10) J.R Smith ( New York Knicks): Checking in at # 10 is the current 6th Man of Yr is J.R Smith. Smith was a key component to why the Knicks had a 54 win season. He gave the Knicks a viable scoring threat off the bench all year long. He was one of the reasons why the Knicks won their first Playoff Series Since 2000. He averaged 18.1 points per game.
9) Chandler Parsons ( Houston Rockets): The Rockets made the Playoffs for the 1st time since 2009 and Parsons was a big reason why. In his rookie yr he scored 9.5 points per game this yr he averaged 15.5 points per game. He’s quickly becoming one of the NBA’s most versatile scoring forwards.
8) Jrue Holliday ( Philadelphia 76ers): Philly has a new star on their hands in Jrue Holiday. This past season he made his first All-Star Team and averaged 17.7 points per game and dished out 8 assists per game. This former UCLA standout is quickly forming into one of the NBA’s better young point guards.
Kenneth Faried ( Denver Nuggets): Kenneth Faried goes by the nickname ” Manimal” for good reason. When you watch him he’s all over the court, diving for loose balls, rebounding the ball tenaciously and doing whatever it takes for his him to get the victory. This past year he helped the Denver Nuggets win 57 games along while scoring 11.5 points per game and grabbing 9.2 rebounds per game.
6) Damian Lillard ( Portland Trail Blazers): Who says you can’t breakout in your Rookie Yr. Lillard dazzled in his 1st season in the pros. He filled up baskets and arenas with tantalizing plays. He won Rookie of the Yr honors recently averaging 19 points per game with 6.5 assists per game. He’s already one of the NBA’s most talented and exciting young stars.
5) Klay Thompson ( Golden State Warriors): Former # 1 pick David Thompson’s son is quickly making a name for himself. Thompson is one half of the ” Splash Bros” and he’s already got one of the best pure strokes in the game. The Golden State Warriors got to the Playoffs for the first time in 2007 and Thompson was key reason why. This year he averaged 16.6 points per game and put the NBA on notice when scored 34 points on 8/9 shooting from 3pt range against the San Antonio Spurs in Game 2 of the 2nd rd of the Playoffs. That’s only the beginning for Thompson whose career seems to be on the rise.
4) Kyrie Irving ( Cleveland Cavs): Two years into the NBA and Kyrie Irving is making it look easy. The former 2011 # 1 overall pick made his 1st All-Star Appearance back in February. He can break down defenses as well as break ankles and make defenders look foolish. Last yr’s Rookie of the Year averaged 22.5 points per game and had 5.9 assists as well. Kryie is also a clutch performer, just ask the Oklahoma City Thunder as he beat them with a game winning 3pt shot in the closing moments back in February.
3) James Harden ( Houston Rockets): Before the season started Oklahoma City traded Harden to Houston. He was handed an 80 million dollar contract as soon as he landed in Texas. Harden responded in a gigantic way, leading the team in scoring and becoming one of the NBA’s most lethal scorers. He scored just under 26 points per game( 25.9) and scorched his former Oklahoma City brethren as he racked up 26.3 points per game in a 1st rd match up against his former team.
2) Paul George ( Indiana Pacers): We saw a career really start to blossom as we watched Paul George during the Playoffs. Before the year started he wanted to become and All-Star and he achieved that feat this past season. He won NBA Most Improved Player, scoring 17.4 points per game and pulling down 7.6 rebounds per game. In the playoffs he upped his game another level scoring 19.2 points per game. The Pacers lost a tough hard fought series to the defending champion Miami Heat but he delivered a signature moment as he dunked over Chris ” Birdman” Andersen in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
1) Stephen Curry( Golden State Warriors): Steph Curry is an absolute nightmare to guard on a nightly basis. Leave him open from long range and he’ll burn you from three point land. Get up on him and he can drive by you with quickness and he can finish with either hand.Steph dropped a career high 54 points against the Knicks back in February. Curry was the biggest reason why the Warriors advanced to the 2nd rd this year after knocking off the # 3 seeded Denver Nuggets in the 1st rd. During the regular season Curry averaged just under 23 points per game (22.9). In the playoffs 23.4 points per game and is the biggest reason why the excitement level at Oracle Arena in Oakland will remain high for years to come.