#5.) Isaiah Thomas
He’s been on and off this postseason, and has arguably been outplayed by the two starting point guards he’s faced. But when he’s been on this postseason, he’s been on.
Fighting through the death of his sister, Thomas has averaged 25 point and 6 assists, and has the Celtics on the verge of their first conference finals since 2012.
Out of all the point guards in the league, there’s only a select few who I want taking the final shot in the playoffs. Actually, only two come mind. Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas. Kyrie for obvious reasons, and Isaiah because of his heroics this postseason. Case and point, his 29 points in the 4th quarter and overtime to drag the C’s to a Game 2 win at TD.
His erratic defense will be put to the ultimate test against Cleveland, but for now, his play has warranted a spot on this list.
#4.) Kevin Durant
Just as it was in the regular season, the alpha for the Warriors in the postseason is their crown jewel offseason acquisition.
Long behind are the days when people questioned whether Golden State picking up KD in the offseason was the right decision. “They lost quality role players like Harrison Barnes! And Andrew Bogut!!!” they claimed.
But as Durant has integrated into the Golden State system, they’re proving to be as lethal as they’ve ever been. So yes, this year’s team is probably better than last year’s.
Although his minutes have been limited because of Golden State’s dominance, Durant’s 24 points and 8 rebounds on 53% shooting are too impressive to ignore.
#3.) John Wall
Earlier in the season, I had a sick feeling that we’d never see John Wall on this stage again. The Wizards were in disarray, and Wall and Bradley Beal weren’t seeing eye-to-eye.
But with a flip of a switch, Washington finished the season on a tear, en route to the 4-seed, with a 49-33 record.
And in the postseason, Wall has continued to amaze.
Continuing to post epic assist tallies, Wall has taken on a scorer’s mentality when necessary, averaging over 28 points. He’s taken it to fellow top-5 playoff performer Isaiah Thomas in the conference semi-final matchup, and has the Wizards two wins away from their first ECF appearance in almost 40 years, back when they were the Bullets.
#2.) Kawhi Leonard
It sounds like a broken record, but Kawhi Leonard has developed into a superstar right before our eyes.
Once the defensive specialist of the 2013 Finals, to the “LeBron stopper” of the 2014 Finals, Kawhi has now solidified his place as top 5 player in the league, not just in the postseason.
Often the Spurs’ only form of offense in their first round series against Memphis, Kawhi has carried that production right into the second round. He’s averaging 28 points and 8 rebounds on 52% from the field. And the guy who’s not known for his playmaking is averaging 5 assists a contest.
Oh, and did I mention he still plays DPOY-esque defense?
#1.) LeBron James
Was there any doubt? I can’t say anything about LeBron James that hasn’t been said already, so I won’t.
But I will say this: if I was able to choose any LeBron James to lead my team in the postseason, it’d be this one. The 32-year old LeBron James, in his 14th year in the league.