Dirk Nowitzki and the Top 5 Power Forwards in the NBA
The power forward position consists of a variety of players. Some are great rebounders. Some are great scorers. Some are great defenders. Some are all three.
These five players make up the top five power forwards in the NBA.
Although these five players make up the top five, let's not forget about the rest of the great power forwards in the NBA.
LaMarcus Aldridge: Portland Trail Blazers
Chris Bosh: Miami Heat
Josh Smith: Atlanta Hawks
Carlos Boozer: Chicago Bulls
DeMarcus Cousins: Sacramento Kings
Luis Scola: Houston Rockets
Tim Duncan: San Antonio Spurs
Kevin Garnett: Boston Celtics
David Lee: Golden State Warriors
5. Amar'e Stoudemire: New York Knicks
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With an improved outside jump shot, Amar'e has become one of the hardest power forwards to guard in the NBA. He’s averaging 21 points per game to go along with 8.9 rebounds per game. Impressive numbers, especially considering he plays next to Carmelo Anthony, a star player who puts up a lot of shots each game.
Amare’s biggest downfall is he is a weak defender. On the offensive end he uses his athleticism, quickness and size to not only play well but at some times dominate.
Unfortunately he has not figured out, or does not care to figure out, how to translate his offensive characteristics of athleticism, quickness and size to the defensive end of the court.
4. Blake Griffin: Los Angeles Clippers
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Blake Griffin averages the most points per game out of all power forwards with 24.7. He also is tied for third in rebounds per game among power forwards with 10.3. With his much-improved post game from last season, Griffin has become one of the elite power forwards and the league.
Linked up with his new star point guard, Chris Paul, Griffin should be able to sustain these types of numbers for the rest of the season and the Clippers could become big contenders in the Western Conference this season. If Blake continues to improve and works on his jump shot, I expect him to climb this list and eventually be the best power forward in the NBA.
3. Pau Gasol: Los Angeles Lakers
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Pau Gasol is one of the best post players in the game today. Although his numbers are not very impressive this year, averaging 16.7 points per game and 9.3 rebounds per game, Gasol is still a huge threat.
Along with his great post play, Gasol is one of the best passing big men in the game. He has the ability to pass out of the post which enables the Lakers to have a great inside-out game and frees up open three-point shots. Gasol is a consistent mid-range shooter, making him a very tough player to guard.
2. Kevin Love: Minnesota Timberwolves
Kevin Love is not receiving the recognition he deserves. When you lead all power forwards in both total points (216) and total rebounds (134) on the season, you have to be at least a top-two power forward in the league. Although he does not lead all power forwards in points per game, Love is second with 24 points per game and is leading all power forwards in rebounds per game by a huge margin with 14.9 per game.
To put his rebounding numbers in perspective, the second-leading power forward in rebounds per game is Kris Humphries with 10.6. Had Dirk Nowitzki not performed so well in last year’s championship run for the Mavericks, Love may have found his way into the top spot for all power forwards in the league.
Dirk Nowitzki: Dallas Mavericks
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After last year’s finals run, it’s hard to put Dirk Nowitzki anywhere but No. 1. Finally Dirk is getting the credit he deserves as one of the elite players in the NBA.
Dirk is the greatest seven-foot shooter the league has ever seen. He’s averaging 19 points per game to go along with 5.2 rebounds per game this season. Although these are not numbers we have become accustomed to from Dirk, they still are not too shabby.
Hopefully Dirk can pick up his play to help the Mavericks get back on track this season.