Sick of arguing with your friends about who is the best player in the NBA? Leading into the ’13-14 NBA Season, Ball So Hard will be putting an end to the debate. Here is the decisive list of the 50 best NBA players.
Note: predictions are for the up coming season and rank players on how they will perform in the ’13-14 season.
No. 12, Deron Williams
When you analyse the top point guards in the NBA, each of them have their own distinct defining features. Derrick Rose has ridiculous athleticism, Chris Paul has incredible handles and an ability to turn any defence into an advantage on offence, Tony Parker has speed and acrobatic ability around the basket and Russell Westbrook is a human pogo stick trapped in the body of an NFL running back.
But when you breakdown Deron William’s game, nothing in particular stands out. He has tremendous handles, respectable speed, is a clever passer, sharpshooter from distance and has sneaky athleticism.
All of these things make him a fantastic NBA point guard, but none of them truly distinguish him from his peers.
Williams might not have the X-Factor that some of his fellow point guards do, but in the end, it is his well-rounded game that makes him unique. Where someone like Rajon Rondo is a better passer than Williams, D-will’s game is so much more rounded and has so many more aspects to it.
Since Williams joined the Nets, there have been 57-point explosions, a record-breaking 11 three-pointer bombardment, 20 assist games a highlight dunk or two, and he has been dropping daggers and players since his Utah days.
There is a reason why Williams was selected for the 2008 and 2012 Olympic basketball teams ahead of guys like Rondo, Steph Curry and Westbrook (in 2008). Where each of those guys have a defining signature skill or feature, whether it be passing, shooting or raw athleticism, to a certain degree, Williams has all of those.
What sees D-Will ranked below guys like CP3, Westbrook, Rose and Parker on this list (spoiler alert) is that he hasn’t experienced the success on the court that those guys have. Paul beat out Williams for Rookie of the Year in ’05-06, Westbrook has made it to the NBA Finals, Rose is a league MVP and Parker is a three-time Champion and a Finals MVP.
While Williams does have an impressive résumé of his own, three-time All-Star, two-time All-NBA second team, All-Rookie first team and top five in assists in every season but his rookie year, he has only ever made it out of the second round of the playoffs once – losing in the Western Conference Finals in his second season.
This season, D-Will finally has the supporting cast he needs to make a serious push deep into the postseason. Shout outs to Brook Lopez, but Kris Humphries, Reggie Evans and Jerry Stackhouse playing significant minutes for your team doesn’t exactly spell NBA Finals.
The additions of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett (don’t sleep on Jason Terry and Andre Kirilenko either) instantly make the Nets a title contender. The move to Brooklyn was always surrounded with excitement, but now BK has added the championship experience it was lacking last season.
You can guarantee that a Nets team with Pierce and Garnett doesn’t get eliminated in the first round by a Nate Robinson-led, Derrick Rose-less Bulls squad last season.
Brooklyn also has the best man to run the show. William’s all-around game makes him one of the best suited players to lead a star-studded squad. If Pierce and Joe Johnson are hot, you can bet D-Will will dish them the ball, if Garnett wants to run pick and rolls, Williams will find him and if everyone else is struggling to score, BK’s floor general can take it upon himself to drop buckets.
In the end, while other point guards are being heaped with praise for excelling at one aspect of the game, Deron Williams’ ability to do a little bit of everything could make him the last man standing come next June.