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Your Top 10 Players Right Now


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24 minutes ago, J-ALL-DAY said:

Giannis was putting up big numbers vs Nets and dominating as well.......Did you think Giannis was better than KD during that series or after it concluded? Ask yourself this, WHY did you think KD was better...Since I know or I'm pretty sure you said he was during that series. What has changed for you to believe after witnessing these two matched up in the same series that KD is no longer better? One of the main reasons you, and many others felt KD was better was because in all the tight games, he was the one who was able to take over in all of them. Games 3, 5 and 7 came down to the wire in that series. KD was great in all those 4th quarters single handedly keeping his team in the game and winning game 5. Did anything that you saw from Giannis after the Nets series that made you think if those two are matched up and the games come down to the 4th quarters, anything will be changing? Because if you just go off numbers, Giannis was freaking incredible in that Nets series as he is in damn near every series because he is unstoppable....I remember during that Nets series you saying you were getting stressed with how Giannis was struggling in late games attacking Blake...And do you think if KD played the Hawks/Suns, he was all of a sudden going to stop dominating?

My perception of Giannis wilting under the pressure has changed. His IQ still isn't on Durant's level when it comes to mismatches and decision making, but he still showed growth as the playoffs went on. You didn't have those dumb moments where he wasn't exploiting mismatches or was forcing the issue.

I said in this thread that Durant is more lethal and the better offensive player and I understand taking him, but in the grand scheme I'm not going to say he's the best until he proves he can play at least half a season again. I understand injuries are flukey, but Durant doesn't get a pass since he's coming off the achilles injury, missed over half the games this season, and will be 33 before next season.

You're right. In 1 series if everyone is healthy, I'll take Durant. But I can't trust that Durant will be healthy right now. Giannis also closed the gap for that choice over the last month, which as I said was the main thing holding him back from this argument in the past.

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8 minutes ago, seminoles1 said:

My perception of Giannis wilting under the pressure has changed. His IQ still isn't on Durant's level when it comes to mismatches and decision making, but he still showed growth as the playoffs went on. You didn't have those dumb moments where he wasn't exploiting mismatches or was forcing the issue.

I said in this thread that Durant is more lethal and the better offensive player and I understand taking him, but in the grand scheme I'm not going to say he's the best until he proves he can play at least half a season again. I understand injuries are flukey, but Durant doesn't get a pass since he's coming off the achilles injury, missed over half the games this season, and will be 33 before next season.

You're right. In 1 series if everyone is healthy, I'll take Durant. But I can't trust that Durant will be healthy right now. Giannis also closed the gap for that choice over the last month, which as I said was the main thing holding him back from this argument in the past.

Yeah, I mean LIS, Giannis has a great case for being the best so no one should get upset at anyone thinking that. And it is fair to say you don't trust KD's health. 

I wouldn't even say in the last month Giannis has closed the gap...Because the first four games of the Hawks series and the first two games of the Suns series, he was the same exact player. Only thing that changed is from game 3 forward on how he attacked and how he stopped isolating from the top of the key as much. I mentioned a few days ago that not many superstars are willing to adjust their game, let alone do it MID-SERIES. That was the most incredible thing to me. Dude is really not human lol.

I'm going to stick with KD as the best player as I used to stick LeBron being the best player using the same criteria. I believe NOW if LeBron and KD have even-ish types of teams, KD would come out on top and feel the same about KD and Giannis. If others prefer to use another criteria, that is fine as well. 

The worst part here isn't even the Nets having their injuries, but instead it was Kawhi getting hurt vs Utah. He was having an all time efficient scoring playoffs and I would have loved to see the Clippers with their personnel match up with the Bucks. And now that Kawhi has a torn ACL, it's going to be yet another season killed for him with an injury unless he returns late for the playoff run....But what about his past has shown he will do that?

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5 minutes ago, J-ALL-DAY said:

The worst part here isn't even the Nets having their injuries, but instead it was Kawhi getting hurt vs Utah. He was having an all time efficient scoring playoffs and I would have loved to see the Clippers with their personnel match up with the Bucks. And now that Kawhi has a torn ACL, it's going to be yet another season killed for him with an injury unless he returns late for the playoff run....But what about his past has shown he will do that?

Agreed. He was having an all-time great playoffs before his injury. On that graph showing TPA that people are posting, he's literally right next to Durant.

He's the modern day Bill Walton. An all-time great with an amazing career, but who could have climbed to much greater heights if not for his injuries.

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3 minutes ago, seminoles1 said:

Agreed. He was having an all-time great playoffs before his injury. On that graph showing TPA that people are posting, he's literally right next to Durant.

He's the modern day Bill Walton. An all-time great with an amazing career, but who could have climbed to much greater heights if not for his injuries.

