NBA Head-to-Head Duels; Who’s the Best Overall Player?

Photo Credit: genius.com

A couple of weeks ago, I published a math-based article about who the best overall player in the NBA is. You can see that article HERE. This article determines the same thing using a different method. Instead of matching up each of the 15 players I had listed all together at once, this method puts each player up individually against each of the other 14 players on the list. Whoever has the best percentage of head-to-head victories (so whoever has the best 14-game record) is the best overall player using this method.

NOTE: There is parity in this method; for example, it may occur where Player 1 beats Player 2 who crushes Player 3 who beats Player 1. That is why the best 14-game record is used to determine the best player using this method, as some “upsets” may occur.

Here is the scoring system:

  • 2 points for beating another player in points per game
  • 2 points for beating another player in rebounds per game
  • 2 points for beating another player in assists per game
  • 2 points for beating another player in blocks per game
  • 2 points for beating another player in steals per game
  • 1 point for beating another player in field goal percentage
  • 1 point for beating another player in 3-point field goal percentage
  • 1 point for beating another player in free throw percentage
  • 1 point for beating another player in turnovers per game

Here are the 15 players that will be compared:

  1. Stephen Curry, Point Guard, Golden State Warriors
  2. James Harden, Shooting Guard, Houston Rockets
  3. Kevin Durant, Small Forward, Oklahoma City Thunder
  4. DeMarcus Cousins, Center, Sacramento Kings
  5. LeBron James, Small Forward, Cleveland Cavaliers
  6. Damian Lillard, Point Guard, Portland Trailblazers
  7. Anthony Davis, Power Forward, New Orleans Pelicans
  8. Russell Westbrook, Point Guard, Oklahoma City Thunder
  9. Paul George, Small Forward, Indiana Pacers
  10. Klay Thompson, Shooting Guard, Golden State Warriors
  11. Kyle Lowry, Point Guard, Toronto Raptors
  12. Kawhi Leonard, Small Forward, San Antonio Spurs
  13. John Wall, Point Guard, Washington Wizards
  14. Chris Paul, Point Guard, Los Angeles Clippers
  15. Draymond Green, Power Forward, Golden State Warriors

 

Here are the players with each of their matchups and their results:

