June 5, 2013 by Brandon Keller
In the NBA, more often then not talent wins. Obviously there are exceptions, but nevertheless it is a fun exercise to see which team is packing the most punch. With that in mind, here are the top 18 players in this series, with each team gettings point values for the rankings. First place gets the Heat 18 points with LeBron, and last place get the Spurs 1 point with Matt Bonner. On to the rankings:
- LeBron James– Duh
- Tony Parker– If you had asked me during the 27 game winning streak, Dwayne Wade would definitely be number two. However unless Wade has a “Flash-back” Parker’s maniac energy off the ball and pick-and-roll mastery on ball gets him the number two spot
- Dwayne Wade– Still a dynamic offensive and defensive player when focused like in game 7
- Tim Duncan– Timmy D is still a defensive centerpiece, and his midrange shooting is the focal point of the Spurs pick-and-roll attack
- Chris Bosh– A very talented player who is having issues dealing with a nagging sprained ankle. The best shooting big man not named Dirk
- Kawhi Leonard– Explosive athlete, lock-down defender, fear inducing in transition, and can nail threes. The perfect complement to the Spurs stars
- Manu Ginobili– battered and bruised, he can mix stretches of vintage GINOBILI! with puzzling turnovers and airballs
- Shane Battier– Had a bad series, but Battier is a crucial cog in the Heat’s small-ball lineups and when hitting his shots is one of the best three and D guys in the game
- Danny Green– Another 3 and D ace, he mixes good athleticism and length on defense with shooting and a great understanding of his role on offense
- Tiago Splitter– A crafty big man, who is a good rim protector on defense, and offensively can cut well off of Duncan and Diaw while also showing that he is a talented passer as well
- Ray Allen– the best shooter ever. At this point, that is about all he brings to the table.
- Chris Anderson– Birdman is great around the rim on both defense and offense, but is still prone to pull-out-your-hair plays
- Mario Chalmers– a capable caretaker of the offense, he is an above average shooter, ball handler, defender, and pick and roll threat. Is not great at anything
- Norris Cole– A fantastic perimeter defender, Cole could be key in harassing Tony Parker for long stretches.
- Gary Neal– knockdown shooter and underrated defender
- Udonis Haslem– When that midrange is going in, he is very valuable because people are going to leave him open. Only problem is it does not go in all that often
- Boris Diaw– I think I can jump higher then the man nicknamed “The Croissant”, but he is a good shooter for a big man and a superlative passer, sometimes unselfish to a fault.
- Matt Bonner– A very good shooter, but he will be a complete non-factor against the explosiveness of this Heat defense