The 2011-12 season was quite a wacky one with the lockout and the condensed meat grinder schedule, but in the end, most NBA fans can look back fondly on a great season that featured great games, great individual performances and one of the more competitive playoff seasons in recent memory.
Each year, the NBA has a flux of players that rise and fall from consideration amongst the elite players in the league.
There will always be some players like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade that seem to be in the top 10 year-in, year-out, but there are a bunch of other players that make a solid case for top-10 status each year but fall in and out of consideration due to a variety of factors.
It’s not so much that players are inconsistent from year to year, like the NFL can yield at certain positions, it’s more so that NBA fans and analysts tend to be one of the more fickle, “what have you done for me lately?” groupings in professional sports.
Chris Paul experienced this a few years ago when at one point, people were ready to crown him the best PG in the NBA and one of the true elites in this league due to his magnificent floor game and clutch play.
Then the following two years he was forgotten because New Orleans did not have a great year and then he suffered injury problems.
This year, when considering a list of top 10 performers, the players that ended up on the list would not shock anyone as much as some of the names left off. There were a bunch of variables that came to play this season that made it interesting to say the least.
The main variables included injuries to players like Derrick Rose; poor public relations drama for players like Dwight Howard, sub-par performances for players like Dirk Nowitzki and poor, irrelevant team performance for players like Deron Williams.
These are all players that are top 10 performers in this league, but in 2012, it was a struggle for these players to overcome obstacles to maintain their 2011 status.
The top 10 players are based mainly on their performance in 2011-12 combined with their prior reputation, ability to influence team performance, clutch play, playoff performance and killer instinct.
There are other factors that go in subconsciously come into play like media/fan hype, but those are the main factors. With that said, here are the top 10 players in the NBA in 2011-12: