Only 15 players are selected to the All-NBA squads. It’s a prestigious club for those reasons. Only the best of the best from the season make the All-NBA Team. As we progress towards the halfway mark of the season, some players are separating themselves from making this team, while others are making enough noise to be at the top of the First-Team.
The All-Star debate is going to be heating up real soon, but we figured we would take it up a notch by looking at the best 15 players in the league right now. Sorting them out First, Second, and Third Team is another story. If we ended the season today, these players would make the All-NBA Team right now.
All-NBA Third Team
Stats: 20.8 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 9.6 APG, 1.4 SPG, 0.7 BPG
Harden is second in the league in assists, while his 17 double-doubles are tied for fifth in all the league. The only players ahead of him in that category are either power forwards or centers. A lot of fans want to give Harden a lot of flack, but he is having a great season. Harden’s player efficiency rating is third, trailing only Donovan Mitchell and Zach LaVine among starters.
Harden is not having the typical Harden season on the scoring side because of the rule change, but he still converts 88% of his free throws. His attempts at the line have gone down, but he has adjusted his game. The Nets would not have the best record in the Eastern Conference without him.
Stats: 25.0 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 5.0 APG, 1.6 SPG, 0.2 BPG
Offensively, this might be the best season we have ever seen from Mitchell. As for points, he ranks second among all shooting guards in points per game, while his field-goal percentage ranks seventh among all players at the position, but all six players in front of him are shooting fewer times. His 20.7 shots per game ranks second to Paul George, and he is converting over 45% of the time.
The Jazz are tied with the Warriors for the best point differential in the league. A lot of that has to do with the efficiency of Mitchell leading the offense. The Jazz own the third-best record in the Western Conference. If the Jazz rise through the standings, Mitchell will rise through the All-NBA Teams.
Stats: 26.4 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 6.6 APG, 1.7 SPG, 1.0 BPG
Given the injury to Davis and the inconsistency from Russell Westbrook, the future 37-year old LeBron James is the single-most-important player on the Lakers. He remains the team's best finisher, scorer, and overall player. Now that Davis is out, we are going to see the Lakers rely on LeBron even more, which usually means that we will see his best basketball.
LeBron’s stats are not coming up on the leaderboard for now because he has played just 19 games. If he did qualify, LeBron would be tied with Jayson Tatum for the second-most points among all small forwards, while his assist total would be the most by nearly 2.0 assists per game. It’s going to come down to the position of the team by the end of the year, but LeBron remains in the conversation for being a top-10 player in the league.
Stats: 23.3 PPG, 9.9 RPG, 2.9 APG, 1.2 SPG, 2.0 BPG
Davis making this list is going to boil down to how long he is out for injury. Davis is expected to be out for at least four weeks with a knee injury. If Davis is out, and Jayson Tatum stays healthy, we could be talking about another player. Tatum is currently leading the league in fourth-quarter points and looks to show no signs of slowing down. Tatum is also tied with Paul George for the most field-goal attempts in the league but is averaging 25.9 points per game to go with 8.6 rebounds.
With that said, Davis is having a standout year defensively but is the second-most important player on the team’s offense. Now that Davis is gone, you can see an obvious hole, which will impact the Lakers moving forward. Davis is critical to both ends of the floor and the Lakers were just gelling before his injury. If we see a major dip in the team’s record, it solidifies Davis’ contributions to the team.
Stats: 25.1 PPG, 10.8 RPG, 4.3 APG, 1.1 SPG, 1.4 BPG
Because Embiid has played just 20 games this season, his totals are not qualifying just yet on the statistical leaderboard. If he did, Embiid would have the second-best points per game mark among centers, trailing only Nikola Jokic. Embiid’s recent play has the 76ers playing much better and the team has reentered the playoff conversation.
While the 16-15 record that Philadelphia owns is not eye-popping, their 10-8 record on the road is something to keep an eye on. The team has battled injuries, Ben Simmons drama, and have played more games on the road. Make no mistake that Embiid is having a successful individual season that could translate to more wins, so keep an eye out for Philly to trend up.
All-NBA Second Team
Stats: 27.3 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 9.3 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.1 BPG
Young is second in the league in scoring and has the Hawks playing better as of late. If the Hawks lose games and fall out of the playoff picture, then it will be hard to keep Young on this list. For now, assuming that Atlanta continues to tend up, Young is very deserving of making the Second Team.
Young is averaging more points than Steph Curry and shooting at a higher percentage while taking about the same amount of shots per game. Young also averages the second-most assists among all point guards, which is third in the league. He also owns 15 double-doubles this season, which barely makes the top-10. As a point guard, he is doing everything he can to help the team win games.
Stats: 26.0 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 4.2 APG, 0.5 SPG, 0.3 BPG
LaVine tied for the fifth-most points in the fourth quarter, giving the Bulls one of the best one-two finishers in the league. On top of that, his 26.0 points per game are the best among all shooting guards. His 19.4 shot attempts per game rank fourth, while his 49.0% shooting percentage ranks third, trailing only Seth Curry and Pat Connaughton.
The Bulls were competitive when LaVine played in the past. Now that he has talent around him, LaVine is an even more dangerous player. LaVine can also rebound and pass at a high rate for a shooting guard, but he brings the Bulls plenty of pros and cons. This team is good enough to make the Conference Finals, but after this season, LaVine is going to cost the team a lot of money.
