He actually scores the 2nd most points in his career, but he has career-highs in free throw and field goal percentages, assists per game, along with the less fouls in his career.
He has really matured as a player, and he has been great along with DeMarcus Cousins. The two have created a really strong frontcourt, and if they can get some additions in the squad, they just might be able to make a push for a good run in the playoffs. In any case, Anthony Davis is having a really strong season, and barring any injuries, it can only get better.
7. Russell Westbrook
Stats: 24.5 ppg, 10.0 apg, 9.5 rpg, 2.1 spg, 42.1% FG, 71.9% FT
Well, the Thunder are not having the best of seasons so far, but they are still in the process of finding out how to fit Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and Paul George in the same lineup.
However, Russell Westbrook picked up where he left off last season, as he is posting near triple-double averages once again. His free throw shooting is significantly down compared to previous seasons, but he can’t have it all. While his stats are quite impressive, Westbrook will surely be judged because the Thunder are underperforming this season.
6. DeMarcus Cousins
Stats: 26.2 pgg, 5.2 apg, 12.5 rpg, 1.5 spg, 1.5 bpg, 47.9% FG, 74.8% FT
Some people were worried that DeMarcus Cousins would take a major hit in his numbers when he was traded to the Pelicans, but the reality has been much different. While he did take a slight hit last season, this season he has found some really good chemistry with Anthony Davis and the rest of the Pelicans.
He is posting almost career-highs in rebounds, points and field goal percentage, while his 5.2 assists are the most in his career so far. His increased range means that he is now scoring at least 2.2 three-pointers per match, which is also a career high. The Boogie is rolling this season, and he is also much more calm, more mature, so it’s safe to say that he is having his best season yet.
5. Stephen Curry
Stats: 26.8 ppg, 6.4 apg, 5.0 rpg, 1.7 spg, 48.5% FG, 93.4% FT
The Warriors were already good before signing Kevin Durant, but they have been equally good since he came. He actually made a really great start in the season, but an ankle injury has somewhat held him back this season.
Regardless, Stephen Curry is one of the best (if not THE best) shooters in the league. In his first game back from his injury he scored a whopping 10 three-pointers, and there is nothing that can hold him back. Expect the Warriors to keep on rolling this season.
4. Kevin Durant
Stats: 25.9 ppg, 5.3 apg, 7.0 rpg, 0.8 spg, 2.2 bpg, 50.2% FG, 89.1% FT
Maybe his numbers were a little better when he was still in Oklahoma City, but that’s the great thing about the Slim Reaper. He can produce similar numbers even when playing alongside Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson.
He actually has an impressive 2.2 blocks per game this season, which is a career-high. He really fits great with the rest of the Warriors, and he actually posts massive lines when Stephen Curry is out, and he is out a lot. Even so, Kevin Durant and the Warriors are looking to make the repeat, and with how KD plays, this looks quite possible.
3. Giannis Antetokounmpo
Stats: 29.1 ppg, 4.6 apg, 10.4 rpg, 1.7 spg, 1.3 bpg, 54.7% FG, 77.7% FT
The Greek Freak has been improving his game in each subsequent season till he came to the NBA and, mind you, he is until 23 years old. His overall skill-set is really strong, as his last weakness is probably his three-point shot.
However, this season he is posting numerous career-highs, in points (second only to James Harden), field goal percentage, true shooting, eFG, rebounds, and steals. A couple of seasons ago he was handling the ball like a true point guard, but with Eric Bledsoe in the mix, Giannis has been more focused on scoring this season. He seems unguardable at times, and he will surely be one of the greatest basketball players of all time.
2. LeBron James
Stats: 27.8 ppg, 9.2 apg, 8.2 rpg, 1.6 spg, 1.0 bpg, 55.9% FG, 77.8% FT
LeBron James already has a career full of success, but he doesn’t just leave it at that. He stepped up as a playmaker this season due to the injuries to Isaiah Thomas and Derrick Rose, resulting in a career-high 9.2 assists per game.
His 27.8 points per game are really close to his career-high, while he has also posted near career-highs in field goal and free throw percentages. His will soon celebrate his 33rd birthday, but the King doesn’t seem to be aging at all.
1. James Harden
Stats: 32.1 ppg, 9.0 apg, 5.1rpg, 1.8 spg, 44.9% FG, 87% FT
James Harden should theoretically have less time with the ball in his hands since Chris Paul came this summer, but the latter was injured in the first match. Harden is taking more field goal attempts than any other season in his career, while the 32.1 points per game is a career-high.
He is in a perfect situation in Houston right now, with teammates and a coach that respect him, and a system that fits him really great. He was probably super pissed that he lost the MVP award to Russell Westbrook last season, so he is really making a push for it this season.