Premature All-NBA First Team Predictions

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New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis is perhaps emerging as the NBA’s top talent. He is sixth in scoring (27.0 ppg) and third in blocks.

Ethan Marchetti, Assistant National Sports Editor

Each year, the top players at each of the five positions are recognized with All-NBA First team status. Here’s an early projection.

Guard: Kemba Walker, Charlotte Hornets

Walker has put together a career year so far in this NBA season. The University of Connecticut product is currently top five in the league in points per game, averaging a staggering 28.2.

He has also scored over 40 points three times this year, including a stellar 60-point performance against the Philadelphia 76ers on November 17.

Walker has been an absolute force offensively this year, and he definitely deserves to be awarded at the end of the season.

Guard: James Harden, Houston Rockets

Per usual, James Harden has been outstanding to start the season.

Harden holds the league lead in points per game and is also top five in assists per game.

His well-rounded game makes him virtually impossible for defenders to stop. As the leader of the Rockets, Harden will be leaned on heavily throughout the rest of the season, and his First Team-caliber stats should have no problem remaining consistent, if not improving as the Rockets make their playoff push.

Forward: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

Antetokounmpo has completely revitalized the formerly mediocre Milwaukee Bucks.

The Greek Freak truly lives up to his nickname, as his extreme frame and athleticism allow him to take over the court game after game. Antetokounmpo is the only player in the league who is currently in the top 25 in all five main statistical categories (points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals).

This dominance is one that very few other forwards can match in the NBA; if the second-place Bucks continue to win games and start to have Finals aspirations, then Antentokounmpo certainly deserves First Team honors to acknowledge his prowess and impact on the league.

Forward: Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans

Though the New Orleans Pelicans are nothing more than a bubble playoff team in the Western Conference, there is still no debating Davis’ insane ability and consistency.

Davis, who has been named to three of the last four All-NBA First Teams, is probably the most obvious of these predictions for his position.

There are very few power forwards that can score, rebound, play defense and pass the ball at the same level as AD, who is top 5 statistically in points rebounds and blocks this season.

Davis’ assists per game average has nearly doubled from last season to now and, barring an injury, he will almost definitely continue to play at this level for the rest of the season and once again earn First Team honors.

Center: Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers

This was the most difficult prediction to make, as several centers in the league have the stats and consistency to warrant an All-NBA First Team.

However, Embiid ultimately seems to be the most deserving big man.

The start of Embiid’s career was plagued by injuries, but he has shown improvement over the last two seasons and is cementing himself as one of the premiere centers in the league.

The University of Kansas product is fourth in the NBA in points per game and rebounds with 28.1 and 13.3, respectively.

Embiid can also shoot threes much better than most other big men, and his ability to score from all over the floor makes him virtually unguardable for players who are forced to matchup against the dominant big man.

The 76ers have been solid so far this season and, as long as they continue to win games, Embiid’s enormous contributions deserve to be recognized on the All-NBA First Team.

Contact Ethan Marchetti at [email protected]