On today's Best for Last, Colin Cowherd looks ahead to the NBA restart in Orlando. Hear which 10 players he thinks are under the most pressure to win.
As we approach the NBA season in Orlando, there will indeed be legacies on the line despite the odd nature of how the season will resume. NBA has ironed out every possible thing to expect short of the unpredictability of the NBA's biggest stars, somehow, contracting COVID-19. As it stands, off we all go to late July in hopes that this process is smooth, and Colin Cowherd gets us ready by listing ten players he feels face the most pressure as the season approaches.
Here's the list below:
10. Ben Simmons
9. Kemba Walker
8. LeBron James
7. Joel Embiid
6. Giannis Antetokounmpo
5. Paul George
4. Russell Westbrook
3. James Harden
2. Anthony Davis
1. Khris Middleton
Much of this list is pretty standard. Ben Simmons tops the list as a player that's been in contention and fell short. He and Joel Embiid are probably on the same level with Embiid carrying the heavier load of pressure. LeBron James will always make a list like this just due to his age, squad potential, and the amount of rest from the NBA stoppage.
Kemba Walker is getting his wake up call by joining this list as he is the experienced leader of a rag-tag group of high potential talents on the Boston Celtics, so it really is time for him to put up or shut up. Giannis is the king of the East. Without Kawhi Leonard there to impede his progress, It's time for the young fella to claim the crown and live up to the hype he's earned. Paul George has had more than enough time to get healthy with a stacked Clippers squad plus a reigning NBA Champion with not much to prove.
Russell Westbrook and James Harden are two birds that flock together, but Colin gave James Harden the edge. Now, you could argue that Anthony Davis is in the same league as Kemba Walker. Joining the Lakers, however, has now put him on a different planet with a microscope. Davis was a player who many thought was up there as one of the best in the league, so the pressure is definitely on him.
Lastly, you may ask why Khris Middleton is on this list considering the staggering amount of talent from ten to two. Colin Cowherd explains:
"This is my theory. He's an all-star in the east. Milwaukee is a smaller, non-free agent market. We know Giannis is going to give you 30 and 10. If Khris doesn't deliver, Giannis wakes up in the morning, and all of the big dogs like Golden State are like, 'We'll give you Steph, Klay, and Draymond....' I think Khris needs to have a very good postseason. I'm not asking for 30, but I'm asking for 23 and an absolute 'Paul George level' two to Kawhi Leonard."