  1. Stephen Curry, PG, Golden State Warriors, (12-1-1)
    1. W over Harden, 8-6
    2. W over Durant, 9-5
    3. W over Cousins, 10-4
    4. L to James, 7.5-6.5
    5. W over Lillard, 9-5
    6. W over Davis, 9-5
    7. W over Westbrook, 8-6
    8. W over George, 9.5-4.5
    9. W over Thompson, 11-3
    10. W over Lowry, 11-3
    11. W over Leonard, 8-6
    12. W over Wall, 10-4
    13. W over Paul, 11-3
    14. T with Green, 7-7
  2. James Harden, SG, Houston Rockets, (7-5-2)
    1. L to Curry, 8-6
    2. L to Durant, 8-6
    3. W over Cousins, 8-6
    4. W over James, 8-6
    5. W over Lillard, 11-3
    6. W over Davis, 8-6
    7. L to Westbrook, 8-6
    8. W over George, 7.5-6.5
    9. W over Thompson, 10-4
    10. W over Lowry, 10-4
    11. L to Leonard, 10-4
    12. T with Wall, 7-7
    13. L to Paul, 8-6
    14. T with Green, 7-7
  3. Kevin Durant, SF, Oklahoma City Thunder, (11-2-1)
    1. L to Curry, 9-5
    2. W over Harden, 8-6
    3. W over Cousins, 8-6
    4. W over James, 8-6
    5. W over Lillard, 11-3
    6. T with Davis, 7-7
    7. W over Westbrook, 10-4
    8. W over George, 11-3
    9. W over Thompson, 12-2
    10. W over Lowry, 8-6
    11. W over Leonard, 9-5
    12. W over Wall, 10-4
    13. W over Paul, 9-5
    14. L to Green, 10-4
  4. DeMarcus Cousins, C, Sacramento Kings, (9-4-1)
    1. L to Curry, 10-4
    2. L to Harden, 8-6
    3. L to Durant, 8-6
    4. W over James, 9-5
    5. W over Lillard, 9-5
    6. W over Davis, 9-5
    7. W over Westbrook, 8-6
    8. W over George, 9-5
    9. W over Thompson, 10-4
    10. T with Lowry, 7-7
    11. W over Leonard, 8-6
    12. W over Wall, 8-6
    13. L to Paul, 8-6
    14. W over Green, 9-5
  5. LeBron James, SF, Cleveland Cavaliers, (6-5-3)
    1. W over Curry, 7.5-6.5
    2. L to Harden, 8-6
    3. L to Durant, 8-6
    4. L to Cousins, 9-5
    5. W over Lillard, 10-4
    6. W over Davis, 8-6
    7. T with Westbrook, 7-7
    8. W over George, 9.5-4.5
    9. W over Thompson, 11-3
    10. W over Lowry, 9-5
    11. T with Leonard, 7-7
    12. L to Wall, 8-6
    13. T with Paul, 7-7
    14. L to Green, 10-4
  6. Damian Lillard, PG, Portland Trailblazers, (2-11-1)
    1. L to Curry, 9-5
    2. L to Harden, 11-3
    3. L to Durant, 11-3
    4. L to Cousins, 9-5
    5. L to James, 10-4
    6. L to Davis, 8-6
    7. T with Westbrook, 7-7
    8. W over George, 10-4
    9. W over Thompson, 9-5
    10. L to Lowry, 9-5
    11. L to Leonard, 9-5
    12. L to Wall, 9-5
    13. L to Paul, 9-5
    14. L to Green, 10.5-3.5
  7. Anthony Davis, PF, New Orleans Pelicans, (7-5-2)
    1. L to Curry, 9-5
    2. L to Harden, 8-6
    3. T with Durant, 7-7
    4. L to Cousins, 9-5
    5. L to James, 8-6
    6. W over Lillard, 8-6
    7. W over Westbrook, 8-6
    8. W over George, 8-6
    9. W over Thompson, 9-5
    10. W over Lowry, 8-6
    11. L to Leonard, 8-6
    12. T with Wall, 7-7
    13. W over Paul, 8-6
    14. W over Green, 9-5
  8. Russell Westbrook, PG, Oklahoma City Thunder, (7-4-3)
    1. L to Curry, 8-6
    2. W over Harden, 8-6
    3. L to Durant, 10-4
    4. L to Cousins, 8-6
    5. T with James, 7-7
    6. T with Lillard, 7-7
    7. L to Davis, 8-6
    8. W over George, 9-5
    9. W over Thompson, 8-6
    10. W over Lowry, 8-6
    11. W over Leonard, 8-6
    12. W over Wall, 10-4
    13. W over Paul, 8-6
    14. T with Green, 7-7
  9. Paul George, SF, Indiana Pacers, (3-11-0)
    1. L to Curry, 9.5-4.5
    2. L to Harden, 7.5-6.5
    3. L to Durant, 11-3
    4. L to Cousins, 9-5
    5. L to James, 9.5-4.5
    6. L to Lillard, 10-4
    7. L to Davis, 8-6
    8. L to Westbrook, 9-5
    9. W over Thompson, 8-6
    10. L to Lowry, 9-5
    11. W over Leonard, 8-6
    12. W over Wall, 8-6
    13. L to Paul, 7.5-6.5
    14. L to Green, 9-5
  10. Klay Thompson, SG, Golden State Warriors, (1-12-1)
    1. L to Curry, 11-3
    2. L to Harden, 10-4
    3. L to Durant, 12-2
    4. L to Cousins, 10-4
    5. L to James, 11-3
    6. L to Lillard, 9-5
    7. L to Davis, 9-5
    8. L to Westbrook, 8-6
    9. L to George, 8-6
    10. W over Lowry, 8-6
    11. L to Leonard, 12-2
    12. L to Wall, 8-6
    13. T with Paul, 7-7
    14. L to Green, 9-5
  11. Kyle Lowry, PG, Toronto Raptors, (4-9-1)
    1. L to Curry, 11-3
    2. L to Harden, 10-4
    3. L to Durant, 8-6
    4. T with Cousins, 7-7
    5. L to James, 9-5
    6. W over Lillard, 9-5
    7. L to Davis, 8-6
    8. L to Westbrook, 8-6
    9. W over George, 9-5
    10. L to Thompson, 8-6
    11. L to Leonard, 9-5
    12. W over Wall, 8-6
    13. W over Paul, 8-6
    14. L to Green, 7.5-6.5
  12. Kawhi Leonard, SF, San Antonio Spurs, (8-5-1)
    1. L to Curry, 8-6
    2. W over Harden, 10-4
    3. L to Durant, 9-5
    4. L to Cousins, 8-6
    5. T with James, 7-7
    6. W over Lillard, 9-5
    7. W over Davis, 8-6
    8. L to Westbrook, 8-6
    9. L to George, 8-6
    10. W over Thompson, 12-2
    11. W over Lowry, 9-5
    12. W over Wall, 10-4
    13. W over Paul, 9-5
    14. W over Green, 8-6
  13. John Wall, PG, Washington Wizards, (4-7-3)
    1. L to Curry, 10-4
    2. T with Harden, 7-7
    3. L to Durant, 10-4
    4. L to Cousins, 8-6
    5. W over James, 8-6
    6. W over Lillard, 9-5
    7. T with Davis, 7-7
    8. L to Westbrook, 10-4
    9. L to George, 8-6
    10. W over Thompson, 8-6
    11. L to Lowry, 8-6
    12. L to Leonard, 10-4
    13. W over Paul, 8-6
    14. T with Green, 7-7
  14. Chris Paul, PG, Los Angeles Clippers, (5-7-2)
    1. L to Curry, 11-3
    2. W over Harden, 8-6
    3. L to Durant, 9-5
    4. W over Cousins, 8-6
    5. T with James, 7-7
    6. W over Lillard, 9-5
    7. L to Davis, 8-6
    8. L to Westbrook, 8-6
    9. W over George, 7.5-6.5
    10. T with Thompson, 7-7
    11. L to Lowry, 8-6
    12. L to Leonard, 9-5
    13. L to Wall, 8-6
    14. W over Green, 8-6
  15. Draymond Green, PF, Golden State Warriors, (6-4-4)
    1. T with Curry, 7-7
    2. T with Harden, 7-7
    3. W over Durant, 10-4
    4. L to Cousins, 9-5
    5. W over James, 10-4
    6. W over Lillard, 10.5-3.5
    7. L to Davis, 9-5
    8. T with Westbrook, 7-7
    9. W over George, 9-5
    10. W over Thompson, 9-5
    11. W over Lowry, 7.5-6.5
    12. L to Leonard, 8-6
    13. T with Wall, 7-7
    14. L to Paul, 8-6

