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HomeBasketballNBAGreatness, All-timers in the spotlight each night in the NBA

Greatness, All-timers in the spotlight each night in the NBA

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Sunday was a basketball fan’s dream.

Two matchups — Lakers/Suns and Nuggets/Warriors — featured four of probably the 20 best players to ever step on a basketball court. Three of those four — LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Steph Curry — are still leading teams in their 21st, 17th and 15th years, respectively.

Jokic, in his ninth year, is probably the best player on the planet. The Serbian center again on Sunday put up a starling statline of 32 points, 16 rebounds, and 16 assists. Jokic continues to amaze, and is in line for his third MVP in four years. Jokic, the reigning NBA Finals MVP, would become the ninth player in history to win three MVP awards. The other eight are all on the short list of the best players of all time.

Bucks big Giannis Antetokounmpo also falls in that group. Giannis, also probably a top-10 player all time, in a 21-point Feb. 25 win over Philadelphia put up a 30/12/9. Giannis this season is averaging close to a 31/11/6 and is also in the MVP chase. The Greek Freak in his 11th year has a chance at his third MVP, which would put him in the same rare air Jokic is reaching for.

Between those five, there are 11 regular season MVP winners, nine NBA Finals MVPs and 12 champions. The group has won seven of the last eight Finals MVP awards. It’s a joy to watch each of them play.

Sunday also put the spotlight on the next generation. Mavericks guard Luka Doncic, Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton and Spurs rookie phenom Victor Wembanyama all hit the court and showed out.

There’s a talent boom in the League. I could rattle off the names of 30 other players I’d pay to see. The game isn’t perfect, with rules hampering defenders, load management and the like, but basketball remains a beautiful game.

This week features several matchups that will once again spotlight the League’s wealth of talent. Here’s a look at some games to keep an eye on.

Feb. 26
Miami Heat at Sacramento Kings, 10 p.m.

Feb. 27
Mavericks at Cavaliers, 7 p.m.
76ers at Celtics, 7:30 p.m.
Pelicans at Knicks, 7:30 p.m.
Spurs at Timberwolves, 8 p.m.

Feb. 28
Pelicans at Pacers, 7:30 p.m.
Kings at Nuggets, 9 p.m.
Lakers at Clippers, 10 p.m.

Feb. 29
Warriors at Knicks, 7:30 p.m.
Thunder at Spurs, 8:30 p.m.
Heat at Nuggets, 10 p.m.

March 1
Mavericks at Celtics, 7:30 p.m.
Pacers at Pelicans, 8 p.m.
Kings at Timberwolves, 8 p.m.

March 2
Nuggets at Lakers, 8:30 p.m.

March 3
76ers at Mavericks, 1 p.m.
Clippers at Timberwolves, 3:30 p.m.
Warriors at Celtics, 3:30 p.m.
Knicks at Cavaliers, 7 p.m.
Pacers at Spurs, 7 p.m.
Thunder at Suns, 9:30 p.m.

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