Thursday, 15 February 2007

My Favorite NBA Players to Watch

Yesterday I looked at my favorite college basketball players to watch, and today, it's time to turn to the NBA. Once again, in no particular order, the players I most enjoy watching:

Leandro Barbosa (Phoenix) - I mentioned this in my Midseason Awards, but I just think his game is so unique and so fun to watch, especially in Phoenix, the perfect system for his skills. He's an excellent 3-point shooter with a quick release. But he's also one of the fastest players in the NBA on the fast break, one of the quickest on his first step to the basket, and a very good finisher at the hoop.

LeBron James (Cleveland) - He hasn't quite progressed this year as much as everyone hoped and expected, but he's still the guy that will get me to watch a game more than anyone else. More than any other player, you're never really quite sure what you might see from LeBron, or what he might do out on the court. He's the most athletically gifted player ever, and he makes plays that just shouldn't be made. He needs to be a little more consistent and continue to develop the jumper, but he's still great to watch.

Gilbert Arenas (Washington) - Gotta love watching Agent Zero simply because he's liable to pretty much shoot from anywhere at anytime. 25 footer with 20 seconds left on the shot clock in a tight game? He'll do it. Plus, he's got a great blog on, and that's got to count for something, right?

Kyle Korver (Philadelphia) - Just a fantastic shooter. He's got an unbelievably quick release and his range starts right about when he steps into the arena. The rest of his game is not so great, but watching him shoot makes up for that.

Kevin Garnett (Minnesota) - You just have to like a guy toiling in relative anonymity in Minnesota (well, anonymity compared to other superstars), but he just goes out there every night, plays hard, and puts up great numbers for a perpetually mediocre organization under Kevin McHale. He's one of the best rebounders of the modern era, he's consistent offensively, a great defensive player, good passer, and he gives 100% every night. Hopefully the TWolves trade him to a contender.

Shane Battier (Houston) - A guy that just does all of the little things. He's a great 3-point shooter, he plays great defense (on the ball and off the ball) and he's completely unselfish on the court.

Andrew Bynum (Los Angeles) - While its fun to watch him mature more and more, what I like about watching Bynum is his passing ability. It hasn't quite shown up a lot in the stats, but he's been very good in the triangle at just taking what is there and making some solid passes to open teammates. Very impressive for a young guy.

Allen Iverson (Denver) - And last but not least, Allen Iverson, still one of the most exciting players in the NBA, with one of the most unique styles of play ever in the NBA. I mean, just think, he's 6 feet tall, 160 pounds, has never had a great jumper, and will still wind up as one of the most prolific scorers ever. Just fun to watch him compete.

Who do you enjoy watching?