With the season literally days away, the excitement for the season is at an all time high.
All the NBA Writers got together at My Mind on Sports and here is our predictions for the All-NBA First team.
There are several stars in the NBA that get subbed or left out the All NBA first team every year. Expect these players in our Dark Horse Race to quietly have incredible seasons and could shook the world and sneak onto the first team.
John Wall- Wall is arguably one of the best point guards in the entire league. He is undoubtedly one of the quickest players in the NBA and his ability to take the rim is a staple of his game. Wall came into this league as a freak of an athlete that only played at one speed. Now, with a developed jump shot, top notch defense, and his penchant for finding others, Wall will try to lead the Wizards back to the playoffs. If he can do this, Wall could sneak his way into the All-First team in Scott Brooks point guard friendly offense.
Kyrie Irving- After “The Shot” of the Finals, Irving emerged as one of the top guards in the NBA. Kyrie has the best handles in the league hands down and along with a deadly shot, Irving is the complete package offensively. If Irving continues to grow after his finals performance and improves on the defensive side of the ball, Irving could be the best point guard in the NBA next year.
Giannis Antetokounmpo – Being a 6’11 point guard is not common in the NBA. Antetokunmpo is a flat out freak of nature. Long arms, Quick feet, great defender, Giannis can do it all. It is hard to see him making the All NBA team unless he averages a near triple double this year… which isn’t extremely far fetched.
Karl Anthony-Towns – With this being KAT’s second season, He could emerge as not just one of the top bigs in the league, but one of the top players period. Towns is expected to make a huge leap with new coach Tom Thibodeau and a system predicated to his style of play. Towns is not only a defensive star, but his shooting ability makes him an elite big. Towns will have a huge season this year and could grace his way onto the team.
Jimmy Butler- Butler is one of the best two way players in the NBA. He is a lock down defender who will guard the opposing teams best player while getting buckets! With Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo coming to town, Butler is paired to with proven players that could help him elevate his game to new heights.
Damian Lillard- Dame D.O.L.L.A is not only a great rapper, but he is one of the top point men in all the NBA. He put the Blazers on his back last year and carried them all the way to the second round of the playoffs. Next to Stephen Curry, Lillard just might be the best scoring guard in the league. His fearlessness spreads throughout his whole team and his play give the Blazers high expectations next season.
Just Missed the Cut
These players received All-NBA First Team votes but for one or two reasons missed the cuts. We would not be surprised nor shocked if any of these players actually does make the team by seasons end.
Anthony Davis- When healthy, Davis is a top four talent in the league. Davis has added a three point shot to his already expanding skill set and that is a nightmare for defenders. He is also is one of the best defenders in the NBA too. Last season (even though he missed the end of the season due to injury), Davis finished in the top five in both rebounds and blocks. If Davis can stay healthy for the whole season and can lead his team back to the playoffs, Davis could and should very well land on the first team.
Paul George- George is already on wax saying he is gunning for the MVP this year. Being the leader of the Pacers, George’s game has elevated since his horrible leg injury two years ago. Not only has George become of one of the best scorers in the NBA, but he has become a deadly three point shooter as well. Being that the ball will be in his hands a lot this year, George has the chance to not only make true on that MVP quote, but he could become a top three wing in the entire NBA.
DeAndre Jordan- Coming off an Olympic gold medal, Jordan improved his game over the summer. He has always been one of the best shot blockers in the NBA, but it was on the offensive side of the ball that shined in Rio. If his offense continues to grow, Jordan could become the best center in the NBA.
Kevin Durant- Yes, Kevin Durant is a top three talent in the NBA. Yes, Durant is arguably the best scorer in the NBA. Yes, Kevin Durant is Kevin Durant, but joining the Warriors this offseason is the only thing keeping him from the first team. Durant will still be great, but don’t expect him to get enough votes for the first team.
Russell Westbrook- Westbrook was by far the hardest person to leave off the first team. Yes, we know that Westbrook averaged a near triple double with Durant off the floor and now that it is his team, he will go crazy. In that excitement, what is always left out about is that without Durant, Westbrook and the Thunder are an average team. In fact, they went 41-41 the season without Durant and missed the playoffs. Westbrook will go crazy next year and push out crazy numbers night after night. Those total number of wins is the question, that is why he might just miss the mark.
And without further ado, Here is the All-NBA First Team!
Stephen Curry– Curry is the reigning two-time league MVP (one coming unanimously), the greatest shooter to ever play, and is the leader of the team coming off the best regular season record in NBA history. Kevin Durant joining the team will force Curry to change his game a tat bit, but change for the better. no, he won’t average 30 again next year, but expect his assist number to go up. Curry is the best point guard in the NBA and it would be crazy to leave him off the first team.
James Harden- One word comes to mind when you think of Harden this season; Usage Rate. With new head coach Mike D’Antoni already coming out saying Harden will be Houston’s official point guard this season, he will have the ball in his hands a lot. This means, his scoring (which was already top in the league) will increase, his assist will go up, and his usage rate will be at an all-time high. Houston goes as far as Harden takes them, and Harden has the talent to lead them deep in the playoffs.
LeBron James- It’s LeBron James… Moving on.
Kawhi Leonard- Alongside LeBron James and Kevin Durant, Leonard is one of the top forwards in the entire NBA. He is the best defensive player in the league and his offense game continues to grow year after year. With Tim Duncan retiring, Leonard has nothing holding him back from becoming the undeniable leader of the Spurs, and that will only help Leonards All NBA campaign. Do not be surprised if he is in the running for league MVP either.
DeMarcus Cousins– No, the Kings won’t win a lot of games this year, but that does not mean Cousins is not the best center in the NBA. He is the only constant piece for the Kings and year after year, Cousins pours our strong stats. Now if it was not for the All-NBA formatting (two guards, two forwards, and a center), Cousins might not have made this list due to the Kings being the Kings, but He is the best center and that alone lands him a first team spot.
This season has a lot of story lines behind it, and that alone makes the anticipation unbearable.