Is Dwyane Wade the Best Player in the NBA? -

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Dwyane WadeThe best basketball players on the planet collect in Orlando this weekend for the NBA All-Star Game, which tips off Sunday night.

Dwyane Wade has missed nine games this season, but the Heat guard will be in the starting lineup for the East as one of the 10 most popular players in the game. He's not eligible for the scoring title, but if he were his 22.4 points per game average would tie him with Golden State's Monta Ellis for sixth in the league.

Wade has been so good over the past eight years, it can be easy to forget that he's still one of the greatest ever. LeBron James is having any MVP-type season, but as usual Wade isn't far behind.

James is, once again, the best player alive. He might be divisive among fans and seem self-centered, but there seems to be nothing 27-year-old can't do. He's third in the league in scoring at 27.4 points per game, and at this pace would mark his eighth consecutive season averaging at least 27 points.

Moving west, Kevin Durant placed second in the 3-point shootout on Saturday, but Durant is still a defending two-time scoring champ and one of the few players capable of winning the dunk contest and 3-point contest. He and Russell Westbrook appear to have found a balance to allow each to thrive and to help the team become one of the best in the league.

As long as Kobe Bryant is wearing shorts and sneakers, he'll belong in the discussion of who is the best. Just ask him, and a recent video showed Bryant listing himself as one of the top three players ever -- ahead of Michael Jordan. People tend to think of Bryant, 33, as an old man by NBA standards, but he's only three years older than Wade and is currently the league's leading scorer at 28.4 points per game.

The Bulls did not hit the snags many expected when Derrick Rose went down with an assortment of injuries, so the reigning MVP may actually have hurt his candidacy for this year by not even playing. The Bulls are a well-oiled machine under coach Tom Thibodeau, and have been able to overcome not only Rose's injuries but also injuries to Luol Deng and Richard Hamilton.

Who is the best? This question might sort itself out Sunday night.

26 Feb, 2012

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