The Top Ten NBA Players to Start the 2014-2015 Season

The start of the new NBA season (yehey!) has churned out a lot of storylines. There’s Klay Thompson getting that huge contract (and playing like he deserves it), while Kawhi Leonard’s efforts at getting his own extension didn’t pan out (he’s not playing like he deserves it, by the way). There’s Derrick Rose getting injured (again), which is starting to feel like an annual event in itself, and the OKC Thunder getting decimated, which is actually too weak a word. Of course, we’re also wondering how the Rockets, Warriors, and Grizzlies have remained unbeaten, while title contenders Cleveland, San Antonio, and the Clippers have tumbled out of the gates.

It’s all been hella entertaining, which is why I wanted to look at something that has made me go, “Well, will you look at that?” I wanted to see who have actually been performing at the top of their games in the first week or so of 2014-2015, and, well, let’s just say there are some surprises here.

No Lebron. No Durant. No Rose. No Kobe. No Dirk.
Without further ado, here they are – the top ten players  to start the 2014-2015 NBA regular season (this is based on the Player Efficiency ratings as calculated by as of the morning of November 7, 2014 – Manila time):

10. Rudy Gay (SAC) - 24.4ppg, 6.2rpg, 1.0spg, .521 FG%, 1.4 triples per game, .583 3pt%, 23.8 EFF
- The Memphis Grizzlies might be squirming a little bit right now because Rudy Gay is playing like the Rudy Gay the Grizz had always hoped he would be. After a subpar stint north of the border for most of last season, it seems like Gay has found his niche in Sac-town. Yes, the Kings aren’t title contenders (not by a long-shot), but, hey, don’t sleep on this squad’s 4-1 start. For all we know, they could be this season’s Suns, right? And if that does happen, then Gay can be given a ton of credit (along with another guy on this list).

9. Marc Gasol (MEM) - 21.6ppg, 7.8rpg, 3.0apg, 1.6spg, 1.4bpg, .548 FG%, 24.4 EFF
- Marc Gasol has always been a great defender, but early this season he has blossomed into a bona fide scoring threat for the still unbeaten Grizzlies. We shouldn’t really wonder too much, however, since he’s taking a career-high 14.6 shots per game and making nearly 55% of them. He’s also still a solid rebounder and remains one of best passing bigs in the game. Best of all? He and the rest of Memphis are going up against OKC, Milwaukee, and the Lakers next. 8-0? Sure, why not?

8. Chris Paul (LAC) - 15.6ppg, 4.6rpg, 10.4apg, 3.0spg, 1.2 triples per game, 24.6 EFF
- Yes, the Clippers look like they don’t care, but don’t pin the blame on CP3, whose numbers have been screaming efficiency. I mean, in his first five contests, he’s had three double-doubles and one triple-double already. He’s made at least one three in each game, and his assist-to-turnover ratio is 10-1. His next four games are going to test him, though, as Damian Lillard, Tony Parker, Goran Dragic, and Derrick Rose all await. But, come on, this is still the best pure playmaker on Planet Earth.

7. John Wall (WAS) - 21.4ppg, 4.2rpg, 10.0apg, 2.8spg, 24.8 EFF
- Remember when many thought this kid would be the next big thing since LeBron? Well, don’t be surprised if he finally delivers on that intimidating promise this season. If his form holds, Wall could end up with his first 20-10 season, which should undoubtedly cement his status among the league’s top tier. And would you please look at his rebounding, defense (nearly three steals a game?!?!), and the fact that the Wiz are 4-1 right now? Wall looks dead set on breaking walls this season.

6. DeMarcus Cousins (SAC) - 24.0ppg, 10.6rpg, 1.2spg, 1.2bpg, .513 FG%, 25.6 EFF
- Remember the other guy we were talking about earlier? The guy helping make Sacramento look plenty dangerous? The center almost everyone thought was the next Rasheed Wallace (talented head case, please?) is playing more like a hybrid of David Robinson’s agility in Alonzo Mourning’s built. Here’s a guy as big as a freight train and just as fast, raring to barrel down the lane shifting from one direction to the other before deftly finishing around the basket. We never really doubted his talent, but now that he seems to have his head screwed in place, Cousins might actually end up being the world’s best center by season’s end.

5. Chris Bosh (MIA) - 24.2ppg,11.0rpg, 1.4spg, 1.8 triples per game, .429 3pt%, 27.4 EFF
- This is not the Chris Bosh who was a third-wheel in the LeBron James-Dwyane Wade bromance. This is not the Chris Bosh who got schooled several times by Tiago Splitter in the 2014 NBA Finals. This is not the Chris Bosh of the past four seasons. Remember the Toronto Bosh? The one who was putting up 22-and-10s with impunity? He’s back, and he’s brought a really sharp three-point touch, too. Bosh seems to have really embraced being Miami’s main man, and that bolds well because I don’t think the Heat’s season will get any easier.

4. Steph Curry (GSW) - 26.0ppg, 6.5rpg, 7.0apg, 3.0spg, 2.5 triples per game, .968 FT%, 28.8 EFF
- Let’s see. Curry hasn’t scored fewer than 21 points yet and has missed just one free throw in 31 attempts. He’s made at least two treys in all but one of his games, and the Warriors still ended up winning the one where he went 1/5 from downtown. Curry made a big leap last season, and, impossible as it might sound, he looks ripe and ready to make another one this season. Is CP3 looking over his shoulder? I don’t think so because it sure seems like Curry has overtaken him by a bit.

3. James Harden (HOU) - 27.2ppg, 6.8rpg, 7.4apg, 1.4spg, 1.0bpg, 2.6 triples per game, .406 3pt%, .953 FT%, 29.8 EFF
- One of my friends believes that Klay Thompson is the best shooting guard in the league. It’s hard to argue with Thompson’s numbers, of course, but just look at what Harden is bringing to the table so far. Sure, Houston hasn’t exactly battled the cream of the crop yet, but, still, we cannot sleep on the fact that Harden is getting the job done on BOTH ends. Scoring? Check. Rebounding? Check. Steals? Check. Man, Scott Brooks is probably shaking his head trying to think of why they didn’t keep the Beard in Oklahoma City.

2. Greg Monroe (DET) - 20.5ppg, 14.5rpg, 3.0apg, 1.0spg, .517 FG%, 30.5 EFF
- WTH?! Greg Monroe? Yes, Greg Monroe. He’s by no means a household name, but his numbers cannot be overlooked. Monroe, despite his team’s identity crisis, has been nothing but a beast. Shooting 58% against the Nets? Dropping 23 and 18 on the Knicks? He has been physical. He has been intimidating. He has been friggin’ efficient. Hey, I think I want to call him the Zach Randolph of the East!

1. Anthony Davis (NOL) - 23.8ppg, 13.3rpg, 1.8spg, 4.0bpg, 33.0 EFF
- He had a bit of a yawner at Memphis (if you can call 14-8-2-1-1 a yawner), but Davis has otherwise been out-of-this-world awesome. His length, his athleticism, his touch, his nose for the ball, his footwork, his motor. We can keep on going all day listing down what makes him such a tough match-up for every other team. I would go so far as to say that he should be an MVP threat this season, but that would mean the Pelicans actually winning a ton of games. Oops. Still, despite his team probably piling on the losses, look for Davis to consistently be All-NBA First Team material.

Outside looking in (ranked 11-15):
Tim Duncan (SAS) – 23.7 EFF
Gordon Hayward (UTA) – 23.6 EFF
Klay Thompson (GSW) – 23.5 EFF
Derrick Favors (UTA) – 23.2 EFF
Nikola Vucevic (ORL) – 23.2 EFF

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