The question of, “If you were a GM today and you had to pick one player to start your team, who would it be?” usually has the typical answers of: Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Kevin Durant. However, with this new emergence of superstars, I believe a few guys have forced their way to be brought into the discussion. With injuries that have caused the league’s prominent stars to miss games, other players have stepped up into the spotlight of the NBA. Of course I’m not saying that Kobe, LeBron, and Durant aren’t in the discussion, but on the other hand, there are a few guys who are proving that they deserve their just due as well; who’s your pick?
Who doesn’t want to start their team with a 6’10 forward/center that’s a walking double double? Anthony Davis is only 21 years old with a wingspan of 7’4 that puts fear in players entering the paint and I haven’t even mentioned the intimidation of the unibrow! Drafted number 1 by the Pelicans in 2012, Anthony was picked because of the defensive effectiveness that he possessed. We all knew that he lacked low-post offense but he’s shown that he has improved over the years on the offensive side of the ball.
This season Davis is averaging 24 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 blocks a game. He’s currently ranked top five in points as well as ranked number one in blocks per game and player efficiency. Anthony Davis just has a presence on the basketball court that goes unfelt. He puts in 110% on both sides of the court and I’m sure with his all his capabilities as well as his sky-high potential, I couldn’t argue with picking Anthony Davis to start a franchise with.
“Trade Harden” they said. “He wants too much money” they said. The Oklahoma City Thunder regret trading James Harden more than Kobe regrets stepping foot into that Colorado hotel room (sorry Kobe, I know you were innocent). I believe if you asked basketball gurus years ago, they wouldn’t have predicted what James Harden has become in this league. Harden has taken the league by surprise and doing his best to lead the Houston Rockets to the Finals. I’ve heard multiple commentators and analysts call him “the best one on one player in the league”. He’s just so hard to guard.
Harden has all the offensive facets in his arsenal — whether it’s shooting the three, posting up, or hitting you with his smooth euro-step. What makes him even better is his ability to get to the free throw line. Whenever James drives to the basket, he draws contact and displays the ball, luring defenders to reach for it; and of course he gets the call every time. James Harden leads the league in scoring averaging 27 points per game with a player efficiency of 26.6 which is ranked 5th. He leads the league in free throw attempts with 357 while being automatic from the line shooting 89%. The once 6th man of the year has proven his superstardome in the league and hasn’t lost one strand of facial hair in the process. If you want a star guard along with the “Fear the Beard” paraphernalia in crowd, then number 13 is your guy.
The best way to describe Steph Curry’s game is as the late great Stuart Scott would say, “As cool as the other side of the pillow.” What Curry is doing on the court is so fun to watch. Steph is averaging 23 points per game while shooting 50% along with dishing 8 assists and leading the league in steals with 2 per game. No one can handle the ball and pull up for a jumpshot like Steph can and that’s what makes him so special and exciting to watch.
As a defender, you must play up on him because of his ability to shoot but he still has the quickness to get by you and finish at the rim. Steph and the Golden State Warriors are currently #1 in the Western Conference and hold the league’s best record at 32-6. Many people despise Curry as a point guard because he “shoots too much” but he’s been top five in assists for the past two years. In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with starting your team with Steph Curry. You know what you’re going to get out of him; a proficient scorer, a spot up shooter, and a player that’s going to get his teammates involved. He simply makes his teammates better and if you want a testament to that, just watch the Golden State Warriors.