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Ranking The Best NBA Shooting Guards In Orlando By Category

Fadeaway World

Fadeaway World

The Orlando bubble is going to have most of the greatest players in the world. They'll have 8-regular season games for seeding purposes and then will have to take it up a notch by jumping straight to the playoffs. This time, anything can happen.

Homecourt advantage won't mean a thing this time. That's why the best players in the world must do everything on their power to lead their team to an NBA Championship, especially those who are considered stars in the game. But, who should stand out the most?

There are 22 starting shooting guards in the bubble. However, just a handful of them set the tone and the standard for greatness among the league's shooting guards. That's why today, we're going to break down the best shooting guards in the Orlando bubble by category:

Player - James Harden

(via Space City Scoop)

(via Space City Scoop)

There's absolutely no doubt that James Harden is one of the best players in the league. He's a top-7 player for sure, maybe even top-5. He's been posting MVP-caliber seasons for four straight years and is doing some remarkable things in the offensive end.

Harden can score at a high clip from all three levels, can create for others, is a good rebounder for his position, has quick hands to pile up steals and, contrary to popular belief, it's actually a plus defender in the post. He's one of the best shooting guards to ever live.

Scoring - James Harden

Credit: USATSI

Credit: USATSI

As we said before, James Harden is one of the best players in the world. He does all the little things to help his team win but what makes him truly stand out from the rest of the guys in the league is his ridiculously dominant scoring capacity.

Harden is leading the league in points per game for the third straight season. He's currently averaging 34.4 points on 43/35/86 shooting splits and his bending the rule books in his favor. Some say he's got the refs fooled but if it was that easy, everybody would do it.

Rebounding - Luka Doncic

Credit: USATSI

Credit: USATSI

ESPN ranks Luka Doncic as a shooting guard so we'll live by it. Honestly, Doncic could be ranked as a point guard, shooting guard, or small forward and he'll be still ranked among the league's leaders on, well, pretty much every single category.

Doncic is the best rebounding shooting guard in the league and by miles. He's currently averaging 9.3 rebounds per game and is a walking triple-double threat every night out there. He's pretty smart to position his body vs. bigger, stronger players, so those numbers should only trend up once he bulks up.

Playmaking - Luka Doncic

Credit: USATSI

Credit: USATSI

Once again, Luka Doncic stands out from the rest of the pack because of his versatility. Doncic can play off the ball or create for others with ease, and that's one of the many reasons why some experts talk about the similarities between his game and Larry Bird's .

Doncic is currently averaging 28.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, and an impressive 8.7 assists per game, which are 2.4 dimes more than the second-closest player in his position (James Harden, 6.4). He has the potential to average a triple-double for a season.

Shooting - James Harden

(via Washington Post)

(via Washington Post)

Shooters shoot. And James Harden is never going to stop shooting. He can - literally - go 0-12 from deep and continue to pull up from beyond the arc as if it was his first shot of the night. Also, his step-back threes going to the left are way more difficult than people think.

Harden is one of the greatest pull-up shooters ever. Once you give him an inch of space to go to his left, there's just no way of stopping him. His mid-range game is also unstoppable and he just has countless ways to hurt you. He's taking 12.6 three-pointers per game right now.

Defense - Marcus Smart

(via Bleacher Report)

(via Bleacher Report)

Marcus Smart isn't just one the best defensive shooting guard in the Orlando bubble, he's one of the best defenders in the history of the game. He makes up for his lack of size with his impressive strength, drive, instincts, and determination to put his body on the line.

Smart will go between screens, take a beating, get scratched, and he'll still get a stop. He'll take a charge from LeBron James on the very next position, and he'll embrace the challenge of locking down the opposing team's best player any given night. He can guard one through five and he's just 6'3''.

Clutch - Luka Doncic

(via Sportsnaut)

(via Sportsnaut)

Luka Doncic was born to achieve greatness. He's proved it in just one-and-a-half season in the NBA but he had already shown glimpses of greatness overseas. There's a reason why he became the youngest MVP in Euroleague history.

Doncic has ice in his veins. He won't hesitate to take a big shot when his team needs him the most. He's had some struggles in the clutch a couple of times but he has shown no remorse or doubts to continue being the Mavericks' go-to-guy when they need a bucket.

Efficiency - James Harden

(via NBA.com)

(via NBA.com)

Even if you may think that 43/35/86 line doesn't exactly talk about efficiency, turns out that James Harden is actually the most efficient shooting guard in the league and by a long stretch, according to ESPN's PER stats. He's got a 28.6 PER this season.

Harden's stat lines may not look as pretty as you'd like from time to time but one thing's for sure: this guy finds a way to impact the game. He makes the most of every single one of his touches, either creating in isolation or finding an open guy.

Leadership - James Harden

(via AlleyOop Québec)

(via AlleyOop Québec)

His haters may claim that James Harden isn't a good leader because of his lack of success in the playoffs but that is a flat out lie. Harden struggles that much in the playoffs because he's lacked a second scoring option for most of his career. Chris Paul was great next to him but he wasn't a pure scorer.

Defenses focus so much on stopping Harden in the playoffs but the Rockets wouldn't even be close to a postseason berth without him. He's one of the most dominant scorers in the regular season and has constantly put the team in his back despite the injuries, inconsistency, and poor performances of his teammates.

Handles - James Harden

(via Excelsior)

(via Excelsior)

James Harden is as skilled as they come with the rock in his hands. He's constantly creating new moves that look like borderline travels or double-dribbles but that's because he's so fast and crafty with his hands that we can't help to doubt them.

Harden has a sick crossover. He can go left or right at ease and his Eurostep is just unstoppable. He's also a great finisher with both hands and can find tiny gaps of space inside the paint thanks to his top-notch handles, which are definitely top 10 in the league.

Athletic - Donovan Mitchell

(via SLC Dunk)

(via SLC Dunk)

Scouts overlooked Donovan Mitchell in the Draft and the Utah Jazz landed their franchise players for the future. He's proven to be an efficient volume scorer, playmaker, and even a better defender than most people give him credit for.

But, obviously, Mitchell's most impressive trait is his athleticism. He has a huge vertical and is a one-man fast-break once he takes the ball up the court. He can posterize the most intimidating rim protectors in the world as if he was on a scrimmage.

Rookie - Kendrick Nunn

(via Diario AS)

(via Diario AS)

Kendrick Nunn is yet another example of an undrafted player who's grit and grind granted him a spot in a team's rotation. Moreover, he was an early candidate for Rookie of the Year after taking the league by storm with his scoring ability.

Most people didn't even know who Kendrick Nunn was until Erik Spoelstra unleashed him in the offensive end. He's now averaging 15.6 points, 2.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 2.1 three-pointers, and 0.8 steals per game on 44.8% from the floor and 36.2% from beyond the arc.

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