In light on this weekends all star festivities capped off by the best of the best going at it in the All Star Game, I've decided to mix and match and create my best starting 5 line up in the NBA using current players as they are now, not in their primes. And remember, you're making a team not a list of the best players. But if that's the route you choose then let the debate begin. I would love to hear your starting 5 as well in the comment section below.
Center - Dwight Howard: This answer is basically by default although I do believe he is a monster when he wants to be. Just a couple of years ago before Howard began a slew of injuries, we were talking about Super Man being the next big thing.
He took a lousy Orlando Magic team to the NBA Finals in 2009 only to lose to Kobe's Lakers. He's been defensive MVP numerous times and would have won last year had he not missed half the season with a back injury. He also leads the league in blocked shots almost every year. From a defensive standpoint alone, Dwight Howard is unmatched in the paint. He's a better offensive player then most give him credit for. I dare you to bring up another legit name that can match Howard right now!
Power Forward - Kevin Love: This kid is so damn impressive. Unfortunately he's hurt right now but when healthy the man is a scoring and rebounding machine to the likes we probably haven't seen since Charles Barkley. Where he exceeds Sir Charles is that Love can hit a jumper from anywhere and even pop the three ball.
Love is your basic blue collar, bring your lunch pail to work kind of guy. He keeps his mouth shut, does what he's told and let's his spectacular play on the court do the speaking for himself. He's not afraid to bang down low and usually wins that battle. Last year he averaged 26 points and 13 rebounds per game. The year before he was 20 and 15. Add the fact that he's still young with plenty of great years left to play, I'll take Kevin Love as my starting PF.
Small Forward - LeBron James: Does anyone really even have to think about this one? Okay if you want to consider Kevin Durant go ahead. But you dare write his name in the SF spot. There's no point of running through all the numbers that The Chosen One has as he breaks records on a hopeful run of championships to come. But just to let you know his career average is 27 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists. That's nuts!
The best thing about LeBron is that he continues to get a lot better every day. His FG% is way up, his fouls are way down and his confidence is at an all time high. Once you get that monkey off your back and finally win a championship, a whole load of pressure and the weight of that burden leaves you forever. We know see it even more in his game. He's managed to combine having fun and playing incredible basketball at the same time. There's no doubt who the best player is in the NBA.
Shooting Guard - Dwayne Wade: Okay I may not be the biggest fan of Dwayne Wade but there's no denying his greatness. Yes the man is a great basketball player overshadowed his teammate King James. I don't like how dirty of a player he is. I was watching a game last week where in slow motion it appeared as if Wade was trying to karate kick the opposing player in the face. It was the Laker vs Heat game in which Wade took over in the 4th quarter. The man is a closer and when he realizes his team needs him he steps up and rises to the challenge.
Out of Marquette, Wade was able to make the Miami Heat relevant almost instantly. Shaq fell in love with him and decided to join forces and win a title in 2006. While Shaq was the leader over Kobe on those Laker teams, it was Wade who led the charge with 4 straight victories in one of the best single player performances in an NBA Finals. He has the heart, will and determination to win and will do anything to do it.
Point Guard - Chris Paul: I've been saying for the last 4 years that Chris Paul s the best all around point guard in the league. He's an assist machine and runs the floor better than any player I've ever seen. He's barely 6' feet tall but plays like he's 7' feet because he's fearless going to the hole. He's averaged almost 19 points a game and 10 assists throughout his all star career.
The most important thing you want out of your PG is the ability to pass accurately and get the team involved. Paul does that better than anyone. Every one of his teammates know they can get the rock at anytime so they are always prepared. As great of a passer he is, the man can also shoot. He's got great touch on his mid range jump shot which adds another unstoppable dynamic when trying to guard this kid. Above all, he plays the game of basketball the way it's supposed to be played. He's a thrill to watch. I call him the Peyton Manning of the NBA. CP3 is so cerebral and well prepared that he knows where everybody is on the floor both on offense and defense. The man defines floor "general."