NBA on Christmas Day is one of my favorite events of the year. And although two of the five games featuring the 5-25 New York Knicks and the 8-19 Los Angeles Lakers, the other three games more than make up for those duds. I think this is a perfect time to put out my All-NBA teams as of Christmas Day, as teams are approaching 30 games played this season.
Guard: Stephen Curry, Golden State
Curry has a PER higher than 25 (26.7), true shooting percentage above 61 (61.7) and more than seven assists per game. Only Wilt Chamberlain, LeBron James, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson have put up those type of numbers for a season.
Guard: James Harden, Houston
Harden has a defensive rating under 100 for the first time in his career. His game averages of 27 points, seven assists and six rebounds have only be replicated by James, Michael Jordan, Bird, John Havlicek and Oscar Robertson over the course of a season.
Forward: LeBron James, Cleveland
He’s shooting worse from the field, but he’s sharing the ball better. Cleveland is far from being a complete team, but LeBron’s still the best small forward in the NBA even if he’s not in the top-3 for MVP.
Forward: Anthony Davis, New Orleans
He’s the most exciting player in the NBA. Whenever the Pelicans play, they’re the first box score you check that night. He’s averaging nearly 25 points and three blocks a night, while posting a league high, mind blowing 33.4 Player Efficiency Rating.
Center: Marc Gasol, Memphis
I’ve been a Joakim Noah advocate the last two years, saying he’s the best center in the NBA. I was wrong. The best center in the NBA is Marc Gasol, and Dwight Howard’s a close second. Gasol is averaging nearly 20 points, four assists and a little over eight rebounds a game.
Guard: John Wall, Washington
One of the best on-ball defenders in the NBA. It’ll tough for him to be second team as the end of the season, though, since Russell Westbrook will most likely be in the way.
Guard: Chris Paul, Los Angeles
He’s as solid as they come. Curry and Westbrook are the more attractive guards, but I still would rather have Paul.
Forward: Jimmy Butler, Chicago
I didn’t see this coming. Butler has been on a war path this season, and it’s a really nice surprise. It helps that Durant and Paul George aren’t in the picture right now for All-NBA selection, but regardless Butler has been fantastic, and he’s definitely the vote for most improved player. He has an offensive rating of 125… phenomenal.
Forward: LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland
I wrote about how Nowitzki is better than Aldridge earlier this year, but LMA is having a better year so far. Portland sort of dropped off down the stretch last year, but they’re without question a contender in the loaded West.
Center: Tim Duncan, San Antonio
Duncan has the fourth best defensive rating. He’s playing more minutes a game than last year. He’s 38!
Guard: Kyle Lowry, Toronto
He won’t be snubbed from the All-Star game this year. One of the toughest guards in the NBA.
Guard: Damian Lillard, Portland
I don’t think there’s a more clutch player than right now. He’s been so much better defensively, too. He has posted a defensive rating of 102, which is eight points better than last year.
Forward: Paul Millsap, Atlanta
Show ATL some love. The Hawks are a contender in the East, and Millsap is a major reason why.
Forward: Blake Griffin, Los Angeles
His rebound numbers are down, but his assists are up. The Clippers haven’t found their defense yet, but offensively they’re the third most efficient team.
Center: DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento
He’s played 18 games, which is only three more than Westbrook. Westbrook will be on an All-NBA team at the end of the season, but there’s so many more worthy guards than big men to recognize for the first third of the season All-NBA teams. Cousins gets the benefit of the doubt here, plus the Kings were absolutely awful without Cousins. He might be the most valuable guy in the NBA.