Ranking Kenneth Faried and NBA's Most Explosive Young Big Men

Maxwell Ogden@MaxwellOgdenCorrespondent IIIDecember 2, 2012

Ranking Kenneth Faried and NBA's Most Explosive Young Big Men

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    The NBA is a land of many physical gifts. From those who run the floor at extraordinary speeds to the high-risers who can both alter shots and throw down breathtaking dunks, an NBA player's athleticism is often his greatest strength.

    One of the most exhilarating players in the league is Kenneth Faried of the Denver Nuggets. The question is, where does he rank among the NBA's most explosive young big men?

    Faried is known by his nickname of "The Manimal." He has the uncanny ability to rise up and inhale rebounds, block shot attempts and throw down ferocious dunks.

    That places him at the forefront of a generation that has begun to value athleticism over all else. Fortunately, Faried is quite fundamentally sound.

    So where do the rest of the young bigs in the game rank?

    Note: Qualified players are under the age of 25.

10. Bismack Biyombo, Charlotte Bobcats

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    Position: Center

    Age: 20

    Experience: 1 Season

    Bismack Biyombo may not be the most popular name on this list, but his shot-blocking ability is met by a sound combination of lateral quickness and an explosive vertical. This is a prime reason that he is averaging 1.8 blocks per game during the 2012-13 NBA season.

    He ranks fourth in the NBA with 4.21 per 48 minutes.

    Biyombo earns said statistic by virtue of his beautiful leap and surprisingly sound timing. A prime example was this game-winning block against the New Orleans Hornets and this help-side swat of Shelden Williams.

    For those who need further proof of the leap and swat, Biyombo recorded five blocks in 12 minutes. Most of which came as he chased down the Pistons guards, while another came on a jump shot.

    Athletic ability proved.

    As for how well Biyombo controls his body offensively, that remains a project. With that being said, this two-hand baseline slam displays the upside Biyombo possesses.

    These blocks of Chris Bosh and Norris Cole offer further evidence.

    2012-13 Season Averages

    12.18 PER, 20.2 MPG, 4.3 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 1.8 BPG

9. Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons

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    Position: Center

    Age: 19

    Experience: Rookie

    To start this one off, enjoy a powerful screen and alley-oop finish from Andre Drummond.

    Drummond has been compared to Dwight Howard in terms of his athletic ability and upside at the center position. Truth be told, Drummond is much more likely to have a career of longevity due to his grounded style of play and capability to dominate athletically.

    Need numbers for proof of this? Over his past five games, Drummond is averaging 5.4 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game in just 20.2 minutes of play.

    A block for your thoughts. And another, for those in need of some of Drummond's NBA highlights.

    Drummond has the size and strength to overwhelm an opponent without leaving his feet. He also has the leaping ability to drop jaws around the arena, which was on full display when he swatted the life out of a Carmelo Anthony layup.

    He one-upped himself by doing the same to Ed Davis. If that's not enough, how about a between-the-legs dunk by the 6'10" center?

    Drummond not only has hops, but he has incredible lateral quickness. As explosive as any in the NBA.

    2012-13 Season Averages

    19.57 PER, 17.0 MPG, 6.1 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 1.2 BPG, 0.8 SPG

8. Derrick Williams, Minnesota Timberwolves

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    Position: Forward

    Age: 21

    Experience: 1 Season

    Derrick Williams may not be producing at the rate expected of him, but he has certainly offered highlight material. His performance at the 2012 NBA Slam Dunk Contest provided enough for evidence.

    This one-handed hardcore flush against the Charlotte Bobcats displays that prowess with the rock near the basket. If that doesn't do it for you, how about this throwdown against the then-New Jersey Nets?

    Truth be told, Williams' athleticism has been more damaging than helpful in his young career. Due to his ability to run the floor, rise up for a finish and move laterally, head coach Rick Adelman has not yet found the proper place for him in the rotation.

    Once he or another coach does, Williams' career trajectory could be similar to that of Taj Gibson of the Chicago Bulls.

