The NBA has long been rife with talented scorers, but who among them stand out to their peers? Alex Kennedy of Hoops Hype asked a myriad of players—past and present—which modern-day scorer is/was the toughest to guard in his time. Mixed among repeated names like Russell Westbrook and Michael Jordan were a few Portland Trail Blazers familiars.
Garrett Temple, Sacramento Kings:
“James Harden is difficult to guard because of the pace he plays with; it’s so unique. Not to mention, he’s left-handed. His ability to shoot from deep, but also attack the rack and draw fouls makes him tough. Also, CJ McCollum because of his shiftiness and his ability to knock down every shot in the book. Threes, mid-range and he’s a good finisher in the lane. His handle is very underrated too; he has a top-five handle in the league.”
Anthony Parker, 9-year NBA veteran:
“Kobe Bryant was hardest. You had to respect every pump-fake, jab-step and shoulder-fake because he had the green light to try whatever he wanted and the talent level to pull it off. Brandon Roy is another because he could do it all – with the ball or off the ball, finish at the rim and or shoot deadly from deep. He was quicker and could jump higher than you’d think too. And Dwyane Wade; he was so quick! He changed directions so fast, I couldn’t stay in front of him. Once Wade got rolling, it was going to be a long night.”
Roy, of courses, has his chapter in Portland’s history, but McCollum’s is still being written. The 25-year-old prepares to enter his fifth NBA season after four straight years of upward trajectory. His place may yet be among the countlessly renamed superstars in years to come. To find out who the most mentioned scorers were, read Kennedy’s full article, here.