It happened. It finally happened. The gates to the kingdom have opened, putting everyone on equal footing in hopes of snatching the elusive crown.
With the King falling into the field, everyone drops back by default, but that doesn't mean their play has suffered. The big man in San Antonio, for instance, is gaining serious traction in his trek to the top of the mountain.
Staying in the River City, a pair of veterans have joined the chase after productive stints. The same can't be said for DeMarre Carroll, Jeff Green and Gerald Green, who all fall off the list after the briefest of stints.
- NOTE: Statistics are through games of Jan. 24; ATHO = All To His Own
- Any player who turns 32 during regular season can be added to rankings.
- Check out previous rankings
1. LeBron James (34), Los Angeles Lakers
Previous rank: ATHO
Latest stats: Injured
Season stats: 27.3 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 7.1 apg
Fourteen. That's the number of games you are allowed to miss before being placed back among the masses. If this keeps up, the guy below may have enough juice to do the unimaginable and trek to the top of the mountain. But we're thinking James returns by mid week and order is quickly restored. Right?
2. LaMarcus Aldridge (33), San Antonio Spurs
Previous rank: 1
Latest stats: 6 games, 20.2 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 3.3 apg
Season stats: 20.6 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 2.5 apg
We've stated in the past that one game can prevent you from sliding down. Well, Aldridge certainly made sure of that with his 56-point performance on January 10. Adding to that, he pocketed three additional games of 25 or more points while shooting 51.6 percent from the field and averaging 1.8 blocks during the six-game stretch.
3. Lou Williams (32), LA Clippers
Previous rank: 2
Latest stats: 5 games, 18.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 4.8 apg
Season stats: 18.5 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 4.9 apg
Williams has slowed a tad, eclipsing 20 points just twice in the last five after surpassing the mark six times in nine games. The biggest culprit has been shooting. After managing 50.0 FG% and 51.7 3PT% in 11 December games, Williams has slipped to 43.5 FG% and 33.3 3PT% in January. Note: Williams' triple-double Friday missed the cutoff, so that goes toward next edition.
4. J.J. Redick (34), Philadelphia 76ers
Previous rank: 3
Latest stats: 7 games, 19.1 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 2.4 apg
Season stats: 18.4 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 2.8 apg
Let's get the somewhat ugly out of the way first: 43.8 FG% and 39.7 3PT% in the last seven games. On the positive ledger, he's still managed to score in double figures in all 47 games and is still averaging a career-best 18.4 points. For good measure, he's making a career-high three 3-pointers per game.
5. Marc Gasol (33), Memphis Grizzlies
Previous rank: 4
Latest stats: 6 games, 13.7 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 7.0 apg
Season stats: 15.4 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 4.8 apg
Let's again return to that "One game can save you" theory. We were ready to drop Gasol down at least one notch, and then he decided to turn in his first triple-double since Jan. 26, 2018. Before that gem, Gasol had combined for just 60 points in five games. We're guessing the easy way to ignite Gasol is to put him on the trade block.
6. Kyle Lowry (32), Toronto Raptors
Previous rank: 5
Latest stats: 7 games, 13.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 8.1 apg
Season stats: 14.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 9.4 apg
The shooting remains off (34.2 FG%, 29.2 3PT%), but he's scored in double figures in six straight while connecting on three or more 3-pointers in the last two. He's also chipped in seven or more assists in seven consecutive games, keeping his season average at 9.4 assists, easily a career best.
7. Marco Belinelli (32), San Antonio Spurs
Previous rank: NA
Latest stats: 5 games, 17.6 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2.0 apg
Season stats: 10.9 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.9 apg
Averaging just 25.9 minutes while shooting 50.9 FG% and 44.4 3PT%, Belinelli has scored a dozen or more points in seven straight while nailing at least three 3s in five of the six. Since the calendar flipped to 2019, Belinelli has been locked in, averaging 14.6 compared to 9.1 in November and 10.3 in December.
8. Rudy Gay (32), San Antonio Spurs
Previous rank: NA
Latest stats: 4 games, 18.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 2.5 apg
Season stats: 14.0 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 2.4 apg
Gay has shown consistency no matter the team result. In two wins, he averaged 18.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 60.0 FG%. In two losses, Gay averaged 18.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 69.6 FG%. After missing five games with a wrist injury, Gay seems to be back in a groove, which is welcome news to the Spurs.
9. Trevor Ariza (32), Washington Wizards
Previous rank: Just missed
Latest stats: 5 games, 20.4 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 5.4 apg
Season stats: 12.1 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 3.8 apg
The change of scenery from Phoenix to Washington continues to work wonders for Ariza, who is averaging 15.4 with the Wizards compared to just 9.9 when he was with the Suns. That tends to happen when you get about five more shot attempts per game. No wonder he's gone for 20 or more points in four of the last five.
10. Al Horford (32), Boston Celtics
Previous rank: NA
Latest stats: 6 games, 14.8 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 2.3 apg
Season stats: 12.2 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 3.6 apg
He's scored in double figures in four straight, including a season-high 24 on Wednesday against the Raptors. Horford also pulled down a season-high 12 rebounds in Monday's win over the Heat. Equally impressive is that he shot 62.7 from the field and 42.9 from deep in the last six games.
Just missed the cut: Gerald Green, Jeff Green, DeMarre Carroll, Taj Gibson
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