Harden, Greek Freak Lead the Way in All-NBA Team Predictions
As the NBA regular season winds down, we can go ahead and start making end of the year predictions. Most of the major awards, seem to already have a winner set in stone; Giannis/Harden for MVP, Doncic for ROY, Gobert/Paul George for DPOY, etc.
One thing that remains, however, and that always causes plenty of debate and controversy is the announcement of the All-NBA teams. This is the cream of the crop; the top 15 players in the NBA this season.
Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors): It’s pretty clear that Steph Curry has, once again, been the best point guard in the NBA this season. At 27, 5 and 5(!) per game, he is the engine that runs the Warriors. Exciting plays and shots aside, he has become a mature, reliable player on both ends of the floor.
James Harden (Houston Rockets) : When you’re putting up record numbers, averaging an absurd 36.3 points per game, Harden should be strongly considered for All-NBA 1stteam of the decade or millennium, let alone this season. What he is doing this year is incredible. Whether or not he wins the MVP award, this has truly
been an individual display to remember.
Paul George (Oklahoma City Thunder): This has been the best season of Paul George’s career as he has firmly established himself as a top 3 best two-way player in the NBA. He is averaging 28, 4 and 8, with high percentages from all over the court. After Giannis and Harden, he is probably the MVP of 2018/19.
Kevin Durant (Golden State Warriors): It’s status quo for Kevin Durant this season as he asserts himself as one of, if not the best in the NBA, averaging 26, 6 and 7 per game. Were he not surrounded by so much offensive talent, he could likely put up the numbers that Harden does too.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks) : The front-runner for the MVP award, has taken his game to this next level this season, becoming one of the more unique players in NBA history. He truly does it all, on both ends of the court, with averages of 27, 6 and 12.
Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers): Year in and year out, Damian Lillard is a name that you rarely hear. He has to be the most underrated star in the NBA. It probably has something to do with the fact that he plays for a small market team in Portland, but the fact of the matter is that this guy brings it every year. Yet again, this year he’s averaging 26 7 and 5.
Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder): Look, I’m predicting who will be named to the All-NBA teams, not whom I believe deserves it. Russell Westbrook is averaging a triple-double. That will automatically get him a nod on the All-NBA 2ndteam.
Kawhi Leonard (Toronto Raptors): Talk about a statement season from Kawhi. He has quieted all of the doubters and come back to prove that he is one of the best two-way players in the NBA this year. He is averaging 26, 3 and 7 and we all know Kawhi elevates his game when the playoffs begin.
LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers) :Amid all of the chaos and disappointment this season, in his 55 games, LeBron has still managed to average 27, 8 and 8. Numbers are numbers, but LeBron’s lack of defence and efficiency demotes him to the All-NBA 2ndteam this season, for the first time in a long time. The years may be starting to catch up with LeBron and one has to wonder whether he’ll be named to an All-NBA 1stteam ever again?
Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers): First and foremost, he is healthy. Even with all of the talent surrounding him, he has still clearly been the 76ers best player. With averages of 27 and 14, an argument can definitely be made that he has been the best big man in the NBA this season.
Kemba Walker (Charlotte Hornets): Ask yourself where the Charlotte Hornets would be without Kemba Walker. With next to no help around him, Walker has at least managed to keep the Hornets in the playoff conversation this season. He is having one his better seasons, averaging 25 6 and 4. At first glance the percentages may be low, but keep in mind how often he has the ball in his hands and how often he’s forced to create for himself and put up difficult, contested shots.
Kyrie Irving (Boston Celtics): Let’s be real, this has been Irving’s worst season in a long time. Things haven’t clicked in Boston, and whether Irving is the one to blame, is a totally different matter that will be left out of this discussion. His averages are still decent and he just barely sneaks into the All-NBA 3rdteam.
Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards):Don’t blame Bradley Beal for the Wizards having such a disappointing season. He has been one of their lone bright spots. He is averaging 26 5 and 5, and especially since the injury to John Wall, he has established himself is the alpha male of this team.
Blake Griffin (Detroit Pistons): Griffin has quietly had an excellent season, rediscovering his old form and asserting himself as one of the best “4’s” in the league. He’s averaging 25 5 and 8, and yes the rebounding numbers do seem quite low, but keep in mind how much time he spends on court with Andre Drummond who is the human magnet for rebounds.
Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets): 20, 7 and 11 with high percentages and your team having the 4thbest record in the NBA? That deserves an All-NBA team nod to me. Jokic continues to improve and do it all on the court. Like Paul George, he is another one that has had a low-key MVP calibre season.