Ranking NBA’s top 25 players this season: Big man debate at No. 1, Wemby makes list, Steph, LeBron miss top 10

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Fresh out of the All-Star break, NBA action gets back underway Thursday night. With no games the past few days, it was a good time to catch up on film and take some deeper stock of what we’ve seen so far. 

With that in mind, I have put together this list of who I believe to be the top 25 players to this point. Keep the “to this point” part in mind. This is not a ranking of the best 25 players in the league. It’s the 25 guys who’ve been the best this season

You’ll see at the end of each blurb where each of these players ranked in our CBS Sports preseason Top 100, which was a projection of how we believed players would perform in 2023-24. There are some major discrepancies between what we expected and what has happened, as usual. 

So here we go. Let me know what you think in the comments. And remember, if you don’t have anything nice to say, well, go ahead and say it anyway. I’m not one to hold my tongue very well, either. 

There’s no minimum games played rule on this list, and Embiid was tracking toward his second straight MVP before succumbing to meniscus surgery earlier this month. At that point, Embiid was the league’s leading scorer at over 35 a game with top-shelf defensive impact. 

A step further: Embiid’s 49.8 points per 48 minutes is tied with Wilt Chamberlain (1961-62) for the highest mark in history. He’s gone for at least 40 points in over 25% of his 34 games. Seriously. Forty once every four games? 

Embiid is also averaging a career-high 5.7 assists as a dribble-handoff traffic cone that Nick Nurse’s offense, and all its trailing defenders, is constantly weaving around. His face-up jumper, the finesse to his post-up power, has effectively rendered him indefensible. Now he has to do it deep into the playoffs. Hopefully he’s healthy enough to give it a crack in May. Preseason Ranking: 6

With Embiid ineligible, Jokic is the betting favorite to win his third MVP in four years. He remains the best player in the world, and the Nuggets remain the best team until proven otherwise … except when Jokic is…

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Source link : https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/ranking-nbas-top-25-players-this-season-big-man-debate-at-no-1-wemby-makes-list-steph-lebron-miss-top-10/

Author : Brad Botkin

Publish date : 2024-02-22 16:25:19

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