The NBA’s newest crop of gane players are among the best at their jobs and have been the envy of the NBA world for their ability to play in the high-flying style of play that has defined the league for so long.
So what’s it like to be among them?
We’ll start with the best, which is the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry.
Curry, who won the 2013 MVP, is one of the most skilled, talented and prolific scorers in NBA history.
He’s also one of its most underrated players, because of his size.
He was a four-time All-Star and two-time MVP, but his best season came in 2009-10, when he averaged 23.3 points, 9.1 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game.
He is also one the NBA leaders in three-pointers made and has made a career-high 11 of 19 from deep.
He can score from the post, grab rebounds and defend the pick-and-roll.
His team lost to the Utah Jazz in the Finals, but Curry led the Warriors to a second straight NBA title, with the franchise’s only other NBA title coming in 1996.
Curry was an MVP candidate the last time he played in the playoffs, but he was sidelined for a year and a half with a shoulder injury.
This year he’s averaging a career best 21.3 per game, while averaging 8.9 rebounds and 7.2 assists.
His teammates like him, so they’re confident that his skills will carry over into the playoffs.
“I think his game is really good, but it’s about his work ethic,” said Kevin Durant, who is also a part of the Warriors’ team that won the Finals.
“He knows how to play and he’s really confident in his play.”
The next closest player in the Golden States’ Golden State gane history is Golden State forward Andrew Bogut, who was the NBA Rookie of the Year in 2006-07 and the Rookie of Year in 2010-11.
Bogut averaged 19.8 points and 7,818 rebounds during his career, including a career high in assists in 2013-14.
He also is the first player to average over 25 points, seven rebounds and four assists per contest in the same season.
But even though Bogut has been one of Golden State’s best players since entering the league in 2005, he’s not going to be the most valuable player on the team.
The Warriors have been an elite offensive team for decades, but they’ve never been a great one.
The best offense in the league was the one they created with Curry and the Warriors were second in the NBA in offensive efficiency last season.
Curry is one the league’s most skilled players, and he plays the position that is most susceptible to the physicality of the game.
He was the league MVP in 2010 and is considered one of this league’s top offensive players, but a combination of injury, a lack of talent and a lack in depth has kept him out of the postseason since he had surgery on his left shoulder in 2014.
He has averaged just 14.7 points per game this season and has missed the last two games due to a sprained right ankle.
The injuries are starting to show, and his status for the playoffs could be in doubt.
The next most valuable gane in the world is Oklahoma City Thunder forward Russell Westbrook.
Westbrook, who has been named MVP of the 2015-16 season after averaging 22.6 points and 9.8 rebounds per game and leading the Thunder to the Western Conference Finals, is a superstar of the league, and the team is one that has had a difficult time keeping pace with the Warriors in the past.
He averaged 19 points and nine rebounds per contest, but has missed four games with a sore right knee.
Westbrook is expected to miss the rest of the regular season, and that will make his role even more critical for Golden State.
“He’s a great player, and I’m sure he’ll play the way he wants to play,” Durant said.
“But I think the guys that we’re talking about, the way they play, it’s really a question of if they can do it on a consistent basis, and we’re hoping they can.”
It’s a question Westbrook has answered many times during his NBA career, but when he returns from a torn ACL he’ll need to be a bit more consistent in the postseason.
He missed the first five games of the season with a knee injury, but scored 16 points against the Utah Grizzlies and then came back to the lineup in the Western Semi-Finals.
Westbrook finished the regular-season averaging 25.5 points, 7.7 rebounds and 5.4 steals per game with seven 20-point performances and four 40-point outings.
He had a career year in the conference finals, averaging 21.7 per game to go along with 9.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists.
He’ll be a big part