Today’s part of Cavs Nation’s Top 101 takes us to players ranked 51-42. The list continues with the players who are borderline superstars on the rise or some who may have dropped because of injuries. We built up this list of players with advanced statistics such as Player Efficiency Ratings, Usage Rates, and Win Shares taken into account. Also, no rookies are in the list because, obviously, they have no NBA stats from last year. We start with players ranked 51-42.
51. Isaiah Thomas
Isaiah Thomas comes in at number 51 after leaving the Phoenix Suns’ crowded backcourt and joining the Celtics where he had a great postseason in what ended up being a sweep for the Cavs. As Cavs fans, we’re sure we speak for everyone when we say the Celtic who gave the Cavs the most fight was the 5’9 Thomas.
50. Greg Monroe
Greg Monroe made a huge career move in choosing Milwaukee over any other teams interested in him. It’s safe to say he’ll be the focal point of a Bucks offense that doesn’t have any one-on-one players. Monroe is ranked a little low at 50, but that’s because this season will be the year he proves whether he can lead team or not.
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49. Tyreke Evans
Evans had the potential to be a poor man’s LeBron James, but he has been so hampered by injuries that he’s been able to build upon his stellar play. The injuries haven’t caused him to miss time, but they have affected his game negatively. His jumpshot is also in the works, but he’s a player who came into the NBA at the age of 20 and AVERAGED 20.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.8 assists, and 1.5 steals per game in 72 games. His number 49 rank will go up if he can play around 72 healthy games without any issues.
48. Ty Lawson
There’s no denying Lawson’s talent as a point guard. He’s a strong guard who can get into the paint, and can also knock down the outside shot. Lawson slightly regressed last season in terms of his stats, but that can be attributed to his clashing with head coach Brian Shaw.
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47. Zach Randolph
Randolph has been a huge part of the Grizzlies offense for some time now. It seems like every year, the Grizzlies are ‘just one piece away’ from legitimate championship contention. If Randolph hadn’t been suspended for Game 7 against the Thunder a few years ago, we might be having a whole different conversation. Randolph is a beast inside as a nightly double-double threat while probably only jumping a foot or so off the ground.
46. Rudy Gobert
Surprised to see Rudy Gobert ranked so high? Don’t be. He and Whiteside were the two big men who came out of nowhere last year to really help their team. In just 26 minutes per game, Gobert, who isn’t an offensively skilled big man yet, averaged 8.4 points, 9.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 2.3 blocks per game. He barely played in the first few months of the season due to Enes Kanter being ahead of him in the rotation, but Gobert is going to be a double-double and blocking machine next season.
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45. Andre Drummond
Andre Drummond will only get better as he gets further into his career. He’s likely to be the next DeAndre Jordan, but he definitely needs to improve defensively. His number 45 rank will go up with more touches now that Greg Monroe and Josh Smith are both gone.
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44. Draymond Green
Draymond Green has so much success offensively because he’s much smaller than other power forwards and has much more range. More importantly, however, Green is extremely strong in the post, and has proven that he can slow down the likes of Zach Randolph and Blake Griffin out West. Green also seems to be a bit of a playmaker, but that might be because of the offense Steve Kerr runs for his Warriors. Green takes rank number 44.
Click “Next” to see the player ranked 43rd and 42nd in Cavs Nation’s NBA Rank.
43. Mike Conley
If the Grizzlies are to make a Finals appearance and have a chance to win, Conley needs to be spectacular for them. Not to say that he hasn’t been, because the Grizz might have taken out the Warriors if Conley played in Game 1 of the West Semis. Conley gets ranked number 43.
42. Eric Bledsoe
Eric Bledsoe really is a mini-LeBron James. The guy can do it all on the court; he just does in a smaller, point guard frame. Bledsoe could be in line for a huge year with both Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas out of Phoenix. Bledsoe gets rank number 42.
We’ll continue with players ranked 41-32 tomorrow on Cavs Nations’ NBA Rank.