The Sporting News got 76 current and former players, coaches and GM's to compile a list of the NBA's top 50 players. The Celtics are the only team in the NBA to have its entire starting 5 on the list.
Paul Pierce is the highest at No. 14. Rajon Rondo is 16, Kevin Garnett is 20, Ray Allen is 25 and Shaquille O'Neal is 35. Rondo made the biggest leap, as he was 38th a year ago but moved up 22 spots. Memphis' Zach Randolph was the next-biggest improvement, going from unranked to 29th.
I'm thrilled that the C's got all 5 guys on the list… but I'm pretty sure Shaq at 35 is a bit of a reach. Higher than Boozer, Al Jefferson and Brook Lopez? I really don't think so. And higher than Gerald Wallace and John Wall?
I'm sorry, Shaq. You've been great for this team. You're playing as well as we could expect. However, that ranking is a little bit of a stretch.
For what its worth, here's the top 10 (previous ranking in parentheses):
1. Kobe Bryant, SG, Lakers (1)
2. LeBron James, SF, Heat (2)
3. Dwyane Wade, SG, Heat (3)
4. Kevin Durant, SF, Thunder (21)
5. Dwight Howard, C, Magic (4)
6. Carmelo Anthony, SF, Nuggets (9)
7. Dirk Nowitzki, SF, Mavericks (8)
8. Deron Williams, PG, Jazz (12)
9. Steve Nash, PG, Suns (11)
10. Pau Gasol, PF, Lakers (17)