Last week, ESPN.com’s #NBArank listed Serge Ibaka as the 39th-best player in the NBA. This week, #NBArank got down to its final players.
To no one’s surprise, Kevin Durant comes in at No. 2 behind who we assume is LeBron James.
— The NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) October 22, 2013
See some familiar faces in that picture? Even while injured, Russell Westbrook comes in at No. 5 on the list. Even more intriguing is former Thunder guard James Harden at No. 4.
The Thunder had (by ESPN’s logic) three of the top five players in the league. Now, Harden wears the red and white of the Houston Rockets.
Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul checks in at No. 3. Oklahoma City basketball fans are familiar with Paul from his stint here with the Hornets. That’s FOUR Oklahoma City ties in the top 5.
Here’s the link to the complete #NBArank list: http://es.pn/HdfZG9
Thunder rank high on NBA.com’s GM Survey.
The Thunder also came in high in several categories of NBA.com’s annual preseason survey of the league’s general managers.
The Thunder was picked by 36.7 percent of GM’s to win the Western Conference, with only San Antonio receiving more support (40.0). OKC was picked by 96.6 percent of GM’s to win the Northwest Division.
The Thunder topped several categories, including best home-court advantage.
Which team has the best home-court advantage?
1. Oklahoma City — 36.7%
2. Golden State — 26.7%
3. Denver — 13.3%
4. Miami — 10.0%
5. Chicago, Utah — 6.7%
Last year: Oklahoma City — 70.0%
Individually, Durant received the most votes from GM’s in two categories:
Which player is the best at getting his own shot?
1. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City — 33.3%
2. Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers — 26.7%
3. Carmelo Anthony, New York — 16.7%
4. LeBron James, Miami — 10.0%
Also receiving votes: Jamal Crawford, L.A. Clippers; Stephen Curry, Golden State; James Harden, Houston; Derrick Rose, Chicago
Last year: Kobe Bryant — 40.0%
Which player would you want taking a shot with the game on the line?
1. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City — 39.3%
2. Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers — 32.1%
3. Carmelo Anthony, New York; LeBron James, Miami — 7.1%
Also receiving votes: Ray Allen, Miami; Manu Ginobili, San Antonio; Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas; Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers
Last year: Kevin Durant — 46.7%