Kobe Bryant Leads the Way on First-Month All-NBA Team Selections
With nearly four weeks of the frenetic 2012 NBA season in the books, it's time to announce our first month All-NBA First and Second Team selections.
We considered 20 players for the two teams before ultimately trimming the list down to the top 10 basketball players in the world.
Let's take a look at the two teams.
Second Team Guard: Chris Paul
18 points, 8.4 assists, 3 rebounds, 2.8 steals, 52 percent field-goal percentage
Chris Paul will likely return to the court this weekend after missing one week due to a hamstring injury.
In Paul's last game versus the Lakers, he scored 33 points on 12-of-22 shooting to go along with six assists, four rebounds and three steals.
Paul narrowly missed out on being named to the First Team.
Others considered: Rajon Rondo, Steve Nash
Second Team Guard: Russell Westbrook
20.5 points, 5 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.7 steals, 45.2 percent field-goal percentage
Unable to find a deserving shooting guard for the Second Team, Russell Westbrook earns the bid at the other guard spot.
He's one of three players in the NBA averaging at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists.
Others considered: Monta Ellis, Joe Johnson
Second Team Forward: Carmelo Anthony
25 points, 6.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.5 steals, 41.1 percent field-goal percentage
One of only five players in the NBA to average at least 25 points per game, Carmelo Anthony earns a spot on the second team.
Although his shooting percentage is slightly down, Anthony continues to fill up the stat sheet with more than just points.
Others considered: Rudy Gay, Danilo Gallinari
Second Team Forward: Blake Griffin
21.2 points, 11.8 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 51.7 percent field-goal percentage
Blake Griffin is one of only three players in the NBA to average at least 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Considered by many to be the most exciting player in the league, Griffin will compete for a spot on the 2012 USA Basketball Team.
Others considered: LaMarcus Aldridge, Dirk Nowitzki, Chris Bosh
Second Team Center: Kevin Love
25.2 points, 14.5 rebounds, 43.4 percent field-goal percentage
Probably more of a forward than a center, Kevin Love earns the spot over Andrew Bynum as a result of being too good to leave off the second team.
Love is fourth in the league in scoring, second in rebounding and is making nearly two three-pointers per game while shooting over 80 percent from the foul line.
Others considered: Andrew Bynum, Greg Monroe, Al Jefferson
First Team Guard: Derrick Rose
20.8 points, 8.7 assists, 3.5 rebounds, 43.9 percent field-goal percentage
The reigning MVP's numbers are slightly down from last year as a result of a turf toe injury, but Derrick Rose was still able to beat out Chris Paul for the First-Team spot.
Rose is taking less shots than last season, but I anticipate his numbers will gradually increase as the year goes on—assuming he gets healthy.
First Team Guard: Kobe Bryant
30.4 points, 5.7 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 1.4 steals, 45.2 percent field-goal percentage
Kobe Bryant leads the NBA in scoring and would be the pick for MVP if the voting were held today.
Bryant is doing it all for a very bad Lakers team, including a four-game stretch that saw him rack up 172 points (43 points per game).
First Team Forward: Kevin Durant
26.5 points, 6.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.1 steals, 1.2 blocks, 49.8 percent field-goal percentage
Kevin Durant is definitely in the conversation for best player on the planet and is, without a doubt, one of the three best players in the league today.
Will this be the year that Durant leads the Oklahoma City Thunder to the NBA Finals?
First Team Forward: LeBron James
29.9 points, 7.9 rebounds, 7.6 assists, 2 steals, 56.3 percent field-goal percentage
The hands-down best player on earth, LeBron James is shooting a ridiculous 56.3 percent from the field this season.
No one else in the NBA comes close to being able to duplicate James' all-around numbers, as he continues his quest to be named among the greatest players in the history of the game.
First Team Center: Dwight Howard
20.2 points, 16.1 rebounds, 57.8 percent field-goal percentage
The best big man in the world for at least the past five years, Dwight Howard is unlike any other player in the league.
Howard already has five games this season of at least 20 points and 20 rebounds—including the first 40-point, 20-rebound game the league has seen since 2003.