James Harden and the 4 NBA Players with LeBron James' Skill Set
Statistical dominance in the NBA has become somewhat of a focused effort. Most players focus on one area of the game and look to becoming the so-called "king" of that area.
Scoring is owned by Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony and Kobe Bryant. Rebounding is controlled by Dwight Howard, Joakim Noah and a few others. And the assists world is owned by Chris Paul, Rajon Rondo and Russell Westbrook.
It's rare that a player ranks in the top 25 of each of those major statistical categories, but that's exactly what LeBron's done for most of his career. This season, with 26.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game, he's in the top 25 of each major statistical category.
While there aren't many players who can do that, there are a few who have what it takes to join the ranks of LeBron-esque dominance.
Will these players have the career that LeBron has had? Most likely no, but that won't keep them from dominating the stat lines across the board.
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2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 17.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.6 steals, 42.5 FG%, 17.42 PER
Paul George seems to have LeBron James' number, at least this season that is. In the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat's two meetings of the season, George has averaged 22 points, 8.5 rebounds, four assists and one steal.
That in and of itself doesn't mean that George is, or will ever be on LeBron's level.
What does point to George's nearly limitless future is his ability to dominate is his ability to fill nearly every positive statistical category in the game.
During the month of February, George has averaged 21.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.6 steals per game.
He's been playing at an efficient and productive clip, and what doesn't show up in that stat line is his impressive dedication to the defensive side of the ball.
One of the parts of LeBron's game that makes him so special is his ridiculous athleticism on the defensive side of the ball, and that's what George mimics so well.
The other players on this list don't defend like LeBron, and ultimately that's what gives George the upper hand when it comes to taking over the NBA once LeBron calls it quits.
Dominance is quickly becoming a word that is often used to define the kind of production George brings to the hardwood.
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2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 26.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.9 steals, 45.0 FG%, 23.49 PER
James Harden's transition into a bonafide superstar this season has been thrilling to watch.
He's shown that he's capable of helping the Houston Rockets win in whatever way they need him to—whether it's scoring 36 points, or balancing his production with a triple-double of 21 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists.
Harden also isn't afraid to give his all on the defensive side of the ball, which in this day and age of the NBA is tough to find.
While the Rockets have a talented roster, including Jeremy Lin, Harden has turned them into a playoff contender mainly by himself. He is the one consistently dominant player on their roster, and it looks like it will be that way for quite some time.
If Harden put his mind to it, he could certainly put up LeBron-like production because he has a knack for finding teammates and creating offense for the guys around him.
Defensively speaking, Harden is a force to be reckoned with. He's intelligent, opportunistic and he's not afraid to get physical when the job needs to get done.
As Harden continues to add size to his 6'5'' and 220-pound frame and work on the efficiency of his jumper, he'll slowly move into the realm of dominance that only LeBron is in right now.
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2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 18.4 points, 6.5 assists, 3.3 rebounds, 1.0 steals, 42.5 FG%, 16.45 PER
Damian Lillard came into the NBA this season and absolutely set it on fire with his impressive ability to light up the scoreboard.
While he struggles a little bit with efficiency, Lillard's shown a knack for filling the stat line. With five double-doubles so far this season, it's clear that Lillard has a bright future ahead of him.
The way that Lillard can continue to climb up the ranks of the NBA's elite is by adding some muscle to his 6'3'' 195-pound frame. He's about the same size as Derrick Rose right now, but he has a little bit of room to grow more into his frame.
As Lillard continues to get stronger, his ability to get into the paint and finish strong at the rim will become an even more dangerous part of his game. Once opponents have to legitimately defend his ability to drive, his jumper will open up more—and when that happens his beautiful stroke will be hard to stop.
It's clear that Lillard is capable of also finding his teammates and creating high-percentage scoring opportunities for them. He'll continue to develop as a facilitator the more he stays with the same team, building chemistry with the guys running alongside him.
Will he ever stack the rebounding stat line? Probably not, but if he gets near the 5.5 rebounds-per-game line, he'll be right where he needs to be in terms of balanced dominance.
Lillard is well on his way to being the NBA's next big thing, and as he develops he'll continue to move closer to being in LeBron's realm of balanced production and overall dominance.
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2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 15.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.4 steals, 47.3 FG%, 18.03 PER
Since his ridiculously impressive rookie year when he averaged 20.1 points, 5.8 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 1.5 steals, his production has been on a steady decline.
That decrease in efficiency and production is certainly attributed to his satisfaction level on the lowly Sacramento Kings.
If Evans were on a different team there's no doubt in my mind that he would easily be in the top 15 players in the NBA today.
With his massive 6'6'', 220-pound frame and his ability to handle the ball as good as anyone in the NBA, Evans is a rare combination of size, agility and finesse—much like LeBron James.
Evans just needs to tighten up his physique a bit and add some muscle to fill out his 6'6 frame.
The unfortunate piece of Evans' future is that he's going to hit the qualifying offer year of his contract at the end of this season, meaning any team can offer him a max contract, which the Kings can match—forcing him into a lackluster career with the Kings.
Either way, if Evans can find a way out of Sacramento, or at least talk the ownership into acquiring high-caliber talent, he'll have a great shot at being a legitimate superstar in the NBA.
At just 23 years old, if Evans can find his game again, he'll be the NBA's next LeBron because he certainly knows how to fill every positive category in a box score.