a jim jividen blog

Here's the thing. I'm watching one of these shows on the Cooking Channel featuring food trucks. There's a Scottish expat making fish and chips; in a thick brogue he somewhat wearily explains his irritation with Americans who habitually order a side of tartar sauce: "tartar sauce is basically gherkins." That's this blog. I claim no particular insight, no revelation. If you enjoy the flavor, great, but this blog is basically gherkins.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

50 Best Players in the NBA 2009-2010

What did we ever do on Sundays before NFL RedZone?

Okay, so, recently, I offered the following picks for the upcoming NBA season; as part of that preparation (and preparation for my upcoming fantasy seasons; last year I won 2 titles in my 3 leagues; I'm only playing 2 leagues this year, we'll see how it goes) I've compiled this list - the 50 best players in the NBA.  Right Now!  Or rather, I'm projecting through this season.  I'm speaking to you from the future.  From beyond the grave!  My chief, by far and away, main measures are Hollinger's PER and Pelton's WARP numbers; I look at some plus/minus as well. 

With that - the 50 best players in the NBA:

1. LeBron James SF-1
2. Chris Paul       PG-1
(neck and neck, close enough that if you flip-flopped them, no one should protest; it's not that King James isn't every single drop as good as you think he is; it's that CP3 is better than advertised).
3. Dwayne Wade  SG-1
4. Dwight Howard  C-1
(clearly the 3rd and 4th best players in the league; there's not really a good argument that 1 and 2 aren't 1 and 2, regardless of the order, and not really a good argument that 3 and 4 aren't 3 and 4 and in this order).
5. Tim Duncan   PF-1
(the starting PF on my all time NBA team is still, in 2010, the starting PF on my current NBA team)
6. Kobe Bryant  SG-2
7. Chris Bosh     PF-2
8. Dirk Nowitzki  PF-3
(5-8 really is a your mileage may vary situation: Dirk was my top pick in both fantasy leagues; I picked 7th in both 12 team drafts, which made me grumpy)
9. Al Jefferson    C-2
10. Kevin Durant   SF-2
11. Deron Williams PG-2
(same shakeup is possible at 9-11; Jefferson's coming back from injury, so this is an optimistic view of his return)
12. Pau Gasol PF-4
13. Brandon Roy SG-3
14. Amare Stoudemire PF-5
(this can also be re-ordered in any way you prefer; I had a choice in both fantasy leagues of Dirk/Amare, and with the Suns re-installation of their hyperkinetic offense, that might have made Amare a better choice; had he center eligibility in my leagues I would have picked him)
15. Tony Parker PG-3
16. Manu Ginobli SG-4
(add good complements in Jefferson/McDyess/Blair and that's why the Spurs are right there with the Lakers to come out of the West).
17. Andrew Bynum C3
(Yao's gone or he would have been above this spot; Duncan and Amare are also really centers, but listed at the 4 here, so this shouldn't be as startling as it is.  I had Bynum/Biedrins decisions to make in both fantasy leagues, I went with my GSW guy.  If Bynum can't stay healthy again, this ranking is error.)
18. Rajon Rondo PG-4
19. Jose Calderon PG-5
20. Steve Nash PG-6
21. Chauncy Billups PG-7
(Again, any reordering you like can be done; this group is jammed together; I went with youth).
22. Kevin Garnett PF-6
23. Carmelo Anthony SF-3
24. Josh Smith SF-4
25. Andre Iguodala SG-5
(KG is hard to slot given the injury, the mileage, and the ability to reduce his usage with both Sheed and Big Baby on the Boston bench; I've got JSmooth on both fantasy teams and the only AI left on this list on one; Smith's the only Hawk in the top 50, both Johnson and Horford are close.
26. Danny Granger SF-5
27. Devin Harris PG-8
28. Andres Biedrins C4
(GSW!)
29. Blake Griffin PF-7
(the only rookie on the list; no others would be close)(oops)
30. Marcus Camby C-5
(back to back Clips; that's me getting cute like I do)
31. Brook Lopez C-6
32. Jason Kidd PG-9
(hasn't retained all of his value, like crazy Duncan, but still enough to go here)
33. Gerald Wallace SF-6
34. David Lee PF-8
(only Knick; Nate's close)
35. Emeka Okafor C7
36. LaMarcus Aldridge PF9
37. Vince Carter SG6
38. Kevin Martin SG-7
39. Kevin Love C-8
(Love's out a month and a half with the hand, I'm factoring that in; I was a huge Love fan in college; thinking that the deal swapping him for my guy Mayo was error; I was right, Mayo had a good rookie year but is overrated while Love really came on late; I'd like to see Rubio wind up in Minnesota with Love and Jefferson on the frontline.  Superfun.)
40. Greg Oden C-9
(Oden's not Durant, but he's pretty good, no matter what Bill Simmons says). 
41. Paul Pierce SF-7
42. Ramon Sessions PG-10
43. Jameer Nelson PG-11
44. Shaquille O'Neal C-10
45. Paul Millsap PF 10
46. Carlos Boozer PF11
47. David West PF12
48. Antawn Jamison SF 8
49. Gilbert Arenas PG12
50. Anthony Randolph PF13
(GSW!  If he ever gets to play.  I hate Don Nelson.  And Brian Sabean.  Which is how everything I write until he gets fired should end; even if I'm in the middle of some lefty screed, I should conclude with my dislike for Brian Sabean, as pronounced as his dislike for on base percentage.)