NBA Leaderboard, Part XIAll-Star Weekend is over and the stretch run to the NBA playoffs has now begun in earnest.
Best Five Records
1) Dallas Mavericks, 48-9
2) Phoenix Suns, 44-14
3) San Antonio Spurs, 39-18
4) Utah Jazz, 38-19
5) Detroit Pistons, 36-19
The Suns are having a tremendous season but cannot gain ground on the Mavericks, who have a chance to post one of the best records in NBA history. The Eastern Conference finally has made its presence felt in the top five, as the Detroit Pistons supplanted the Houston Rockets; Detroit's acquisition of Chris Webber has made up for the mistake of losing Ben Wallace and has positioned Detroit as the team to beat in the East (of course, Flip Saunders' history as a playoff coach suggests that someone will indeed beat them).
Top Five Scorers (and a few other notables)
1) Carmelo Anthony, DEN 30.6 ppg
2) Gilbert Arenas, WSH 29.2 ppg
3) Kobe Bryant, LAL 29.0 ppg
4) Dwyane Wade, MIA 28.8 ppg
5) Allen Iverson, DEN 28.1 ppg
7) LeBron James, CLE 26.7 ppg
10) Vince Carter, NJN 25.4 ppg
12) Tracy McGrady, HOU 24.6 ppg
Since the last leaderboard, Kobe Bryant moved up one spot and cut the deficit separating him from first place from 2.1 to 1.6 ppg. With Anthony's average inching downward and the Lakers once again becoming increasingly dependent on Bryant's scoring, Bryant's chances to repeat as the scoring champion are looking better by the day. If Wade is unable to return to action then he will of course eventually drop off the list because he has not played in enough games or scored enough points to meet the NBA's minimum qualification standards for a complete season. McGrady's average has gone up more than two ppg since January 10.
Top Five Rebounders (and a few other notables)
1) Kevin Garnett, MIN 12.8 rpg
2) Tyson Chandler, NOK 12.4 rpg
3) Dwight Howard, ORL 12.2 rpg
4) Emeka Okafor, CHA 11.7 rpg
5) Carlos Boozer, UTA 11.5 rpg
7) Tim Duncan, SAS 10.8 rpg
9) Ben Wallace, CHI 10.4 rpg
11) Shawn Marion, PHX 10.2 rpg
24) Rasheed Wallace, DET 8.1 rpg
25) Jason Kidd, NJN 8.0 rpg
Marion slipped just outside of the top ten but is still having an incredible season for an undersized inside player. The top three players each increased their averages by about the same amount since the previous leaderboard.
Top Five Playmakers
1) Steve Nash, PHX 11.9 apg
2) Deron Williams, UTA 9.3 apg
3) Jason Kidd, NJN 8.9 apg
4) Baron Davis, GSW 8.7 apg
5) Chris Paul, NOK 8.6 ppg
Davis and Paul switched spots and the rest of the top five stayed the same, as it has for most of the season. Starbury fell out of the top 20 and now ranks 23rd (5.5 apg), but he is just percentage points behind the players who are in the 19th-22nd positions.
Note: All statistics are from ESPN.com
posted by David Friedman @ 1:22 AM