Published On: Mon, Mar 12th, 2018

2017-18 NBA Player Power Rankings: March edition

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Welcome to the 2017-18 NBA Player Power Rankings, where theScore’s basketball editors cumulatively rank the league’s top 10 players on the second Monday of every month.

As a reminder, these rankings are based solely on 2017-18 performance, with no stock placed in prior history or future projections.

Honorable mentions

The following four players received at least one vote from our panel of nine editors but ultimately came up short of the top 10: Jimmy Butler, Joel Embiid, Chris Paul, and Karl-Anthony Towns.

10. Kyrie Irving

Irving’s left knee flaring up may hurt the Celtics’ chances to secure home-court advantage throughout the postseason, but if he needs some time off, that won’t tarnish what’s been a pretty spectacular first year in Boston. His 61 true shooting percentage and 25 PER are both career highs by a decent margin. – Chris Walder

9. Russell Westbrook

Only 0.4 rebounds per game are currently keeping the reigning MVP from averaging a triple-double for a second year in a row – a fact dwarfed by Oklahoma City’s struggle to maintain position in the overcrowded Western Conference playoff picture. Westbrook is a box-score assassin who makes the Thunder a favorite from that group to secure a spot, at the very least. – Walder

8. Damian Lillard

His play in the last month has been overshadowed by the tear Anthony Davis has been on, but Lillard’s launched himself into the top 10 and his Blazers into third place in the West. In his last 11 games, Dame Dolla has averaged close to 35 points per contest. Portland has lost once. – John Chick

7. DeMar DeRozan

There were concerns earlier in the season that the Raptors wouldn’t be prepared to close out tight games, simply because they were blowing out most opponents and resting their starters in the fourth. More of those opportunities have come lately, and Toronto’s responded well thanks in large part to DeRozan, who’s now second in clutch scoring behind LeBron James. – Victoria Nguyen

6. Kevin Durant

Sensational all season long, Durant has ramped up his efforts with Curry sidelined. The four-time scoring champ is pouring in 38.7 points on 46.8 percent from the field and 48.1 percent from deep to go along with 9.7 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and three blocks since his fellow former MVP re-tweaked his ankle. – Nguyen

5. Stephen Curry

Curry is quietly having one of the greatest shooting seasons we’ve ever seen, going .494/.424/.919 for a league-leading 67.5 true-shooting mark that tops even his incendiary 2015-16 repeat MVP campaign. For all his Hall of Fame teammates, Curry continues to prove that he is what makes the Warriors special. They’re 9.8 points per 100 possessions better with him on the floor, and their offense – which is the most efficient in NBA history overall – performs like the league’s 16th-ranked outfit when he’s on the bench. – Joe Wolfond

4. Giannis Antetokounmpo

Antetokounmpo isn’t putting up the gaudy numbers he was earlier, but there aren’t a ton of players not named LeBron, James, or Anthony that anyone would take ahead of him. The Bucks have lost eight of 11 going into Monday, and their playoff hopes rest on the Greek Freak’s shoulders. – Chick

3. LeBron James

The 15-year veteran recently said his game is probably at an “all-time high,” which sounds preposterous given how he’s played in the past and the fact that, at 33, his prime should be behind him. But for the first time in nearly a decade, he leads his team in total points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks. – Nguyen

2. Anthony Davis

Davis was already having a spectacular season, but DeMarcus Cousins‘ injury – which initially looked like a crippling blow to the Pelicans’ playoff hopes – fully unshackled him. With more time on the ball, and more minutes as the lone big on the floor, Davis upped his usage rate by 6 percent, doubled his number of drives to the basket, dominated as a backline defender, and averaged 31.7 points, 12.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 2.5 steals, and 3.1 blocks while leading New Orleans to the top half of the West playoff bracket. Absurd. – Wolfond

1. James Harden

The truthers who felt Harden was robbed of the MVP by Russell Westbrook last year can rejoice; the Beard is having an even better season now. While he won’t lead the NBA in assists again, he’s atop the circuit in scoring and win shares, while ranking second to teammate Chris Paul in ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus. – Chick

(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)

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