The NBA Superman

The NBA is filled with phenomenal players at the moment who specialize in certain realms of the game. Those players also have weaknesses in their game. What if a player had no weakness? They would essentially become the Superman of the NBA. The guy who can do it all. Here at TheLastTimeout, we will create our own versions of the NBA Superman. The categories we will be using to create the NBA Superman will be:

3-Pt Shooting
Midrange
Finishing
Free Throw
Ball Handling
Passing Accuracy
Passing Vision
Basketball IQ
Perimeter Defense
Rebounding
Post Defense
Rim Protection
Steals
Speed
Strength
Durability
Versatility
Leadership

Jacob’s Superman:
3-Pt Shooting – Stephen Curry
Midrange – Kevin Durant
Finishing – LeBron James
Free Throw – Stephen Curry
Ball Handling – Kyrie Irving
Passing Accuracy – Rajon Rondo
Passing Vision – Rajon Rondo
Basketball IQ – Chris Paul
Perimeter Defense – Kawhi Leonard
Rebounding – Andre Drummond
Post Defense – DeAndre Jordan
Rim Protection – Hassan Whiteside
Steals – Kawhi Leonard
Speed – Russell Westbrook
Strength – DeMarcus Cousins
Durability – Tim Duncan
Versatility – Draymond Green
Leadership – Chris Paul

Some of my picks are pretty obvious ones, like Stephen Curry for 3-Pt shooting and free throw shooting. Also Kyrie Irving and Rajon Rondo for dribbling and passing respectively are both no brainers to me. Some of my picks, however, aren’t so obvious. For instance, Tim Duncan as durability may be a shock to some. As of late, he’s been hurt, but he’s also about to retire. Throughout the prime of his career, he almost never missed a game. Chris Paul at leadership might be questioned as well. Yes, I know, he’s never made it to the conference finals but that’s not his fault. He’s an incredible leader but is usually faulted with injuries on his team or just a weak supporting cast. DeMarcus Cousins is definitely my guy for strength because he can muscle anyone in the paint. And Draymond Green for versatility because he can play multiple positions effectively. LeBron is known for being an incredible finisher after contact around the rim throughout the years. He can dunk over anyone at any time even after getting fouled. Kevin Durant is also my mid-range choice because with a combination of his incredible footwork, height, length, and shooting ability, he’s simply unstoppable from the mid-range. Also, was there even a debate in putting Kawhi Leonard as perimeter defense? He just came off of back-to-back DPOY awards, and is the first non-big man to do so since Dennis Rodman.

Liam’s Superman:
3-Pt Shooting – Stephen Curry
Midrange – Kevin Durant
Finishing – LeBron James
Free Throw – Kevin Durant
Ball Handling – Kyrie Irving
Passing Accuracy – Chris Paul
Passing Vision – Rajon Rondo
Basketball IQ – Chris Paul
Perimeter Defense – Kawhi Leonard
Rebounding – Andre Drummond
Post Defense – Jonas Valanciunas
Rim Protection – Hassan Whiteside
Steals – Russell Westbrook
Speed – Russell Westbrook
Strength – LeBron James
Durability – James Harden
Versatility – Paul George
Leadership – LeBron James

Most of these picks are not very surprising here, 3-point shooting is obviously Stephen Curry and rebounding is obviously Drummond. I chose Kevin Durant for mid-range even though he isn’t the best shooter percentage wise, the volume of shots is there and the percentage is still high. LeBron is known for his ability to finish a layup after being hacked and then flexing, I don’t see anybody that is a better finisher. I picked Kevin Durant for free throws even though he doesn’t have the best percentage in the league, but he shoots a ton of free throws and still shoots 88.2%, with every season 85.4% or higher. I believe Kyrie Irving is an obvious choice for handles because he uses them the most effectively in game, even if they might not be the most flashy in the league. Chris Paul is the most accurate passer in the league easily, he can throw an alley-oop from half-court accurately. I chose Rajon Rondo for vision because he executes passes that other point guards wouldn’t even see available. One possibly surprising pick is Jonas Valanciunas for post defense. My reasoning for this is that he had the best points per post-up in 2016, with just over 0.4 points. For durability I chose Harden because he averaged the most minutes in the league and has played 96% of the possible regular season games he could have in his career. I chose Paul George for versatility because he only plays 66% of his time on the court in his primary position, 34% of the time he is played a variety of other positions. For leadership, Chris Paul was the obvious choice, but I chose LeBron. Who better to lead your team then a guy who has led his teams to 6 straight NBA Finals appearances?

