1. Cole Anthony
Last week's rank: 9
The new number one, Cole Anthony, has shown he's more than deserving of this spot. Also before Anthony's numbers are discussed in detail, a quick shoutout to HoopsHype for unearthing Anthony's fantastic play.
Part of the NBA's highest-scoring bench, the Orlando swingman has truly showed out this season. Anthony averages 15.2 points of the Magic's 47.3 points per game.
The fourth-year guard is built for this role. His high-volume shooting mentality along with his electric athleticism has spearheaded a Sixth Man of the Year campaign.
Anthony's ascent has also coincided with his team's drastic rise. After finishing 13th in the Eastern Conference a season ago, the Magic are currently tied for the second-best record in the NBA.
Anthony is third on the Magic in points, fifth in rebounds, and third in assists. Over the past week, the Magic guard has gone for 30, 25, 4, and 20 points. Additionally, the Orlando swingman has recorded more than five rebounds three times and five assists twice in the past week.
Unlike Quickley, the Magic don't tend to be quite as good when Anthony's on the court versus when he's off. However, his advanced analytics point to an extremely positive impact on defense.
Anthony ranks top-75 in all the NBA in defensive win shares, defensive box plus/minus, rebound percentage, and block percentage. Once known has a gunner, the young guard has transformed into an all-around player, capable of playing lockdown defense.
Although Anthony's ascent was sudden, his spot is well-deserved. His battle with Quickley and even Hardaway Jr. will be enjoyable to watch. But for now, Anthony's spot feels relatively safe as long as the Magic continue their winning ways.