LeBron should be accompanied by these fellows on the next true version of the Dream Team.
About 15 games into the NBA season, we have a decent enough sized sample to start making some conclusions. So, after perusing the PER leaders, I was struck by one thing: the new guard has arrived.
Chris Paul, LeBron James, and Dwight Howard. These three will be the best at their positions for the next 8-10 years. They are putting up absurd numbers. LeBron is pacing the league with a ridiculous 32.61 PER, while Paul (27.06) and Howard (26.80) lead their respective positions, holding the number 4 and 5 positions overall. This got me to thinking, and that means it’s time for a gimmicky-Simmonsesque post that so intrigues me. So, without further adieu, the All-NBA U-23 team:
C-Dwight Howard–the man is a smaller version of young Shaq, but with much less polish offensively. Yet he’s leading centers in PER this season. Think about that, and be very afraid. The dude could eat Greg Oden whole.
PF-Al Jefferson–I would have had a very difficult toss-up situation with Chris Bosh, but since Big Al is one year younger than his 23 year old positional rival, I’m choosing my former love. Following in employee #8‘s footsteps in Boston, he had me at his first sky hook. Check out the guy’s arsenal of interior moves some time, and you’ll understand. Old school hooks and up-fakes make him a sexy choice, and once his passing and defense improve, he’ll be worthy of some top 10 MVP votes. Think 24/12/4 as his likely ceiling.
SF-LeBron James–Duh. Dude is sick. Oscar Robertson mixed with Bo Jackson playing the 3. Will own the MVP trophy starting this season. Too bad his team sucks; Carlos Boozer would have been a really nice running mate if all that opt-out sketchiness hadn’t happened. His free agency year will be incredible, can’t wait to see a “He Got Game” type recruiting war for his services.
SG-Kevin Durant–this pick bothers me somewhat considering he really ought to be a 3 or even a 4 someday, but for now he’s the best choice. No other shooting guard under 23 comes close to this guy in terms of ceiling, and after a slow start he’s starting to pick it up. Oh, and he’s 19. Unlimited range, long arms on defense, solid passing, killer instinct. Sounds good, huh?
PG-Chris Paul. Deron Williams is his draft counterpart, but really, even as good as the Utah leader has become, Paul is in his own world. Incredible player, surround him with enough talent and he might own the West over Portland and Seattle/OK City in a few years.
And there you have it. Yes, my Al Jefferson bias can be called into question, but at least in this case, I’m not sure who else you can put up against him at the 4. Feel free to add some players to the bench or even suggest replacements in the starting line-up.