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Power Ranking the NBA's Best Left-Handed Ballers

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IMarch 22, 2012

Power Ranking the NBA's Best Left-Handed Ballers

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    Crafty, unique and matchup nightmares are some of the top left-handed players in the NBA.

    Lefties are often the best drivers in the league, considering that defenders and defenses in general traditionally challenge ball-handlers to go left, to their perceived off-hand.

    The same goes for passing, where left-handed players can thread the needle from impossible angles not meant for right-handed passers.

    So which southpaw league superstars are most deserving of some recognition?

    Join Bleacher Report as we power rank the 10 best left-handed ballers in the NBA today.

10. Lamar Odom, Dallas Mavericks

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    Since joining the Dallas Mavericks shortly after the end of the lockout, versatile swingman Lamar Odom has looked lost on the basketball court, but luckily he still has his left hand to go to.

    Odom's numbers are sub-par in 2011-12, averaging just 7.1 points and 4.5 rebounds per game, but still the 12-year veteran has enough moves in his arsenal to make any defender look silly.

    Odom may not be deserving of a shout-out this season, but for a left-hander, he's pretty good. 

9. Tayshaun Prince, Detroit Pistons

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    The 32-year-old Compton, Calif. native has been largely forgotten playing in the Motor City, yet his loyalty to the Detroit Pistons franchise (and his left hand) has never wavered.

    Tayshaun Prince is an NBA veteran and a unique talent given his tremendous length and athleticism for a small forward.

    Prince is an excellent defender and can D-up just about any player in the league. A former NBA champion, Prince has everything we look for in a brilliant lefty. 

8. Mike Conley Jr., Memphis Grizzlies

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    Mike Conley Jr. is a huge reason for the Memphis Grizzlies' latest success, including a trip to the Western Conference Semifinals in 2011. 

    Conley controls the Memphis offense superbly, scoring 13 points and dishing out 7.3 assists to his teammates per night.

    Conley also has a knack for big-time shots and can work his way into the paint with his solid left hand.

7. Michael Beasley, Minnesota Timberwolves

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    A 6'10" small forward is scary enough, but one that is stronger going to his left is frightening. 

    Minnesota Timberwolves star Michael Beasley can score and rebound with the league's best, and he does so as a reserve coming off the bench on most nights.

    Beasley is shooting 42.5 percent from beyond the arc in 2011-12 despite playing nine fewer minutes per game than last season for the resurgent T-Wolves.

6. Josh Smith, Atlanta Hawks

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    If Atlanta Hawks big man Josh Smith could maintain his level of intensity throughout the course of the regular season and beyond, Atlanta would be a legitimate threat to the Eastern Conference crown.

    The left-handed high-flyer is averaging a career-best 17.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game this season for the Hawks and is one of the toughest players to guard given his versatility on the floor.

    Smith can be a nightmare in transition, or stepping back and knocking down the three.

5. Brandon Jennings, Milwaukee Bucks

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    Brandon Jennings' slick left hand and on-court swagger are big reasons why he is one of the league's top young floor generals, averaging 18.9 points and 5.7 assists per game this season with the playoff-hopeful Milwaukee Bucks.

    Jennings has one of the NBA's best crossovers and can get to the rim from anywhere on the floor. 

    He is only 22 years old, however, so we'll be watching him confuse defenders for years to come.

4. David Lee, Golden State Warriors

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    The Golden State Warriors may be an NBA doormat, but the same cannot be said about overlooked power forward David Lee, who is the league's leading left-handed scorer in 2011-12.

    Lee is averaging 19.3 points per game this year out west, while reeling in 9.6 rebounds per night.

    Lee is shooting a solid 51 percent from the field as well. With Monta Ellis now gone to the Milwaukee Bucks, the former Florida Gator is now Golden State's leading scorer.

3. Manu Ginobili, San Antonio Spurs

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    There are few players in the history of the NBA as good at making something out of nothing as San Antonio's Manu Ginobili.

    The Argentine playmaker can drive, score, pass and flat-out dominate with his left hand, yet after nearly a decade in the league, no one has figured out how to stop or even slow him down.

    The veteran has been banged up in recent seasons with the Spurs, but is still averaging 12.5 points and 4.2 assists per game in just 15 injury-plagued games this year.

2. Zach Randolph, Memphis Grizzlies

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    Like Manu Ginobili, Memphis Grizzlies stud Zach Randolph has missed most of 2011-12 because of injury, but is still one of the most skilled left-handers in the NBA.

    Randolph is a walking double-double and one of the toughest covers on the block in recent memory.

    The 6'9" forward's ability to go left allows him to play like a seven-footer, and that's why he averages 17.6 points and 9.1 rebounds for his 10-year career.

1. Chris Bosh, Miami Heat

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    Miami forward Chris Bosh is a huge reason why the Heat look poised to repeat as Eastern Conference champions in 2012. 

    Bosh is averaging 18.2 points per game this season while shooting better than 49 percent from the field.

    The left-handed big is also an impressive 82.3 percent free-throw shooter.

     

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