When trying to build a Championship team in the NBA which position matters most? NBA Titles have been won with each position being the focal point of the team so it’s hard to say that having a dominant center/point guard/shooting guard will guarantee you a title. I do believe, however, that the stat line that matters least is scoring. You could fill your team with the Jamal Crawford and Allan Houston’s of the world who can easily put up 20 ppg but that won’t lead you to a title. You need to be able to play defense and get your teammates involved. Today we are going to throw out three Superstars who in their own right are awesome but still haven’t found a way to win an NBA title. On the block are Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, and Dwight Howard.
I would draft Chris Paul, resign Dwight Howard, and cut Carmelo Anthony.
The choice was pretty simple to cut Carmelo Anthony. He is definitely the best scorer of the three but his defense is by far the worst (or even non-existent). He only cares about one side of the ball and that lack of all around effort is why he’ll never be at the same level as Dwayne Wade or Lebron James. He’s averaged almost 25 ppg for his career, which is nice, but that’s the only category where he’s dominant. He does contribute a decent 6 boards and 3 dimes per game but that’s about par for the course for an NBA player that logs the type of minutes that Carmelo does. To put this into perspective Chris Paul averages 4.6 boards per game despite playing PG and being only 6 feet tall compared to Carmelo’s 6’8″. That’s weak sauce Carmelo…you’ve been cut!
The decision between Chris Paul and Dwight Howard was a tough one. Both are the best player in the league at their respective position, contribute in multiple stat categories, and are very good/elite defensively. Chris Paul makes everyone around him better. He’s averaged almost 10 assists per game for his career (which is the best average among active players) and twice lead the league in assists (he averaged over 11 per game). When he’s not scoring he’s helping other do so and that contributes to the overall success of the team. The cherry on top is that Paul has led the league in steals three times.
With Dwight Howard he is such a force on the glass and defensive end that he is stopping the other team from scoring and/or getting second chance points. Players will think twice before they take the ball strong to the hole with Howard in the middle. He’s led the NBA in blocks twice, total rebounds five times, and is a three time NBA defensive player of the year.
So what really differentiates the two of them? It comes down to the fact that Howard has been to an NBA Finals (in 09′) and that he was drafted straight out of high school so it took slightly longer for him to become the dominant force that he is. Chris Paul has never had the playoff success that Howard has and I wouldn’t say that the talent surrounding Howard was a juggernaut. Because of this I believe that Howard’s overall contribution is more valuable and I’d want him around longer. That’s why I’d draft Chris Paul and resign Dwight Howard.