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Top 10 NBA players this season

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The top 10 NBA players this season (2019/2020)

 

Following the end of the 2019/20 season, the LA Lakers were crowned NBA champions after beating the Miami Heat 4-2 in the Finals. Lebron James won the Finals MVP, as he helped restore LA to their rightful glory, with their first championship win in 10 years.

This was arguably one of the strangest seasons in NBA history, following the coronavirus pandemic. Hitting the NBA half way through the season, all games were halted and postponed until further notice.

Players and teams had to try and pick up from where they left from the first half of the year. For some this was difficult, but there were some stand-out performers that helped carry their teams to playoff berth.

Long-term injuries ruled out top NBA players for the majority of the season such as Steph Curry and Kevin Durant. As they miss the list, which performers made the cut in the top 10 NBA players this season?

 

10. Jimmy Butler

Jimmy played a pivotal role in Miami’s run to the NBA Finals this season. He recorded two 35+ points triple-doubles in both their wins in the finals and led by example to the rest of the team.

In the regular season, he scored 19.9 points per game, 6.7 rebounds and 6 assists to help lead Miami to a playoff position. Having finished 5th seed they didn’t perform as good as other teams, but Butler was a stand-out performer for them.

He definitely improved as a player this season, and he is one of the best all-rounded players in the NBA at the moment. His teamwork and leadership on and off the court have made him a great addition. His defensive performances this year were solid and his playmaking abilities are evolving all the time.

If Butler can continue to improve next year then Miami will be a force to contend with for other teams. Their coach Erik Spoelstra and his backroom staff will still be key in their development. They’ve got quite a young roster already, so will definitely be a team to watch out for in the future.

 

9. Russell Westbrook

Russell left Oklahoma City Thunder behind after 11 years in 2019, and joined former teammate James Harden with the Houston Rockets. Many wondered if he would be able to play in a team with another superstar and still perform to his usual standard.

It was safe to say that both players managed to bond well and put big numbers on the stat sheet. Westbrook averaged 27.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7 assists per game, in his first season there. His energy and explosiveness on the court was a great asset for the Rockets.

However, their season ended in disappointment after losing to eventual winners, Lakers in the Western Conference semifinals. Westbrook’s biggest criticism beforehand, was whether he could play well as part of a team. He showed that when he plays well consistently he can help lead his teammates to win games.

He has the ability to record triple-doubles and put up big numbers on the stat sheet regularly. The Rockets will need to continue to get him and Harden gelling well together to mount a serious title challenge.

 

8. Trae Young

After a poor season for the Atlanta Hawks, Trae Young provided fans with something to be positive about. In his second season in the NBA, the point guard averaged 29.6 points and 9.3 assists a game. He also was a starter in the NBA 2020 All-star game.

His limitless range and ability to score the ball is a great asset for his team and he is only in his second season. Already a future star in this league, his defensive game is the only aspect that could arguably need improving.

The 22-year-old shooter has an amazing 3 point shot and it is hard to stop at times. The Hawks would benefit if they helped give Trae a better team surrounding him, as I’m sure a lot of other franchises would be keen on acquiring his services.

He has another year on his contract, however at the rate he is progressing, Trae is fast becoming one of the stand out players in the league.

 

7. Damian Lillard

Damian has been Portland Trail Blazers stand out player for a number of years since being drafted in 2012. Known as one of the best clutch players, he has continued to lead his team in games ever since his arrival in Portland. His presence within the changing room and on court has made him their go-to player.

Statistically, Lillard marked out one of his best seasons ever, recording 30 points and 8 assists per game. He consistently leads his team to playoff positions but a lack of high quality players around him, hinders their performances in big games.

Many basketball fans consider Damian as almost a ‘second tier’ player in the NBA, and he is underrated by most. If they were able to progress further in the conference playoffs, people would change their opinion on his impact on the squad.

There isn’t that much more he can do for his team, and he’s the main reason why they continue to be in the top seed.

 

6. Luka Doncic

Dallas Maverick shooting guard, Luka Doncic has gone strength to strength in his second season. He helped take his team to a playoff position, and is dominating the game every time he steps out onto the floor.

Almost averaging a triple-double this season, he tallied 28.8 points, 8.8 assists and 9.4 rebounds per game. Arriving as the 3rd pick in the 2018 draft, Luka has since managed to make Dallas a team that can be genuine playoff contenders, reminiscent of the 2011 Nowitzki era.

With Kristaps Porzingis by his side, there is no reason why the Mavericks can’t compete against the top teams in the league. Doncic has often stepped up when they require someone to win the game for them this year. He has proved this season why he can be a top 10 NBA player.

Making the All-NBA team and being selected as a starter in the all-star game, is further evidence why Luka is so high up on this list.

