The NBA is filled with several players. Those players are in the NBA for a reason, and that is because they do certain things very well in the sport.
There are many parts to basketball, and that includes: shooting, passing, rebounding, playing defense, and much, much more.
Players in the NBA, even if they don't play a second, do at least one thing very good, or a combination.
Maybe the most generally well-known part of basketball...to all, who might have not even played the game, know about basketball....that you are attempting to put a ball in the basket.
Well in this slide show, I will share my opinion: in which ten current NBA players put the ball in the basket, the best.
No.41 for the Dallas Mavericks. Nowitzki has been in the NBA for over a decade.
In Dirk's first five seasons, his scoring numbers went up with each season. After, one season his scoring went down..the next two seasons his numbers rised higher then ever.
Then, after two seasons went his scoring lowered, last season it went up yet again. Nowitzki has been one of the premier scorers for sometime, being in the top ten in scoring since 2001-2002.
He has the ability to score from several areas. As a big man, he can score inside. However, unlike most big men, he can step back for long jump shots...and I'm talking 20 plus feet back.
He twists and turns his body, yet he sinks tough shots, that are off balance. Not only that, but he is also a prolific free throw shooter, with a career FT% of 87.2% thus far.
Few can argue, Nowitzki is a premier scorer. He is arguably not a top ten scorer, but I've got him in here over certain guys because of his long term consistency, and showing he is more than a one hit wonder.
For his career Dirk has a career scoring average of 22.7 ppg. While his career playoff scoring average is even better, at 25.5 ppg.
Although his scoring numbers are pretty high, I don't buy into it.
Lebron James is not a pure scorer. I think he is a purely impressive athlete, who is freakishly born with tremendous abilities people don't see often. He has a built body like a power forward, but has the speed that is like some guards.
He has a great feal for passing, and is a good dribbler for someone his size. However, none of this is based much on his own pure scoring.
He is not much of a perimeter scorer. He is a poor shooter, yet he shoots often. Most of his scoring comes from the paint. Either posting up or driving, as well as getting fouls.
However, I don't think he is much of a natural scorer. His body is the main assist for him in scoring, not much else that is based on skill and/or talent.
To add on, he gets cheap calls from the ref's, as seen numerous times throughout the playoffs. If Lebron James got his points fairly like most others, his scoring average I'd think would be about 5 points lower.
Non the less, I can't take too much away. I addressed those things, because people seem to look at James as a top 5 scorer, that he is actually not, and that is the negatives in why he is no.9 and not as overly hyped and rated by some.
However, he is a good scorer. You can't score as much as he does by not being a good scorer. His jump shooting has decently seen some improvement, and his FT% has seen a bump up too. To add on James has added on a better low post game.
Carmelo Anthony has been know as a one-dimensional player, based on his scoring.
Media bashed him, because he hadn't improved in much areas in his strongest part of his game.
However, Anthony has improved his low post game, as well, he is no longer limited to a 18 foot jumper.
Although that is terrific to be a good shooter from 18 feet, Anthony has been able to step back to the 3-point line and shoot it consistently well, off of passes mainly and not off the dribble.
Anthony has become more consistent and less steaky. He has matured, and makes better descision and possesions aren't used badly as much.
Paul Pierce has been in the NBA for over a decade, each season as a Boston Celtic.
For several seasons, Pierce had an average ppg usually in the mid-20's.
These days, he is not so needed by the Celtics to scorer, with two superstars playing along side (Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett).
However, when the big game calls for it, and he is needed to score, Pierce comes up big, and it's hard to doubt he can't still average 25 or so ppg.
He has scored over 18,000 points in the 11 regular seasons Pierce has played thus far. In the regualr season he has averaged 22.9 ppg over his career thus far, and 22.2 ppg over his career thus far in the playoffs.
Pierce has the goods to score in all different areas. He can get to the rim. He can shoot from behind the 3-point ark. He can shoot off the dribble. He is a good free throw shooter. Not only that, but he rises his scoring in the crunch time moments, when a basket is desperately helpful.
(Judging this pick, along with the picks 4-10 on this list is exteremly tough and close, most of these players are a hair off of each other)
Half-man-half-amazing is the name some like to refer to for Vince Carter.
Some of this has to do with his ability to score.
Carter has a very versatile game, that can get him to score from different spots.
Carter has a very impressive jump shoot. Off balance. Off the dribble. Off a pass. Carter has an effective jumper.
He has the ability to drive to the basket and visiously dunk over defenders. He has great hang time, which helps him get off good layups as well, and float from certain spots to another.
Carter also gets to the free throw line and shoots efficiently from there. He has improved his FT% over the last 4 seasons, each season.
Over Carters career thus far, he has a playoff scoring average of 25.9 ppg, 9th all-time in the playoffs.
Carter can go off for a 40 or 50 point game when he's hot, and can step back to 30 feet and past and shoot well, amazing.
Carter is also an incredible shooter in the clutch, and has several times hit a clutch shot. To see some long shots, and clutch plays, check this out:
Ray Allen has been in the NBA for 13 seasons now, and he is as good as ever.
Allen is incredibily consistent and efficient.
He can get to the rack. Maybe not fast, but he gets there, and he finishes.
Allen has arguably the best jump shot in the NBA, and hits it in the toughest situations. Off balance, being hit, crunch time...Allen isn't very flustered.
