Regardless of how good you are, you’re always going to have something that doubts you’re capacities. And even though you reach the highest of levels and manage to play at the National Basketball Association, you always need to prove that you’re worthy of it.
The NBA features the best ballers all across the globe and obviously, everybody expects way more out of the players that they know that can reach the sky, and it never seems enough no matter how much they give in the hardwood.
Today, we’re going to let you know about 10 of the best basketball players in the world, guys that turn heads wherever they go, and that can demolish pretty much all opposition, but that still have something to prove this season.
10. Joel Embiid
Joel “The Process” Embiid has been a complete stud ever since making his professional debut the prior campaign, but constant injuries have prevented him from reaching his very high ceiling so far.
Now, he’s missed a couple of back to back sets and is still on a minute restriction, so he definitely needs to prove that he can play at least 70 games through a season, as fans (and his team) definitely miss him when he’s not around to show his vast skill set and his craftiness in both ends of the floor.
9. Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook shut most of his haters the prior season where he managed to do the unthinkable and average a triple-double throughout the entire campaign, something quite impressive especially considering his height and position.
Nonetheless, his triple doubles don’t always come in the most efficient fashion, and now that he has to share the rock with Carmelo Anthony and Paul George, he needs to understand that he doesn’t have to pile up stats and do what’s best for the struggling Oklahoma City Thunder.
8. Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving shocked everybody when he demanded a trade out of the Cleveland Cavaliers, stating that he was sick and tired of sharing the spotlight with LeBron James and that he was ready to be a team’s go-to-guy again.
Now, Kyrie has really lived up to the task, and he’s the new sensation at the TD Garden, playing at an MVP level and leading the Boston Celtics to the pinnacle of the Eastern Conference. Still, he’s got to prove that he can do this through a full campaign.
7. Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony vetoed no-trade clause to play alongside Paul George and Russell Westbrook and head back to the Western Conference to make an NBA Finals push with the Oklahoma City Thunder but has struggled mightily to make a true impact in the court.
Anthony is currently dealing with a lot of consistency issues and his confidence seems kind of missing at this point, shooting just 40% from the floor and 33% from downtown. So, he’s got to prove that even though he’s nowhere near his prime, he can still contribute at the highest of levels.
6. Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis Antetokounmpo is by far one of the most impressive players in the NBA right now, and he just keeps getting better and better for a young Milwaukee Bucks team that seems poised for a great future under coach Jason Kidd.
Still, the Greek Freak has failed to get his Bucks to distance in the Playoffs, and now that he’s finally got a more capable support squad with Eric Bledsoe in town, he’s got to prove that he can take Milwaukee to at least the second round of the postseason.
5. John Wall
John Wall has been vastly criticized throughout his entire career, but he’s finally coming together as one of the best two-way point guards in the Association and maybe even the best true point guard in the Eastern Conference.
Wall is always among the league leaders in assists and steals and has improved in every aspect of his game, but he’s still got to prove that he’s good enough to take the Washington Wizards to at least the Eastern Conference Finals this season.
4. James Harden
There’s absolutely no doubting James Harden’s talent, and he’s making a very strong case for MVP this season once again, leading the way for the Houston Rockets even when Chris Paul fell down with an injury early in the season.
Nonetheless, he has a history of hiding when it matters the most in the playoffs, so he needs to prove that he’s finally matured and he’s not afraid of the big stage, with the Rockets being one of the prime title contenders this year.
3. DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis
DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis joined forces the prior campaign to try and end the New Orleans Pelicans playoff drought, and they’ve both been monstrous together but their team is still to click and be a dominant force in the Western Conference.
So, now that Rajon Rondo and Tony Allen have also joined the team, both Davis and Cousins need to prove that they’re good enough to at least make the postseason, especially Cousins, who hasn’t even played on a single playoff game through his career.
2. DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry
The Toronto Raptors have been a surging force in the Eastern Conference, and they’ve strongly established themselves as a perennial playoff candidate under Dwayne Casey, but have always fallen short of the goal when it matters the most.
So, DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry definitely need to step up as the team’s leaders, especially now that they also got Serge Ibaka along them to try and make a run in the postseason. Albeit DeRozan hasn’t missed a beat during playoff time, Lowry has a long history of struggling mightily through the last passages of the season, so hopefully, he can turn things around this year.
1. Andre Drummond
Andre Drummond is quite an impressive physical specimen and his one of the most gifted big men in the Association as well, but he’s yet to step up and prove that he actually belongs in the elite conversation now after 5 full seasons in the Association.
Gladly, he’s having kind of a breakout year this season, posting averages of 13.7 points to go along with career highs in boards (15.8) and dimes (3.8) with 1.5 steals and 1.1 blocks per game on 53% from the floor and 61% from the line (also a career high). Still, his overall defense is soft at best, and he’s still got a lot of work to do to reach his ceiling.