Isaiah Thomas: Five guys with best handles in NBA

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Who has got the best handles in the NBA?

It’s a subjective question, although if you just said Omer Asik you’re doing it wrong. Boston’s Isaiah Thomas has had to guard a bunch of these guys, and he wrote a piece over at the Players’ Tribune naming his five favorite ball handlers in the game right now. The game’s best ankle breakers.

At the top of the list — Jamal Crawford.

There’s some Seattle bias going on with that pick, although it’s hard to argue that J Crossover doesn’t belong on the list.

Next on the Thomas’ list is Stephen Curry. Can’t argue with that one.

Steph plays like he’s a wide receiver in football running an option route on every play. Everything he does depends on what the defender is doing. So when he’s coming at you, if you’re afraid of the three — which you should be — and you give him too much space, he’ll knock it down. If you play too far up on the three, he’ll take you off the dribble. If he beats you on the first step because you were playing too far up, say goodbye. He’s already gone. If you sink back with him, he has the shiftiness and the quick release to step back and shoot.

The final three on his list are Chris Paul, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden. Of course, as a bonus he puts himself. You have to let that slide.

That’s a strong top five list. While you could try to make a case for Rajon Rondo or Tony Parker, I don’t know who you would take off that list to replace them.