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May 19, 2017
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The verdict is out for the best performers of the 2016-17 NBA season.

Sports media has recognized James Harden (Houston Rockets), LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers), Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder), Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs), and Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans) as the Top 5 players in the league right now.

The Beard's name was under the First Team in every ballot (100), while The King fell one vote short of a unanimous inclusion—his 11th, tied with Kobe Bryant and Karl Malone. Interestingly, The Brodie, The Klaw, and The Brow are second-timers. Nobody made it from the NBA's best team, the Golden State Warriors.

Remaining votes also determined the rest of the NBA's cream of the crop—two lineups that could give the top rung a run for their money:

All-NBA 2nd Team

Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee)
Kevin Durant (Golden State)
Rudy Gobert (Utah)
Stephen Curry (Golden State)
Isaiah Thomas (Boston)

All-NBA 3rd Team

Draymond Green (Golden State)
Jimmy Butler (Chicago)
DeAndre Jordan (LA Clippers)
John Wall (Washington)
DeMar DeRozan (Toronto)

Casual fans of the game might not have a problem with this selection, but a basketball savant would think otherwise. The superstars below are more deserving of those All-NBA berths, and FHM is here to stir the pot.


Paul George (Indiana Pacers)

23.7 ppg* 6.6 rpg 3.3 apg 1.6 spg 46% fg*

Could replace: Jimmy Butler or DeMar DeRozan

If getting swept by the Cavs in the first round wasn't painful enough, then this should be the ultimate slap in the face of PG-13. Not only was it a blatant disregard of his efforts to lead his crappy team to the playoffs, the omission also prevents his maiden franchise to offer him a super-max contract, just like in the case of Utah's Gordon Hayward. George wearing Purple and Gold next season is becoming more likely with each passing day.


Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota Timberwolves)

25.1 ppg 12.3 2.7 apg 1.3 bpg

Could replace: DeAndre Jordan

Since LeBron James, no rookie has given his team a jolt of optimism more than KAT. In just his second season, the agile big man is already part of the "best center" conversation in the league, with shades of another legendary Timberwolf, Kevin Garnett. Back-to-back losing records for Minnesota might not have helped his cause for an All-NBA spot, but that's hardly his fault. Well, at least he still has a long career ahead of him.


Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)

27 ppg* 5.9 apg 4.9 rpg* 44% fg*

Could replace: John Wall

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Dame Dolla seemed to have known better this time around, as he didn't take to social media or rapping yet another oversight. Despite the rise of backcourt partner CJ McColumn and the breakout stretch run of Jusuf Nurkic, Lillard is no doubt the driving force of the West's 8th seed. If only the Trail Blazers were able to steal even a single game in their opening series against the Dubs, he could have merited a second look from pundits.


DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings/New Orleans Pelicans)

27 ppg* 11.1 rpg 4.6 apg* 1.4 spg 1.3 bpg 1.8 3pg (36%)*

Could replace: Anthony Davis

Yeah, Boogie is that good. His numbers could rival those of his new teammate, except for the former's overwhelming technical foul count. Davis and Cousins were basically in the same situation, (putting up empty stats as No. 1 options for bottom feeders); only the original Pelican had a better rep. Take into consideration their failed midseason pairing, and the odds of making the cut were never in his favor.


Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors)

22.3 ppg* 3.4 3pg

Could replace: Jimmy Butler or DeMar DeRozan

While Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry took turns guiding the Warriors, and Draymond Green emerged as the squad's most important player, the other Splash Brother kind of faded into obscurity. But people tend to forget that Thompson dropped 60 points (three quarters) at one point in the season. He has yet to find his shooting touch this postseason, something that should scare the rest of the conference finalists.


(* = career-high)

 

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