- With the 2012/13 season around the corner, SportsKeeda presents the NBA Top 20 – a countdown of who we predict will be the NBA’s 20 best players in the upcoming season. Six of the finest basketball writers on this website – Karan Madhok (hoopistani), Sabarinath Sankaranarayanan (sabarinath.sankara), Siddarth Sharma (sidbreakball), Siddharth Srikanth (darthsid), Sidhartha Patra (sidhartha), and Souvik Roy Chowdhury (Souvik) – put their minds together to vote for the NBA’s best, the players who will be most “valuable”, not just to their team but in determining the course of how the upcoming season unravels. Enjoy!
How the times have changed. His comparisons with Chris Paul once drew the same passionate debates the way a Kobe vs Jordan or a MJ vs Lebron does. At this moment and time, such an argument only befits a die-hard Williams fan. An abominable break-up with the Jazz followed by a fruitless first season in New Jersey and voilà, Williams ends up well below his compatriot and fierce rival at No. 8 in our countdown.
The off-season free agency hoopla now over, Deron Williams looks forward to a newly revamped team, an entire new city’s expectations on his shoulders and a career-defining season in front him. NBA’s new project and New York’s new darling, the Brooklyn Nets‘ identity on the court begins with Deron Williams and their reputation would extend to what Williams will be able to garner on the court.
Now with a 5 year/$98 million deal in his pockets, it’s time for Williams to deliver. It’s not as if he hasn’t in the past, but his years as a Net might finally decide what legacy he leaves behind in the NBA. But it’s only been on an individual front. In his eight years in the league, he has only made it to the post-season four times although being on some loaded Utah teams in the past. Deron can be described as modern day Isiah Thomas, intense on and off the court.
Deron’s last year’s figures 20.1 PPG, 4 RPG, 10.3 APG may look impressive to most, but that figure was accompanied by a paltry 41 percent shooting on 18 attempts a night. A second straight season of 33 percent from beyond the arc. Everything is a big deal to Williams, every shot, every miss, every foul. He is a hundred percent epic. Even if a couple of things didn’t go his way, it affects him. And here, we are talking about a couple of seasons!
From what we have come to know of D-Will, these knocks should only act as catalysts as Deron Williams leads the Nets’ charge in the new NBA season. One epic season and he might end up in the discussions with Chris Paul again.
Williams still is in the top five list at his position in a league driven by point guards. Pair him up with Joe Johnson, an NBA all-star since 2007 and you get the backcourt of the Nets. A backcourt Billy King, the Net’s GM believes to be “the best backcourt in the NBA.” Put Gerald “Crash” Wallace at the 3, Brook Lopez and the Kardashian pup as your big man and you got yourself a solid starting five, at least offensively.
Williams may be a conspicuously lazy defender despite standing at a sizable 6’3”, 210 pounds and yet to be a leader in the dressing room. But this team will go as further as D-Will will take them, PERIOD.
He still has the ability to single-handedly turn the game in his side’s favour, capable of putting up 20 points and 10 assists on a nightly basis and the rare ability to make the opposing defenders look like newbies. This factor alone makes Deron Williams present at such a lofty position in our countdown.
Williams now has the team he asked for (nearly, anyway). Williams, unlike Howard, didn’t throw his toys out of the pram when the going was tough with the Nets. It was he who decided in the off-season that Brooklyn was the place to be. He played a big role in recruiting Joe Johnson. This is William’s team. It’s built in such a way.
If the Net succeeds, Williams will be responsible for bringing it to relevance and be its face. If they fail, it will be tagged on his shoulder. It’s the stars that the world craves for – to pay to see, worship and burn, not the sidekicks.
Brooklyn now has its arena, its fans, its sidekicks and only awaits its true star.
SportsKeeda NBA Top 20
20. James Harden
19. Chris Bosh
18. LaMarcus Aldridge
17. Pau Gasol
16. Dirk Nowitzki
15. Blake Griffin
14. Tony Parker
13. Andrew Bynum
12. Russell Westbrook
11. Carmelo Anthony
10. Kevin Love
9. Derrick Rose
8. Deron Williams