SI.com’s NBA blog, “Point Forward,” concluded its list of the Top 100 players entering the 2013-14 season on Monday and named LeBron James the NBA’s best player in the league. “Point Forward” listed Dwyane Wade eighth, ahead of Kobe Bryant (ninth) and Carmelo Anthony (10th). Chris Bosh was 17th.
SI.com's Rob Mahony gives Wade his due, noting that "while James may take the lead for the Heat in many regards, Wade attempts all of two fewer shots per game while ranking in the league’s top 10 in usage rate. Ultimately, he uses more possessions than the first-option player on 26 of the league’s teams — a relative standing that reinforces his co-ownership of all that the Heat accomplish."
Here's a link to the Top 100, which offers an absurd amount of insight. Some interesting things to note:
—While the Heat had the most players in the Top 20 (three), Point Forward's list gives you an appreciation of how much the Heat's rivals have improved, specifically the Nets, Pacers and Bulls.
—Brooklyn has SIX! players in the Top 60: Joe Johnson, 59; Andrei Kirilenko, 49; Paul Pierce, 32; Brook Lopez, 30; Kevin Garnett, 28; and Deron Williams, 24.
—The Pacers have five players in among the Top 80: George Hill, 79; Danny Granger, 72; David West, 31; Paul George, 25; and Roy Hibbert, 23.
—The Bulls have five players in the Top 90: Jimmy Butler, 90; Carlos Boozer, 71; Loul Deng, 55; Joakim Noah, 21; and Derrick Rose, 12.
—The point of these type of lists — other than simply making yourself useful in the offseason — is to create buzz and fire up some conversations. I'll entertain that...
- Bosh (17th) is ranked higher than Kyrie Irving (20th). But, but, but that doesn't fit the narrative, SI.com!
- "Point Forward" obviously was trolling NBA fans when it ranked Dwight Howard the seventh-best player in the league.
- Sorry, but there's no way you can convince me that Boozer is almost 20 players better than teammate Butler.
- DeMarcus Cousins, ranked 53, gets no respect! (OK, I guess at this point he doesn't deserve any, but I'm pretty sure Sgt. Shaq is going to straighten things out.)
- This list proves what I already knew, and that is Knicks fans are delusional.