The NBA season is lengthy and ever-changing. Our weekly position rankings will give you the top-3 players at each position over the course of the season. There’s sure to be some staples throughout the season, as well as some much welcomed surprises. Without further adieu …
Stephen Curry — Do we even need to discuss it at this point?
Russell Westbrook — The gap has never been as large as it is right now between Curry and Westbrook. Russ is obviously less valuable with a healthy Durant in the lineup, but he’s also laid some uncharacteristic eggs lately — highlighted by a 14-point, 11-turnover game against Detroit. More often than not, he’s still going to put up huge numbers, keeping him deserving of the No. 2 spot.
Kyle Lowry — Lowry did everything he could on Saturday to attempt to take down the Warriors, but his 41 points (including six triples) just weren’t enough. Although the highlights aren’t quite as sexy, Lowry has been doing his best Steph Curry impression of late. He’s scoring the ball from deep and really rounding out the stat sheet. There’s no safer play at PG right now.
James Harden — Harden is still the top SG in the NBA by far. He’s scoring the ball with ease, and has really become a true all-around player. If there’s one knock on his value going forward, it’s that his request to play fewer minutes looks like it is being taken into account — after almost always playing over 40 minutes per game, Harden has been averaging 36.6 minutes over his last three.
Nicolas Batum — With Al Jefferson out, Batum has been picking up all the offensive slack. He has a lower floor than most players at his price, but he is the clearcut featured scorer for the Hornets. On top of his scoring, Batum is crashing the glass, finding his teammates for scores, and locking down on defense (which has led to a lot of steals).
Eric Bledsoe — Victor Oladipo has almost returned to form, but this came down to consistency. Oladipo is still a wildcard, whereas Bledsoe gives you the same thing nearly every night. He’s a 20+ PPG scorer that always seems to either have a good night rebounding or assisting. The one frustrating aspect is that he never seems to get both going in the same game, which would make him a triple-double candidate.
Paul George — PG13 is already the obvious lock for Comeback Player of the Year. He’s not only bounced back fully from his leg injury, but he may be even better than he was before. George is leading the Pacers back near the top of the Eastern Conference, and doing it with lethal scoring. Aside from getting banged up against the Blazers, he’s scored more than 31 points in his last five, including a career-high 48 against the Jazz on Saturday night.
Kevin Durant — KD has returned from injury without missing a beat. He’s shooting the lights out, but still is yet to have one of those elite 40+ point games where he gets unconscious from downtown. My guess is he’s due, it’s too early to lose confidence in him regaining MVP form this season.
Kawhi Leonard — Kawhi has just flat out been better than LeBron recently. His floor is obviously lower than LBJ, but he rarely underperforms. He has a stomach bug right now, but it’s safe to assume he’ll return at full health soon. On the season, he’s averaging an impressive 21.6 points, 7.5 boards, 2.7 assists, 1.9 steals and 1.2 blocks. He’s also connecting on over two 3-pointers per game.
Anthony Davis — The injury concern is real with Davis. He seems to leave games after getting banged up all the time these days. Sometimes — like on Friday night against the Cavs — he’ll return and play well, but it’s definitely something to consider when building a lineup. Despite the laundry list of injuries, Davis is still too good to move down. His ceiling is as high as anybody’s, however, it’s not crazy to fade him just because it’s so much cap space to spend on a guy that may not finish the game.
Draymond Green — Draymond has been playing out of his mind of late. He’s yet to post another triple-double since he got two in a row at the end of November, but he’s essentially been close in every game since. The way he’s playing, he’s a triple-double threat on a nightly basis, and will block some shots and make some 3-pointers for you.
Blake Griffin — Blake simply gets this spot by default since power forwards have kind of sucked lately. Numerous players have the potential to be higher on this list (and should) — DeMarcus Cousins, Kevin Love, Chris Bosh … It goes to Griffin for now because he’s been the best of the group.
Pau Gasol — Pau has been playing out of control recently. The Bulls front court has been a mess in ways all season, but Gasol has been the constant. The most impressive thing about Gasol’s dominance has been that it’s come in limited minutes. Check out his line from Monday — 22 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, two steals, three blocks in just 25 minutes!
Andre Drummond — Despite having maybe his worst game of the season on Monday, Drummond has still been a force around the rim overall. His 18.0 points and16.5 boards are eye popping, especially when you factor in his steals and blocks. The only worry on Drummond is that his minutes seem to be random (sometimes because of fouls) — he’s played 24 minutes in back-to-back games after playing 40 the game before.
Brook Lopez — Lopez has been playing very well all season, and in more ways than just scoring. He’s averaging over 20 per game for just the third time in his career, his 8.1 rebounds are surprisingly the most he’s averaged since 2009-10, and his 2.2 blocks are a career-high. It’s pretty safe to say this is the best year of Lopez’s career.
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