Its been a while, obviously, but we’re happy to bring you the My Mind on Sports player power rankings for the first time in 2013! The list has been shaken up and out to bring you the hottest players from the past two weeks.
The MVP race is starting to heat up and teams are starting to really jostle for playoff positioning. Playing the best ball from this point on is going top be a crucial thing. We’ll start to see who’s going to be a mainstay on this list and who’s not.
I know you miss these as much as I missed posting them. So without further adue, here are your top 25 hottest players in the league right now.
1. Chris Paul
Chris Paul is the best player on the hottest team in the NBA right now. The Clippers have won 19 of their last 21 games and Chris Paul has been dominant throughout that streak. In the month of December, Paul averaged 19 points with 9.3 assists on a 47% clip. He’s got a 26.58 PER and that puts him right up there with LeBron James and Kevin Durant for MVP consideration. Just ask the Warriors how dominant Paul can be.
2. Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant may not lead the league in scoring, but 28.2 points per game isn’t a bad total at all. he’s scoring at a career high 52% clip and shooting 41% from beyond the arc. He’s also shooting 90% from the charity stripe which would put him in the 40-50-90 club if he can keep it up. If he can keep this up, it’d put him in exclusive company with Larry Bird as the only player to score over 25 points per game while keeping those shooting percentages.
3. LeBron James
LeBron James is as LeBron James does. There isn’t a point where you should ever expect him to not be in the top five on this list. James is playing out of his mind right now and has been for quite some time. He’s picked up right where he left off last season and again has his PER over 30. That suggests that he’s a shoe in for the MVP award at the end of the year. With the way he’s playing right now it’d be hard to argue against that.
4. Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony may have had a bad game last night, but that doesn’t take away from what he’s done for the New York Knicks this season and especially as of late. Carmelo is having a career season, averaging 29 points per game and tying a career high shooting percentage from beyond the arch at 42% and playing with a career high 25.94 PER. In his last 10 games Melo is scoring 31.9 points per game and shooting 45% from the floor. He’s a viable option at MVP also.
5. Tony Parker
The next two guys are Spurs, which should say something about the season that each is having. Tim Duncan is getting a lot of the credit for their season, and he deserves it, but Tony Parker is having a stellar year himself. He’s got a 22.7 PER averaging 19.1 points per game with 7.2 assists. He’s only playing 32.2 minutes per game and making the most of his limited opportunity. Parker has been a mainstay of the Spurs offense and it hasn’t changed.
6. Tim Duncan
Tim Duncan and Tony Parker could easily switch places here. Both of them are having great seasons, but Duncan is 36 years old still getting his. He’s averaging 17.6 points per game along with 9.6 rebounds per game and 2.5 blocks. But get this, he’s doing that in only 29.9 minutes per night. He’s leading the league in defensive efficiency with a rating of 94 and has a PER of 25.1. For a guy that’s in the twilight of his career, you’ve got to be impressed.
7. Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook may not be having his best season as a pro, but relative to his role in Oklahoma City it might be the most impactful. Westbrook hasn’t been shooting well from the floor at all with a 41% clip. He’s scoring 21.7 points per game, but he’s averaging a career high 8.5 assists along with a career high 5.1 rebounds per game. He’s improved on the defensive end of the floor as well, reading pick and rolls and attacking them instead of reacting to them. Westbrook has been a positive force on the Thunder even with his role that was already large increasing.
8. James Harden
Harden cracks the top 10 once again and proves to us that he’s a legitimate threat at shooting guard and will be for years to come. Harden is averaging 26.4 points per game and on a 44% clip. He’s shooting 36% from three and 86% from the free throw line. Get this–Harden gets to the free throw line 10.3 times per game. He’s managed to shoot himself to an astounding 60% TS rating while playing 38 minutes per night. James Harden has to be in the conversation when talking about the most efficient scorers in the NBA.
9. Kobe Bryant
The Lakers haven’t been able to translate Kobe’s success into team success, but that isn’t all because of Bryant. He’s doing his best to keep this team afloat averaging a league leading 30.5 points per game and shooting a career high 48% from the field. He’s shooting 35% from beyond the arch and has a 25.5 PER. Bryant plays 39 minutes per contest and is putting up these numbers at 34 years old. There’s no way you can’t be impressed with that number.
10. Tyson Chandler
One can argue that Chandler has been more pivotal than anyone in the Knicks success. He’s been their benchmark for consistency and efficiency since putting on the orange and blue and it hasn’t changed at all this season. He’s shooting a league leading 69% from the floor and scoring 12.8 points per game with 10.5 rebounds as well. His offensive efficiency rating is off the charts at a league leading 141. It looks like he may be in line to lead the league in that category once more. His league leading shooting percentages land him in the top 10 of this weeks rankings.
The Best of The Rest
11. Blake Griffin
12. Dwyane Wade
13. Zach Randolph
14. Marc Gasol
15. Joakim Noah
16. David Lee
17. Chris Bosh
18. Serge Ibaka
19. Stephen Curry
20. Andre Iguodala
21. Kyrie Irving
22. Lamarcus Aldridge
23. Rajon Rondo
24. Kevin Martin
25. Demarcus Cousins