NBA Power Rankings: Top 15 Most Difficult Guys To Keep Out Of The Lane in NBA

Jason DouglasContributor IINovember 13, 2010

NBA Power Rankings: Top 15 Most Difficult Guys To Keep Out Of The Lane in NBA

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    NEW YORK - JUNE 24:  John Wall of Kentucky waits to be drafted first by The Washington Wizards at Madison Square Garden on June 24, 2010 in New York, New York.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Have you ever been ready to throw your remote at the TV because someone on the opposing team keeps getting into the lane at will?

    Since hand checking was outlawed a few seasons ago, offensive players, particularly super-athletic, super-quick point guards, have become the wave of the future.

    This is a look at the 15 players I feel are difficult to keep out of the lane.

    It mostly consists of point guards, with a few shooting guards, and one very special small forward/point guard in the making sprinkled in. 

    Enjoy...and please comment with your own suggestions!

15. Sebastian Telfair

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    LONDON - OCTOBER 10:  Sebastian Telfair #3 of Minnesota is challenged by Rajon Rondo of Boston during NBA Europe Live 2007 Tour match between the Boston Celtics and the Minnesota Timberwolves at the O2 Arena on October 10, 2007 in London, England.  NOTE T
    Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

    By all accounts Telfair has been a huge disappointment. Drafted 13th by the Portland Trail Blazers, expectations were sky high for him coming out of high school.

    He was actually the leading scorer in New York State High School Basketball History (before Lance Stephenson, another Brooklyn native) broke the mark two years ago. 

    He's enjoying a somewhat mild resurgence with Minnesota, to whom he was traded back before this season. The reason he makes this list is because he is an absolute blur with the ball.

    He's very difficult to stay in front of off the dribble (as this picture against one of the best defenders in the league) shows. He's a poor finisher, though, which has limited his success somewhat.

    Still, he's got a great handle and is a very good penetrator. Now that Minny is starting to play a bit better, maybe more people will take notice.

14. Aaron Brooks

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 12:  Aaron Brooks #0 of the Houston Rockets brings the ball up court during the game against the Charlotte Bobcats on January 12, 2010 at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina.  The Bobcats won 102-94.  NOTE TO USER:
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    After starting his career in the D-League, Brooks is now the starting point guard for the Houston Rockets.

    Though small, he's very quick and an excellent penetrator. He's a very good scorer, averaging 19.6 ppg last season.

    Brooks was also on my list of most underrated players in the NBA. Definitely one to watch.

13. Ty Lawson

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    DENVER - APRIL 28:  Ty Lawson #3 of the Denver Nuggets controls the ball as Deron Williams #8 of the Utah Jazz defends as referee Bennett Salvatore oversees the action in Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2010 NBA Playoffs at the Pe
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Ty was an absolute blur at North Carolina. He hasn't slowed up in the pros and is one of the best young players in the game.

    He's backing up Chauncey Billups right now in Denver, which is why a lot of people aren't that aware of his game.

    If Chauncey moves on or Melo is traded, he'll likely see an increase in minutes.

12. Devin Harris

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    BOSTON - FEBRUARY 27:  Devin Harris #34 of the New Jersey Nets heads to the net in the second half against the Boston Celtics at the TD Garden on February 27, 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Nets defeated the Celtics 104-96.  NOTE TO USER: User express
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Devin was starting to emerge as a really good player in Dallas before his trade to New Jersey. He's a lightning-quick guard and a pretty good all-around player.

    He made the All-Star team a few years ago, but he was hit with injury last season and many people forgot about him.

    Playing in New Jersey doesn't help, but his profile should raise a bit when the team moves to Brooklyn.

11. Steph Curry

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    OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 18:  Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors in action during their game against the Chicago Bulls at Oracle Arena on January 18, 2010 in Oakland, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by down
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    His pops could shoot the lights out, and so can Steph. Yet he's also very good at getting into the lane. 

10. Monta Ellis

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    PHOENIX - OCTOBER 19:  Monta Ellis #8 of the Golden State Warriors during the preseason NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on October 19, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloadi
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Currently, he is the second-leading scorer in the NBA, at 26.8 ppg. In his second season paired up with Steph Curry, Monta is having a great start to the regular season (as is Curry).

