For the 2012-13 season, Newsday's two basketball beat writers, Al Iannazzone (Knicks) and Roderick Boone (Nets), in addition to your fearles Double Dribble leader, will add to the project by taking a crack at ranking the 10 best players at each NBA position.
Votes are being tabulated and final lists are being submitted. The plan is to start rolling out the rankings over the next two weeks. In the meantime, though, Drib readers get a bonus: the player I ranked 11th at each NBA position.
I won't give any context (for example, who is 10th, 12th or 13th), but I will give a brief explanation for the ranking -- similar to what you'll see on the final lists.
11. Ty Lawson, Denver Nuggets: While Lawson's paces didn't improve much from 2010-11 to 2011-12, he showed that he has the motor to run the point full-time. Expect Lawson, who will turn 25 during the season, to post career highs in points and assists this year.
11. Jason Terry, Boston Celtics: Terry has been one of the more underrated players in the league last several years, a three-point threat and one of the league's most reliable players in the clutch.
11. Gerald Wallace, Brooklyn Nets: What's best about Wallace? You know exactly what you're going to get from him each year. A solid complement on offense, and an Energizer-Bunny mentality when it comes to hustle and defense.
11. Kenneth Faried, Denver Nuggets: Too soon? Not at all. The second-year pro is well deserving of the 11th spot in what is a stacked power forward position. Faried averaged 16.4 points and 12.2 rebounds per 36 minutes, and shot a very efficient 58.6 percent from the floor.
11. Nikola Pekovic, Minnesota Timberwolves: The sample size is really small, but it’s really nice. Pekovic averaged 18.5 points and 9.9 rebounds (including 5.2 on the offensive glass) per 36 minutes in his first full season as a starter.