Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo has been named the 2019-20 NBA MVP. While the MVP trophy recognizes the best player of the year during the regular season, it doesn't tell you the entire story. We have to consider the postseason, the impact on teammates, and overall contribution to the game of basketball while naming the top 10 NBA players.
Here's a list of the top 10 NBA players right now:
#10. Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets
In a short span of 5 years, Nikola Jokic has established himself as the best center in the NBA. With his unorthodox shotmaking and playmaking abilities, the Serbian has played a key role in the Denver Nuggets' recent success at the playoff level.
The 7 ft center averaged almost 20 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 7 assists this season and was instrumental in defeating the LA Clippers in the Western Conference Semifinals. Jokic has successfully managed to put the Nuggets on the map as a championship contender and has established himself among the top 10 NBA players right now.
#9. Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard is one of the best 3-point shooters in the league today. At 30, Lillard had the best season of his career this year as he averaged 30 points and 8 assists, while shooting over 40% from beyond the arc.
Known for his incredible range and clutch buzzer-beaters, Dame is one of the toughest guys to guard in the league. In the 2020 NBA bubble, Lillard's heroics helped Portland secure the 8th seed and qualify for the playoffs. Despite an illustrious 8-year career with the Trail Blazers, Lillard hasn't found much success at the playoff level.
#8. Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks
Luka Doncic is the youngest player to feature on this list. After just 2 seasons as a pro, the Slovenian has already established himself among the top 10 NBA players right now.
Aged just 21, Luka is already the face of the Dallas Mavericks franchise and helped them qualify for their first playoffs in 4 years. After winning the Rookie of the Year award in his first season, Doncic was named an All-Star and even made it to the All-NBA first team in his second year.
#7. Steph Curry, Golden State Warriors
Steph Curry revolutionized the way people play basketball. His ingenious ability to hit 3-pointers has already earned him the title of 'Best Shooter of All Time'. In the 2014-15 season, Curry was named the NBA MVP as he led a young Golden State Warriors team to their first championship in 40 years.
Curry played just 5 games in the regular season due to a wrist injury and was on the bench for the most part of 2020. Once he starts playing like his regular self next season, he is bound to be among the top 5 best players in the league.
#6. Anthony Davis, LA Lakers
The 2012 No. 1 draft pick from Chicago has already made his mark as one of the best players in the league. In his 8-year career so far, Davis has made been an All-Star 7 times and made it to the All-NBA first team 4 times.
Other than his unmatched offensive skills, Davis is also an outstanding rim protector and a shot blocker. He's been on the All-Defensive team 4 times and has led the league in blocks on three separate occasions. Aged 27, 'The Brow' is bound to move further up in this list in upcoming years.
#5. Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets
Only Kevin Durant can make it to the list of top 10 players without having played a single game entire year. The 2014 NBA MVP is looking to make his comeback from an Achilles injury he suffered during the 2018-19 NBA Finals.
When healthy, Durant is probably the most unguardable player in the league. At almost 7 ft, KD can dribble and shoot the ball like smaller guards and can play in any of the 5 positions. If Durant does manage to get back to his best, he'll probably end up number 1 on this list next season.
#4. Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers
Kawhi Leonard is among the only 3 players in history to win Finals MVPs with different teams. After beating the mighty Miami Heat in 2014, Leonard ended the Warriors' dynasty in 2020.
Lauded by many as the closest thing to Michael Jordan in today's game, 'The Klaw' is probably the best 2-way wing player in the league. As a part of the LA Clippers, the 29-year-old is now looking for his 3rd championship, but he suffered a humiliating loss to the Denver Nuggets recently.
#3. James Harden, Houston Rockets
James Harden is considered by many as the best iso scorer in NBA history. Known for his impeccable dribbling and ball handling, Harden is among the most efficient offensive players in the modern era.
The 2018 MVP has the ability to get buckets from any part of the court and has been the league's scoring leader on three different occasions. As the face of the Houston Rockets' franchise, 'The Beard' is committed to getting his first championship ring in the upcoming season.
#2. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
After being chosen as the 15th pick in the 2013 NBA draft, Giannis Antetokounmpo has exceeded all expectations and then some. Aged 25, he has already won the NBA MVP twice.
Giannis also joined the elite list of players to have won both the Defensive Player of the Year and NBA MVP in the same season. If the 'Greek Freak' finds a way to get over the playoffs hump and wins a championship soon, he's bound to go down as one of the greatest players of all time.
#1. LeBron James, LA Lakers
For the past two decades, LeBron James has been the face of the NBA. His incredible work both on and off the court has made him one of the most recognizable names in the world.
Aged 35, LeBron led the league in assists (10.2 assists per game) this year and proved that he's still the best player in the league. The 4-time MVP is currently chasing his 4th ring with the LA Lakers. When all is said and done, King James will be considered by many as the greatest player of all time.
Published 19 Sep 2020, 00:10 IST