Funny how you start with an idea in your head and then you look at the numbers and you see the real difference in what you thought was true.
Of course I am talking about the NBA and the best players at the position.
The funny thing is, I was thinking there would be this gradual decline from the best to the worst. But looking at the players, their PER and other stats, and from my knowledge of the game, there are huge step function differences from the best player to the worst....with the exception of PF.
Here are my thoughts by position, let me know if you disagree.
Howard, M. Gasol
After that you lose the total package centers (good at D or O but hardly ever both)
You from there get the drop off to great D centers like Noah, Chandler, Asik, etc... or to Brook Lopez or Big Al for offense
A better cluster together at the top but still a drop off:
Chris Paul, T Parker, Westbrook, ....then you get Curry, Irving, Lillard maybe, Conley, Rondo. There seems to be more great PGs but in my mind only the top 3 have complete enough games to carry a team potentially
Lebron and KD....not even close...then Melo (god I hate Melo), P George, ...then maybe L Deng, J Smith....then another step down for P Pierce (got I hate Pierce), Parsons, K Leonard, Batum etc...
This is where things to me seem more even/gradual in decline
Duncan (once great and still very good but not so good as to have so steep a drop off till....), K Love or LMA? Dirk, Z Randolf, B Griffin, .....then to Ibaka, P Gasol, D West, Millsap.
Duncan still rules this group but not all that much. Randolf may actually be #2 as I think of it as he just has a decent all around game as opposed to the O first and maybe only games of Dirk, LMA, Griffin
Anyway, just some thoughts to cause an argument, and keep using the time until the season starts.
When you look at the numbers and just get a feel at SG....Harden being the best SG in the game is probably accurate at this point. For 35 or more minutes a night I would take him over Kobe and Wade any day and twice on Sunday. Now in the clutch or in playoff times, Kobe and D Wade probably win. But to bet on from game 1 during the season, Beard is your man. Awesome for the Rockets.