Carmelo Anthony, Deron Williams and the Top 10 Players in the East

Jason KarlAnalyst IIIFebruary 24, 2011

Carmelo Anthony, Deron Williams and the Top 10 Players in the East

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    With the recent additions of two elite players from the west, Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams, the East looks to have gained the power. 

    That's at least according to LeBron James who said, "We took two of the best players in the West and brought them to the East."

    So, who are the ten best players residing in the Eastern Conference:

10. Joe Johnson

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    Though many still consider this a down year for the 6'7'', 240 pound Joe Johnson, he is still averaging 19.3 points per game, 5.4 assists, and 4.2 rebounds.

    Johnson brings his all-around game leading the Hawks to a 34-23 record, good for fifth in the Eastern conference.

    Johnson still may not prove to be worthy of the 6 year-$119 million contract he signed last summer, but he is still a great player. 

9. Paul Pierce

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    Pierce is still the leader of the 3rd best team, according to the record, in the league.

    Pierce averages 18.9 points, 3.3 assists, and 4.9 rebounds per game, and most importantly is one of the best wing defenders.

    Pierce goes up against the best wing players the opposition has to offer.

    Though the 33 year old is declining, he still warrants a top 10 selection on this list.

8. Amare Stoudemire

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    Stoudemire is the league's second-leading scorer at 26 points per game.

    Though he is not an exceptional rebounder or defender, he still averages 8.5 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game.

    Stoudemire also is a better passer this year averaging 2.7 assists per game up from his career average of 1.4.

    The power forward is uniquely skilled on the offensive end and is poised to lead a Knicks' playoff run. 

7. Rajon Rondo

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    You have to applaud Rajon Rondo, the 6'1'', 171 point guard defending the mammoth LeBron James.

    Rondo is the catalyst of the Celtics offense and is an irreplaceable player.

    He leads the league in assists with 12.3 and is second in steals with 2.4.

    Rondo is not held back by his size as he averages 4.5 rebounds per game and consistently is the fastest player on the court. 

6. Carmelo Anthony

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    With Carmelo Anthony the question has never been about scoring. He can go inside, outside, mid-range, post up, etc.

    Anthony is only 26 and averages 25.2 points per game to go along with 7.7 rebounds. 

    Though Anthony takes many plays off on defense, he is still an elite player and according to a recent ESPN article, is the most clutch player in the NBA.

    Trailing by one or two points, or tied, in the final 24 seconds of a game, Anthony has the best field goal percentage of any player since 1996, with a 47.7%.

5. Deron Williams

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    Williams reportedly found out he was traded on Sportscenter.

    Though he is unhappy with the trade to the Nets, he could form a great tandem with young center Brook Lopez.

    Williams is averaging 21.3 points, 9.7 assists, and 3.9 rebounds per game.

    The main reason the Utah Jazz were afloat was because of the elite play by Williams.

    Williams is also a great on the ball defender to go along with his offensive skills.

4. Derrick Rose

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    A huge reason for Chicago's great improvement is because of Rose's huge improvement in his third season in the league. 

    Rose averages 25 points, 8.2 assists, and 4.4 rebounds per game. 

    Rose this year has improved his outside shot, but is also one of the best in getting to the hoop.

    With pick-and-roll partner, Carlos Boozer, Rose knows when to pass or shoot, making him one of the best point guards in all of basketball. 

3. Dwyane Wade

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    Many believe Kobe Bryant is the closest thing to Michael Jordan, but I tend to differ.

    I think Wade, when it is all said and done, will be the closest to Jordan at the two-guard position.

    Wade is averaging 25.3 points, 4.4 assists, and 6.9 rebounds per game.

    Though his assist numbers are down from his career average of 6.4, Wade is still an elite player, both offensive and defensively.

    Wade shoots close to 50% this season. 

2. Dwight Howard

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    Howard is the most dominant center in the league, and it really is not close.

    This could stay that way for the next few years as well, as Howard is only 25.

    He seems to finally put it all together, commanding more double teams because he now is more of a complete post up player.

    Howard averages 23 points, 13.9 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game.

    He is one of the best team defenders in the league.

    Howard shoots close to 59% from the field, good for third best in the league.

1. LeBron James

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    If James were to win a few titles, he would go down as a top 3 player in NBA history.

    James has the unique ability of passing and scoring, especially at his size at 260 pounds.

    James averages 26.2 points, 7.2 assists, and 7.4 rebounds per game.

    Other than the points, both the assist and rebound totals are close to his career averages.

    James, unlike Carmelo Anthony, actually plays on defense and has proven to be one of the best in the league.