- The Season's Over -

And That’ll Do It: Wrapping Up the 2008-09 NBA Regular Season in 40 Lists – Part I

April 14, 2009

Kevin Durant Can Fill It Up

Kevin Durant Photo Credit: Icon SMI

Last Year’s Lists: Summing Up the 2007-08 NBA Regular Season In 36 Lists

The final days of the regular season are upon us. Sad times, I know. But the playoffs loom, and it’s time to reflect on the season what was – and, for many fans, to start looking forward the season that will be.

What better way than to wrap up all doings that transpired than with some good ole’ listing? Everybody likes lists. Well we’ve got ‘em for you, and in spades. Last year we capped off the regular season with 36 lists, and this time we’re one-upping ourselves for the 2008-09 campaign with two sets of 20 (that’s 40 lists for the mathematically disinclined).

We’ve got some traditional ones (ROY, MIP, MVP, DPoY Coach of the Year, etc.) and some not-so-traditional ones (Guys Most Likely to Improve Next Season, Worst Local Broadcast Crews, Teams on the Rise).

So sit back and revel in this first dose of 20 quintets – and as always, reader thoughts, suggestions, gripes, disagreements and outright whining is always encouraged.

1. The Top Five Rookies

Brian:

1. Derrick Rose, PG, Chicago Bulls
2. Russell Westbrook, G, Oklahoma City Thunder
3. O.J. Mayo, G, Memphis Grizzlies
4. Brook Lopez, C, New Jersey Nets
5. Kevin Love, F/C, Minnesota Timberwolves

Andrew:

1. Derrick Rose, PG, Chicago Bulls
2. Russell Westbrook, G, Oklahoma City Thunder
3. Brook Lopez, C, New Jersey Nets
4. Kevin Love, F/C, Minnesota Timberwolves
5. Eric Gordon, G, Los Angeles Clippers

2. The Top Five MVPs

Brian:

1. LeBron James, F, Cleveland Cavaliers
2. Dwyane Wade, G, Miami Heat
3. Kobe Bryant, G, Los Angeles Lakers
4. Chris Paul, PG, New Orleans Hornets
5. Dwight Howard, C, Orlando Magic

Andrew:

1. LeBron James, F, Cleveland Cavaliers
2. Kobe Bean Bryant, G, Los Angeles Lakers
3. Dwyane Wade, G, Miami Heat
4. Chris Paul, PG, New Orleans Hornets
5. Dwight Howard, C, Orlando Magic

3. The Top Five Teams (regardless of record)

Brian:

1. Cleveland Cavaliers
2. Los Angeles Lakers
3. Boston Celtics
4. Orlando Magic
5. Portland Trail Blazers

Andrew:

1. Los Angeles Lakers
2. Cleveland Cavaliers
3. Boston Celtics
4. Portland Trail Blazers
5. Orlando Magic

4. The Top Five Defensive Players

Brian:

1. Ron Artest, F, Houston Rockets
2. LeBron James, F, Cleveland Cavaliers
3. Kevin Garnett, F, Boston Celtics
4. Chris Paul, PG, New Orleans Hornets
5. Josh Smith, F, Atlanta Hawks

Andrew:

1. Dwyane Wade, G, Miami Heat
2. Kobe Bean Bryant, G, Los Angeles Lakers
3. Ron Artest, F, Houston Rockets
4. LeBron James, F, Cleveland Cavaliers
5. Dwight Howard, C, Orlando Magic
5a. Shane Battier, F, Houston Rockets

16 more lists in Part I of our 2008-09 NBA regular-season wrap after the jump…

The Maloof Brothers Can’t Be Happy

The Maloof Brothers Photos Credit: Icon SMI

5. The Five Worst Teams (regardless of record)

Brian:

1. Sacramento Kings
2. Washington Wizards
3. Los Angeles Clippers
4. Memphis Grizzlies
5. Golden State Warriors

Andrew:

1. Milwaukee Bucks
2. Charlotte Bobcats
3. Los Angeles Clippers
4. Indiana Pacers
5. Sacramento Kings

6. The Top Five Most Improved Players

Brian:

1. Devin Harris, PG, New Jersey Nets
2. Nate Robinson, G, New York Knicks
3. Nene Hilario, F/C, Denver Nuggets
4. Jeff Green, F, Oklahoma City Thunder
5. Wilson Chandler, F, New York Knicks

