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The Best NBA Player For Every Scenario: Stephen Curry Will Not Miss The 3-Point Shoot, Kevin Durant Would Beat Any Defender 1-On-1

The Best NBA Player For Every Scenario: Stephen Curry Will Not Miss The 3-Point Shoot, Kevin Durant Would Beat Any Defender 1-On-1

Basketball is more than just one aspect. There are multiple facets to the game to make a complete player. Some players turn out to be better post players, while others can hit shots near the half-court line. Between offensive and defensive situations, there is a special player for numerous opportunities. While LeBron James is one of the greatest players ever, not even he is considered among these categories.

From needing a basket around the rim to sealing the game with a defensive stop, the game features many scenarios. That is why most practices involve game-time situations. The team practices for these hypothetical situations. One team features the best player for those situations, giving them an advantage.

These are the best NBA players for every scenario.

2-Point Field Goals - Giannis Antetokounmpo

When it comes to scoring around the basket, Antetokounmpo is your best bet of getting a basket. That is where Antetokounmpo takes most of his shots. Last season, 80.6% of his field goals came inside two-point range, and he shot 61.6% from the field. When looking at the specific distance, Antetokounmpo took 48.3% of his shots from zero to three feet around the basket. There, he shot 74.4% from the field.

If there is an ability to throw up a lob pass, Antetokounmpo probably could throw it down. What’s more effective for the Bucks is that he can dribble-drive to the basket. There are not many players that can stop his strength. There are times that Antetokounmpo is a 6-foot-11, 242-pound point guard. That is tough to stop when running full force to the basket.

3-Point Field Goals - Stephen Curry

Out of all three-point shooters, who wouldn’t want the man that leads the NBA all-time in three-point field goals? It’s not just the quantity of threes that Curry owns in his career, either. Curry is a highly efficient three-point shooter that owns a career average of 42.8%. If we wanted to look at the quantity, Curry has led the league in three-point field goals seven times. That includes topping 300 three times and once making an NBA-record 402 three-point field goals in a season.

That average of 3.8 three-point field goals is a weapon. When Curry was playing at an MVP level, he made an average of 5.1 three-point field goals per game. Throw in all the pressure situations he has had on his way to winning four titles, needing a three-pointer is likely going to come if Curry is shooting the ball.

Buzzer Beater - DeMar DeRozan

One of the most clutch players for the last three years has been DeMar DeRozan. During the 2019-20 season, DeRozan scored the fourth-most clutch points with 131. He did that while also shooting 50.0% from the field. The following season, DeRozan finished third with 140 points in clutch situations. Both years, DeRozan wasn’t talked about a lot because he was playing for sub-average San Antonio Spurs teams.

Last season, DeRozan nearly led the league in clutch points. Joel Embiid led the league with 158 points, where he shot 47.0% from the field in clutch situations. Meanwhile, DeRozan finished with 157 points and shot 53.5% from the field. His shooting percentage was the best among players that scored over 100 clutch points. Last season, DeRozan scored two buzzer-beaters in back-to-back games.

Tough Shot - Kevin Durant

There are special players in the league that could hit certain shots. Those shots looked extremely difficult, but these players made them look easy. Both Dirk Nowitzki and Kobe Bryant had a way of hitting a fadeaway jumper every time, while Damian Lillard and Stephen Curry have range beyond measures. A player that doesn’t get the respect he deserves sometimes is Kevin Durant.

Durant is going to go down in history as one of the most lethal shooters ever. Durant’s field-goal percentage by distance matches the notion that he can knock down the tough shot anywhere. Between zero to three feet, Durant was 73.6% from the field. The rest of his line included shooting 45.2% from three to ten feet, 46.7% from 10 to 16 feet, 44.7% from 16 feet to three-point range, and 38.4% from behind the arc. Throw a tough defender into the equation too.

Defensive Stop - Draymond Green

The All-Defensive First Team for 2022 featured Giannis Antetokounmpo, Mikal Bridges, Rudy Gobert, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Marcus Smart, who was the Defensive Player of the Year. Each player brings something different to the table in the realm of defense but is limited in some areas of the game. For example, Gobert, Jackson, and Antetokounmpo are not the greatest wing defenders. As for Bridges and Smart, they are not going to lockdown post players.

There is one player that can do all of that. Draymond Green has one of the highest basketball IQs in basketball. If you can’t admit that, then that is a personal problem and a little bit of animosity toward his personality. Green can guard all five positions on the floor. If you know a player is going to let their best player go in isolation, the best chance of stopping that player is Green.

Rebound - Rudy Gobert

Rudy Gobert

We need to give a shoutout to Nikola Jokic here. Jokic was the only player in the league last season to record over 1,000 rebounds. The player behind him was Gobert, who won the rebounding title. Assuming that we are talking about limiting second-chance points, Gobert is one of the best. He was second in defensive rebounds, but he finished fifth in offensive rebounds last season, while Jokic was 13th. Overall, Gobert is a complete rebounding package.

Gobert led the league with a total rebounding percentage of 25.0%. That was higher than the 2020-21 rebounding champion Clint Capela. It was also higher than Jokic, who placed third. Gobert has been a consistent rebounding threat for most of his career. If we needed a rebound in a crucial situation, Gobert would be the player to get it.