Stats: 26.8 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 4.2 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.3 BPG
DeRozan is making a case for being one of the most clutch players in the league. After his 38 points against the Lakers, he showed that a COVID-related absence was not going to slow him down. Currently, DeRozan leads all small forwards in points and player efficiency ranking. DeRozan has scored the second-most fourth-quarter points this season with 199. In the fourth quarter, DeRozan is averaging 8.0 points per game, which is the most among all players in the NBA.
An even more impressive stat is that DeRozan is shooting 54% in the fourth quarter, as well as 91.2% from the free-throw line. DeRozan is doing all of this without taking hardly any three-point shots too. When the game is on the line, the Bulls have a finisher and DeRozan will be rewarded for that at the end of the year.
Stats: 22.8 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 5.2 APG, 2.2 SPG, 0.3 BPG
Because Jimmy Butler has played in only 18 games this season, his stats are not on the leaderboard just yet. If they were, he would be tied with Gary Trent Jr. for the most steals per game average in the league. Among small forwards, Butler would rank fourth overall in points and first in assists until LeBron James plays some more games. Throw in the defensive effort Butler brings to the table, you have a complete package.
The Heat are battling the Bulls, Cavaliers, and Bucks for the No. 2 seed at the moment, while all four teams are in the mix with the Nets for the No. 1 seed. The Heat will be without Bad Adebayo for a month, so the team is going to rely on Butler even further. Assuming the Heat are in this position two months from now, look for Butler to remain on this list.
Stats: 15.4 PPG, 15.0 RPG, 1.1 APG, 0.8 SPG, 2.2 BPG
Gobert is leading the league in rebounds, while his points per game is career-high. Among other notable accolades include his 24 double-doubles ranking second in the league, as well as his blocks. His 72.3% shooting from the field leads the league, as he, Richaun Holmes, and Jarrett Allen are the only players shooting above 70% from the field.
You have to give Gobert credit as his near 70% free throw shooting is a career-high, while he is also shooting career highs in free throw attempts. Along with being a Defensive Player of the Year candidate, Gobert is making a case for one of the best two-way big men on the court.
All-NBA First Team
Stats: 14.4 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 10.1 APG, 2.0 SPG, 0.3 BPG
Paul is going to battle to keep up with Curry, but if the season ended today, the two would be equals on this list. Paul is leading the league in assists and is leading a Suns offense that is technically averaging more points than Golden State. The third-best offense is also shooting the ball the best in the league at 47.8%. The team behind the Warriors and Jazz in point differential is the Suns.
Paul is also shooting nearly 50% from the field with 48.6%. Paul has effectively allowed the other playmakers on the team to shoot and score. Paul hasn’t averaged double-digit assists since 2015-2016. The way he continuously evolves should be impressive to everyone.
Stats: 27.1 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 6.0 APG, 1.6 SPG, 0.5 BPG
Right now, Curry is the frontrunner to win the MVP, so naturally, he should make the All-NBA First Team. Curry is third in the league in scoring and leads the league in made three-pointers by a large margin. Curry is also leading a Warriors team that owns the fourth-best offense, best team defense, and that is tied with the Jazz for the best point-differential.
Curry is easily the best combo guard in the league right now. For what he brings to the offense each night, the Warriors would be a different team without him, even with most of their team healthy. Curry is also shooting nearly 40% from three-point range and takes a league-leading 13.6 threes per game. He is extremely efficient and has his team playing for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.
Stats: 29.7 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 5.9 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.9 BPG
Durant is leading the league in scoring. The last time that happened, Durant won the MVP. To win his second MVP, Durant will need to continue to lead the league in scoring, but also help the Nets win more games. Having Kyrie Irving back will help on the road, but Durant has carried much of the weight as the Nets own an Eastern Conference-best 21-9 record.
Durant has been clutch in crunch time, scoring the fourth-most fourth quarter points, but trailing only DeMar DeRozan for fourth quarter points per game with 7.7. The most impressive stat is that Durant is shooting the fifth-most shots, but his 52.3% shooting percentage is at a bare minimum six percent higher than all the four players shooting more, which also includes 10% higher than the two leaders.
Stats: 27.0 PPG, 11.6 RPG, 5.8 APG, 1.1 SPG, 1.6 BPG
When the Bucks need a basket, who do you look at? The easy answer is Giannis, who has scored the third-most fourth-quarter points this season. Among his other crunch time numbers, Giannis is shooting 54.6% from the field with only Rudy Gobert and Cole Anthony shooting better in the final period. With that said, Giannis is shooting more than both players, while also pulling down the second-most rebounds, while his assist total is tied for sixth-best.
These types of stats prove that Giannis is one of the best closers in the league, but also one of the best players as well. Giannis is fourth in the league in points, sixth in rebounds, and eighth in double-doubles. He is the second-most efficient player according to PER. Once the Bucks are at full strength, the team is going to give the rest of the conference a run for the No. 1 seed.
Stats: 26.3 PPG, 13.5 RPG, 7.5 APG, 1.3 SPG, 0.7 BPG
According to PER, Jokic is the most efficient player in the league, while his overall numbers are just all-around impressive. His points per game rank sixth, rebounds are second-best, while his assists totals rank 10th. As always, we want to remind you that he is doing this as a center, but more importantly without Jamal Murray and Micheal Porter Jr. this season.
The Nuggets are 15-14, which is good enough for the five seed. Given that the Nuggets are playing without two of their best players, to even be in the playoff race says a lot about what Jokic is doing. Also, there are only two players in the league making at least 10 shots per game. Durant, the league leader in scoring, and Jokic are the only two players averaging at least 10.0 made field goals per game. At 59% shooting each night, that is one extremely efficient player.