    With that being said, Williams is a matchup nightmare for any player. Although his shooting has been inconsistent, the younger D-Will is more than capable of blowing by a perimeter defender for a drive to the lane.

    He's also capable of spinning out of the post and throwing one down. Like this.

    Williams' game-saving monster block should do it for those defensive minds.

    2012-13 Season Averages

    13.97 PER, 9.5 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 1.0 BPG

7. Anthony Davis, New Orleans Hornets

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    Position: Power Forward

    Age: 19

    Experience: Rookie

    Anthony Davis is one of the most fundamentally sound big men in the NBA. He's also one of the most athletically gifted players in the league, which is why he was the clear-cut No. 1 overall pick.

    In spite of his early-season injuries, his numbers have proved worthy of that distinction.

    The signature moment of Davis' freshman season at Kentucky came as he swatted a shot on one end and ran the floor for an alley-oop on the other. This provided all the evidence one would need to believe that Davis is an outstanding shot-blocker.

    That and the fact that he was an athletic 6'3" guard prior to a monster growth spurt between his junior and senior year of high school (via ESPN).

    Davis' put-back slam against Georgia offers a secondary example of said athleticism. This monster swat of Mario Chalmers of the Miami Heat is a prime example of his dominance on the defensive end of the floor.

    Dunks and blocks don't truly sum Davis' athletic gifts up, however, as it is his ability to run the floor and handle the ball which truly place him on this list.

    2012-13 Season Averages

    26.39 PER, 16.0 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 2.2 BPG, 1.0 SPG

6. John Henson, Milwaukee Bucks

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    Position: Power Forward

    Age: 21

    Experience: Rookie

    He may not have an NBA highlight reel yet, but Milwaukee Bucks rookie John Henson is one of the most explosive athletes you will ever see. Henson makes grabbing a rebound exhilarating and throws down power dunks that his small frame suggests he is incapable of.

    This rebound and dunk against Michigan State offers a prime example of such a truth.

    While attending the University of North Carolina, Henson pieced together a beautiful highlight reel of slams and blocks. This inbound alley-oop offers a prime example of his phenomenal wingspan and gigantic vertical.

    If you'd like to further explore his talents, bear witness to his block party against Michigan State.

    As soon as he earns more playing time with the Bucks, you'll be certain to hear his name on SportsCenter. If not, you'll simply have YouTube highlight videos to watch for days.

    Until then, enjoy this game recap of Henson in which he flashes a solid mid-range game and that awe-inspiring leap.

    2012-13 Season Averages

    19.09 PER, 13.3 MPG, 6.6 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 0.8 BPG

5. Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City Thunder

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    Position: Power Forward

    Age: 23

    Experience: 3 Seasons

    Serge Ibaka has firmly established himself as the most dominant shot-blocker in the NBA. After leading the league in said area in 2011-12, Ibaka once again sits atop the blocks-per-game standings in 2012-13.

    That's just one of the many reasons why Ibaka is one of the most explosive young big men in the NBA.

    Considering Ibaka's defensive fundamentals have yet to reach a desired level, it's clear how heavily he relies on his elite athleticism. His 11 blocks against the up-temo Denver Nuggets provided examples of such, as the block master tortured slashers with his uncanny ability to alter shots.

    Allow this swat to offer further proof.

    On the offensive end of the floor, Ibaka has become one of the most exciting players in the league. From his signature one-hand alley-oops to his free-throw line throwdown, Ibaka has displayed a consistency in taking over the highlight reels.

    This gem over Tim Duncan is a prime example of such.

    2012-13 Season Averages

    20.67 PER, 15.0 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 3.1 BPG, 59.5 FG%

4. JaVale McGee, Denver Nuggets

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    Position: Center

    Age: 24

    Experience: 4 Seasons

    JaVale McGee has long been known for his limitless upside and extraordinary athleticism. At 7'0" and 252 pounds, it's rather difficult to temper your excitement over McGee's physical gifts.

    The fact that he can leap out of the gym and defy gravity on both dunk and block attempts make him all the more explosive.

