At this moment while I’m writing this, it is being reported that James Harden has scored 60 points in 31 minutes against the Atlanta Hawks. For this 2019-2020 season, he is averaging slightly under 40 points a game. Last season, he averaged 36.1 points a game to go along with 6 rebounds and 7 assists.
Without a doubt, he is the best offensive player the NBA has had since Kobe Bryant. The difference between him and Kobe is that Kobe won championships. Do you think Harden is capable of leading a team to a trophy? I don’t think so, but that is beside the point. Right now, he is one of the top five players in the NBA.
Jrue Holiday, Klay Thompson, CJ McCullom, Donovan Mitchell, Devin Booker, Bradley Beal, and Lou Williams. Those were my finalists to fill the second shooting guard on my list. I was still going to pick my usual winner Klay Thompson but he got hurt in the Finals last year.
Since it was revealed before this season that the severity of his injury would keep him out for almost the whole year; I felt it would have been disrespectful to the other players to pick him this year. Now based on the remaining players who would you pick? I’m going to take you through my process of how made my choice and you let me know if you agree.
The primary thing I relied on, not only for this pick but for all my choices this year is team elevation. What I mean by that is I asked myself does this player makes his team better? Then I had to consider if that person is the player on his team.
Because there is a different type of pressure bestowed on someone that has the responsibility of being the top option. Those factors took CJ McCullom off my list, although I like his game he is not the best player on the team. Donovan Mitchell might be considered the top option on the Utah Jazz but he is too inconsistent for me.
Since John Wall got hurt, Bradley Beal has carried the team, but they suck. In the case of Lou Williams, I just couldn’t pick him as a top ten player. I know he is arguably the best sixth man ever to play the game and he was the best player on the Clippers last year; I still couldn’t pick him.
My initial choice was Devin Booker, but ultimately I went with Jrue Holiday. I guess you can say Jrue is my sentimental pick. He only became the best player on his team after Anthony Davis stop playing and Zion Williamson got hurt. He might not be a better scorer than Devin Booker, but he is the best defender out of this group.
What I realized from this is that there are not too many traditional two guards left in the NBA. Even James Harden is listed as a point guard on ESPN. What you have is a hybrid of wing players and converted point guards who carry the scoring load for their team.