NBA: 2012-13 Player Power Rankings (21-30)
21. Kyrie Irving: This number one draft pick produced a quality rookie season in 2012. He backed up his hype winning the 2012 Rookie of the Year Award, along with earning the respect of the League’s cream of the crop in a league filled with many talented PG’s already. After a summer of challenging Kobe to a 1-on-1 and playing on the USA Select team, we can expect a lot from Kyrie. Yes he is young, but you cannot deny the talent. Standing at 6’2, Irving brings electrifying quickness and speed. In his rookie year, he averaged 18.5 PPG and 5.4 assists. Surrounding him with a 7 footer in Ty Zeller and a scoring threat such as Dion Waiters, we should expect to see a whole another side of Kyrie. (Daps to Chris for the write up)
22) Marc Gasol– His beard isn’t afraid of anything. Gasol is a European center with an edge in a league where the center position is becoming an antiquated idea. The ability to go big against small teams (i.e the Heat) is huge. He’s a svelte 7′ 265 lbs. and is a nightmarish matchup for opposing teams. The Big Fella also has some serious range.
23) Steve Nash– The Canadian Crippler is going to murder the game this year. After getting out of the basketball hell that is Phoenix, he is going to tear it up with 3 offensively gifted future Hall of Famer’s. Shooting records will be set and his haircut will continue to amaze and perplex. A rejuvenated Stephen John Nash is a scary reality for the rest of the league in these next 3 years. As long as Kobe doesn’t go in to selfish FU mode, this well be one of the best Lakers team’s since the days of Shaq and Kobe.
24) Tyson Chandler– An Olympic level center and an All-Universe defensive player, Chandler should be able to be the rock of the improved Knicks defense. A flurry of injury reports have been scary, but Chandler will finish 2nd in the defensive player of the year rankings behinds Dwight Howard. He’s also a fancy gent with an art exhibit under his belt and one of the more underrated beards in the league.
25) Andre Igoudola– Iggy is an elite defender who can D up any wing player in the league. Andre needed a change of scenery and moving towards the young upstart Nuggets is going to allow him to make the jump that people hoped he would make after signing his max deal in . Putting Igoudala on the Nuggets is like taking a dog from a cramped apartment to a farm. Dude’s going to run.
26) Manu Ginobili & 27) Tim Duncan– The Spurs are casual and boring greatness (like a late career U2). Different year, same stuff for these two perennial All-Stars who were some freakish Kevin Durant games away from making another trip to the Finals.
28) Kevin Garnett– Love him or probably hate him, KG can still ball. His intensity is second to none and his 18 footer will forever fall. His toughness will needed on a fresh look Celts team with maybe 1 or 2 title shots left.
29) Anthony Davis– Most talented big man to come out college in a while. In our current sports climate where rookie QB’s are dominating the NFL, we need to accept that he’s going to be able to contribute in his first year. Davis’ presence makes the Hornets my pick for sleeper at the 8th seed in the West.
30) Josh Smith– Josh Smith playing in a contract year with no Joe Johnson to steal shots, is a scary thought. Josh Smith will become an alpha dog this year and make the leap to elite player on a very frisky Hawks team. That and the fact that he looks identical to The Game.