45. Kyle Lowry
Kyle Lowry finally got paid after a solid season as Toronto’s starting point guard. And even with whispers that the Raptors tried to shop him last season, he was the leader of this young ball club. His determination, grit, toughness at the point guard position is what every team desires out of their floor leader. Kyle is not a stat stuffer, but he belongs in the top 50. It will be difficult to talk him up higher because the “Point guard” position may be the deepest position in the league, and it only gets tougher from here.
44. Paul Millsap
Paul Millsap is a model of consistency, it is hard to determine if he has reached his potential/prime of his career because his numbers are relatively the same year in year out. Since leaving Utah he has emerged as an All-Star and he was invited to participate in US world competition. Paul Millsap may not have the deadly low post game that Zach Randolph possesses but he has the ability to stretch the floor farther than Zach is able to making him a valuable asset in the stretch 4 role.
43. Monta Ellis
Monta has found a nice niche in Dallas playing the combo guard spot. Having Dirk Nowitzki on the floor has allowed him to truly excel. He has always been a great offensive talent, but in Golden State he was the main attraction throughout most of his career causing teams to focus on him defensively. With Dirk on the floor he has really blossomed into an elite second option and has given Dallas fans hope for a deep playoff run. Monta is still in the prime of his career but unless he takes over this Mavericks’ team as the leading scorer I don’t see much room for improvement.
42. Zach Randolph
Zach continues to defy Father time with his consistent level of production. His level of play mimics Tim Duncan’s high level of consistency. Zach Randolph is easily top 3 when it comes to low-post, back to the basket scoring in the NBA. The duo of Randolph and Gasol has caused Memphis to remain relevant in championship conversation and he always manages to remain relatively healthy throughout the season. I don’t see Zach moving up at all in his last few NBA seasons, but you can count on him giving you Top 50 production.
41. Isaiah Thomas
Isaiah has proven in his first 3 NBA seasons that he is fully capable of matching the statistical output of the league’s top point guards. He averaged 20.6 ppg as well as 6.3 assists and you can match those numbers against anyone. The question remains, will this production equal wins in Phoenix. He will be sharing ball handling duties with an extremely talented but crowded backcourt with Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe. In order to move up this list, the Suns may have to shop one of their guards because Thomas’ production will be hard to duplicate with limited minutes and ‘point guard by committee’ role.
NBA Pre-Season, Jameis Winston, College Football Playoffs, and Mid Season MVP
50 - 46
As the preseason winds down, I will be releasing my own version of the NBA Top 50 Player power rankings. My rankings are based on a number of factors. My power rankings were given off of offensive overall talent, defensive talent, shooting efficiency, overall value/worth to team, basketball IQ and intangibles. However I did not take season ending injuries into consideration or any injuries that happened since game 7 of the finals. I will be starting from 50 and releasing the next top 5 players every other day.
50. PAU GASOL
Pau Gasol remains a top 50 player in this league. I don’t need to make much of an argument for him either. Coming off a strong showing in the FIBA World Games in his home country of Spain, the older Gasol still exemplified the ability to pass effectively from the high post. His finesse scoring attributes continue to allow him to average upwards to 17 points per game. If Tom Thibodeau was willing to cut ties with a much grittier forward in Boozer, than Pau must have something to offer in the tank. He would be much higher on the list if he was a more dominant rebounder but that is not the case anymore at this point in his career.
49. BROOK LOPEZ
Brook Lopez was a top 30 player two seasons ago. Unfortunately injuries have gotten the best of him lately. When Brook is healthy you are getting a slightly lethargic, aggressive, fierce rebounding defensive big man with a nice touch around the basket. Playing alongside Kevin Garnett has polished him and as a result the Nets’ have a “brighter” big man. With Pierce gone, Deron Williams trying to return to prominence, and Joe Johnson a year older, much will be placed on Brook Lopez’ shoulders very early in the Lionel Hollins’ system.
48. TY LAWSON
This could be taken as disrespect; an explosive, above average shooter, arguably the fastest from court to court only sits at #48. Ok, I am a tough critic, and although I believe in this ex-tar heel it does not look good when the first 5 years of your career amount to zero playoff series wins. Most GM’s are going to look at the starting point guard first when evaluating the roster. This roster has had a lot of turnover since Melo and JR Smith left, but the one piece that has remained in tact since 2009 is Ty Lawson. Ty could easily move up this list but he has to elevate his team or we will begin to hear trade rumors by February.
