Recency bias dictates that fans will look at this ranking with disdain given how the Lob City era in Los Angeles ended, but make no mistake: Only someone who is arguably the greatest point guard of this generation could pull a franchise like the Clippers kicking and screaming out of painful mediocrity and into relevance.
Among the players on this list, none has more assists, a higher PER and a higher win-shares-per-season rate than Paul. In his first four seasons with LA, he led the league in either steals (2011-12, 2012-13), assists (2014-15) or both (2013-14). He also led the league in assist percentage in all but his last season in LA.
Harden picks defenders apart in isolation. He currently leads the league with 12.2 points per game in isolation, and he ranks in the 97.5 percentile with 1.27 points per isolation possession.
Knowing his tendencies, Anunoby guards him close to prevent him from pulling-up from the 3-point line �� 41.3 percent of Harden’s shot attempts have been pull-up 3-pointers this season �� and reacts quick enough to shutdown a lane to the basket �� 33.1 percent of Harden’s shot attempts have come within 10 feet of the rim this season �� when he starts to drive.
Cousins developed into arguably a top-10 player in Sacramento amid periods of adversity and accusations by media personalities that he was a thug. He was averaging 27.8 points, 10.6 rebounds and 4.8 assists while shooting 45.2 percent from the field at the time of his trade to the Pelicans following last season’s All-Star Game.
Off the court, he showed his love for the city of Sacramento with charity work he continues to do despite playing in New Orleans. Cousins even broke down when saying goodbye to fans of a team that, in all honesty, did him a favor by trading him.
Harden does create some separation with a step back, but Anunoby reacts quickly and uses his long arms to contest Harden’s shot. It’s about as well as someone could be expected to guard Harden in isolation, especially when that someone is only 13 games into their rookie season.