KD averaged in the postseason 34/9/4/2/2 on 51/40/87 shooting splits. Kawhi averaged 30/8/4/2/1 on 57/39/88 shooting splits. These dudes were INSANE this postseason as well as obviously Giannis. We got robbed of more all time performances with the injuries the Nets/Clippers/Lakers suffered this postseason. This is why next season with better health the postseason is going to be absolutely INCREDIBLE and a bloodbath. 

Kawhi has now missed or been injured in the 2017, 2018 and 2021 playoffs. May lose next postseason as well depending on his recovery. That is just some terrible bad luck. 

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17 minutes ago, J-ALL-DAY said:

KD averaged in the postseason 34/9/4/2/2 on 51/40/87 shooting splits. Kawhi averaged 30/8/4/2/1 on 57/39/88 shooting splits. These dudes were INSANE this postseason as well as obviously Giannis. We got robbed of more all time performances with the injuries the Nets/Clippers/Lakers suffered this postseason. This is why next season with better health the postseason is going to be absolutely INCREDIBLE and a bloodbath. 

Kawhi has now missed or been injured in the 2017, 2018 and 2021 playoffs. May lose next postseason as well depending on his recovery. That is just some terrible bad luck. 

Luka was at 36-8-10-1 on 49-41-53 too. There were a lot of ridiculous performances this postseason.

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1 minute ago, Bullet Club said:

Luka was at 36-8-10-1 on 49-41-53 too. There were a lot of ridiculous performances this postseason.

Oh yeah, but only one of him or Kawhi were going to advance. And the Mavs didn't have the types of teams to make a true deep run like the Clippers/Lakers/Nets. 

Next year will be different though. There's always teams that make huge jumps from one season to the next. We saw it this year with the Hawks and Sun...Mavs have the chance to be that team next season depending on what they can do this offseason. 

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4 hours ago, seminoles1 said:

You're twisting my words here. I didn't say the best player in the world is always on the champions and I didn't say just because you're on the champions means you automatically have an argument for best player in the world.

The thing holding Giannis back for A LOT of people, including myself, has been his inability to come up big when it mattered. Giannis went toe-to-toe with Durant. He then absolutely obliterated everyone else in his path once that monkey was off his back, even after hurting his knee.

The thing keeping me from saying Giannis was #1 was the playoff wall he couldn't get past, over, whatever. That's gone because he just plowed through it. I called him the best player 2 years ago after he won his first MVP and was dominating the first 2 rounds...then he got stonewalled by Kawhi and the Raptors. I hesitated to call him the best after that and even called him a fraud a few times because of his struggles in the playoffs against Miami and then against hurt Brooklyn. All of that is out the window now because he showed me he could do it, he could adjust and find ways to make winning plays even if he wasn't the one scoring.

I've said the whole time that I understand the argument for Durant, but he'll have to play more than half a season for me to consider him the best. Otherwise why isn't LeBron still the best to everyone? He was killing it and the MVP favorite before he hurt his ankle twice.

I also want to say that your ability to give back-handed compliments to Giannis is astounding.

Here’s my problem though. I don’t think Giannis really changed all that much I just think his role changed and it maximised his effectiveness and strengths. Like it’s already been mentioned, he showed his greatness and dominance vs the Nets for the most part but we all walked out that series saying KD was better and best in that series. I guess my problem is if you have Giannis as better than KD that opinion should’ve been there a month ago. On top of that, after that series he had to face The Hawks and the Suns. He was best player by quite a distance among those teams remaining. So what did you guys expect, especially given  what he showed vs Nets? 
 

Lebron is still there, who said otherwise? It’s only the people who do automatically place winner of the title as the best player in the league. Lebron and KD are still at the top. This season was concluded in a way, more than it ever has, where it was who was last man standing. It may across as if I’m discrediting or giving back handed comments to Giannis but I’m really not. At least not my intention. He’s Nigerian, so I’m always going to be a fan of his. But I just don’t like this thing where people become prisoners of the moment and ignore their previous opinions they had like a short time ago. It was the same thing with Kawhi in 2019. So this ain’t a Giannis thing.
 

He’s still among the top 3 or 4 for me. I don’t think my top 3 players changed this season. My top 3 for a while now has always remained the same, Lebron, KD and Steph. All were proving to be the best players this season and due to various circumstances it didn’t materialise into a championship. 

Edited by Kip Smithers
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4 hours ago, Bullet Club said:

Luka was at 36-8-10-1 on 49-41-53 too. There were a lot of ridiculous performances this postseason.

Donovan Mitchell was at 32-4-5 on 45-43-83 this year and 36-5-5 on 53-51-95 splits last year, sad. 

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Giannis #1 right now for sure.
Luka's prolly top 5, but he needs some help. Losing Curry sucked, but if they can sign a decent FA this year, then it'll be worth it. However, I think they should have traded Dwight Powell for cap space instead.