    McGee placed his athleticism on full display against the Orlando Magic back in April of 2012, throwing down five memorable dunks in one half. He preceded this in March, taking the ball in transition and flushing one over Jose Calderon.

    So how about some defense?

    McGee met Blake Griffin at the rim and did something that most have not been able to. That, of course, is swat his shot out of bounds.

    Although this was called as goaltending, McGee flashed his elite athleticism with this volleyball block against the Sacramento Kings. Whether you agree with the mental aspect of the play or not, there is no way around how phenomenal his athletic abilities are.

    ESPN's Sports Science offers further insight into McGee's physical attributes.

    2012-13 Season Averages

    23.48 PER, 18.8 MPG, 10.4 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 1.6 BPG

3. DeAndre Jordan, Los Angeles Clippers

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    Position: Center

    Age: 24

    Experience: 4 Seasons

    DeAndre Jordan has made significant strides from a fundamental standpoint during the 2012-13 NBA regular season. From his suddenly polished low-post game to his improved patience on defense, Jordan has begun the process of putting it all together.

    Stardom is on the horizon.

    With all due respect to his fundamental improvements, Jordan's claim to fame is his elite athleticism. With Jordan's explosive athleticism, his ability to perform a breathtaking block or a rim-rattling dunk is virtually unparalleled.

    Care for evidence? Ask Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol how it felt to have Jordan dunk on them at the same time.

    Care for more mind-blowing dunks? How about when Jordan's feet hit the bottom of the net on a furious putback dunk.

    If that's not enough, here's a trio of dunks against the Milwaukee Bucks.

    As for the defensive end of the floor, Jordan offered a moment of awe when he swatted a Sacramento Kings interior shot attempt back across half court. If that isn't intriguing enough, how against his swat fest against Golden State?

    Jordan is as explosive an athlete as you'll ever see. The fact that he stands at 6'11" only adds further intrigue.

    2012-13 Season Averages

    18.62 PER, 10.3 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 2.0 BPG, 0.8 SPG

2. Kenneth Faried, Denver Nuggets

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    Position: Power Forward

    Age: 23

    Experience: 1 Season

    If you have yet to experience the privilege of watching Kenneth Faried play ball, you're missing out on the experience of a lifetime. Mainly because of the fact that rarely if ever will you get the opportunity to see a man make a rebound so exciting.

    Not only does the NCAA's all-time leading rebounder rise up to unbelievable heights to corral a board, but he inhales the ball.

    As for the offensive end of the floor, Faried is one of the most ferocious dunkers in the NBA. A prime example is this half-court alley-oop from Andre Miller and this ferocious slam against the Los Angeles Lakers.

    Enjoy this montage if you're still having doubts.

    Shifting back to the defensive side, Faried is as entertaining a shot-blocker as you'll ever see. Check out his embarrassment of Al-Farouq Aminu and the duel dominance of the Golden State Warriors.

    What more could you ask of a 6'8" all-around force?

    2012-13 Season Averages

    21.01 PER, 13.3 PPG, 11.1 RPG, 1.1 BPG, 56.5 FG%

1. Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers

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    Position: Power Forward

    Age: 23

    Experience: 2 Seasons

    Blake Griffin has become synonymous with the word "dunk." That is a direct result of winning the 2011 NBA Slam Dunk Contest and his countless in-game highlights.

    Exhibit A for the skeptics. Exhibit B for the surprised. Exhibit C for the excited.

    Griffin is one of the most dynamic big men in the NBA due to his explosive leaping ability and furious dunking. Although he has not translated his athletic ability into dominance on the defensive end of the floor, there is a reason Griffin is everyone's favorite highlight.

    Exhibit D.

    As soon as Griffin develops the patience to swat shot attempts in the opposite direction, he'll become all the more exciting to watch. You know, if that's actually a possibility.

    Exhibit E. If you really need it, Exhibit F.

    2012-13 Season Averages

    18.12 PER, 16.9 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 3.3 APG, 1.3 SPG