Greatest All-Time Starting 5: 2010-2016
This edition of Greatest All-Time Starting Five is a little different. Instead of choosing a team, this edition will be the Greatest All-Time Starting 5 for the 2010-2016 decade. Only accolades and stats from 2010 to 2016 will be considered. A player at each position (Point Guard through to Center) will be selected, along with a 6th man who can be any position.
This is how it works:
Players selected must have played in every season 2010/2011 – 2015/2016
The selection will be based on a combination of statistics, team accomplishments and personal accolades collected since the 2010/2011 season
Players had to have predominantly played at that particular position for at least one season to be eligible
Let’s get started.
Top Stars: 2010-2016
Point Guard – Stephen Curry (23.4 PPG – 7.0 APG – 1.7 SPG – 24.7 PER): There isn’t much to say about Steph, that hasn’t already been said. Only 28 years old and he is already the greatest shooter that the NBA has ever seen – but if you think he is just a shooter, you are dead wrong. Equipped with a lethal handle and a lightning-quick release, Steph can run the scoreboard faster than anyone in league history. In recent years, Steph has managed to improve his overall game, becoming elite at finding his open teammates, stealing the ball and he has even improved as a rebounder. Already a 2 time MVP and NBA Champion, the 28 year old guard may have his best years still ahead of him, and although the MVP trophies may not be as easy to accumulate with Kevin Durant joining his team, there will be many opportunities for Curry to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy in the seasons to come.
Shooting Guard – Dwyane Wade (21.5 PPG – 4.7 APG – 1.5 SPG – 23.2 PER): With big game guards like Kobe Bryant and James Harden out there, it was difficult to come to this decision. You have to remember however, that Harden spent the early part of his career playing third option behind Westbrook and Kevin Durant in OKC – and Kobe spent the previous 3 or 4 years wallowing in obscurity with the listless Lakers. Meanwhile Flash has been a consistent contributor to a Miami Heat team that went to 4 straight NBA finals, winning 2 championships on the way. Due to a list of nagging injuries, Wade is no longer the superstar that he once was, and now that he will likely be the second scoring option with his home town Chicago Bulls, his best years are surely behind him.
Small Forward – Kevin Durant (28.6 PPG – 7.6 RPG – 4.3 APG – 27.3 PER): Whatever your opinion of Kevin Durant may be, there is no denying that he is one of the top three players in the NBA. A scoring machine, KD has been a star in this league ever since he was drafted to the Seattle Super Sonics in 2007. When the team was moved to a smaller market in Oklahoma City, this didn’t stop Durant from making himself into a global brand and a household name. His ability to score inside and out is unmatched by anyone in NBA history. Never before has there been a 6’10” wing player that could shoot so efficiently from long range, handle the ball and score so easily at the basket. Now that he will ply his trade in the Bay Area, it’s likely that his MVP days are behind him for now, but perhaps he will manage to get that monkey off his back and finally win an NBA championship… or six.
Power Forward – LeBron James (26.4 PPG – 7.3 RPG – 6.8 APG – 28.7 PER): Not only is he the greatest player of this generation, he is likely one of the top 2 or 3 players of all-time. Since the 2010/2011 season, Lebron James has been in the finals every single year, and he has taken two different teams along with him. So far this decade, he has won 3 NBA Championships, 3 Finals MVPs and 2 Regular Season MVPs, and although he’s starting to show his age, his performances have somehow improved in the playoffs. This past season, King James became the first player EVER to lead a playoff series in all 5 major statistical categories and the fact that he pulled it off in the NBA Finals, against the greatest regular season team of all time, goes to show how otherworldly he really is. Whether he can catch that ‘ghost’ he is chasing has yet to be seen, but one thing is for sure – Lebron James has been the greatest player of this generation.
Center – Dwight Howard (18.2 PPG – 12.7 RPG – BPG 2.0 – 21.6 PER): Although injury problems have followed Dwight Howard around like a deranged ex-girlfriend, he has remained one of the most consistent and productive centers in the NBA. After forcing his way out of a great situation in Orlando, Dwight’s career has gone into a downward spiral after unsuccessful stints with the Lakers and Rockets. Despite this, Dwight has still proven to be an above average pivot man, in a league where talented centers are hard to come by. He has remained a very active rebounder, intimidating shot blocker, and when given the opportunity he has been a very efficient option on offense (last season he shot 62% from the field). Perhaps signing with the Atlanta Hawks with their ball movement and free-flowing offense, Dwight can finally get his career back on track.
6th Man – Chris Paul (18.3 PPG – 9.9 APG – 2.3 SPG – 25.8 PER): Chris Paul has been one of the outstanding talents in the NBA since he arrived in 2005. He has led the league in assists on 4 occasions and led the league in steals 6 times (which is an NBA record). CP3 literally does everything well – He can score inside and out, he can find open teammates, he plays great defense and he is an elite leader. The biggest knock against Paul (and the reason why I couldn’t pick him to start over Steph Curry) is his lack of postseason success. But when you take a step back and look at things, you have to ask, how much of that is on Chris Paul? Having Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan as teammates is nice, but when you look at the collection of talent on the other Western Conference teams – KD and Westbrook in OKC. Duncan, Leonard, Parker and Ginobili in San Antonio. Steph, Klay, and Green in Golden State – it is clear to see that Paul has lacked the supporting cast to be a true contender.
Did I miss any of your favorite 2010 stars? Let me know if you agree or disagree – @awrxshxx