THE 4TH QUARTER

We Champions Baby! Where Our Trophy At?

NBA Preview: Top 5 Shooting Guards (2009-10)

Posted by Jo$h on October 21, 2009

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1. Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers) – No brainer here. The best basketball player of his generation who is also coming off of a championship season. If you think getting his 4th ring (and 1st Shaq-less ring) is going to satisfy Kobe then you’re dead wrong. Look for Kobe to have that same hunger as he chases rings number five and six. Its become a little more infrequent for us to see Kobe sky above the rim and posterize helpless big men the way he did in his younger days (and the way we see Lebron and D-Wade do now), however, as Kobe’s body slowly ages, he utilizes his superior skill set and high basketball IQ to keep himself ahead of his younger and more athletic competition.

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2. Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat) – Probably the consensus choice for the league’s third best player, however, if the Miami Heat were as high in the standings and were seen deeper into the playoffs as often as the Lakers and Cavaliers, the he’d be argued for as the best player just as much as Kobe and Lebron are. Dwayne Wade seems to be in the same place that Kobe Bryant was stuck in back in 2006, a great player miles ahead of everyone else on his team and must will his team to victory most of the time for his squad to have any realistic shot. If this ranking was for fantasy draft picks, Wade would probably be first. However, how often is it that you see someone average 30 points and nearly 8 assists in a season. Not your average “scorer” if you ask me.

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3. Brandon Roy (Portland Trailblazers) – Roy broke through and made a well deserved appearance in the All Star Game last year, and current Los Angeles Lakers forward (and notable lock-down defender) Ron Artest called him the best basketball player he had ever played against during a playoff series last season. Brandon Roy is the best player on what many expect to be the team of the future. By averaging an impressive 22 points 5 rebounds and 5 assists a game and delivering in several clutch moments down the stretch, Roy is showing the league who to watch out for not only in the next few years, but right now as well.

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4. Ray Allen (Boston Celtics) – Although older than anyone else on this list, Jesus Shuttlesworth can still put up numbers and perform with the best of them. Just ask the Chicago Bulls who delivered clutch shout after clutch shot and dropped 51 on them in a first round game last spring. Although the consesus is usually Kobe Bryant, as an opposing player I’d be worried watching Ray Allen throwing up a buzzer beating attempt more than anyone else in the league. Although he doesn’t have to produce as much with the Boston starting line-up being as stacked as it is, there is no doubt he can deliver when called upon.

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5. Vince Carter (Orlando Magic) – Many people view VC as old and past his basketball prime, however, he averaged a “quiet” 21 points 5 rebounds and 5 assists last season in New Jersey where no one could really see him. With Vince playing for a true contender for the first time in his career look for some of the fire and energy that we saw in his early playing days. Opportunities should arise often for Vince as defenders will swarm Dwight Howard leaving Orlando’s perimeter players wide open. There are a lot of players who could’ve been placed at this last slot, but Vince’s hunger and newfound interest stemming from a realistic shot at earning a ring should justify his placement among the league’s top shooting guards.

Honorable Mention: Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers), Manu Ginobili (San Antonio Spurs), Richard Hamilton (Detroit Pistons)

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