First Trimester All-Pro Team
The first NBA trimester is complete and some star players are playing as dominant as expected. When I look at an all-pro team, I am looking at how these players impact a game, consistency, and importance to a roster. Lets look at who I think fits the first and second all pro teams one third through the 2014-2015 NBA season.
G: Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors- The Golden State Warriors have the best record in the NBA at 23-5, and it largely has to do with the performance of Stephen Curry. Curry has used the teams spacing to his advantage scoring 23.1 points per game. His defensive skills improved from last season with 2.1 steals per game and 5.2 rebounds per game, all career highs. A majority of his rebounds have been on the defensive. Thanks to his mother, if he turns the ball over more then twice per game he owes her money, so expect the 3.4 turnovers per game to drop.
G: James Harden, Houston Rockets: James Harden is the best shooting guard in the NBA. This is the best season of his career with career highs in points, assists, steals, and blocks per game. His 27 points per game is the best in the league. While Dwight Howard was injured, Harden was averaging 30 points per game. Harden can score all over the court and has been the hardest player to defend in the league.
F: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers: Another fantastic start to the season for King James. The Cavaliers may not be as dominant as expected, but the King is averaging over 25 points per game which he has done over the last eleven seasons. Given the responsibility as a ball handler, James is averaging 7.6 assists per game, the second highest of his career. LeBron has a motor that never stops and will be the best player in the league until he retires.
F: LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers: LaMarcus Aldridge is a double-double machine averaging 22.9 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. Aldridge always creates miss-matches because he has the size and quickness of a power forward, rebounding ability of a center, and is shooting a career high 47% from behind the arc and 85% from the foul line. He is expecting bug bucks this offseason.
F: Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans: Anthony Davis is only 21 years old which is very hard to believe. At such a young age he is already the best rim protector in the NBA with a league leading 2.9 blocks per game. Davis is on pace for 1,986 points, 231 blocks, and 822 rebounds which skyrockets past his numbers from last season. The success of the Pelicans rides on his shoulders.
G: John Wall, Washington Wizards: John Wall is tied in first place in the NBA with 17 double-doubles. This season he has a career high in assists with 10.5 assists per game, only 0.1 assists behind assist maniac Rajon Rondo. His defensive game has improved with 2.1 steals with 4.3 defensive rebounds per game, which is also a career high. His stat sheet explosion makes him a dark horse MVP candidate.
G: Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder: Russell Westbrook is the most explosive player in the NBA. Since returning from injury, Westbrook is averaging 28.6 points per game. When he is on his game he instantly makes the Thunder a contender. With Kevin Durant in and out of the lineup, the Thunder will have to rely more on Russell Westbrook. If he was not injured earlier this season he would have been represented on my first team.
F: Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks: The Knicks may be the biggest disappointment this season, but Carmelo Anthony has come to play. Carmelo Anthony is fifth in the league with 24 points per game only behind James Harden, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Anthony Davis. His supporting cast has been atrocious this season. This season ties his career low is turnovers per game. His performance is not leading to wins, but if he was not on the Knicks they would be the worst team in basketball.
F: Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers: Every season Blake Griffin finds something new to expand on his game. This season it is the three point shot and passing. His three point percentage is 47% which is by far the best in his career. His assist rate is 4.7 per game which is almost one more assist per game then every other season in his career. His big dunks and blocks make him an impact player every time he is on the court.
F: Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies: The best Gasol brother in the league is no longer big brother Pau, it’s Marc. An offensive explosion this season with 19.9 points per game, six points higher then his career average. He is on pace for over 1,600 points which is more than 500 points more than his career high. With Zach Randolph’s knee injury, expect more touches for Gasol.
Coach of the Year: Mike Budenholzer, Atlanta Hawks: The Hawks are currently the two seed in the Eastern Conference with a record of 21-7, but no one seems to be talking about it. They are first in the league in assists. In the last fifteen games, the Hawks have won fourteen of them. If the season ended today, I would vote him coach of the year.