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My updated top 10 post season:

1. Giannis Antetokounmpo

2. Kevin Durant

3. Kawhi Leonard

4. LeBron James

5. Steph Curry

6. Luka Doncic 

7. Nikola Jokic 

8. Joel Embiid

9. James Harden

10. Anthony Davis

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13 minutes ago, the lone star said:

Giannis #1 right now for sure.
Luka's prolly top 5, but he needs some help. Losing Curry sucked, but if they can sign a decent FA this year, then it'll be worth it. However, I think they should have traded Dwight Powell for cap space instead.

I'd have Luka just outside of the top 5 behind Giannis, Durant, LeBron, Kawhi, and Curry. Interested to see what the Mavericks do this off-season with Nico leading the front office and his relationships around the league. Obviously Kawhi Leonard would be a grand slam but I'm not sure how likely it is that he'll leave LA, especially after the ACL injury. Outside of Kawhi it's one of the weaker free agent classes that we've seen in recent memory, but next years free agent class could be one of the best in NBA history. I know the Mavericks want to win now but signing 1/2 guys to big deals could significantly impact their ability to be a player next summer. 

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1 minute ago, NYRaider said:

I'd have Luka just outside of the top 5 behind Giannis, Durant, LeBron, Kawhi, and Curry. Interested to see what the Mavericks do this off-season with Nico leading the front office and his relationships around the league. Obviously Kawhi Leonard would be a grand slam but I'm not sure how likely it is that he'll leave LA, especially after the ACL injury. Outside of Kawhi it's one of the weaker free agent classes that we've seen in recent memory, but next years free agent class could be one of the best in NBA history. I know the Mavericks want to win now but signing 1/2 guys to big deals could significantly impact their ability to be a player next summer. 

I feel like I'm taking crazy pills when I see everyone put Kawhi over Luka. The gap between them on offense is just as large, probably larger, than the defensive gap.

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19 minutes ago, Bullet Club said:

I feel like I'm taking crazy pills when I see everyone put Kawhi over Luka. The gap between them on offense is just as large, probably larger, than the defensive gap.

Over the last 3 seasons:

Kawhi Leonard: 26.2 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists on 49%/38%/87% splits 

Luka Doncic: 25.7 points, 8.4 rebounds, 7.7 assists on 46%/33%/73% splits 

Over that span Kawhi has been 1st team All-Defense once and 2nd team All-Defense twice. He has also led a team to a championship, been finals MVP, and beaten Luka in the 1st round of the playoffs twice. Even in their playoff series this year people don't give Kawhi enough credit for how well he played. Luka averaged 36/8/10 on 49/40/53 but Kawhi averaged 32/8/5 on 61/42/90. And if it weren't for Kawhi's injury in the second round I personally think there's a very good chance that the Clippers would've made the Finals. 

Their situations have obviously been different as Kawhi has been on great teams throughout his career in San Antonio, Toronto, and Los Angeles. While Luka hasn't really had a ton of talent around him in Dallas. Luka's clearly a better playmaker but in his current situation he has almost had to have the ball in his hands at all times in order for the Mavericks to be successful. Kawhi has scored more at a better clip and has had more success in the postseason. We've seen Kawhi be the guy on a championship team that beat the 76ers, Bucks, and Warriors in route to their title. 

So for me I'd personally rank Kawhi higher because he has proven to be just as potent of a scorer while also being one of the elite defensive players in the league. He has also won Finals MVP as a complimentary piece for one team and as "the guy" on another. Luka could easily surpass him and a lot of other guys very soon but I think that will only happen when he's able to win in the postseason. We've seen it with other great players like LeBron/Giannis who put up incredible individual production early in their careers but were knocked for their lack of postseason success. 

Luka's already considered a top 5/6 player without much postseason success, when/if he's able to lead a team to a title, I could easily see him being considered the best player in the league. 

Edited by NYRaider
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@Bullet Club and I think it's telling that Luka at 22  is already considered the 6th best player in the league. When the only 5 players who are ranked higher are LeBron James (4x champion, 4x MVP, 4x Finals MVP), Kevin Durant (2x champion, 1x MVP, 2x Finals MVP), Kawhi Leonard (2x champion, 2x Finals MVP), Giannis (1x champion, 2x MVP, 1x Finals MVP), and Steph Curry (3x champion, 2x MVP). 

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1. Giannis Antetokounmpo

2. Anthony Davis (stock down because he was hurt, when healthy he dominates both ends)

3. Lebron James

4. Steph Curry

5. Kawhi Leonard

6. Kevin Durant

7. Luka Doncic 

8. Joel Embiid

9. Nikola Jokic 

10. James Harden

 

 

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