This is the 4th segment where I personally rank the top 5 player at each position. I’ll be covering power forwards today and finish up with centers tomorrow! So how about we get started!
1) Dirk Nowitzki
-Dirk is one of those guys who’s got one of those unstoppable moves, Kareem had the sky hook, Duncan got the bank shot, and Dirk got that awkward yet effective and unstoppable fall away jumper. Dirk didn’t have his typically season last year but in his defense, his team went through a major makeover, there was the lockout, he also played for his home country Germany during the off-season. Dirk also averaged 23.6 PPG on 46% shooting from the field and 43% from 3 after the all-star break. Dirk is still without a doubt the best power forward in the league, and he’s proven he can lead his team to a title. On top of it all Dirk is also one of the most clutch players in the NBA and after knocking off the Heat only a season ago it’s tough not to give him the top spot.
2) Kevin Love
- Kevin Love reminds me of a lot of Tim Duncan in terms of his fundamentals. Love isn’t what you might call a high flyer but this dude gets it done! He’s one of the best rebounders the league’s got and he’s also got a great touch from the outside. Love’s ability to scorer inside and out makes him a deadly threat on the offensive end, however in order for Love to get to the next level he’s got to become a better defender. Love is a year or two of good defensive play from becoming the best power forward in the NBA.
3) LaMarcus Aldridge
- It was tough to rank Aldridge ahead of Blake Griffin but I do feel that Aldridge is the better player at this point. Aldridge has the second best post-up fade-away shot behind Dirk Nowitzki. Aldridge also has a smooth all-around offensive arsenal, from catching lobs to post moves to mid-range jumpers. Aldridge shot over 40% on his long 2-point attempts over the past 2 years which is a higher percentage than Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony’s long 2-point attemps. Aldridge is also a solid overall defender although an extra block or two here and there wouldn’t hurt. Aldridge doesn’t get a lot of attention for his play because Portland struggled last season but he is a great player. Keep in mind that Aldridge was in the pool of players that were potentially going to be on team USA but due to an injury Aldridge was taken out.
4) Blake Griffin
- Some people call him Blake Griffin but I call him the human highlight reel, yes I’m aware that nickname belonged to Dominique Wilkins but I wasn’t even born back then so I’m givin it to Blake! Blake has become a Youtube hit with all his dunks, it’s hard to believe he came off a season ending knee injury back in 2009-2010 right? Although Blake’s dunks are spectacular he has a lot of work to do as an NBA big man. Blake needs to add more post moves, he needs to improve that inconsistent jumper of his and he also needs to block more shots; someone with his jumping ability has to average more than 0.7 blocks a game. Blake is only 23 years old and has a long time to improve, but if he puts in solid effort to improve his game the next two or three off-seasons he might just beat out K-Love for the “Future” best power forward in the NBA.
5) Tim Duncan
- Duncan isn’t what he was 6 or 7 years ago but he’s still one of the best and is probably the best power forward of all time after it’s all said and done. Don’t let his drop in production deceive you, because Duncan has only averaged about 28 minutes per game over the past two seasons whereas during his prime he was a 36 minutes a game guy. It’s been much debate on whether Duncan is a power forward or center but for the most part he’s been playing power forward, even after David Robinson retired the Spurs often played Duncan at the power forward. Tim Duncan and the Spurs still manage to win games and make noise come playoff time. Duncan in this stage of his career isn’t as mobile, he’s not the defender he used to be but he’s still an effective rebounder, post player, shot block and above all else, a leader.