The best play I saw Wednesday night didn’t crack NBA.com’s Top 10 list — probably because the OKC Thunder were too busy getting flogged in Denver for anybody to remember a highlight on their end.
It happened in the first half: Russell Westbrook split a double-team on the perimeter, got to the rack 0.2 seconds later and barreled over Nene, which caused Birdman to fall down on the domino effect, then Westbrook dropped off a pass to Serge Ibaka for a dunk. There was nothing particularly special about the dish or the dunk — I was more amazed that, on one play, Westbrook had left four bodies in his wake. It was a show of his strength, speed and agility, plus his ability to stop that moving locomotive on a dime.
While the debate over the League’s best point guard is populated with the usual suspects, the more interesting question is who is the most athletic point guard? Westbrook would be my pick, but then you’ve got to consider Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo, Rodney Stuckey, Shannon Brown, Jonny Flynn, George Hill and (depending on how you define athleticism) Steve Nash and Earl Boykins should probably be up there.
Taking it beyond one position, how would you construct a team of the NBA’s best athletes? LeBron and Dwight Howard are virtual locks, but then you have unique athletes across the board at every position, from Shawn Marion to JaVale McGee to Rip Hamilton to Amar’e Stoudemire. In fact, during Denver’s loss to Phoenix the other night, one of the Suns’ announcers said Nene had “the size of a center but the quickness of a small forward.” Should he be on the list?
Going with five starters and a bench, who makes up your All-Athlete Team?