Old School Power Rankings 2017-18: Weeks 22-24

NBA.com Global on Apr 08, 2018 08:14 AM
Old School Power Rankings 2017-18: Weeks 22-24
MEMPHIS, TN - FEBRUARY 23: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers drives to the basket against the Memphis Grizzlies on February 23, 2018 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

By Scott Wraight, NBA.com

In the end, no one else had a realistic shot, did they? The King went wire-to-wire, proving to all that he has no plans on slowing down, and that age truly is just a number.

As we close the books on this season with a big three-week slate of games, the big question for 2018-19 will be whether we'll see OSPR's first back-to-back champ. It'll also be interesting to see whether the two other past champs find their way back onto the list next season.

Here's a quick look at all the OSPR champions:

- Pau Gasol (2015-16)
- Dwyane Wade (2016-17)
- LeBron James (2017-18).

- Notes: Season statistics are through games of April 5 (April 6, PHL time)
- Any player who turns 32 during regular season can be added to rankings.

1. LeBron James (33), Cleveland Cavaliers

Previous rank: 1
Last weeks' stats: 11 games, 30.4 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 10.4 apg
Season stats: 27.5 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 9.2 apg

No matter the stat we throw at you, they all make you scratch your head. In addition to setting career highs in both rebounds (8.7) and assists (9.2), James has a career-best 50 double-doubles and 17 triple-doubles (more than his previous two seasons combined).

2. LaMarcus Aldridge (32), San Antonio Spurs

Previous rank: 2
Last weeks' stats: 10 games, 30.2 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 2.2 apg
Season stats: 23.3 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 2.1 apg

Aldridge, who in his last 12 games has gone for 30 or more five times and 20 or more 11 times, has a chance to break his career best scoring mark of 23.4 set in 2014-15. Right now, he's at 23.3, so he'd need to finish the season with a couple more 30-point games.

3. Dwight Howard (32), Charlotte Hornets

Previous rank: 3
Last weeks' stats: 8 games, 19.6 ppg, 15.0 rpg, 1.1 apg
Season stats: 16.8 ppg, 12.4 rpg, 1.3 apg

Howard holds his position to finish the season on the strength of a historic performance in which he went for 32 points and 30 rebounds on March 21 (Mar. 22, PHL time). Also of note: At 57.2, Howard is on pace to record his highest free-throw percentage since 2010-11 (59.6).

4. Chris Paul (32), Houston Rockets

Previous rank: 4
Last weeks' stats: 6 games, 18.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 6.8 apg
Season stats: 18.6 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 7.9 apg

With the Rockets looking toward the playoffs, they've been resting Paul more. That might help explain the poor shooting over the last six games (42.4 FG%). But Thursday's (Friday, PHL time) game should generate optimism, as he went 11-for-19 for 27 points, his highest scoring output since Jan. 26 (Jan. 27, PHL time).

5. J.J. Redick (33), Philadelphia 76ers

Previous rank: 6
Last weeks' stats: 10 games, 17.0 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2.4 apg
Season stats: 16.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 3.0 apg

Powered by six consecutive games of 19 or more points, Redick is going to set a career high in scoring. His previous best was 16.4 in 2014-15. He'll also shoot better than 90 percent from the free-throw line (90.6) for the sixth time in his career.

6. Marc Gasol (32), Memphis Grizzlies

Previous rank: 5
Last weeks' stats: 8 games, 12.5 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 3.9 apg
Season stats: 17.2 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 4.1 apg

It certainly looks like Gasol is going through the motions in what has been a trying season. He has just one double-double in his last eight and four games of less than 10 points (including a dreaded zero) in the last seven. And his 41.9 FG% will easily be a career worst.

7.  Paul Millsap (32), Denver Nuggets

Previous rank: NA
Last weeks' stats: 10 games, 17.4 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 2.8 apg
Season stats: 15.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 2.8 apg

With the exception of a two-point effort on March 23, it was a productive three-week stint for Millsap, who in the last 10 games went over 20 points four times including a 36-point performance. If he hadn't missed three months with a wrist injury, Millsap may have finished in the top five.

8.  Anthony Tolliver (32), Detroit Pistons

Previous rank: NA
Last weeks' stats: 10 games, 14.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.2 apg
Season stats: 8.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.1 apg

Tolliver has been getting serious run lately, notching more than 30 minutes per game in four straight. But his home/away splits need work. In five home pages, he averaged 19.8 points, 61.0 FG%, 56.7 3PT% and 92.3 FT%. In five road games, he averaged 9.4 points, 41.9 FG%, 42.3 3PT% and 71.4 FT%.

9.  Carmelo Anthony (33), Oklahoma City Thunder

Previous rank: 8
Last weeks' stats: 9 games, 12.1 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.6 apg
Season stats: 16.2 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.3 apg

The nightmarish regular season is almost over for Anthony, who has just one 20-point game (shot 9-for-21 in that game) in the last nine and is set to finish with career lows in scoring (16.2), FG% (40.3), FT% (76.1) and assists (1.3).

10. Gerald Green (32), Houston Rockets

Previous rank: NA
Last weeks' stats: 10 games, 11.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.3 apg
Season stats: 11.5 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 0.7 apg

Green saw his string of six consecutive double-digit scoring games end with Thursday's six-point showing. But that wasn't the longest such string for Green, who also managed a seven-game run and a nine-game streak of double-digit scoring games.

Just missed the cut: Rajon Rondo, Nick Young, Trevor Ariza, Jamal Crawford, Kyle Lowry, Zach Randolph

Will turn 32 NEXT SEASON: George Hill (May 4), Goran Dragic (May 6), Al Horford (June 3), Marvin Williams (June 19), DeMarree Carroll (July 27), Rudy Gay (Aug. 17), Jeff Green (Aug. 28), Wes Matthews (Oct. 14), Lou Williams (Oct. 27)

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