2014 NBA All-Star Game

NBA All-Star Rosters 2014 : Power Ranking This Year's All-Star Players

Bryant KnoxFeatured ColumnistFebruary 14, 2014

NBA All-Star Rosters 2014 : Power Ranking This Year's All-Star Players

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    Kevin Durant and LeBron James highlight the list of players participating in the 2014 NBA All-Star Game.
    Kevin Durant and LeBron James highlight the list of players participating in the 2014 NBA All-Star Game.Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

    Aside from the Olympics and the FIBA World Cup, the NBA All-Star Game is the only place you can see players like LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony showcasing their skills on the same stage at the same time.

    The 2014 exhibition is going to feature both superstars and promising up-and-comers, but the question is: Who is the best player on the court?

    For the purpose of this assignment, we're looking at the 2013-14 season and nothing else. Tony Parker may be closer to a lifetime achievement award than Damian Lillard, but there's a reason the league chose the Portland Trail Blazers point guard to participate in all five All-Star events.

    Each and every player on this list deserves to be an All-Star, but as you might imagine, some are simply more deserving than others.

     

    All statistics, standings and rankings are accurate as of Feb. 13.

    Inactive players will be left off the list (sorry, Kobe: that means you).

24. Joe Johnson

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    Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

    All-Star Appearances: 7

    2013-14 Stats: 15.1 PPG, 2.6 APG, 3.3 RPG, 39.3 3PT%, 14.32 PER

     

    Think of this assignment as a fantasy draft of All-Stars. All 24 players are lined up in a row, and one by one, each athlete is chosen to represent his team based on skills, stats and overall abilities.

    Unfortunately, in every draft, someone must be chosen last, and luckily enough for Joe Johnson, he's this year's Mr. Irrelevant. 

    Consider Johnson's addition to the roster a matter of respect and tradition. He's a regular at All-Star weekend, and while his numbers jumped for a brief stretch in January, he's since come crashing down to mediocrity, not unlike the Eastern Conference as a whole.

    Johnson's All-Star selection is a bit perplexing, but the fact remains he's in the game. An All-Star chosen last is still an All-Star, and chances are that this could be the 32-year-old's last chance to showcase his skills on the big stage.

23. Paul Millsap

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    Layne Murdoch Jr./Getty Images

    All-Star Appearances: 1

    2013-14 Stats: 17.6 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 1.1 BPG, PER 20.02

     

    It's been said over and over again, but it can't be repeated enough.

    Paul Millsap was a steal for the Atlanta Hawks in the 2013 offseason.

    Through 50 games, the 29-year-old has averaged a career high in points, and he's established himself as a legitimate three-point threat. He's shooting 36.8 percent from downtown, and he's taking nearly three attempts per contest.

    As well as Millsap has played, he's fortunate to be out East. The Western Conference is saturated with top-tier power forwards, and making the All-Star Game would have been nearly impossible if he played on the opposite coast.

    Fortunately for Millsap, that isn't the case, and he's playing in his first All-Star Game as a result.

22. Chris Bosh

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    Sam Forencich/Getty Images

    All-Star Appearances: 9

    2013-14 Stats: 16.6 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 1.0 BPG, 19.8 PER

     

    Chris Bosh may be the third wheel in the eyes of detractors, but he's an integral part of the Miami Heat's success.

    Bosh's numbers for the 2013-14 campaign have been nearly identical to the stats he posted a year ago. That's fuel to the fire for critics, as his production has decreased every year since leaving the Toronto Raptors, but it's not the numbers that fans in Miami appreciate.

    At 6'11", few big men shoot the ball as well as Bosh. Looking at his shot cart, courtesy of Stats.NBA.com, it's easy to see how he spreads defenses out to the perimeter. 

    Bosh has lost some of his fan appeal since leaving the Raptors, but he plays his role well in South Beach, and that's all that counts when he's winning championships.

21. DeMar DeRozan

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    John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Spo

    All-Star Appearances: 1

    2013-14 Stats: 22.4 PPG, 3.8 APG, 4.6 RPG, 18.81 PER

     

    DeMar DeRozan is officially an All-Star, and if you need proof he's deserving of that claim, take the word of someone who is about to participate in his 10th midseason exhibition.

    "No doubt in my mind," Dwyane Wade responded on Twitter when asked if DeRozan deserves the nod. "Him and a few others."

    Whomever else Wade was referring to is unclear at this time, but there's no question DeRozan has earned his spot on the roster. His positioning on this list will rub his fans the wrong way, but his ranking has everything to do with the caliber of players ahead of him—not his own play throughout the season.