 

FINAL STANDINGS:

Place. Player Name, Position, Team, Head-to-Head Record

  1. Stephen Curry, PG, Golden State Warriors, (12-1-1)
  2. Kevin Durant, SF, Oklahoma City Thunder, (11-2-1)
  3. DeMarcus Cousins, C, Sacramento Kings, (9-4-1)
  4. Russell Westbrook, PG, Oklahoma City Thunder, (7-4-3)
  5. Kawhi Leonard, SF, San Antonio Spurs, (8-5-1)
  6. James Harden, SG, Houston Rockets, (7-5-2)
  7. Anthony Davis, PF, New Orleans Pelicans, (7-5-2)
  8. Draymond Green, PF, Golden State Warriors, (6-4-4)
  9. LeBron James, SF, Cleveland Cavaliers, (6-5-3)
  10. Chris Paul, PG, Los Angeles Clippers, (5-7-2)
  11. John Wall, PG, Washington Wizards, (4-7-3)
  12. Kyle Lowry, PG, Toronto Raptors, (4-9-1)
  13. Paul George, SF, Indiana Pacers, (3-11-0)
  14. Damian Lillard, PG, Portland Trailblazers, (2-11-1)
  15. Klay Thompson, SG, Golden State Warriors, (1-12-1)

Also, feel free to let me know if you think there’s a player I did not include that you would like to see where they would end up head to head with any other player(s)  in the NBA.

-Asher Fair