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Top 5 NBA Players Of 2021

Introduction

With 2021 coming to an end, it’s time to look back at this year in the NBA and some of the players who distinguished themselves on the court. Here we’re looking at five players who have impressed NBA commentators and fans this year.

Being the best players of this year, they’re also going to play in 2022. If you’re part of the betting crowd, catch some of these basketball stars when you next take a look at NBA finals odds.

1. Kevin Durant

In the middle of 2019, Kevin Durant dramatically tore his Achilles tendon at the worst possible moment. At game 5 of the NBA Finals, the Toronto Raptors were leading the series 3-2 and, with Durant’s departure, went the Golden State Warriors’ chances of fighting out a draw.

Back then, Durant frequently made it within the top three of everybody’s player rankings, but never quite number one. Leaving the Warriors and joining the Brooklyn Nets, Durant made a dramatic return in December of 2020 by beating his old team 125-99. Even despite a hamstring injury, he took the Nets to game 7 of the playoffs and set a 48-point record before losing to the Milwaukee Bucks.

2. Giannis Antetokounmpo

That brings us to our very close second for the best NBA player of 2021. Giannis Antetokounmpo’s year started dramatically with a December 2020 contract – a 5-year extension for $228 million, the largest in NBA history. He then distinguished himself in the 2021 All-Star Game and became the first non-American All-Star MVP.

Wiping the Miami Heat off the board with a four-game sweep, The Greek Freak led the team that ousted Durant and the Brooklyn Nets from the Eastern Conference. From there, hyperextension took him off the court but the Bucks persevered. Antetokounmpo returned just in time to face the Phoenix Suns, where he led the Bucks to their first championship win in 50 years and he was unanimously named NBA Finals MVP for 2021.

3. Steph Curry

Regarded as one of the best point guard shooters in the game right now, it only makes sense that Steph Curry would appear somewhere on this list. His year started with him joining the likes of Ray Allen and Reggie Miller as the only players to exceed 2,500 three-pointers in their NBA career.

For Curry, 2021 was a year of breaking records. He later surpassed Wilt Chamberlain for all-time scoring within the Warriors franchise, then passed Kobe Bryant’s points-per-game record by scoring 30+ points as a player who is 33. He also broke James Harden’s most three-pointers set in a month at 96.

4. LeBron James

LeBron James is a household name for a reason – because he’s still one of the most well-rounded players in the NBA right now. While the season was cut short due to the pandemic, James still managed to put in a good performance and set some records of his own. For example, he joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone as the third highest-scoring NBA player, with 35,000 points over his career.

Even when the Lakers lost to the Phoenix Suns, that marked the first time James had lost in the first round. Also, he still made the All-NBA Team for the 17th consecutive time, stretching his record for most selections.

5. James Harden

Like Durant, 2021 was Harden’s first year with the Brooklyn Nets. As another player renowned for his shooting skills, Harden put on a show with his Nets debut by posting a 30-point triple-double, the first in the franchise and NBA history.

At 21,792 points, Harden passed Larry Bird’s all-time scoring record by just a single point in March. From there, he missed games due to hamstring issues. Harden returned in May, helping the Nets win against the San Antonio Spurs and the Philadelphia 76ers. By October, he surpassed Kyle Korver to come fourth in all-time three-pointers made.

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