    The Toronto Raptors aren't contenders out East in the traditional sense, as the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers are the only two squads that can make that claim. That said, they're a threat to steal the third seed come playoff time, which is a fantastic feat for a hungry franchise.

20. Roy Hibbert

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    All-Star Appearances: 2

    2013-14 Stats: 11.8 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 2.5 BPG, 16.12 PER

     

    If defense wins championships, the Indiana Pacers are in good shape with Roy Hibbert at the 5.

    Through 52 games, the center is averaging 2.5 blocks per contest. Even more impressive is that he's giving up a PER (per 48 minutes) of just 12.3 to his opponents, per 82games.com.

    Unfortunately for Hibbert, his offensive production isn't anything to brag about, and his rebounding must improve at some point considering his 7'2", 290-pound frame.

    But enough nit-picking. This is a ranking of All-Stars, and Hibbert has made the team for a reason. He's not the go-to option for the Pacers, but with his type of production, he doesn't have to be.

    If Hibbert can improve his rebounding and put the ball in the basket more often, great—he'll be one step closer to becoming the best center in the game. Until then, he'll have to settle for being the perfect player in the Pacers system, not to mention a prominent piece in a championship puzzle.

19. Tony Parker

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    Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport

    All-Star Appearances: 6

    2013-14 Stats: 17.7 PPG, 6.2 APG, 2.3 RPG, 19.91 PER

     

    Tony Parker has missed some time recently because of tightness in his back, but according to ESPN.com, the 31-year-old is committed to playing in his sixth All-Star Game.

    Parker's numbers have dipped a bit from his boost the last two years, but that didn't stop him from taking a shot at the Eastern Conference All-Stars. According to Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News, the point guard said, "You can make two teams out of the West. And the second team in the West could maybe beat the first team in the East."

    Parker's idea will never come to fruition, but the fact that he's ranking toward the bottom of the West roster supports his claim. He's still an elite point guard in this league; there's just newer, younger, more athletic blood out there that has taken over the conference.

18. Kyrie Irving

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    David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

    All-Star Appearances: 2

    2013-14 Stats: 21.5 PPG, 6.2 APG, 3.2 RPG, 20.41 PER

     

    Kyrie Irving's numbers are down for the most part this season, but not many players can say they played in two All-Star Games during their first three seasons.

    At this point in the process, Irving is without a doubt the face of the Cleveland Cavaliers. He's an undisputed superstar, and he's the best chance the Cavs have of competing night in and night out.

    The problem is that the team is underachieving, and quite frankly, that's a kind way of saying, "It's a complete mess."

    Irving has taken some flack throughout the 2013-14 campaign for his inefficient shooting, but fans shouldn't lose sight of how good he truly is. He'll bounce back and prove disparagers wrong, and when he does, his spot on this list will be significantly higher.

17. Joakim Noah

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    Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

    All-Star Appearances: 2

    2013-14 Stats: 11.8 PPG, 11.5 RPG, 1.4 BPG, 19.27 PER

     

    Things haven't gone as planned for the Chicago Bulls, but Joakim Noah has been a silver lining in an otherwise confusing season.

    The Bulls enter All-Star weekend as the proud owners of the fourth seed out East. Noah won't get serious MVP consideration at the end of the year, but if the team can earn home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs, he'll be the biggest reason why.

    Offensively, Noah isn't going to wow anyone, as his points-per-game average is far from imposing. It's his never-ending energy and strong defensive presence that make him productive, and it's his leadership that's keeping the Bulls afloat while they make the best out of another year without Derrick Rose.

16. Damian Lillard

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    Sam Forencich/Getty Images

    All-Star Appearances: 1

    2013-14 Stats: 20.7 PPG, 5.7 APG, 3.6 RPG, 40.4 3PT%, 18.92 PER

     

    Damian Lillard just keeps getting better, as evidenced by his inclusion in five All-Star weekend events.

    So far in his second season, the 23-year-old has made his living behind the arc. He's struggled scoring at the rim at times, and his defense still leaves something to be desired, but according to NBA.com, he's officially hit more three-pointers in two years than any other player in league history (and it's only February).

    Long-distance shots aside, Lillard has added "clutch" to his list of superlatives. According to Stats.NBA.com, the point guard is fifth in clutch points this year, and he's shooting 42.9 percent from downtown during the final five minutes in games that feature a five-point (or fewer) differential.

    Lillard's future is as bright as it comes, and it goes without saying that there will be more All-Star Games in his future. How big of a role he plays in this one has yet to be determined, but he'll have plenty of opportunities to succeed between Friday and Sunday night.