Although his scoring averages aren't as high as some on this list, and some I put him higher than, it does not mean he is not as good a scorer.
Allen has never been the only scorer on his team where he has too shoot 20-25 shots a game. As a Buck he has Sam Cassel, Tim Thomas, Glen Robinson and more...who are all 20 ppg capable scorers.
As a Sonic, he played along Rashard Lewis, another 20 ppg capable scorer, along with a nice supporting cast.
Then of course, in present times he is a Celtic, playing with in their primes Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, as well as other capable scorers in Rajon Rondo, Glen Davis, Kendrick Perkins, Eddie House, etc.
So his scoring averages would be higher if asked for, but they aren't, but that can't take away from his pure scoring abilities.
Ray Allen may also be the most efficient scorer in the NBA today, with percentages for 2008-2009 that are: FG% 48, 3-point% 40.9, FT% 95.2% (career high). Allen has scored in 13 regular seasons; 19, 661 points.
Tracy McGrady is the owner of two scoring titles, back to back.
He is the owner of a 22.1 career regular season scoring average. Also, he has a playoff career scoring average of 28.5 (although it's high, don't think it's TOO great, because that average is on 38 games, relatively low for a 12 year veteran in the NBA).
Non the less, McGrady is a terrific scorer. The last few seasons have been down so to speak with injuries, and trying to play through some(see picture, he has all that tape on him). However, I am still optimistic for Tracy, and believe that if he can stay healthy, can still be a good scorer.
Although I wouldn't suspect his scoring to be as high as a Magic, because he has better teammates...he should still be able to give the goods.
McGrady has a nice jump shot, and he is decent in the clutch. For someone his height, he gets to the rim nicely, and he also draws fouls (although doesn't have a good FT%).
McGrady is more so a volume scorer. Not many can get the ball in the hoop like he does.
This is one of the harder picks for me, because I haven't seen McGrady play healthy for most of a season, in a while. However, if McGrady can get back healthy and primed, he could very well still be a top 10 scorer.
Dwayne Wade is fresh of a season in which he lead the NBA in scoring, 30.2 ppg.
He is, to me, not a natural scorer. But do to some calls that the league changed in recent years, it has become easier for players to scorer, particularly penetraters, which is what Wade is.
Wade is a poor shooter, but much improved.
He is a clutch scorer, and has delivered the goods in late games quite a few times.
Wade mainly scores off his drives, which get him lay-ups, or get him to the line (sometimes unfairly). Yet he still has a feel for getting the ball in the basket. He feels the court and knows where he is.
He moves nicely without the ball, and gets to areas pretty good too.
Cutting to the lane is another attribute Wade has that helps him score.
Wade changes directions very well, which makes it harder to guard him when he is on the run.
Dwayne Wade can certainly hold his own in the scoring department, even if he isn't too much of a natural scorer.
Kobe Bryant has become a great scorer. He came into the NBA as a child so to speak.
He has evolved into a great scorer, who can get the ball in the basket numerous ways.
That includes: jump shooting, fading away, catching and shooting, off the dribble, getting hit, driving strong, drawing fouls and hitting free throws.
Bryant does well in many aspects of scoring.
He is a clutch shooter, who has made big shots in big moments.
Bryant has a poor shot selection, but it doesn't make that much of a worse scorer.
Bryant has nice career averages too. For his career, Kobe Bryant has averaged 25.1 ppg in 13 regular seasons, and holds a 25 ppg playoff career average.
Bryant takes many shots to get his points, sometimes too many.
Yet ball hog or not, Kobe Bryant is an exceptional scorer.
Allen Iverson is in my opinion the best scorer in the NBA. He is a pure and natural scorer.
Anyone would know this just by seeing that he is 5'11 feet, 165 pounds, and can score 40, 50, 60 plus points almost at will.
He has an unbelievable ability and feel for where he is at all times.
He can make a shot from anywhere on the court.
"AI" is a good shooter...not as good as someone like Ray Allen on this list, but not as bad as Lebron James or Dwayne Wade.
Iverson is unguardable one-on-one. He is probably the fastest player in the NBA.
Maybe he lost half-a-step of his speed, so then that might bring him to be challenged for being the fastest with guys like Leondro Barbosa, TJ Ford, etc.
Allen has arguably the most effective and unstoppable go to move, with his crossover.
Iverson has a hangtime that allows him to float from one side of the base line to the other, or change his mind in the middle of the air. Example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkpgnxpZw6Q
Iverson draws fouls better than anyone in the NBA, and he hits the free throws very good too. He has an ability to draw fouls that is almost at will, and he can get to the basket at will as well almost.
Allen Iverson is a phenomenon, especially when it really matters. In the playoffs he always comes up big time. He holds the second highest career playoff scoring average, with only Michael Jordan ahead of him.
Iverson is absolutely amazing in scoring in the clutch. Whenever his teams have needed him to score in late, tight situations, he has "Answered" almost every time. Iverson can score points in a hurry, and get a team 20 points in a quarter.
From moving without the ball, to catching and shooting, to pick and pops, to shooting off the dribble, to creating his own shot, to fade aways, to floaters, to clutch play...etc...Allen Iverson is excellent.
Iverson might draw contact and finish the basket as good or better than anyone ever could. He just has an uncanny ability and feel for when to shot, and he times it correctly with the foul coming too.
Just like one can see in the picture, Allen Iverson is putting the ball in the basket, and he does it the best.