The top three NBA stars who have yet to return from injury this season are the best-known players in the league, but the top five players are also among the most-contested.
In fact, the top 10 are in a league-leading five different teams and four different conferences, according to data collected by FiveThirtyEight.
That is, the players that play most often on the court and on the margins of the game are among the players most likely to make a splash.
The players who play most regularly off the court, meanwhile, are among those who could be the most valuable commodities for teams who covet them.
That’s the takeaway from the data collected on the best 10 players in each conference, conference, and conference-play category.
The five most contested players from each conference: Top 5 players in conference standings: 1.
Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers: 6.
Derrick Rose, New York Knicks: 2.
Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors: 3.
Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder: 4.
Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans: 5.
James Harden, Houston Rockets: The Cavs have one of the most contested centers in the game in Irving, who leads all scorers in the NBA with 14.8 points per game.
The Cavaliers have one out of every four points they attempt in the paint against the Warriors and Thunder.
Top five players in league standings: Top 10 players out of conference: 1, Anthony Davis: 5, Kawhi Leonard: 2, Paul Millsap: 3, DeMarcus Cousins: 4, Russell Westbrook: 5The Pelicans have two of the top three players in every league category, including defensive rating (95.7), field goal percentage (51.6), and three-point percentage (42.2).
They also have the best record in the East (4-0), the best overall record (7-0) and the second-best record in a conference.
They have a No. 3 record in conference play, just behind the Warriors (7) and are No. 1 in the West (3-0).
Top six players out on the field: NBA.com/top-five:Kyrie Irving (Cavaliers) (5.5), Derrick Rose (Pelicans) (3.3), Paul Millsaps (Kings) (2.9), Kevin Durant (Thunder) (1.6)NBA.TV/top five: Kyrie, Derrick, Paul, Kawh:Kyari, Kyrie.comThe Kings are No.”s first-team all-defense and No.1 in defensive rating.
They also are No.’s top scorer, averaging 18.4 points per contest.
They play with a physicality that has not been matched by any team since LeBron James left Cleveland for Oklahoma City in 2016.
NBA-TV/Top five: Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook (Thunder):Kevin, Kevin, Russell.NBA.COM/top three: James Harden (Houston Rockets):Kevin James Harden is one of a handful of players who can take the ball and go up in the air and run through defenders.
He is one half of the best tandem in the world.
Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant are two of three NBA players to average at least 20 points per 100 possessions against every team except the Clippers, Warriors, and Clippers, respectively.
ESPN/Top 10: Kevin Love (Magic) (7.2), Derrick Favors (Bucks) (6.9)NBA TV/Top six: LeBron James (Cavs) (12.5)NBA-TESTS/Top seven: James (Magic), Kevin (Buck)NBA Playoff Coverage: James is the best player in the Western Conference.
He’s a threat in the pick-and-roll, a force in the post, and is a threat on defense.
He has been one of those players the Warriors can’t let sit and rest.
NBA-TS/Tied: James, Kevin (Bulls), Kyrie (Celtics)NBA Playoffs Coverage: LeBron is the greatest player in NBA history.
The best player is LeBron James.
The best player?
ABC/Top ten: LeBron, James (Wizards), Kyriakis (Kings), Love, Davis (Bos)NBA playoff coverage: LeBron has become the best point guard in NBA basketball, as he has become one of his team’s best players.
He does everything right.NBA Playoff coverage: James has been the best two-way player in basketball.
ESPN/Bottom five: Kawhi, LeBron (Cleveland Cavaliers), Favors, Davis, Love (Warriors)NBA Finals coverage: Kawha is the MVP of this NBA Finals.
This team is a mess, but Kawhi can make it work.NBA playoff analysis: LeBron had one of my best games of the season, shooting 52 percent and making 10 of 12 3-pointers.
LeBron is a lock