Boogie on down to NOLA

Welcome back NBA fans! It is time for the player report card for the second third point of the season using my proprietary grading system. The following list is the ranking of the top 25 players for the 2nd third of the season.

  1. James Harden – +25.31
  2. Chris Paul – +24.72
  3. Russell Westbrook – +24.14
  4. LeBron James – +22.46
  5. John Wall – +22.09
  6. Kevin Durant – +21.48
  7. Giannis Antetokounmpo- +20.81
  8. Draymond Green – +20,.72
  9. Jimmy Butler – +19.71
  10. Anthony Davis – +19.09
  11. Jeff Teague – +18.51
  12. Ricky Rubio – +17.73
  13. Blake Griffin – +17.36
  14. Kawhi Leonard – +16.65
  15. Damian Lillard – +15.66
  16. Karl Anthony Towns- +16.19
  17. Kyle Lowry – +16.04
  18. Isaiah Thomas – +15.55
  19. Stephen Curry – +15.35
  20. Nicolas Batum – +15.13
  21. Mike Conley – +14.63
  22. Jrue Holiday – +14.43
  23. Damian Lillard – +13.94
  24. Hassan Whiteside – +13.94
  25. Paul Millsap – +13.41

James Harden is still at the top of the list but Chris Paul has edged by Russell Westbrook for 2nd place. Chris Paul might not qualify for ranking at season’s end if he continues to miss games due to injuries. The rest of the top ten are the same with John Wall switching places with Draymond Green and Jimmy Butler and Anthony Davis switching places. The remaining 15 places in the top 25 had quite a bit of movement in the 2/3 of the season. Tim Frazier, a newcomer to the list, fell of the top 25 when Jrue Holiday came back and took his starting role back from Frazier. Ricky Rubio made the biggest jump going from 18th to 12th at the end of the 2/3 of the season. He welcomes teammate and future all-pro, Karl Anthony Towns unto the list where KAT sits at 16th on the list at the 2/3 point of the season. Rudy Gobert, DeMAr DeRozan, Kevin Love, Rajon Rondo and Tim Frazier fell off of the top 25 list. Isaiah Thomas, Nicolas Batum, the aforementioned KAT, Jrue Holiday and DeMarcus Cousins rose up to be in the top 25.

The big news at the NBA All-Star break is the trade of DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans. It should make the Pelicans an interesting team with Anthony Davis joining Boogie up front. We shall have to wait and see how this will play out. Deron Williams is ready to join Cleveland in the Cavs push to repeat as champions. Hopefully DWill stll has enough in the tank to help Cleveland repeat as champions. My former hometown team did not trade Ricky Rubio and that is a good thing. He is playing much better the past two months. Now if his coach could coach better the Wolves would have a shot at the playoffs!

At the two thirds point of the season it is becoming clear that the following teams are the only real contenders for the NBA title this year: Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Toronto Raptors. With Kevin Love’s injury it will be hard for the Cavs to repeat if he is unable to return at full strength for the playoffs. The Cavs are reportedly adding Deron Williams to help but they still will need Kevin Love in full form to get to the finals and repeat. The Wizards will challenge the Cavs this year as they are now playing very good basketball under their coach Scott Brooks. John Wall is playing at a high level and the Wizards are going to be a tough out for anybody. But that being said if the Warriors can stay healthy and keep Draymond Green in the game they will likely win it all this year. Too much talent, it is as simple as that.

My next player report card will be posted at the end of the season. Until the next blog post you can follow me on Twitter @NBAMaven1. I appreciate any and all feedback!