The NBA Playoffs are already underway, so let’s take a look at the stars. These are my top 10 players who are participating in this year’s NBA Playoffs:

10. Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets:

Jokic is the real deal. His large frame and smooth style of play can bully people in the paint and is dangerous outside. He was one of the most impressive players in the regular season, as he was the leader of one of the most successful teams in the Western Conference. I think his lack of experience in the Playoffs and his opponents’ heavy experience in the Playoffs will cause him to struggle in the postseason, though.

9. Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics:

Irving is the best finisher in the NBA. When you need a bucket, Irving is your man. He is a matchup nightmare with Playoff experience, and his clutch shot-making ability will come in handy during these playoffs. Although his leadership skills were questioned during the regular season, I think Irving will be able to gather the troops for a deep playoff run.

8. Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76er’s:

Embiid, when healthy, is not someone you want to have on the other side of the floor. He is gifted in all aspects of the game, including the mental game. No one is better at getting in their opponent’s head like Embiid. He reminds me of Kevin Garnett in that aspect. I see Embiid bullying people in the paint, scoring a lot of points, and getting a lot of boards in Philly’s run in the Playoffs. Their lucky draw on the other side of the bracket from Milwaukee and Boston will help, too.

7. Paul George, Oklahoma City Thunder:

Paul George’s success in Oklahoma City warms my heart. I’m no Thunder fan, but I love that he is being successful in a place he didn’t really want to go. I feel like he has been a good pairing for Russell Westbrook, but I don’t think Westbrook likes being the second man again. George is too good to be a second man, and Westbrook is overrated. There, I said it! 

6. Kawhi Leonard, Toronto Raptors:

Similar to George, Leonard is succeeding in a place he didn’t really want to go. I believe that Kawhi will play out of his mind in these Playoffs, but Kyle Lowry will not be able to carry his weight. Leonard’s length and versatility on both sides of the court make him one of the most elite players this postseason.

5. Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers:

Lillard is the most underrated player in the NBA. It seems like every time Lillard is called upon to hit a clutch shot, he follows through. I have seen more Lillard highlights of clutch shots than any other player. He is quick, coachable, clutch, and accurate. I think Lillard’s Blazers could put up a fight against the Warriors or the Rockets should they meet in the coming rounds.

4. James Harden, Houston Rockets:

I don’t really even need to write much under this guy’s name. Harden has proven to be clutch and hit the big shots. He is un-guardable, and unfazed by pressure. It would not surprise me if Harden’s Rockets end up beating Goliath, the Golden State Warriors.

3. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors:

The former MVP and good guy of the league comes in at #3. I believe Curry is an anomaly in the NBA. He is arguably the greatest shooter of all time, is part of arguably the greatest team of all time, playing for arguably the best coach in the Association. Not only is he part of a great system, he carries his weight. He is the anchor of the Warriors’ success. While Kevin Durant might be the better player, I believe Curry is the most important piece of this juggernaut of a team. His shooting ability paired with his excellent ball handling skills and passing make him the third-best player in these Playoffs.

2. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks:

The Greek Freak us unstoppable and un-guardable, which is why he is my number two. His length and confidence place him above almost everyone. He is the most consistent scorer in the paint since Shaquille O’Neal, and has the ability to lead this team to the Finals. I believe he will win the MVP and will have a legitimate shot at winning the Finals.

1.Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors:

With LeBron not in the Playoffs, it only makes sense that the best player in the world is ranked first.  Durant is the best player on the best team and has proven to be effective in the Playoffs. He was great with Oklahoma City in the postseason, and has been great with the Warriors. The reigning Finals MVP will not go down without a fight. A seven-footer who moves and scores like a point guard is unstoppable. 

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