The 2011-2012 NBA season didn’t exactly start out with a bang. In fact, it almost didn’t start at all. It was the riveting excitement of a collective bargaining dispute (a true fan’s dream) that eventually shortened the season by 24 games and forced a far more condensed schedule than usual.
So, the prospects for a great year didn’t exactly seem too likely. Retirement had rendered the league Phil Jackson-less, Shaq-less, and perhaps most devastatingly (and hard to say), Zydrunas Ilgauskas-less. The clashing players and owners had alienated fans to a point that they were ready to throw in the towel on the entire season. But a last minute collective bargaining agreement and a rushed preseason made a Christmas Day start possible, gifting us one of the most exciting years in recent history.
But who were the best of the best in ’11-’12? Look no further.