Andrew:

1. Kevin Durant, F, Oklahoma City Thunder
2. Devin Harris, PG, New Jersey Nets
3. Danny Granger, F, Indianaa Pacers
4. Paul Millsap, PF, Utah Jazz
5. Wilson Chandler, F, New York Knicks

7. The Top Five Comeback Players

Brian:

1. Dwyane Wade, G, Miami Heat
2. Nene Hilario, F/C, Denver Nuggets
3. Boris Diaw, F, Charlotte Bobcats
4. Chris Andersen, F/C, Denver Nuggets
5. Shaquille O’Neal, C, Phoenix Suns

Andrew:

1. Chris Andersen, F/C, Denver Nuggets
2. Grant Hill, F, Phoenix Suns
3. Dwyane Wade, G, Miami Heat
4. Shaquille O’Neal, C, Phoenix Suns
5. Ray Allen, G, Boston Celtics

Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love at UCLA

Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love Photo Credit: Icon SMI

8. The Five Guys Most Likely to Improve Next Season

Brian:

1. Anthony Randolph, F, Golden State Warriors
2. Russell Westbrook, G, Oklahoma City Thunder
3. Rodney Stuckey, PG, Detroit Pistons
4. Thabo Sefolosha, G/F, Oklahoma City Thunder
5. Michael Beasley, F, Miami Heat

Andrew:

1. Anthony Randolph, F, Golden State Warriors
2. Paul Millsap, F, Utah Jazz
3. JaVale McGee, Washington Wizards
4. Michael Beasley, F, Miami Heat
5.Wilson Chandler, G/F, New York Knicks

9. The Top Five Coaches of the Year

Brian:

1. Mike Brown, Cleveland Cavaliers
2. Nate McMillan, Portland Trail Blazers
3. Rick Adelman, Houston Rockets
4. Phil Jackson, Los Angeles Lakers
5. George Karl, Denver Nuggets

Andrew:

1. Stan van Gundy, Orlando Magic
2. Rick Adelman, Houston Rockets
3. Mike Brown, Cleveland Cavaliers
4. Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs
5. Scott(ie) Brooks, Oklahoma City Thunder

10. The Five Worst Local Broadcast Teams

Brian:

1. Milwaukee Bucks
2. Cleveland Cavaliers
3. Memphis Grizzlies
4. San Antonio Spurs
5. Indiana Pacers

Andrew:

1. Milwaukee Bucks
2. Los Angeles Clippers
3. Washington Wizards
4. Charlotte Bobcats
5. Minnesota Timberwolves

11. The Five Best Local Broadcast Teams

Brian:

1. Portland Trail Blazers
2. Golden State Warriors
3. Los Angeles Lakers
4. Detroit Pistons
5. Boston Celtics

Doc Rivers, pleased with Rajon Rondo's fantasy game

Rajon Rondo Photo Credit: Icon SMI

Andrew:

1. Golden State Warriors
2. Portland Trailblazers
3. Sacramento Kings
4. Boston Celtics (It’s wearing thin)
5. Memphis Grizzlies

12. The Five Teams We Watched Most

Brian:

1. Detroit Pistons
2. Portland Trail Blazers
3. Los Angeles Lakers
4. Denver Nuggets
5. Boston Celtics

Andrew:

1. Oklahoma City Thunder
2. Golden State Warriors
3. Miami Heat
4. New York Knicks (Hey, I live here)
5. Portland Trailblazers

13. The Five Teams We Watched Least

Brian:

1. San Antonio Spurs
2. Toronto Raptors
3. Memphis Grizzlies
4. Washington Wizards
5. Phoenix Suns

Andrew:

1. Washington Wizards
2. Milwaukee Bucks
3. Indiana Pacers
4. Toronto Raptors
5. Memphis Grizzlies

14. The Five Most Disappointing Teams

Brian:

1. Detroit Pistons
2. Toronto Raptors
3. Phoenix Suns
4. Washington Wizards
5. Los Angeles Clippers

Andrew:

1. Toronto Raptors (Wow)
2. Detroit Pistons
3. Philadelphia 76ers
4. Washington Wizards
5. New York Knicks

15. The Five Most Surprising Teams

Brian:

