As the spearhead of the Knicks' offense, Carmelo Anthony (page 62) was averaging 29.3 points at week's end—second only to Kobe Bryant's 30.0. But does that mean he's among the NBA players most able to initiate their own offense? Nope. With input from league scouts and executives, SI has put together a list of the one-on-one all-stars, scorers who excel at getting the job done without any help.
1 LeBron James, SF, Heat
Does a 6'8", 250-pound forward with the strength of a center and the ballhandling ability of a point guard need further explanation? Says one exec, "There is no one in the NBA LeBron doesn't have an advantage over."
2 Chris Paul, PG, Clippers
Paul uses his compact, 6-foot, 175-pound frame to muscle his way inside and his superior ball control to create a variety of shots. His best move, according to a scout: a between-the-legs crossover with a spin move to set up a jump shot.
3 James Harden, SG, Rockets
The 6'5" Harden is deceptively quick, with a Manu Ginobili--like ability to slip a shot up through traffic. Though lefthanded, Harden can go either way and is fearless when finishing at the rim.
4 Derrick Rose, PG, Bulls
When healthy, the 6'3" Rose blends power and speed better than any guard in the league. Rose favors the inside-out dribble (essentially a fake crossover) to get into the paint, where he has a knack for scoring through contact.
5 Joe Johnson, SG, Nets