In honour of the lack of games going on, I thought I would delve into the cesspool of negativity that is NBA Twitter for some content. In a new weekly column, I will find the hottest topics on NBA Twitter and give my thoughts on the debates. For this week’s edition, we’ve got two start bench cuts and a ranking of four shooting guards.
So, let’s get started.
Start: Prime Dwight Howard
This really isn’t all that close. Howard thanks to the gong show of his last five seasons has become much more of a joke than an NBA prize but, in his peak he was one of the league’s best. For a five-year run, he was the unanimous best defender in the NBA, led a team to the finals and almost won an MVP. There was a legitimate argument he was the best player in the world as well. Neither Amar’e or CB come even close to any of those distinctions.
Bench: Prime Chris Bosh
People forget how good Chris Bosh was. Bosh is a classic victim of environment throughout his career. He started playing for an irrelevant franchise (RIP my childhood Raptors) with literally no help and then went to Miami and took a back seat as a third option. If Bosh was ever given the kind of situation Amar’e was in Phoenix as a second option with Steve Nash, he would’ve excelled. He was a better shooter, passer and defender than Stoudemire and, was a better teammate. For me, Chris Bosh is an easy second choice.
Cut: Prime Amar’e Stoudemire
How good was Amar’e really? He played with arguably the easiest player in the 2000’s to play with and then before we could see him without Nash fully, his injuries basically eliminated that chance. Stoudemire was great in Phoenix don’t get me wrong but, call me crazy for thinking an athletic bigs career was enhanced getting to catch the best passes in the league for his prime. If you forced him to be the first option without that kind of help, I think he would’ve been a completely different player and because of that he finishes third for me.
Start: MVP Stephen Curry
Stephen Curry had arguably the greatest offensive season in league history, led a team to a record 73 wins and, had us questioning if he was better than LeBron. No matter how great Rose and Westbrook were in their MVP seasons, neither were even remotely close to any of the achievements of Curry in 2015-16.
Bench: MVP Russell Westbrook
On a team with almost no spacing, Russell Westbrook became the second player in league history to average a triple-double. Fun fact, Westbrook led that team in three pointers made a game. Like seriously do people not remember that Thunder team wasn’t good. His second best player was Victor Oladipo who at the time was seen as a bust in Orlando. Westbrook haters will try and tell you Oladipo was the same guy who made the All-Star teams in Indiana (false) and that this OKC team was actually being held back by Westbrook’s style (comically false). I know everyone hates him but in 2016-17, Russell Westbrook had one of the best seasons in NBA history.
Cut: MVP Derrick Rose
From one of the most unnecessarily hated on seasons in NBA history to one of the most over glorified. Derrick Rose’s MVP season was incredible, don’t get me wrong but Bulls fans would have you believe it was the greatest season ever achieved in the history of sports. In reality, Rose was a shaky defender in his peak, a suspect jump shooter and an okay passer. Westbrook meanwhile in his peak season was a similar defender however, he shot the ball better and, was an inarguably better passer. Rose deserved his MVP but, his season has become one of the most overhyped in league history. Curry and Westbrook accomplished things we’ve never seen before (and may never see again), Rose had a regular MVP year. There’s a gap there that is hard to ignore.
- Klay Thompson (this is the only correct answer)
The best player is the unanimous future Hall of Famer with more clutch playoff moments than the rest of the guys have playoff appearances. Having him in the same sentence as these guys is a joke.
2. Bradley Beal
Bradley Beal averaged over 30 a game this year and yeah it was for a garbage team but he’s also the only one on this list capable of doing that right now. He was also an above average to good defender when Washington gave him a reason to try on defence, so I expect that to come back as well. Finally, he’s unquestionably the best passer and ball-handler in this list.
3. Devin Booker
I went to the Suns Raptors game this year and every time Booker had the ball as a Raptors fan you were worried. He has a unique ability to score at every level and if you gave him any semblance of a reasonable supporting cast, the numbers he could put up would be outstanding. I don’t think he has the ceiling of being a best player on a title team however, it’s hard to fully make that statement when he’s never had a supporting cast that would worry his Kentucky team in 2014-15. He’s a polarizing player for sure but, he’s definitely not the worst player on this list.
4. Khris Middleton
Khris Middleton is a really good NBA player. That being said, he is criminally overrated by Bucks fans.
First of all, call me back when he drops fifty in a playoff game instead of in a game in January against a team that’s tanking. Middleton sucked last year in the playoffs plain and simple, and I can’t have him any higher when his best moment in the league was torching the worst conference finals team of my life. He has the easiest second option job in the history of the NBA (I’m not joking).
Their entire team has a stupid amount of spacing and all anyone cares about when they play the Bucks is Giannis who had a season better than any prime Shaq season this year. Do people not understand how much easier it is to play on a team with arguably the best player in the world and receive little to no defensive game plan than it is to be the best player on any team and be the only part of the game plan?
If the Bucks traded for anyone else on this list straight up for Middleton, they’d be instantly better because for the slight, slight decline in shooting, they’d gain a far better shot creator and ball handler. Middleton is good, but he’s as much product of Giannis’ greatness as any second option in NBA history.