Thursday, February 15, 2007

My Favorite NBA Players to Watch

Yesterday I looked at my favorite college basketball players to watch, and today, it's time to turn to the NBA. Once again, in no particular order, the players I most enjoy watching:

Leandro Barbosa (Phoenix) - I mentioned this in my Midseason Awards, but I just think his game is so unique and so fun to watch, especially in Phoenix, the perfect system for his skills. He's an excellent 3-point shooter with a quick release. But he's also one of the fastest players in the NBA on the fast break, one of the quickest on his first step to the basket, and a very good finisher at the hoop.

LeBron James (Cleveland) - He hasn't quite progressed this year as much as everyone hoped and expected, but he's still the guy that will get me to watch a game more than anyone else. More than any other player, you're never really quite sure what you might see from LeBron, or what he might do out on the court. He's the most athletically gifted player ever, and he makes plays that just shouldn't be made. He needs to be a little more consistent and continue to develop the jumper, but he's still great to watch.

Gilbert Arenas (Washington) - Gotta love watching Agent Zero simply because he's liable to pretty much shoot from anywhere at anytime. 25 footer with 20 seconds left on the shot clock in a tight game? He'll do it. Plus, he's got a great blog on NBA.com, and that's got to count for something, right?

Kyle Korver (Philadelphia) - Just a fantastic shooter. He's got an unbelievably quick release and his range starts right about when he steps into the arena. The rest of his game is not so great, but watching him shoot makes up for that.

Kevin Garnett (Minnesota) - You just have to like a guy toiling in relative anonymity in Minnesota (well, anonymity compared to other superstars), but he just goes out there every night, plays hard, and puts up great numbers for a perpetually mediocre organization under Kevin McHale. He's one of the best rebounders of the modern era, he's consistent offensively, a great defensive player, good passer, and he gives 100% every night. Hopefully the TWolves trade him to a contender.

Shane Battier (Houston) - A guy that just does all of the little things. He's a great 3-point shooter, he plays great defense (on the ball and off the ball) and he's completely unselfish on the court.

Andrew Bynum (Los Angeles) - While its fun to watch him mature more and more, what I like about watching Bynum is his passing ability. It hasn't quite shown up a lot in the stats, but he's been very good in the triangle at just taking what is there and making some solid passes to open teammates. Very impressive for a young guy.

Allen Iverson (Denver) - And last but not least, Allen Iverson, still one of the most exciting players in the NBA, with one of the most unique styles of play ever in the NBA. I mean, just think, he's 6 feet tall, 160 pounds, has never had a great jumper, and will still wind up as one of the most prolific scorers ever. Just fun to watch him compete.

Who do you enjoy watching?

13 comments:

Bryan said...

Even though I'm not a big fan of his, I do admit I sit in awe at Kobe Bryant a lot of the times. He's the closest to MJ that we have right now I think... the fade aways in the corner, clutch shots, not to mention one three-peat under his belt already. I hate the Lakers, but man Kobe is good and he's just fun to watch. What CAN'T he do on a basketball court?

insomniac said...

I was having a discussion with another basketball fan today and he described Luc Richard Mbah a Moute's upside as being "a poor man's Leandro Barbosa." I had never made the connection, and I'm still not sure that's accurate. I see Mbah a Moute as a less crazy Dennis Rodman.

You're a UCLA and Barbosa fan...what are your thoughts?

twins15 said...

Honestly I don't see where that comparison is coming from at all. Barbosa's a guard with a good outside shot and his blinding quickness in the open court. Mbah a Moute is a guy that makes a living off of offensive rebounds and putbacks. I'd like to hear the reasoning of labeling Mbah a Moute as a poor man's Barbosa, because I personally don't really understand that.

I kind of see Mbah a Moute as like a Drew Gooden... skilled offensively but not to the point that he can consistently get his own shot. However, both are great offensive rebounders, and do all of the little things to help you win.

Matt said...

I am a big fan of Barbosa as well. His speed is just ridiculous. He does have the quickest step in the league.

I am also a big fan of Dirk, mainly because I am a Mavs fan. It's pretty amazing to see someone 7 foot move like he does. He has one of the better up-fakes in the league as well. When he is on, he is almost unstoppable.

insomniac said...

So I asked the guy about Barbosa, and he responded with, "I called him a poor man's Diaw, you dumbass."

Upon which I slowly retreated with my tail between my legs.

Maybe I should refrain from commenting at 2 am...

Amanda Lynn said...

Mutombo of course; he's still got some game for a 50 year old man...

Mini Me said...

I'll go West Conf:

Steve Nash, Kobe, Josh Howard, Deron Williams, KG, Chris Paul, Monta Ellis, Mike Bibby, Sergio Rodriguez, Ray Allen

twins15 said...

So I asked the guy about Barbosa, and he responded with, "I called him a poor man's Diaw, you dumbass."

Upon which I slowly retreated with my tail between my legs.

Maybe I should refrain from commenting at 2 am...


Heh, it happens. :)

Though I'm still not a huge fan of the comparison... Diaw is really skilled (came into the NBA as a PG). He's a great passer and solid off the dribble. I still see Mbah a Moute as more of a Drew Gooden type.

Subway Heroes said...

I've got to give a shout out to David Lee. Can't get off of Isiah's bench and he is the best player on the Knicks. He's averaging a double-double while only playing 30 minutes a game. And he leads the league in FG%.

-Subway Heroes

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