NBA Radio is breaking down the top 25 NBA players in advance of the 2016-17 season.Today? We’re talking about #’s 6 through 10, including two Clippers and a member of the new Big Three in Golden State.
10. Blake Griffin
What Blake Griffin will we get in 2016? If he’s hungry to get back on the floor and make a statement (which we think he is and will), then his pure athleticism can’t be overstated. Coming off of a season plagued by injury and the endless reports that he could be traded after this season, we expect Griffin to put his best foot forward as the Clippers take possibly one last run at the top of the Western Conference.9
9. Chris Paul
While Chris Paul may be on the wrong side of 30, that doesn’t matter much due to his highly-touted basketball IQ. The guy understands the game inside and out and that’s why he still is one of the very best point guards in the NBA 11 years in. As we’ve noted a couple of times already, the Clippers future is uncertain (if you believe all those media types), so that might be extra incentive for CP3 heading into 2016. Not to mention, when Paul touches the floor you can pretty much scribble in 20 points and at least 10 assists.
8. Anthony Davis
In what was considered somewhat of a down year, Pelicans star Anthony Davis averaged a double-double with 24 points and 10-plus rebounds per game in 2015. It’s sometimes easy to forget that Davis is just 23 years old, so we are likely a little way’s off from seeing the best he has to offer. Still, 2016 should prove to be a good one as he looks to advance New Orleans further into the playoffs and compete with the best in the West.
7. Klay Thompson
With the addition to megastar Kevin Durant to the Warriors there’s a chance that Klay Thompson’s numbers from 2015 may see a slight decrease, but that doesn’t mean the sharpshooter has lost an inkling of his touch. Expect Thompson to knock down some crucial shots as the ball flows effortlessly around the court by Golden State. And with his beautiful touch, it’s easy to forget that Thompson is incredibly gifted at making sneaky quick cuts to the basket for easy layups. Thompson is a proven winner, and after that heartbreaking loss the Warriors suffered in the Finals, expect him and the rest of the gang to come out looking to prove they are the best team in the NBA.
6. Paul George
Entering his seventh season and the prime of his career, Paul George looks like he’s ready to become the dominant force we figured he’d be. George is coming off a career-high 23.1 points per game and averaged an impressive 7 rebounds per contest to go along with it. What’s unique about George? Well, he actually plays defense. He’s been named to the All-Defensive First Team once and the Second Team twice, including last season. Expect more of the same from the All-Star as he attempts to push his Pacers into the playoff picture in the upcoming season.