Bucks Diary

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The 10 Best in Basketball so far


In honor of the great (and memorably cheesey) old rotoscoped NBA on CBS opening jingle from the 1970s "You'll see the best in basketball, when you watch the NBA..." (I'm still efforting a video clip of that intro segment for this site), I sought out the 10 best of "the best in basketball".

So far, its the 10 guys listed below, led by the incomparable Kevin Garnett. These are the 10 players who are averaging at least 30 minutes a game and are producing the highest Eff48 scores.

Please notice something about the list: The high percentage of players in my 10 Best who were not Top 10 draft picks. You can still get quality players lower in the NBA draft if you do your homework.

The 10 "Best in Basketball" (so far)

1. Kevin Garnett...........45.09
KG continues to be a productive machine on the hardwood. This season he is nearly producing at the same rate as Wilt Chamberlain did in 1960-61 for the Philadelphia Warriors (45.17), and that ranks as one of the top Eff48 seasons of all-time. Clearly, Garnett is fitting in nicely in Boston.

2. Josh Howard..........44.79
Wow! Small forwards, especially small forwards on good teams, are not supposed to produce at this rate. The greatest Eff48 season of all time for a small forward was recorded by Elgin Baylor of the Los Angeles Lakers in 1961-62 (42.49). I've only got numbers for two Maverick games, but Howard's off to a great start.

3. Chris Paul..........39.32
Can we get a do over on that 2005 NBA draft? Larry Harris obviously had to select Bogut or lose his job, so I'm always annoyed by the illogic of revisionist drafting... but damn! This little guy is playing at an extremely high level.

4. Chris Kaman...........38.55
He finally got a sensible hair cut, and these are the results. No longer looking like Hulk Hogan (there's a reason that dude always wears a bandana), and having lost weight, Kaman has stepped his game way, way up. He actually is the only positive example allowing me to hold out hope for Bucks center Andrew Bogut. Btw, maybe Bogut should not have put on those 15 pounds in the offseason. Perhaps its more sensible to go the other way.

5. Manu Ginobli..........37.90
In my dreams, Michael Redd morphs his game to match Manu Ginobli's. Everyone talks about Tim Duncan, but this guy, in my belief, is the key ingredient (along with Duncan) to the Spurs dynasty. He scores efficiently, he passes the ball better than anyone on the Bucks (.47 assists/FGA), and he'll grab some boards. Manu is a man.

6. Jason Terry..........37.10
The Mavs have some high level performers this season. Two players who are not named Nowitzki have +35 Eff48s. Simply incredible. I question how long Terry can keep it up, though, as he is a career 21.83 Eff48 player. But so far, so good.

7. Steve Nash..........36.82
Ever since he arrived in the desert he's been producing incredible Eff48 numbers, especially for a player who stands barely 6'2'' tall, and isn't lightning quick. He's an homage to the value of hand-eye coordination, and simple basketball craftiness.

8. Marcus Camby..........36.19
Camby has quietly been productive throughout his NBA career. Ever since 2005, he's really stepped it up, exceeding his career Eff48 of 28.62 in each of those seasons (33.09 and 32.86). He's another player that has proven you don't need to necessarily be beefy to play well in the lowpost.

9. Kobe Bryant..........36.00
Kobe or not Kobe? While the Lakers and Bulls and various other unnamed teams have asked themselves that question, Bryant has stepped his production up. Pretty impressive, given the fact that his own hometown crowd has taken to booing him.

10. Carlos Boozer..........35.27
How scary would the Cavaliers be if they would have simply showed Boozer the money? If Boozer doesn't make the All-Star team this year, there shouldn't be one. He's one of the best players at the most talent laden position in the game, and that's all you really need to say.

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