15. John Wall

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    Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

    All-Star Appearances: 1

    2013-14 Stats: 19.8 PPG, 8.5 APG, 4.3 RPG, 19.90 PER

     

    John Wall earned himself a max contract this past summer, and while people were quick to assume the Washington Wizards overpaid, the 23-year-old has proven everyone wrong by having a breakout season.

    Through 52 games, Wall is posting career highs in points, steals (2.0), assists, free-throw percentage (83.6) and three-point percentage (32.1). Stats aside, his style of play translates well to All-Star competition, and while he could still use improvements on his jumper, he's becoming more of a threat in the mid- and long-range areas for the first time in his career.

    Although Wall won't be a favorite to hoist the MVP trophy at the end of the exhibition, this is the point guard's first appearance, and you know he's hungry to prove doubters wrong once again. Don't be shocked if he has a solid showing, and don't be surprised if he makes his way back in 2015.

14. Dwyane Wade

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    Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

    All-Star Appearances: 10

    2013-14 Stats: 18.7 PPG, 4.7 APG, 4.8 RPG, 21.34 PER

     

    Dwyane Wade isn't the player he used to be. His points have dropped every season since the formation of the Big Three, and in 2013-14, he's scoring his lowest average since his rookie year.

    At 32 years old, Wade's production has dipped, but points per game don't tell the whole story. He's still an integral part of the championship chase, and he's becoming an incredibly efficient player in his 11th season.

    Despite being a career 29.1 percent three-point shooter, the 2-guard is knocking down 39.1 percent because his attempts have dropped to just 0.6 per game. He's also shooting a career-high 54.8 percent from the field, as he's shooting the fewest shots since his first year in the league.

    Wade's no longer the star of South Beach, but don't knock his importance to the team. His being healthy is crucial for a championship run, and fans leaguewide recognize it.

13. Dirk Nowitzki

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    Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    All-Star Appearances: 12

    2013-14 Stats: 21.7 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 41.2 3PT%, 24.53 PER

     

    Dirk Nowitzki has the honor of being the All-Star Game's oldest participant, but don't kid yourself into thinking his selection was simply out of respect to his legacy.

    At 35 years old, Nowitzki is posting the ninth-best PER in the NBA. He's not recording the same numbers he did in the mid-2000s, but he's still scoring at a high rate while approaching another season of 40 percent from three, 50 percent from the field and 90 percent from the foul line.

    Nowitzki is ready to participate in his 12th All-Star Game, and it goes without saying that he's deserving of that claim. He won't be the star of the show, but at this point in his career, resting before the post-All-Star stretch is a good thing.

12. Dwight Howard

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    Layne Murdoch/Getty Images

    All-Star Appearances: 8

    2013-14 Stats: 18.8 PPG, 12.5 RPG, 1.8 BPG, 58.1 FG%, 21.73 PER

     

    Dwight Howard still doesn't resemble the player he was during his peak with the Orlando Magic, but he's in a system that allows him to thrive in a fast pace, and his production is more than enough to push the Houston Rockets closer and closer to contention.

    So far this season, Howard is fifth among all active centers when it comes to PER (sixth if you include Brook Lopez). The problem is, with the exception of his one year with the Los Angeles Lakers, he's posting his lowest PER since the 2006-07 season.

    There's no denying that Howard is still a force down low, but he has work to do if he's ever going to prove his doubters wrong. Luckily for him, he was born for All-Star competition, as his desire to have fun will be fully met in New Orleans all weekend. 

11. James Harden

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    Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

    All-Star Appearances: 2

    2013-14 Stats: 23.9 PPG, 5.3 APG, 4.7 RPG, 21.34 PER

     

    James Harden has become such a star in this league that it's hard to believe he's only been to one All-Star Game. 

    In 2013, Harden came off the bench and scored 15 points in 25 minutes. He was the leading scorer among all West reserves, but this year, he'll be replacing Kobe Bryant in the staring lineup, according to Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports.

    At this point in the process, there's little debating that Harden is the NBA's top 2-guard. Dwyane Wade fans will support him until the day he retires, and Kobe Bryant enthusiasts will claim health is the only thing holding the Mamba back; but simply put, numbers don't lie.

    Harden's performance has been consistently great since his arrival with the Houston Rockets, and he's as difficult to stop as they come when he attacks the rim. Harden's spot in the top half of this list is well deserved, and so is his second All-Star appearance.

10. Blake Griffin

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    Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

    All-Star Appearances: 4

    2013-14 Stats: 24.2 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 53.9 FG%, 24.40 PER

     

    Blake Griffin is a dunker, and a great one at that.

    But that's not all he is.