 

5. Anthony Davis

Davis’ team up with Lebron this year was a special treat for Lakers fans. He played a key part in returning the NBA title to LA, the first time since 2010 and received his first ring as well.

His main issue before was not being able to help his team go deep into the playoffs, but that has changed now. His 26.1 points and 9.3 rebounds per game helped take the Lakers to the number one seed in the Western conference. He also managed to maintain his form without too many injury struggles, helping him dominate as a big man.

There is a reason why he was part of the All-NBA first team and All-NBA defensive team. He was a huge presence on both ends of the floor all year, and especially throughout the Finals.

Anthony has continued to improve since coming to the NBA as first pick in 2012. He is considered to be the best big man in the league right now, and has formed a great partnership with Lebron. He seems to understand how Davis plays on the court, and it has proved to be a winning formula this year.

 

4. Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard could arguably be put further up this list. Last year he led the Toronto Raptors to their first NBA championship and won the Finals MVP honour. This season he teamed up well with Paul George to finish as the second seed in the Western Conference.

His defensive performances transformed the La Clippers this year and he was unlucky not to make the All-defensive first team. Leonard possesses the ability to acclimatize with whatever roster he is a part of, and is usually the driving figure and leading by example.

Over the last couple of years he has improved his offensive game as well. He finished the regular season with 27.1 points, 4.9 assists and 7.1 rebounds per game, as he became more clinical around the basket.

After winning two championships in his playing career, he is clearly a winner. The Clippers will be disheartened to have been knocked out by the Denver Nuggets this season. If they can hold onto their team however, they will no doubt be hungry for more next year.

 

3. James Harden

As one of the most consistent stars in the league, Harden continues to impress. His ability to shoot the ball and score under the basket makes him an extremely hard player to stop. His creativity to find new ways to get points is the main reason why he is one of the best offensive players in the NBA right now.

Along with Russell Westbrook, Houston have become an incredible attacking team. It is almost as if it doesn’t matter who their opponents put on defence to stop them.

He led the league with the most points averaged per game (34.3) and the most threes per game (4.4). He added 7.5 assists and 6.6 rebounds per game on top of that. As the focal point in the Rockets setup, he made the All-NBA first team and was an all-star starter.

The only thing that is holding Harden back at the moment, is his defensive effort and failure to progress to the Finals. But despite all that, he still remains one of the best players in the NBA today, thanks to his ability to score the ball.

 

2. Lebron James

Even with Lebron being the oldest person on this list, he still manages to secure the second spot. The four time NBA champion revived his Lakers team and was the key player in helping them win their 17th title. Not to mention that he was awarded the Finals MVP, recording a double-double at least every game.

He has continued to dominate the NBA ever since his arrival 17 years ago, and has cemented the status of being one of the greatest basketball players of all time. This season was no different. He scored 25.3 points, produced 10.2 assists and grabbed 7.8 rebounds per game. As well as averaging 27.6 points per game in the post-season, at the age of 35.

Many basketball fans would happily argue that he should be number one on this list and should have been MVP this season. Despite his dominance on the offensive end, his defensive performances took a slight dip this year- hence why he is second.

Nevertheless, he continues to find ways to improve his game. His physical stature will allow him to play at this level for a few more years at least. As his game slows down he manages to accommodate the rest of his teammates to improve their performances as well as his, making him a top two player with ease.

 

1. Giannis Antetokounmpo

At number one on the list for the top 10 NBA players this season, is Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Milwaukee Bucks star has dominated the league on both ends of the court this season. He won Most Valuable Player (for the second year in a row) and Defensive Player of the Year for his efforts on the floor.

He scored 29.5 points, got 13.6 rebounds and dished out 5.6 assists as the Bucks took first seed in the Eastern Conference. Losing only 17 games, Giannis starred as the front man for their success in the regular season. It was disappointing however that they were knocked out by the Heat in the Conference Semi’s, but Giannis being injured was a monumental part of that.

His presence on the court is a huge threat to the opposition and incredibly hard to stop. Giannis’ efficiency when playing highlights how good of a player he is, shooting 53% from the field this year.

The big man is only 25 years old and at this rate, is going to be one of the best basketball players the NBA has seen in recent years. Having had his best season of his career so far, there is no limit as to how high Giannis could go.

 

We hope you enjoyed the article ‘Top 10 NBA players this season’. Who do you think was the best NBA player this year? Let us know! 

 

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Joe is an aspiring sports journalist with an excellent knowledge and passion for football and basketball, with a wide-range of understanding in major sports. He studies Multi-Media Journalism at Bournemouth University and is currently completing a ‘year in industry’ placement, beginning his first 3 months here with us at Sporting Ferret! You can contact him on: willisjoe120507@gmail.com

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