Age is a strange beast for the NBA's best combo big men, particularly in regards to the truly elite players at the position.
Of the top four players on this list, three are cagey veterans with plenty of years under their belts: Chris Bosh, Pau Gasol and Tim Duncan. The savage grips of time have affected each one of them to some extent, but not to the point that they've fallen out of the elite class.
Then there's the young gun, Anthony Davis, who took the league by storm during his second season—even if he couldn't legally enjoy the full extent of Bourbon Street until the campaign was nearly over.
Does youth reign supreme, or have the members of the old guard retained their spots at the top? Additionally, where do the rest of the league's best combo bigs fit into the puzzle?
The NBA 200 metric identifies the players who performed the best during the 2013-14 season. Potential doesn't matter, and neither does reputation; it's all about what happened this year—and this year only. All positions are graded using the same criteria (though rim protection was added into the equation for bigger positions), but the categories are weighted differently to reflect changing roles, with max scores listed in parentheses:
- Scoring (20)
- Non-Scoring Offense: Facilitating (5) and Off-Ball Offense (10)
- Defense: On-Ball (12), Off-Ball (15) and Rim Protection (13)
- Rebounding (15)
- Intangibles: Conduct (5) and Durability (5)
For a full explanation of how these scores were determined, go here. And do note that these aren't your father's classification schemes for each position. Players' spots were determined not by playing style but rather by how much time they spent at each position throughout the season, largely based upon data from 82games.com. We're also expanding the traditional five spots on the floor to include four combo positions.
In the case of ties, the order is determined in subjective fashion by ranking the more coveted player in the higher spot. That was done by a voting committee comprised of myself, NBA lead writer D.J. Foster, national NBA featured columnist Grant Hughes, NBA lead writer Josh Martin and associate NBA editor Ethan Norof.