Are Steve Nash and Pau Gasol Still Top 5 Players at Their Respective Positions?

Once Dwight Howard is finally healthy he will join one of the most formidable lineups in NBA history, one that features three other players who will likely join Howard one day in the league's Hall of Fame.

Los Angeles Lakers guards Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant are probably first-ballot members of the Hall and forward Gasol may not make it in his first bid, but considering his NBA and international success an argument can certainly be formed in his favor.

Based solely on history and reputation the 2012-13 Lakers should be one of the greatest teams to ever grace an NBA court, if you believe the league's newest super team still has the type of relevance that their legacies suggest.

Bryant and Howard unquestionably remain among the top five players at their position, and the high opinion of each player is well deserved, even though there are few others to measure Howard and Bryant against.

In fact Bryant and Howard can arguably lay claim to the top players at their respective positions, and each have the numbers to bolster their claims.

Some people like to say that Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat has surpassed Bryant as the NBA's top shooting guard, but that's only true if you worship at the altar of John Hollinger's PER system.

Player Efficiency Rankings are certainly good metrics if you are consumed by the technical aspects of the game, but for those who actually watch the drama unfold on the court the simple formula of points, rebounds and assists per game might be a little more helpful.

Wade may have been a little more efficient than Bryant, but how hard is that when you play sidekick to LeBron James, who just might be the most efficient player in the game, and a major portion of your own season is spent on the injured list?

Bryant averaged more points and rebounds per game than Wade and the same number of assists,...

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