    He's got a nice handle and is slippery coming off screens. He's a very good penetrator and an accurate shooter. 

9. Jamal Crawford

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    ATLANTA - OCTOBER 21:  Jamal Crawford #11 of the Atlanta Hawks against Mario Chalmers #15 of the Miami Heat at Philips Arena on October 21, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    He might not have the best shot selection but the reigning sixth man of the year is a difficult cover. I've often wondered why he's not in the conversation for best crossover in the league.

    The guy's crossover is absolutely sickening. I won't post it here but go to YouTube and look up Jamal Crawford crossover. You'll see what I mean.

    He loves uncorking it, and uses it to get open on pull-up jumpers. Watch a Hawks game and you're bound to see it at least once.

8. Russell Westbrook

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    LOS ANGELES - APRIL 20: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder stands in the game against the Los Angeles Lakers during  Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2010 NBA Playoffs on April 20, 2010 at Staples Center in Los Angele
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Westy's has storage...well, Russell has plenty to fill it up! Westbrook was terrific last season and a stint with USA Basketball and the gold medal has only elevated his play.

    OKC has a legit 1-2 punch with him and Durant. He's one of the best defensive players in the league, as well as one of the best rebounding point guards in the game. Plus, he's a headache to keep out of the paint.

7. Deron Williams

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    ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 12:  Deron Williams #8 of the Utah Jazz drives against Joe Johnson #2 of the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on November 12, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or usin
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    D-Will has the tag of being slow and out of shape coming out of Illinois. Dee Brown was probably the star of that team. He's put all that to rest and along with Chris Paul is probably the best point guard in the league.

    He's deceptively fast (sneaky quick) as they say. He's got a good first step and his strength makes him a great finisher.

    Unless you have the NBA League Pass you can't really appreciate his greatness (and speed) unless you happen to live in Utah. Take note, D-Will is a great penetrator.

6. Chris Paul

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    NEW ORLEANS - NOVEMBER 05:  Chris Paul #3 of the New Orleans Hornets in action during the game against the Miami Heat at the New Orleans Arena on November 5, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by do
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    We need to stop all the debate about who is the best point guard in the league. Last year when Paul went down with injury, the focus shifted to Deron Williams and Rajon Rondo.

    CP3 is proving again this season why he's the best in the business. The other night against Miami, he penetrated in the lane with a few seconds remaining and instead of forcing a bad shot, hit Trevor Ariza in the corner for an open three.

    Super competitive, super-quick, with a high basketball IQ, CP3 is truly one of the best in the game.

5. Rajon Rondo

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    MIAMI - NOVEMBER 11:  Rajon Rondo #9 of the Boston Celtics brings the ball up the court during a game against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on November 11, 2010 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by d
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    One of the biggest pests (on both ends of the floor) but also one of the best game changers in the NBA.

    Really hard to keep out of the paint and a great defender. He rankles management from time to time, but he's the future for the Celtics.

4. Dwayne Wade

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    MIAMI - NOVEMBER 11:   Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat dribbles during a game against the Boston Celtics at American Airlines Arena on November 11, 2010 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or u
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    I have a friend who gets so mad every time D-Wade drives to the lane that he can hardly bear to watch. He doesn't do it with a lot of fancy dribbling. He basically has a great first step and is really good at turning the corner, elevating, and either finishing strong or drawing the foul. Definitely one of the best in the game.

3. Derrick Rose

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    CHICAGO - NOVEMBER 04: Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls brings the ball up the court against the New York Knicks at the United Center on November 4, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Knicks defeated the Bulls 120-112. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowl
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Along with Rondo and John Wall probably the hardest guy in the league to keep out of the lane. And like Wall and Westbrook this guy will hawk it on you if you don't d-up in the paint.

2. John Wall

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    Currently, the most electrifying player in the NBA. He might be the fastest guy end-to-end in the league. He can rise up and dunk it on you or blaze past you for an open layup. In my opinion, the most difficult guy to stay in front of in the NBA (aside from LeBron) and he's only a rookie. 

1. LeBron James

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    MIAMI - NOVEMBER 11:  LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat walks off the court after losing a game against the Boston Celtics at American Airlines Arena on November 11, 2010 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by dow
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    No one in the league can (or wants) to stop him when he's barreling his way to the lane. Best in the business. Period.