ESPN’s #NBARank is down to the top 20 players in the NBA with four players on the Los Angeles Lakers making the cut. The first player to show up in the final 20 is two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash at No. 19.
Nash comes in below the Miami Heat’s Chris Bosh (No. 18) and ahead of LaMarcus Aldridge (No. 20) of the Portland Trail Blazers. It’s difficult to rank Nash amongst the best in the NBA at this point in time without seeing his impact in Los Angeles, but a lot of NBA analysts believe he’ll be the difference maker for the Lakers next season.
Lakers legend James Worthy recently let it be known that he believes Nash is the key to success for the Lakers. Worthy acknowledged the importance of Dwight Howard landing with the Lakers, but is leaning towards Nash having more of an impact right out of the gate.
With Nash now officially ranked, the three left to show up between one and 15 are Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Howard. It’s safe to say Gasol will be the next in line followed by Kobe and Howard.
As @NBAGuru suggests via Twitter, four Lakers making it into the top 20 is impressive to say the least:
With Nash coming in at #19 and Kobe, Pau, and Dwight yet to be listed, this means #NBARank will have 4 Lakers in the Top 19. Wow.
— NBA Guru (@NBAGuru) September 24, 2012
The real question from here on out is how high Kobe will be ranked this time around after averaging an impressive 27.9 points per game last season. Last year, Kobe was ranked seventh and as result created a heated debate about whether or not he should’ve been ranked higher.
Howard on the other hand will almost certainly be ranked ahead of Kobe, but it remains to be seen if he’ll grab the second spot under LeBron James for a second straight season. The Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant might end up knocking Howard out of that spot after leading his team to the NBA Finals and being crowned NBA scoring champion for the third consecutive season.
In case you missed it – Steve Nash talks about joining the Lakers and working towards his first championship.
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