Andrew’s Superman:
3Pt Shooting- Stephen Curry
Midrange- Shaun Livingston
Finishing- Lebron James
Free Throw- Kevin Durant
Ball Handling- Jamal Crawford
Passing Accuracy- Rajon Rondo
Passing Vision- Rajon Rondo
Basketball IQ- Tim Duncan
Perimeter Defense- Kawhi Leonard
Rebounding- Andre Drummond
Post Defense- DeAndre Jordan
Rim Protection- DeAndre Jordan
Steals- Russell Westbrook/Tony Allen
Speed- Russell Westbrook
Strength- David West
Durability- James Harden
Versatility- Lebron James
Leadership- Chris Paul

Some of these picks are obvious and common such as Chris Paul for Leadership, Stephen Curry for three point shooting and Lebron for finishing, but the others I will explain. Shaun Livingston isn’t a star, but for a long part of his career he has been known as a stellar mid range shooter, and I feel he is the best in that aspect. I debated putting Kyrie Irving for ball handling, but if you watch Jamal Crawford, personally I think he has more control and is more impressive. Rajon Rondo has always been an amazing court general, leading his team, which is why I have him for both passing accuracy and vision. Tim Duncan is one of the most knowledgeable players to ever play in the NBA, and it always seems like he knows exactly what he is doing. Kawhi Leonard’s defensive skill is shown with his back to back DPOY awards, and the same with the amazing post defense and blocking ability of Deandre Jordan. In the steals category, I couldn’t decide between the amazing ability to pick off passes with his speed of Russell Westbrook, or the extraordinary defensive presence every year of Tony Allen. David West is simply the strongest, and most aggressive man, in his prime and even today. James Harden is able to dominate the game with the amount of minutes he is able to play without tiring out, and then we have Lebron James, who can simply do everything on the court. That spot of Lebron James in versatility very well could be taken over by Giannis Antetokounmpo. Lastly, we have Chris Paul, he has never made a conference final, but he has an extraordinary ability to lead his teammates and bring the best out of players, and he always has the best chemistry with teammates.

Jack’s’ Superman:
3-Pt Shooting- Stephen Curry
Midrange- Kevin Durant
Finishing- Kyrie Irving
Free Throw- Stephen Curry
Ball Handling- Kyrie Irving
Passing Accuracy- Chris Paul
Passing Vision- Rajon Rondo
Basketball IQ- Kawhi Leonard
Perimeter Defense- Avery Bradley
Rebounding- Andre Drummond
Post Defense- DeAndre Jordan
Rim Protection- Hassan Whiteside
Steals- Kawhi Leonard
Speed- John Wall
Strength- LeBron James
Durability- Tristan Thompson
Versatility- LeBron James
Leadership- Chris Paul

Most of my picks aren’t very exciting, but I can see getting some heat for Avery Bradley as the best perimeter defender. When you watch him though, you can see the constant pressure he puts on his matchup, which wears them down and leads to turnovers in key late game moments. Kawhi is always one step ahead when he’s on the court, which is why I selected him for basketball IQ. Whether it is seeing an opening for a cut or anticipating a skip pass to pick off, he’s always ahead of the game. Tristan Thompson, believe it or not, broke the Cavs franchise record for most consecutive games played with 362, and the streak hasn’t died yet, making him most durable in my opinion. Lastly, Chris Paul seems to me to be the clearcut model for what a leader should be. There’s a reason he’s the head of the players union. Without him, the Clippers would be a lost team with no identity, and probably wouldn’t have made the playoffs after losing Blake Griffin so early this year.

Thanks for reading! Who’s “Superman” do you like the best? Tell us in the comments or on Twitter.
You can see Liam @KDsIntellect, Andrew @CSDSportsNews, Jacob @JferbSteelers and the website Twitter @TheLastTimeout. Thank you, and we will see you soon.

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