1. Portland Trail Blazers
2. Denver Nuggets
3. Chicago Bulls
4. Houston Rockets
5. Minnesota Timberwolves (pre-Al Jefferson injury)

Andrew:

1. Miami Heat
2. Denver Nuggets
3. Chicago Bulls
4. Indiana Pacers
5. Houston Rockets

16. The Five Teams Most Likely to Improve Next Season

Brian:

1. Oklahoma City Thunder
2. Golden State Warriors (Fire Nellie!)
3. Minnesota Timberwolves
4. Atlanta Hawks
5. Portland Trail Blazers

Andrew:

1. Oklahoma City Thunder (They make me as damp as a snack cake down there)
2. Sacramento Kings
3. Washington Wizards
4. Golden State Warriors
5.Philadelphia 76ers

17. The Five Teams Most Likely to Regress Next Season

Brian:

1. Phoenix Suns
2. Boston Celtics
3. Dallas Mavericks
4. San Antonio Spurs
5. New Orleans Hornets

Andrew:

1. Phoenix Suns (Bang-up job, Mr. Kerr)
2. Dallas Mavericks
3. Indiana Pacers
4. Atlanta Hawks
5. Detroit Pistons

Kobe Bean Bryant

Kobe Bean Bryant Photo Credit: Icon SMI

18. The Top Five Pure Offensive Players

Brian:

1. LeBron James, F, Cleveland Cavaliers
2. Dwyane Wade, G, Miami Heat
3. Kobe Bryant, G, Los Angeles Lakers
4. Kevin Durant, F, Oklahoma City Thunder
5. Danny Granger, F, Indiana Pacers

Andrew:

1. LeBron James, F, Cleveland Cavaliers
2. Dwyane Wade, G, Miami Heat
3. Chris Paul, G, New Orleans Hornets
4. Kobe Bean Bryant, G, Los Angeles Lakers
5. Kevin Durant, F, Oklahoma City Thunder (One word: silky)

19. The Top Five Performers for Non-Playoff Teams

Brian:

1. Kevin Durant, F, Oklahoma City Thunder
2. Danny Granger, F, Indiana Pacers
3. Al Jefferson, F, Minnesota Timberwolves
4. Devin Harris, PG, New Jersey Nets
5. Antawn Jamison, F, Washington Wizards

Andrew:

1. Kevin Durant, F, Oklahoma City Thunder
2. Danny Granger, F, Indiana Pacers
3. Chris Bosh, F/C, Toronto Raptors
4. Al Jefferson, F/C, Minnesota Timberwolves
5. Devin Harris, PG, New Jersey Nets

20. Sixth Men of the Year

Brian:

1. Jason Terry, G, Dallas Mavericks
2. Nate Robinson, G, New York Knicks
3. J.R. Smith, G, Denver Nuggets
4. Paul Millsap, F, Utah Jazz (Does he count?)
5. Kirk Hinrich, G, Chicago Bulls

Andrew:

1. Jason Terry, G, Dallas Mavericks
2. Nate Robinson, G, New York Knicks
3. Lamar Odom, Los Angeles Lakers (He counts)
4. Travis Outlaw, Portland Trailblazers
5. Corey Maggette, Golden State Warriors

Last Year’s Lists: Summing Up the 2007-08 NBA Regular Season In 36 Lists

16 Comments »Posted by Andrew Thell and Brian Spencer on Apr. 14, 2009 at 10:01 am in NBA, NBA Fantasy News

16 Responses

really guys, no Rondo at MIP? otherwise, superb list. and yeah, my Suns will finally die for a long time thanks to that certain rider of the apocalypse

Posted by: Murcy on April 14th, 2009 at 2:59 pm

Really? Danny Granger is a better pure offensive player than Dirk Nowitzki?! really??

Posted by: adam on April 14th, 2009 at 5:03 pm

Nice list… Ray Allen and Grant Hill on “comebacks”. Grant Hill last 2007/08 yes… Ray Allen never left….

Posted by: Swirsky's Soldier on April 14th, 2009 at 5:07 pm

Cool list. My only problem is with Andrew having the Charlotte Bobcats as #2 Worst team. Didn’t they
beat the Celtics once and the Lakers twice this season? They aren’t a very good team but #2 seems a little high.