Assist - Chris Paul

Even with older age, Chris Paul has still got it. Paul fell second to Trae Young in total assists last season with 702, while Young led the league with 737. With that said, Paul’s 10.8 assists per game won the assists crown. Paul finished third in assist percentage with 44.5%. Only Young and Luka Doncic finished with a higher assist percentage.

While the numbers are flashy, this is also just a pure eye test. We have seen Paul go from “Lob City” to orchestrating successful offensives in Houston, Oklahoma City, and now Phoenix. Paul is the all-time leader in assists in both New Orleans and with the Clippers. From past to the future, Paul is the best ball handler in the league.

Steal - Chris Paul

Chris Paul

Dejounte Murray led the league in total steals and steals per game last season. Matisse Thybulle led the league in steal percentage. Both players are going to carve out successful careers in the league if they keep this up. That said, Paul was fifth with 121 steals and finished second to Murray with 1.9 steals per game. Historically speaking, Paul is a successful defensive master. That hasn’t changed either.

What helps Paul earn this title is his experience. While Murray, Tyrese Haliburton, Herbert Jones, and Gary Trent Jr. all finished with more total steals, Paul had a lot more minutes than those players. He has the instincts because has been around for so long. The fact that he is still averaging a high steals per game total is impressive. Combining that with his past experiences, he is a solid fit here.

Block - Myles Turner

Apologies to Jaren Jackson Jr., who led the NBA in total blocks and blocks per game. Also, apologies to Robert Williams, Rudy Gobert, and Mitchell Robinson. Each of those players ranked in the top 4 among those categories as well. It may not be fair to put an injured player here, but this is an exception. When healthy, Myles Turner is the best shot-blocker in the league.

Turner would have led the league in blocks if he played an entire season. In 2020-21, Turner was leading the league with 3.4 blocks per game. That season, Turner played 47 games. Last season, Turner averaged 2.8 blocks per game but played 42 games total. It could be the Pacers or somewhere else. That is unknown for now. What is always known is that Turner is a lockdown rim protector if he can stay on the court.

Points Off The Bench - Tyler Herro

The reigning Sixth Man of the Year deserved his award. Herro could be a starter in this league and he is asking for max contract money because he knows what talent he brings to the table. Herro averaged 20.8 points per game off of the bench last season. That led all players to come off of the bench.

Herro’s total was so grand that it was about four points more than Bogdan Bogdanovic and five points more than Jordan Clarkson, the 2020-21 Sixth Man of the Year. With that said, Clarkson beat out Herro in total points with 1,244 points compared to Herro’s 1,162 points. Herro typically closed out games and put in over 30 minutes of action each night. Herro shot 46.2% from the field, 42.1% from three-point range, and 87.0% from the free-throw line.

Isolation - Kevin Durant

Let’s put this into perspective. Luka Doncic led the league in isolation points with 453 last season. He did this in 65 games. The next players on the list include Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, DeMar DeRozan, James Harden, Pascal Siakam, Trae Young, Jayson Tatum, and then Durant. All players played at least 60 games except Gilgeous-Alexander, who was practically the Thunder’s entire offense, Harden, and Durant.

Now, Harden has a case that he should earn this title. In 44 games, Harden scored the fourth-most isolation points with 355 points. However, Harden’s field-goal percentage was 37.8% clip. That takes us to Durant, who scored 316 isolation points in 55 games. In that time, he shot 51.3% from the field, which is the highest percentage among all of the players listed ahead of him. If Durant plays 10 more games, Durant might have been in the 400-club, while potentially shooting better than Doncic’s 47.3% shooting.

Transition - Giannis Antetokounmpo

When you think of players in transition, you think of guards getting to the basket. Devin Booker scored 472 transition points last season, while Ja Morant scored 364 points himself. LeBron James joined Booker in the 400-club with 414 points himself, while R.J. Barrett rounded out the top-5 list with 354 points. Without a double, the best player in transition was Antetokounmpo, who scored a whopping 571 transition points.

Antetokounmpo led the league with 181 field goals in transition last season and shot 58.4% in that element. Given the physical stature of Antetokounmpo, it’s amazing that he can do this. If you watch him play, he thrives on driving to the basket. His first step is nearly unguardable because of his length and size. Mathematically speaking, if Giannis has the ball in his hands when it is in transition, it’s going to go into the hoop three out of five times.

Crossover - Kyrie Irving

Some of the best ball-handling skills come from Kyrie Irving. When Irving is on the floor, he is one of the best playmakers in the league. He has the ability to drive past defenders like it is easy. Part of that ease comes from his crossover move. That move throws defenders off balance when executed correctly. His ability to maneuver the defender one way and then drive the other way allows him to create space and finish at the rim.

Irving’s move isn’t just limited to finishing at the hoop. That space creates jump shots as well, which has made his mid-range game even more exceptional. Irving has the potential to average 30 points per game. It’s not just his shooting that gets him there. It’s his ball-handling that allows him to have more open shots than the next guy. 

Credit for the idea: thebasketcoverage/Instagram


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