    Under the influence of Doc Rivers, the 24-year-old has become a more well-rounded option at the 4. All of a sudden, he's a threat from mid-range, his low-post moves are continuing to develop and he's riding an incredible hot streak, posting 33.7 points, 11.0 rebounds and shooting nearly 60 percent in the month of February.

    All that said, toss the forward's improving skill set out the window for this one. He earns a spot in the top 10 for the evolution of his game, but he'll earn a spot on the highlight reels for his amazing dunks come All-Star Sunday.

    An unimposing defensive presence is what keeps him from ranking higher, but luckily for him, All-Star Games rarely feature great defense.

9. Anthony Davis

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    Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport

    All-Star Appearances: 1

    2013-14 Stats: 20.5 PPG, 10.1 RPG, 3.1 BPG, 52.2 FG%, 26.44 PER

     

    When you think of the best power forward in basketball, does Anthony Davis come to mind? Chances are, his age and experience keep him out of your No. 1 spot, but B/R's Zach Buckley thinks otherwise.

    "With a developing skill set that already puts him among the elites, he's capable of carrying a franchise at both ends of the floor," Buckley says. "He's a No. 1 scorer who can defend No. 1 scorers—nearly regardless of position."

    LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Love and Blake Griffin are the popular names atop the power forward rankings, but Buckley uses Davis' versatility on both ends to support his claim. Buckley's surely not the only one who thinks this way, and odds are, we'll see just how big of a snub Davis was when he hits the floor come All-Star Sunday.

8. Paul George

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    Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

    All-Star Appearances: 2

    2013-14 Stats: 22.2 PPG, 3.4 APG, 6.4 RPG, 20.42 PER

     

    Paul George has risen to stardom quickly, and he's become the definition of a two-way player.

    His PER, while impressive, is just 26th in the league. However, the swingman has spent time at both the 2 and the 3 this season, so it's important to look at his natural position when evaluating his performance.

    Up to this point, George has posted a PER (per 48 minutes) of 23.6 at the small forward position, per 82games.com. That said, his real impact is felt on the defensive end, as he's holding his opponents to just 13.4 in that same category.

    George fits the Indiana Pacers' system perfectly because of his defensive mindset, but it's his ability to score that helps him stand out. Indiana is just 20th in the NBA in scoring, and having a go-to option helps make up for other offensive deficiencies. 

    George has gotten MVP consideration this season, and it's been well deserved. If you want to place him higher on this list, you won't hear many arguments; but once again, this isn't an easy ladder to climb, as the All-Star Game will feature the best talent the league has to offer.

7. Carmelo Anthony

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    Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

    All-Star Appearances: 9

    2013-14 Stats: 27.3 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 3.0 APG, 24.61 PER

     

    Carmelo Anthony is having a fantastic season from an individual standpoint. He's posting the fourth-best points-per-scoring average of his career, he's shooting his second-highest three-point percentage (41.6) and for the first time in his 11 seasons, he's truly dominating the boards.

    The problem is that he's been surrounded by negativity, and that's going to fuel fires during All-Star weekend.

    Not only will the discussions involve the New York Knicks being 10th out East, but trade rumors will also be sure to fly. Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports has reported that there is "no chance" the superstar is dealt before the deadline, but that shouldn't stop people from speculating.

    Luckily for Melo, neither or these things drastically impacts his player ranking. More success in the win column would have helped, as well as a greater attention to defense; but he's having one of the best individual seasons of his career, and that can't be ignored.

6. Kevin Love

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    Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

    All-Star Appearances: 3

    2013-14 Stats: 25.8 PPG, 13.2 RPG, 37.0 3PT%, 27.62 PER

     

    Kevin Love's ability to put up video game-like numbers makes him a strong candidate for best power forward in the game. He scores, he rebounds, he shoots and he's one of the best passing big men in the league despite his career-worst 2.3 turnovers per game.

    The only thing Love can't do is defend, and unfortunately for him, that's what his critics will point to until it changes. 

    This season, Love has made up for his subpar 2012-13 campaign that was filled with injuries and inefficient shooting. If anybody doubted he could come back strong, he's proving everyone wrong, and he's back in the All-Star Game to top it off.

    Now Minnesota just has to cross its fingers regarding his long-term status, which is a narrative that will surround the organization until the day he signs his next contract—wherever that may be.

5. LaMarcus Aldridge

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    Sam Forencich/Getty Images

    All-Star Appearances: 3

    2013-14 Stats: 23.9 PPG, 11.4 RPG, 1.0 BPG, 22.44 PER

     

    LaMarcus Aldridge has plenty of reasons to smile this season.

