With the joyous Thanksgiving celebrations having come to an end, the NBA returns in all of its brilliant glory on Friday evening.

The early stages of the 2013/14 season have been typically breathless, with a number of teams - notably expensive Big Apple duo New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets - struggling to live up to their big pre-season billing.

The current season has also been characterised by a number of unfortunate injury issues, with Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose shut down for the second consecutive season with another knee injury, Kobe Bryant yet to step onto the court for the Lakers and the likes of Russell Westbrook, Andre Igoudala and Marc Gasol spending time on the sidelines.

It hasn't all been negative, though. The seemingly ageless San Antonio Spurs are still looking imperious at the top of the Western Conference standings, while the Indiana Pacers have looked similarly impressive and lead the way in the East with an imposing 14-1 record.

Here, GMS takes a look at the five leading scorers - in terms of the stat that matters, which is obviously their points per game (which have been taken from ESPN) -  prior to another busy weekend of action around the association...

5. James Harden

Coming in at number five is Houston Rockets guard Harden. 'The Beard', a traditionally high-volume scorer who - alongside Kevin Durant and Westbrook - once formed the third wheel of Oklahoma City's talented triumvirate that made it all the way to the 2012 Finals.

Traded to Houston shortly prior to the start of last season, he wasted little time in acclimatising to his new surroundings and was the league's fourth-top scorer last time out. 

This season, he has enjoyed another quick start alongside new All-Star arrival Dwight Howard and is currently averaging 24.2 points per game with the Rockets lying fourth in the West with a 11-4 record.

4. Kevin Love

With the Minnesota Timberwolves having not made an appearance in the post-season since 2004, hopes at Target Center are high this year that a rejuvenated Love - alongside the likes of mesmerising point guard Ricky Rubio, reliable shooter Kevin Martin and talented big man Nikola Pekovic - can guide Rick Adelman's men to the playoffs.

Love, who missed sizeable chunks of last season after suffering two separate breaks to his hand, has started the new campaign in stellar form and is currently averaging a highly-impressive 24.3 ppg.

3. LeBron James

Four-time NBA MVP James remains by far the most-complete player that the world of basketball has to offer, but he currently lies third in the scoring charts - coincedentally the same place he finished at the end of last season.

James is currently averaging 26.1 ppg as the Heat have suitably recovered from a slightly underwhelming start to the new campaign to trail the dominant Pacers by just two games. 

2. Carmelo Anthony

While he is certainly not perfect by any means, the one thing Anthony can do is score.

The 29-year-old Knick, who has clearly been left immensely frustrated by his team's frankly dismal and embarrassing recent run, claimed his first NBA scoring title last season with 28.7 ppg.

This season, 'Melo is falling below that incredibly high standard, so far averaging 26.5. If the Knicks and coach Mike Woodson can find away to bust out of their current slump, expect that number to rise once again.

1. Kevin Durant

A list of the NBA's top scorers would feel odd without the inclusion of the superb Durant. Oklahoma City's finest talent, who was just pipped to the scoring title by 'Melo last season after averaging 28.1, continues to attack the basket at will and is currently leading the way with 28.2 ppg.

While this particular list is sure to chop and change as the season progresses, it would be a pretty safe bet to assume that the current top three will jostle for supremacy at the top of the charts all season long.

Topics:
Kevin Durant
NBA
LeBron James