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Ranking the Top 100 NBA players, Part 1: 100-81

These names look pretty impressive, but honestly I don't think you can even crack 55 wins in the West with any 15 guys you want from this bunch.

Andy Lyons

Here are my Top 100 rankings. I did them last year and was way off from Sports Illustrated's rankings, and except for that whole "Raymond Felton" thing, I think they turned out pretty okay. I had all the Spurs guys ranked higher than SI did, and that looks smart now, right? This year, I poked around at the stats - a little more than last time.

There are 22 dudes from last year's list who didn't crack this year's top 100: Kevin Garnett (Nets, 17), Raymond Felton (Mavs, 49), Carlos Boozer (Lakers, 53), Omer Asik (Pelicans, 57), Andrew Bynum (Limbo, 60), Amir Johnson (Raptors, 64), Ersan Ilyasova (Bucks, 66), Eric Gordon (Pelicans, 69), Avery Bradley (Celtics, 71), Andrei Kirilenko (Nets, 75), Ray Allen (Free Agent, 76), JaVale McGee (Nuggets, 77), Danny Granger (Clippers, 78), Steve Nash (Lakers, 79), Gerald Henderson (Hornets, 81), Shawn Marion (Cavaliers, 83), Reggie Evans (Kings, 84), George Hill (Pacers, 85), Harrison Barnes (Warriors, 93), Thaddeus Young (Timberwolves, 96), Mario Chalmers (Heat, 98) and Cody Zeller (Hornets, 100, I won't be making guesses on rookies again, even though a couple from this draft class probably deserve to make the list).

After an embarrassing 19 differences with SI last year, I've cut it to only nine this time. The highest guy they had that I didn't rank was Asik at number 64. The highest I have that they don't is Cleveland's Dion Waiters at 73, though technically it's going to be Indiana's Paul George much lower down the list. SI didn't him because of the broken leg, I did.

My last five cuts were Celtics guard Avery Bradley (Last Year Rank: 71, SI Rank: N/A), Thunder guard Reggie Jackson (Last Year Rank: N/A, SI Rank: N/A), Pelicans center Omer Asik (Last Year Rank: 57, SI Rank: 64), Lakers forward Carlos Boozer (Last Year Rank: 53, SI Rank: N/A) and Knicks point guard Jose Calderon (Last Year Rank: N/A, SI Rank: 88).

We're gonna do this 20 at a time with a section on each guy, I listed where I had them last year and where Sports Illustrated has them, so without further adieu...

100. Robin Lopez, C, Portland: Had worse stats than 12-13 starter J.J. Hickson, but much better chemistry with his mates and provided adequate rim protection for most of the season. Was taken to the woodshed in the playoffs by Dwight Howard and was lost against the Spurs passing and cutting machine. Last Year Rank: N/A SI Rank: 82

99. Jeff Green, SF, Boston: Still capable of the occasional explosion but relatively anonymous most nights. Better than a league average starting three man though, and has just enough skills on the boards and defensively to crack the top 100. Last Year Rank: 80 SI Rank: N/A

98. Gerald Green, SG, Phoenix: A streaky but volcanic three-point shooter and probably the best in-game dunker in the league, Green got a lot more playing time than anyone imagined in Phoenix thanks to Eric Bledsoe's knee injury, and he took advantage. Still a defensive non-entity and you wonder where he fits with all the guards on the roster. Safe to say, Phoenix murdered Indiana in the Luis Scola deal. Last Year Rank: N/A SI Rank: N/A

97. Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Philadelphia: Showed all-world talent early and definitely can fill up the box score, but as the season wore on he completely stopped trying defensively and concerns about his wonky shooting and ball-handling proved legitimate. Sure, management wanted the team to lose, but MCW looked far too complicit. Last Year Rank: N/A SI Rank: N/A

96. Draymond Green, SF, Golden State: Probably my biggest reach; not only did Green miss SI's Top 100, but he didn't even crack their extensive Notable Omissions list. I don't care. His regular season numbers weren't impressive, but he's their glue guy, all their lineups are much better with him, RAPM loves him, and he showed his worth in the playoffs, guarding anyone and everyone with Andrew Bogut out. Last Year Rank: N/A SI Rank: N/A

95. Jimmy Butler, SG, Chicago: Obviously he made his reputation with defense and there's no doubt that Tom Thibodeau wore him out playing him all those minutes, but the word "shooting" is right in the job title and Butler shot below 40 percent from the field. He figures to get more open looks if Derrick Rose can make it back to the land of the living. Last Year Rank: 45 SI Rank: 98

94. Tyson Chandler, C, Dallas: Chandler's only 31, but it's an old 31, as he came into the league in 2001 straight out of high school. He looked like he lost a step last season with the Knicks, was no longer an effective last line of defense and left much to be desired on the leadership front as well. A move to Dallas will probably inspire him... but I'm dubious about his ability to stay healthy. Last Year Rank: 27 SI Rank: 39

