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Ding: Batum, Matthews Make "Top 20 NBA Players Under 25" List

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Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register has ranked the top 20 NBA players under the age of 25. Portland Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum and guard Wesley Matthews both made the cut. ----------------------------- 18. Nicolas Batum, Portland. There are plenty of exciting scorers left off this list (Michael Beasley, J.R. Smith and Nick Young, for example), because they play the game in a way that would've caused Tex Winter to deck them if he had to coach them. Batum doesn't know how to apply his offensive skills well, but he's a budding dynamo as a wing defender – he just needs to gain a little more of an edge – in a league that needs some new blood to replace the Bruce Bowens and Raja Bells. ... 16. Wesley Matthews, Portland. As inconsistent as he is at both ends, there's something special about Matthews, 24. He is uniquely adept at changing games with his aggressive mentality. He also can score in so many creative ways that it's hard to develop a plan against him. ----------------------------- The top five, in order: Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose, Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin, Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, Memphis Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay. -- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter
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