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The Hoop Doctors

The NBA’s All-Lefty 1st and 2nd Teams

August 25, 2011 – Kevin Burke

eing left-handed (so I’m told) has its disadvantages at times, given the fact that most things in life are catered to righties. But in sports, that’s not necessarily the case as teams usually have to devise game plans for southpaws due to the paucity of them. The NBA is no different in that regard. Defenders need to remember which hand is their strong hand and be prepared to counteract that.

Even though there aren’t many lefties in the League, there are still some very good ones. Here are my 1st and 2nd All-Lefty NBA teams:

1st Team

PG – Brandon Jennings
Jennings isn’t only the best left-handed Point Guard in the game, he’s also one of the best young point men in general. His name isn’t always brought up in that discussion but I think that primarily has to do with the fact that he doesn’t necessarily play in a big market. Whenever play resumes, I expect Jennings to have a breakout year and inch his way closer to becoming a household name.

SG – Manu Ginobili
I have always thought Manu’s game to be somewhat awkward. He routinely seems to be playing on a 45 degree angle which causes him to attempt the most difficult looking shots. Not only is he one of the best SGs in the League, but he may very well be the best off-guard not named Kobe Bryant or Dwyane Wade.

SF – James Harden
Yes, he generally plays the 2 for Oklahoma City, but this is my list. Therefore I’m moving him to the 3. Similar to Jennings, I expect Harden to go out of his mind next season. He was on the verge of doing so during the playoffs. He looked like the best playmaker the Thunder had down the stretch since Westbrook and Durant were taking just about all of the shots. He can shoot it from anywhere in the gym and has very deceptive hops. You don’t expect him to get up as high as he does.

PF – Zach Randolph
Z-Bo is as blue-collar as they come. Void of an athletic bone in his body, he is proof positive that athleticism can sometimes be overrated. He has a knack for the basketball and is an efficient scorer as well. He poses matchup problems because of his ability to step out and shoot the mid-range J. Let’s just hope he returns to the court in shape and out of trouble.

C – Chris Bosh
I’m going to have to move Bosh to the 5 for the purposes of the all-lefty squad. He’s not necessarily physically imposing but he is a big body that can clog up the lane occasionally.

2nd Team

PG – Mike Conley
Mike is about two years away from being widely considered a very good point guard. He was instrumental in the surprising Grizzlies coming within one game of the Western Conference Finals a few months ago. Look for him to only get better.

SG – Michael Redd
I barely even remember Redd sometimes. Once a perennial 20+ ppg scorer, Redd has barely seen the court of late. That may change now, but how much does he have left in the tank? He also may have a new home before long. Frankly, I’m only including him because of the choices I am left with.

SF – Lamar Odom
Many consider last year to be Lamar’s best season of his career, primarily because he was named Sixth Man of the Year. He didn’t post career highs in points, rebounds or assists, but definitely was an important player for the Lakers.

PF – Josh Smith
Smith has a completely different game now as opposed to when he first entered the league. He’s still a feared shotblocker and aggressive rebounder, but he has developed into somewhat of a legit scorer as well.

C – David Lee
If I did this list a year ago, Lee no doubt would have made the first team. In his final season in New York, Lee led the NBA in double-doubles and boasted a gaudy 20.2ppg and 11.7rpg campaign. However, last year his number dipped to the tune of 16.5 and 9.8. But he was in a new system and surrounded by completely different players in Golden State.

Honorable mention: Tayshaun Prince, Michael Beasley and Thaddeus Young.

If you’re looking for your everyday, predictable basketball talk, then you’ve come to the wrong place, because Kevin Burke of The Kevin Burke Project brings provocative, thought provoking content about basketball as only he can. Kevin also hosts The Hoop Doctors weekly podcast show, which you can subscribe to for free on iTunes. Follow Kevin on Twitter and Facebook

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