93. Nene Hilario, PF, Washington: Not a big-minute guy anymore and a constant injury risk who took the acquisition of Marcin Gortat as a sign that he doesn't have to bother rebounding anymore. Despite all of that he's as talented as any big in the East and almost singlehandedly destroyed Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson in the playoffs last season before disappearing against Indiana. Last Year Rank: N/A SI Rank: 63

92. Jrue Holiday, PG, New Orleans: It was a lost, injury-marred season for Holiday last year and it pretty much ruined any chance of the Pelicans making the playoffs and thus keeping their draft pick in the trade for Nerlens Noel. When he's right, Holiday is one of the better defenders at his position and average to above-average on the other end, both as a scorer and a distributor. You wonder how he and Tyreke Evans will fit together, not to mention Eric Gordon. Last Year Rank: 41 SI Rank: 50

91. Ryan Anderson, PF, New Orleans: Another seabird who spent most of the year on the disabled list, Anderson's absence allowed Anthony Davis to play the whole year in his preferred power forward spot. There will have to be more flexibility to accommodate Anderson's ample stretch four skills. For his part, Anderson has to at least pretend to care about stopping the guy in front of him this season. Last Year Rank: N/A SI Rank: 59

90. Anderson Varejao, C, Cleveland: Neither he nor Tristan Thompson is really a center, but they'll have to shift over thanks to the Kevin Love acquisition. Varejao made a tidy little comeback from injury last year, but he's not what he once was. Should get plenty of garbage buckets on the boards, but he might be overwhelmed from having to cover for everyone else's mistakes on the other end.  Last Year Rank: 68 SI Rank: 97

89. J.R. Smith, SG, New York: Talented enough to do anything, but reckless, completely lacking in conscience and practically uncoachable. Launched an NBA-record 22 three-pointers in a late season game against Miami, but he made 10 so what are you gonna do? Smith is a serious and avid golfer which is just perfect, and a Transformers enthusiast, which I respect. May or may not be a Twitter mentor of Marco Belinelli. Last Year Rank: 52 SI Rank: 93

88. Derrick Favors, C, Utah: A power-forward by trade, Favors started at center most of last season once former coach Ty Corbin decided that he and Enes Kanter were unplayable together (the numbers supported that assertion) and his numbers shot up as a consequence. With starting stretch four Marvin Williams moving on though, Kanter will probably regain his starting job and crowd the paint once more for Favors. Last Year Rank: 95 SI Rank: 79

87. Danilo Gallinari, SF, Denver: Tore his ACL midway through the 2013 season and didn't recover as expected, costing him all of last year as well, similar to Derrick Rose. The Nuggets must be confident it won't be an issue because they dealt Evan Fournier away for Arron Afflalo and the only other credible three on the roster is Wilson Chandler. Eager to retake "best Italian" conch from Marco. Last Year Rank: 54 SI Rank: 62

86. Larry Sanders, C, Milwaukee: Was starting to build a reputation as one of the league's great young defenders before wasting a year of his talent on all kinds of foolishness, costing himself considerable money in the process. An athletic difference-maker when he's right and still on the periphery of the Bucks' long-term rebuild, but a change of scenery may be in order. Last Year Rank: 67 SI Rank: 78

85. Boris Diaw, PF, San Antonio: One of the most versatile performers in the NBA, Diaw was what pushed the Spurs offense from merely great to unguardable, allowing Gregg Popovich to play what he termed "medium ball," with a lineup able to handle whatever the opposition threw at them. The Heat let him be the playmaker from the high post and it was literally the death of them as a dynasty. Last Year Rank: N/A SI Rank: 100

84. Ricky Rubio, PG, Minnesota: A comically bad shooter cruelly stuck on a team filled with bad shooters. I'd be very curious to see just what he could do on a team like the Clippers, with a pair of guys he could throw alley-oops to all day and shooters on the wings. He's been the best (only?) defender on the team for years, which is never a good thing when you're 6'4". Last Year Rank: 46 SI Rank: 87

83. Andrew Bogut, C, Golden State: Bogut's one of those players who generates wildly swinging opinions. Some view him as an integral rim-protector and someone who helped change the losing culture of the team. Others look at him as an overrated malcontent, coach-killer and locker room cancer lacking any semblance of an offensive game. What no one argues is that he's injury-prone and thus unreliable. Last Year Rank: 91 SI Rank: 65

82. J.J. Redick, SG, LA Clippers: A far better shooter and defender than more celebrated teammate Jamal Crawford, but can't seem to stay healthy. Has not been a consistent playoff performer either and didn't get the job done last spring after being signed to be the missing piece for the Clips. Last Year Rank: 70 SI Rank: 93

81. Greg Monroe, PF, Detroit: One of the last honest-to-goodness post scorers on the planet and has a well-rounded offensive game, but he's surrounded by brickmasons and lacks the agility or the bounce to defend at all. He signed his qualifying offer after no suitors jumped at him, but he's not long for Detroit, the odd man out unless some sucker lets the Pistons get out from under Josh Smith's contract. Last Year Rank: N/A SI Rank: 68