    Not only do the Portland Trail Blazers own the fifth-best record in the NBA (tied with the Houston Rockets), but the 6'11" veteran has established himself as an MVP candidate. He's made a serious case as the best power forward in the league, and for the first time in his career, he has a real shot at making it past the first round of the playoffs.

    On top of all that, he'll be donning the All-Star attire for the third time in his career. His accomplishments are being recognized more than ever, and he's unequivocally living up to his full potential.

    To make matters even more smile-worthy, the 28-year-old will be bringing a teammate with him to New Orleans. Damian Lillard will garner more attention because of his busy schedule, but Aldridge will be the one showing the point guard the ropes when the big game finally tips off.

    Aldridge isn't a two-way player in the sense that Anthony Davis is, but his quick hands and excellent timing make him a solid stopper on defense. That said, it's his offensive skill set that's propelled his career, and it's his ability to lead a team that confirms his elite status.

4. Stephen Curry

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    Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

    All-Star Appearances: 1

    2013-14 Stats: 24.6 PPG, 9.0 APG, 4.4 RPG, 41.5 3PT%, 23.92 PER

     

    Stephen Curry is finally an All-Star, and he couldn't be more deserving of the honor.

    On the year, the 25-year-old is actually shooting a career low from the three-point line. His 41.5 percent is the worst of his five seasons, which is a testament to how incredible he's been thus far—not an indictment on his current performance.

    Despite his percentage being "down" this year, he's stepped up his game big time. He's scoring a career high in points, his rebounds are solid for someone of his stature and his nine assists are second leaguewide—not to mention the best of his career by a long shot.

    Curry should put up big numbers come All-Star Sunday, and a good portion of them should be from behind the arc. His positioning on this list may be a bit high, but a good performance on Sunday could make him a dark horse for MVP when it's all said and done.

3. Chris Paul

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    Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

    All-Star Appearances: 7

    2013-14 Stats: 19.2 PPG, 11.1 APG, 4.6 RPG, 27.26 PER

     

    Chris Paul wasn't voted into the All-Star Game as a starter, and while that certainly has something to do with the production of Stephen Curry, it has more to do with his injury that kept him out most of January and early February.

    With Blake Griffin by his side, Paul has established the perfect blend of production and flair. With his knack for finding Griffin (and DeAndre Jordan) above the rim, Paul's become the perfect flight coordinator for Lob City without sacrificing his ability to produce.

    Paul's PER is the fourth highest in the league, and his assists are far and away first. On the other side of the court, the 28-year-old is still an elite defender as well, as he's posting 2.5 steals per game, second behind Ricky Rubio.

    When it comes to the Western Conference All-Star team, what else could the coaches ask for? They'll put on a show with Paul running the point, and if the game is on the line late, they have the perfect player to run the offense.

2. LeBron James

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    Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

    All-Star Appearances: 10

    2013-14 Stats: 26.5 PPG, 6.6 APG, 7.0 RPG, 57.1 FG%, 29.03 PER

     

    If you're choosing a player to start your franchise, you likely go with LeBron James. If you're naming the best overall player on the planet, James is most definitely your guy.

    But if you're choosing the All-Star who's had the best season two-thirds of the way through the year, that honor has to go to Kevin Durant. 

    James and his fans shouldn't take this too personally, as the 28-year-old has been phenomenal. He's once against stuffing stat sheets like they're gobbling on Thanksgiving, and for the sixth year in a row, he's posting a career high in field-goal percentage.

    James provides entertainment night in and night out, but for the first time in what seems like forever, there's one guy out there more deserving of No. 1.

    Don't take anything away from James, though, as chances are that he'll hover around his All-Star Game average, which is 25.1 points, courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com.

1. Kevin Durant

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    Douglas Jones-USA TODAY Sports

    All-Star Appearance: 5

    2013-14 Stats: 31.2 PPG, 5.5 APG, 7.7 RPG, 41.8 3PT% 31.00 PER

     

    Kevin Durant is tired of being second, and in this case, he gets his wish of becoming No. 1.

    Without Russell Westbrook on the floor, most people expected the Oklahoma City Thunder to stumble. That's exactly what happened in the 2013 postseason, and simply put, we had no reason to believe it wouldn't happen again.

    As it turns out, Durant had other thoughts on the matter.

    At this juncture, the 25-year-old leads the league in both scoring and PER. He's also first in EWA (estimated wins added), per ESPN.com, which is a category LeBron James has finished first in every year since the 2007-08 campaign.

    If Durant continues at this pace, this list won't be the only place he finishes No. 1. An MVP is staring him in the face at this point in the process, and with OKC holding the first seed out West, so is a potential Western Conference championship. 

     

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