47. ERIC BLEDSOE
Eric Bledsoe has been one of the most talked about names this summer. The guard whose been hiding behind Chris Paul for the early parts of his career is finally unleashed and has torn up opposing guards in the Western Conference. Athletically he can nearly stand toe to toe with Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose. The key for Eric Bledsoe is not only putting it all together, but to become a great floor leader. Jason Kidd was able to excel in the league long after his athleticism had deserted him due to his knack for knowing where guys needed to be, and putting the ball into the appropriate hands for immediate scores. Bledsoe needs to do the same for his own career. Let's face it, there has to be a reason why Phoenix took so long to ink him.
46. TAJ GIBSON
Taj Gibson and Jamal Crawford are the only players that come off the bench that ranked high enough for me to place them in my top 50 power rankings. Many will not agree with me on Gibson, but what more could you ask for out of the 6’10’’ power forward. He could just about start on 25 out of 32 other NBA teams. There are two things that make Taj Gibson special—his hidden athleticism, and his understanding of his own game. Many people are talented in the NBA, but all the talented players have not harnessed their talent and use it to exploit mismatches. Taj Gibson is becoming better and better, and I fully expect him to be a top 30 player once Gasol steps down.
Part 1 in my season QBR (Quarterback Reaction) where I evaluate the most popular and talked about position on the field, the QB. This week I am analyzing the teams with sudden "controversies" at the Quarterback spot, and what I believe (in my opinion) that the team should do in each particular situation. I will break down who is the starter heading into 'Week 5', Whether the GM, Owner, or Coach made the decision, and the controversy behind the decision.
Week 5 Starting QB: Kyle Orton
Who made the call?: Coach (Doug Marrone)
Who should really be starting?: EJ Manuel
Why the controversy:
The Bills began the season 2-0 before crashing down to reality. However, they have the fortunate ease of schedule due to the less than formidable AFC East. The defense is great, the running game is solid, and EJ had the required tools to lead this team to the playoffs. Throwing the towel in on a young quarterback so early in the season is a bad sign for Coach Doug Marrone. It was clear that the Coach made this move in a desperate hope to save his job.
Week 5 Starting QB: Geno Smith
Who made the call?: GM (Jon Idzik)
Who should really be starting?: Mike Vick
Why the controversy:
The Jets are a dismal 1-3 competing in the worst division in the league. Geno has showed improvement but not enough to remain as a starter with the current level of talent that appears to surround him. Rex Ryan has publicly admited that he has no control over the depth chart when it comes to the Quarterback position. IT appears as though Idzik the GM is setting Rex up for failure. By leaving Geno Smith in as the starter, the season will end as a “wash”, and both the head coach and quarterback(s) will be gone next season.
Week 5 Starting QB: Ryan Tannehill
Who made the call?: Coach (Joe Philbin)
Who should really be starting?: Ryan Tannehill
Why the controversy:
The Dolphins, another mediocre team in the mediocre AFC East has solid components to its roster. The running game got off to a good start and his been up and down due to injuries. Ryan has not looked spectacular but he has not looked bad enough to be replaced by an even more ordinary back up player in (Matt Moore).
Week 5 Starting QB: Christian Ponder
Who made the call?: Coach
Who should really be starting?: (Depending on health status) Teddy Bridgewater
Why the controversy: Matt Cassel was lost to injury and Teddy Bridgewater upset an impressive Atlanta Falcon ball club from start to finish. I am not sure how hurt Teddy actually is, but there are worse injuries to play through then a high ankle sprain. I do not want to cast early aspersions on Teddy, but either the coach is being super cautious or this is a sign to come for Vikings fans. Teddy should re-insert himself as the starter in Week 6.
Week 5 Starting QB: Brian Hoyer
Who made the call?: Coach (Mike Pettine)
Who should really be starting?: Johnny Football
Why the controversy:
The Browns are playing GOOD football, unfortunately that same quality football has only netted 2 wins. The AFC North is one of thee toughest divisions this year, maybe second to only the NFC West. With the Bengals and Ravens, the Browns chances to make the playoffs seem distant. Why have an older quarterback who is NOT your franchise player, remain as the starter in meaningless games. Hoyer has shown enough to get a job elsewhere, but this starting QB job belongs to Johnny. Put him in now, so that he can get over the typical growing pains. Maybe next year, with the return of Josh Gordon the Browns will be ready to make some noise.
Created Hiphop and Home Runs in 2014 out of his broadcasting studio in Queens, NY. Visit daily to find updates and breaking news in the urban sports community
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