After seeing the second team, I’m sure you can guess by now who is on the first squad. As I started before, the hardest decision I had to make was leaving Dirk Nowitzki off of the first team. With that said, I feel comfortable with my list, so here it is, the All-NBA First Team:
25pts, 4.2reb, 8ast, 1.1stl
At the beginning of the season there was some doubt as to who was the best pg in the league. That doubt has disappeared, and had been replaced with Derrick Rose. Not only is he averaging a career high in points, but his assist totals have also improved. Even more impressive has been the play of his Chicago Bulls team. Rose has led Chicago to the best record in the East. Just now are the Bulls at full strength, playing most of the season without a full compliment of players.
25.2pts, 5.2reb, 4.8ast, 1.2stl
The best player in the world has had another great season. As weird as it may sound, Kobe has gone under the radar much of the season. With all the fanfare in South Beach and the Rose explosion, Kobe has quietly put together an MVP caliber season. His individual numbers have been better in other seasons, but Kobe is playing the team game this season. Bryant continues to be one of the best individual defenders in the game. It also helps that the Lakers have the best record in the league since the All-Star break and are second in the West.
26.5pts, 7.5reb, 6.8ast, 1.4stl
As I stated yesterday, James and Wade’s numbers have been unaltered even with their union. LeBron has led the Miami attack this season leading the team in points, rebounds, and assists. James has also been the team’ best defender, and is an intimidating presence every time he steps onto the courts. Miami is currently tied with Boston for second place in the East. Bronny is once again in the MVP discussion.
27.7pts, 6.8reb, 2.8ast, 1.1stl, 1blk
Durant is once again the league’s scoring leader. He continues to be one of the league’s most clutch and deadliest players. KD has also improved his defense and is no longer a liability on defense. Although the Thunder have fallen a little short of lofty preseason expectations, they are only a few games behind Dallas for the third seed out West. Because of that and better individual numbers, I went with Durant over Dirk for my All-NBA First Team.
C- Dwight Howard
23.2pts, 14.3reb, 1.4ast, 1.3stl, 2.4blk
No other C/PF comes close to challenging Howard for this spot. Dwight worked with Hakeem Olajuwon in the off-season to improve his post moves and it shows, as Dwight is having the best offensive season of his career. Howard is having another stellar defensive season, and has become a leader. He is demanding the ball more than ever and has improved his free throw shooting. Dwight has had to deal with a mid-season trade that overhauled Orlando’s roster. Through all that the Magic are still fourth in the East.
Just missed the cut: Dirk Nowitzki. I chose Durant over Dirk because he has better invidual numbers for a team that had higher expectations. With the Thunder being so close to Dallas in the standings, the numbers pushed Durant over. Also, Dirk has slowed down in the second half of the season, while Durant hasn’t missed a beat.