Like the NBA, Fantasy Basketball also has its All-First Team. It’s composed of the five players who’s statistical contributions are the best at each position. And while the All-NBA First Team will definitely have different names when the NBA gives out its annual awards, here is our 2013-2014 All-Fantasy Basketball First Team:
Stephen Curry – PG
Surprised? While everyone agrees that Chris Paul is the best point guard in the NBA, or the world even, Stephen Curry is a unique combination of playmaker and pure shooter. On his Golden State Warriors team, he is the starting point guard and shares the backcourt with his “Splash Brother” Klay Thompson.
Curry is the NBA leader in three-point makes with 261, along with three-point shot makes per game at 3.3. Although he also has the most three-point attempts, he is incredibly accurate at 42.4% from downtown, which is good for 10th in the entire NBA. His scoring average of 24.0 points per game is 7th best in the league, and he is also 6th in the NBA in free throw percentage at 88.5%. Curry is only next to Tony Parker in FG% amongst point guards with his 47.1% field goal shooting. Although CP3 is the best assist man in the league, Curry is a close 6th with 8.5 per game.
Here are the comparative stats of Stephen Curry and Chris Paul for the 2014 season:
Although Paul has a 2.2 assists game and 0.9 steals per game edge, Curry wins all other statistical departments, including a huge edge in scoring (4.9 points per game) and the difficult three-point shots made (2.00 makes per game). So while Paul is “point god”, Curry clearly beats him in Fantasy Basketball.
James Harden – SG
Unlike the point guard spot, this position has a runaway winner. James Harden broke into mainstream superstardom in his first season at Houston, but he’s solidified it with an equally sensational second season by leading the Rockets to a home court advantage in the Playoffs as the 4th seed in the West. The Houston Rockets had finished 9th in the tough Western Conference from 2010-2012. They have steadily improved since Harden came in 2013. From the 8th seed last year, they’ve climbed to fourth this season. They also improved their total wins to 54 from 45 last season and 34 in the year before Harden arrived.
Harden is one of the most dangerous scorers in the NBA. He is the league’s fifth best scorer at 25.4 points per game and he is ranked 10th in free throw percentage at 86.6%. Harden’s free throw shooting performance per game of 7.9 makes out of 9.1 attempts per game is only second to his former teammate Kevin Durant. James Harden made a total of 177 three-pointers this season, which is good for 15th overall in the NBA. He is also 4th amongst shooting guards in rebounding with his 4.7 rebounds per game average. His assists average of 6.1 per game is tops amongst shooting guards, while his 1.58 steals per game average is 4th best at the position. Harden also had 14 double-doubles and one triple-double this season.
With having a complete offensive stat line and being a top five shooting guard defensively, Harden is undoubtedly this season’s best shooting guard in Fantasy Basketball.
Kevin Durant – SF
If LeBron James is the King, Kevin Durant is the uncrowned MVP of the 2014 season. The Durantula is the best scorer in the NBA since Michael Jordan. This season, KD scored at least 25 points in a game for 41 consecutive games, breaking Michael Jordan’s personal record of 40 games. Durant’s scoring average of 32.0 points per game is the highest scoring average since Kobe Bryant’s 35.4 points per game average back in the 2005-06 season.
And while LeBron has a case for both NBA MVP and best small forward in fantasy hoops, Durant’s season has been phenomenal. Let’s look at the stat lines of both KD and the King:
Durant beats LeBron in most categories except assists, steals and field goal percentage, although he doesn’t top him by that much. That being said, KD’s a clear winner in scoring and three-point shooting. ESPN’s PER rating also has Durant ahead of James at 29.90 compared to 29.40, respectively.
Durant is the NBA leader in scoring at 32.0 points per game, and his free throw statistics of 8.7 makes out of 9.9 attempts per game are the best in the NBA as well. He is also tops in field goals made per game at 10.5, edging out LeBron’s 10.0 average. His 703 total free throws made this season is easily the most, topping 2nd place James Harden by 127 foul shots made. KD’s 7.4 rebounding average trails only Carmelo Anthony and Nicolas Batum amongst small forwards, while his 5.5 assists per game is next to LeBron James’ at the position.
With his vastly improved defense and incredibly efficient offense, Durant is undoubtedly the best small forward in 2014 fantasy basketball.
Kevin Love – PF
There is no “Love” lost here at the power forward spot. Kevin Love is having his best offensive season ever, and he’s stayed healthy by playing 77 games. Even though the Minnesota Timberwolves are headed to the lottery again, Love could be headed to the sweepstakes next offseason as he and Durant could be two of the hottest free agents for 2015.
Love’s continued to improve his three-point shooting since winning the three-point shoot-out during the 2012 All-Star break. Love’s 2.5 made threes per game is an improvement from his 1.9 makes in 2012. Kevin’s 26.1 points per game scoring is his best ever and is good for 4th overall in the NBA. He is also the 3rd best rebounder in the league with his 12.5 rebounds per game average. His 9.6 defensive rebounds per game is also the NBA’s best during the regular season. Kevin Love is the only forward in the NBA’s Top 10 leaders in three-point field goals made per game. He is 4th amongst power forwards in free throw percentage at 82.1%. However, the main reason why Love is the best power forward this season is his 65 double-doubles and three triple-doubles, which are both also the NBA’s best. These combo stats prove that he is an elite player on both ends of the floor.
Like Durant, Love is only 25 years-old and still has unlimited potential to redefine the power forward spot the way Larry Bird did it in the 80’s.
DeMarcus Cousins – C
This one might come as a surprise as people would expect Joakim Noah or DeAndre Jordan to be on top of this list. However, as great as Noah’s assist average is, his scoring is far too low, while Jordan is too bad of a foul shooter to beat out either DeMarcus Cousins or combo PF/C Anthony Davis for the top spot. While Davis can be the best center on some other lists, we chose Cousins over him because of three reasons: Davis is not exactly a pure center, Davis played four less games than Cousins this season and most importantly, the statistics battle is won by Cousins.
Take a look at this:
While Davis’ 2.8 blocks per game are outstanding and leads the league, Cousins has been more consistent all season long with his 57 double-doubles, compared to Davis’ 36. This is also higher than Noah’s 47 and Jordan’s 42. Davis also has a slightly higher field goal percentage and free throw percentage, but aside from those, it’s all DeMarcus Cousins.
Cousins has come a long way from being a prospect in the 2010 draft to being the franchise player for the Sacramento Kings. Cousins is 9th in the NBA in scoring this season, and he is the only center in the Top 10. He is also 5th in the league in rebounding and 3rd in double-doubles. On top of all that, Cousins is the 5th best passing center in the NBA and leads all centers in steals.
Although the Kings suffered yet another losing season, the future looks bright with Cousins at the throne in Sacramento.
Remember these names for your fantasy teams next season. Most of these players may not win the NBA title anytime soon, or anytime at all for that matter, but they will surely help you win a Fantasy Basketball title in the near future.