Posted by: James on April 14th, 2009 at 7:59 pm

Those lists are absolutely terrible.

#1. Chris Paul is nowhere near a great defensive player, and the fact that you both don’t have Dwight Howard as the #1 choice is disgusting.
#2 Milwaukee was far from the worst team in the league, that title should belong to the likes of Sacromento/LAC/Memphis, etc.
#3 He may not win, but Jerry Sloan deserves to be up there in contention for COTY, considering he managed to get an injured Jazz team to almost 50 wins.
#4 I would like someone to explain to me how a team that makes the playoffs (76ers) can be the 3rd most disappointing team in the league.

Posted by: Insanitrix on April 14th, 2009 at 10:17 pm

Danny Granger not on brians MIP list?

and also im wondering what andrew was thinking in putting the bucks, the pacers, and the bobcats in the worst teams?
all three at one time or another where in the east playoff race while others. (wizards, grizzlies, timberwolves) where the embaressment of the league

Posted by: NEtSGuY on April 14th, 2009 at 10:59 pm

At nearly 3 steals per game, Chris Paul isn’t a great defensive player?

Posted by: Brian Spencer on April 14th, 2009 at 11:55 pm

Was Iverson a great defender when he averaged 2.8 steals per game?

Chris Paul is an OK defender (and he’s improving), but hardly the best defensive point guard in the league.

Posted by: warsaw on April 15th, 2009 at 2:08 am

enjoy the Thunder love

Posted by: Nix on April 15th, 2009 at 11:46 am

Anyone who holds the all time NBA record for the most games in a row with at least one steal (108, CP3) absolutely deserves to be mentioned as a great defensive player.

Maybe his all around defensive game isn’t at the Ron Artest level, or the Bruce Bowen of yesteryear level, but CP3 plays his defensive role as well as anyone in the league.

Also, Dwight Howard is a shot blocking machine, but he doesn’t deserve to be #1 any more for his blocked shots than CP3 does for his steals.

Posted by: Slim on April 15th, 2009 at 1:01 pm

Bobcats barely missed the playoffs and don’t have a single super-star on their team. How are you going to rank them as one of the worst?

Posted by: Anonymous on April 15th, 2009 at 2:08 pm

How exactly will the mavs regress?? They will have a healthy team. Yeah Jason Kidd is getting older, but trust that Cuban will spend some dollars to get in a solid replacement. Wasn’t Jason Kidd supposed to be horrible this year? They will only be better next year with a healthy team…

Posted by: Ryan on April 15th, 2009 at 4:26 pm

I think bynum, ariza, or aldridge should have had some kind of a mention for MIP, but i could be biased for watching a lot of west coast ball. do you have a list for most disappointing players coming up? please consider iverson and arenas. and carter. maybe t-mac. im disappointed iverson didn’t have a bigger impact in detroit, but i have to admit that i didn’t think it was going to work out from the start. also is it just me or is mcgee useless when it comes to halfcourt offense? btw does anyone remember MIP bobby simmons? disappointed.

insanitrix – i agree with the guys on philly being disappointing. after adding elton brand, andre igoudala having a few years under his belt, and andre miller being in his usual zone, it was looking like a standout season was on the cards. i guess the brand injury set them back a lot, but even when he was playing, he wasn’t performing consistently. and i was hoping that andre igoudala was going to have a great MIP year, didnt happen.

Posted by: r.i.p_petrovic on April 15th, 2009 at 6:57 pm

Chris Paul gambles way too much, he’s more of a liability than a defensive presence.

And as for Dwight, he is on a team filled with players who are undersized (Jameer and Rashard) or not great defenders (Hedo) and still has the Magic as a top 5 defensive team. The NBA awards will come out, and you can see how much of a joke these lists really are.

Posted by: Insanitrix on April 15th, 2009 at 7:52 pm

insanitrix – lets see a few of your lists then to see how yours compare to the nba awards

Posted by: r.i.p_petrovic on April 16th, 2009 at 3:01 am

You can claim that Chris Paul gambles too much, but when compared to his opponent, CP3 won the efficiency matchup 64 times this year, while losing only 9. The only two players that were better were LeBron (68-6) and Wade (65-6).

So maybe CP3 is gambling. But it sure is paying off.

Posted by: Slim on April 17th, 2009 at 11:35 am

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