20. Khris Middleton
The second best player on the league’s best team record wise must be included. Giannis didn’t do it all himself. Middleton is a solid player and will be critical for Milwaukee’s playoff success.
19. Bradley Beal
Bradley Beal is stupidly loyal to the Wizards. He needs to go somewhere where he can excel on a big stage. I wouldn’t want to face the Wizards when the season returns because any given night he will drop 50 and the Wiz will drop 130 on your favorite team.
18. Zion Williamson
The most electric man in alllllllll of sports and entertainment. Move over Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, we have a new sheriff in town. I am enamored with Zion’s small sample size and he might be deserving to be higher on this list. The NBA clearly wants the Pelicans to make the playoffs so we get LeBron vs. Zion in round 1. I am all for it, let’s do it and give me 7 games of it. Zion is must see TV.
17. Kemba Walker
Kemba is so underrated. He was buried in Charlotte for years. Now he ready to pop off for the Celtics in the playoffs to show the league that he’s a prime-time playa. He’s a guy that can give you 40+ on a given night.
16. Jayson Tatum
Tatum is so nice and clean with the rock. I’ve never seen him take a bad shot. He makes difficult shots look so easy and is a tremendous isolation player.
15. Joel Embiid
I am not the biggest Joel Embiid guy. I don’t think you can win with a traditional center as your number one option on offense. But I have to acknowledge the talent. He is the best post-up player in the NBA and impossible to guard when he gets going.
14. Pascal Siakam
Siakam is a great basketball player. He looks like a loose cannon if you watch him play, but that loose cannon is under control and smooth with it at the same time. He’s helped Toronto maintain elite status in the East. Raptors-Bucks showdown coming soon.
13. Ben Simmons
I personally love Ben Simmons’ game. It’s a damn shame he can’t shoot for shit otherwise he might be a top 5 player in the NBA. Defenders know he is not going to shoot from outside the paint, but he’s so good he consistently finds ways to get to the rim. His play-making ability is near LeBron level.
12. Russell Westbrook
Westbrook might be the most dynamic player in the NBA. When he’s on, he’s on. But when he’s off it gets real ugly and he tremendously hurts his team with terrible shot selection, compiling mistakes with silly turnovers. The former MVP will have a TON of space to maneuver and create with the Rockets pledging to the small-ball lineup.
11. Chris Paul
Wow, who could have expected OKC to be in the playoff hunt after trading Paul George and Russell Westbrook. Chris Paul has been brilliant and the main reason OKC competes night-in and night-out. This man is a pure genius on both sides of the ball. He’s criminally underrated and it’s sad because he probably won’t end up with a ring in his career.
10. Jimmy Butler
The Miami HEAT have been an exciting team to watch this year. A bunch of young fellas led by Jimmy Buckets. A leader that does it all. Love the intensity and grittiness he brings to his game.
9. Paul George
Honestly, Paul George has been underwhelming in LA this season and considering his past performances in the playoffs over the years, this spot might be too high. I put him here because he’s surrounded with winners this time with Kawhi Leonard and Doc Rivers. It’s put up or shut up time for Paul George when the season returns.
8. Nikola Jokic
Who knows if he’ll been cleared to play after testing positive for COVID-19. When playing, Jokic is a point guard in a large, chubby man’s body. He’s a walking triple-double threat every night for the Nuggets. Denver has a solid core and should be in contention for Western Conference Finals for years to come.
7. Damian Lillard
Portland has a low probability of making the playoffs, but that won’t stop Dame from carrying that sorry ass franchise to a few wins. Poor Dame, they have done a pathetic job of building a solid supporting crew around him and CJ.
6. Anthony Davis
AD and Giannis are both on athletically freak levels that are mismatches for everybody. The LeBron-AD combo is the top duo in the NBA and will cause headaches in the bubble for opposing teams.
5. Luka Doncic
Luka and the Mavs have been a fun watch this year. I would not want to face this team in the playoffs. MVPs are in Luka’s future.
4. James Harden
James Harden catches a lot of slack. But he’s had the unfortunate circumstances of facing the loaded Warriors’ teams these past few years. If not for them, he would have a ring. Rockets playing small ball in the bubble will be fun to watch, and this will lead to big dick numbers from Harden. I expect him averaging 50 a night.
3. Giannis Antetokounmpo
This might be an underwhelming spot for Giannis after an MVP season in 2018-19 and probably the future MVP this season as well. Giannis and the Bucks will win the East no problem. Can’t wait to watch 7 games of Giannis vs. Kawhi or Giannis vs. LeBron.
2. Kawhi Leonard
Clearly, the second best player in the NBA. Won a title and Finals MVP with the Spurs and Raptors. Kawhi and the Clippers will be heavy favorites for the Finals.
1. LeBron James
The obvious selection here. The King enters the bubble with one mission and that’s to finish his quest for his must needed 4th title.
Honorable Mentions: Kyle Lowry; Devin Booker; CJ McCollum; Donovan Mitchell, Brandon Ingram; Rudy Gobert