Today, I am doing players 10-6. There might be some surprising names in today’s list, but you shouldn’t be that surprised. These are guys are the best for a reason. Here we go! 10. Dwight Howard – While Howard might be “Super-Man”, he doesn’t top my list. He is the most physically-fit big man in the NBA, but his post-game is still a few years behind his body. What makes him so tough to guard is his athleticism and strength. He is one of the strongest players in the league and if he wasn’t fouled on every single play, I think we would see Howard score more. Also, if he could make his free-throws he would score more. Despite all the controversy he created during the season, there is no denying Howard’s talent. His post game is still raw, but his strength allows him to bully opponents. Howard is a stud. Now he needs to put it all together.
9. Andrew Bynum – Bynum is ahead of Howard because Bynum is more advanced offensively than Howard. While Bynum’s post game is still a little raw as well, it’s ahead of Howard’s post game and Bynum continues to get better every year. Yes, he makes bone-head plays during games and remarks during interviews, but you can’t say that Bynum doesn’t have a bright future. This was the first year that he has been fully healthy and his numbers are improving. He is only 23 years old and with the lack of centers in the NBA, Bynum ranks as the best center in the league. Therefore, he enters the list at no. 9.
8. Derrick Rose – Last year, Rose would have been no. 2 on this list, behind Dirk Nowitzki, as the toughest player to guard. But due to his injuries and lack of production against the Miami Heat in last year’s playoffs, Rose was exposed. It’s not a fair argument though because the Heat keyed on Rose because he was the only playmaker on Chicago’s team. Now he tore his ACL, so no one knows how he will bounce back from a significant injury like that. His game relied on his explosiveness, athleticism, contort-ability, and strength. He is one of the quickest, physical specimen’s to ever play basketball at the point guard position. He has the complete package. Or had the complete package. I hope he makes a full recovery.
7. Kevin Love – What Love has done over the past two seasons has been amazing. Some writers say that he is “evolving” the power forward position. He came into this season in great physical shape and endured a 66-game-in-124-days season. He averaged 26 ppg this season after averaging 20 ppg last season. He can stretch the floor all the way out to the three-point line, hits big shots, and can post-up smaller players when he is guarded by them. He continues to add little things to his game every offseason. He is a nightmare to guard and gives opposing players fits. Also, he is a great pick-n-pop player. He is the elite power forward in the game right now.
6. Russell Westbrook – Is there a more aggressive rim-attacking point guard in the NBA? Westbrook is one of the strongest, quickest, and is the most explosive point guards in the league. He is a fear-less competitor and plays with a lot of emotion. The only thing that can stop him is himself. Sometimes he becomes too jump shot happy and stops attacking the basket. He has a nice mid-range game and I would like to see him extend his range out to the three-point line and become a consistent, deadly shooter. He is a great talent and is just entering his prime. I think he can be a top three point/shooting guard in the NBA for the next 6-7 years or until some of that athleticism leaves his body.