Power-Ranking All 30 NBA Frontcourts: Are the Champion Lakers on Top?

James WongCorrespondent IAugust 12, 2010

Power-Ranking All 30 NBA Frontcourts: Are the Champion Lakers on Top?

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    Harry How/Getty Images

    Apparently NBA Power Rankings are all the craze. 

    After reading an article that "power-ranked" all 30 NBA backcourts, I felt inclined to put together an article that followed that train of thought and ranked each team's frontcourt. 

    It seems that the NBA is a guards game today, as players like Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Derrick Rose, Chris Paul, Rajon Rondo, Steve Nash and Deron Williams are household names. 

    In that regard it seems fans forget how crucial the roles of the forwards and center are to a team's success. 

    Whether through interior scoring, mid-range shooting, blocking shots, rebounding, setting picks or just doing the dirty work, the contributions from the frontcourt of an NBA team are invaluable. 

    This article ranks all 30 frontcourts in the league for the 2010-11 season, and provides analysis and projected rotations for each. 

    It takes into account the quality of the starters in the frontcourt, the reserves, and the rotation as a whole. 

    Think your team was ranked too low? Believe that some teams should be shifted around? 

    Please leave your comments and opinions. Remember that this article is based on only one opinion, and when 30 teams are involved, there are bound to be rankings that you don't agree with!

30. Washington Wizards

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    2010-11 Frontcourt Rotation

    Center: JaVale McGee, Hilton Armstrong

    Power Forward: Andray Blatche, Yi Jianlian

    Small Forward: Al Thornton, Josh Howard


    Top 2009-10 Performer:

    Andray Blatche: 14.1 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 2.1 APG, 47.9% FG



    Sorry Wizard fans, but somebody has to take the bottom spot. 

    The Wizards claim this position because they have no proven leaders or stars in their frontcourt. 

    Andray Blatche showed promise last season averaging over 20 PPG and 8 RPG for a three month stretch, but still has ways to go before he is respected as a real star. 

    That said, power forward is the strongest frontcourt position for the Wizards, as newly acquired Yi Jianlian brings a versatile offensive game and decent rebounding ability to the table. 

    Center is the weakest position as the Wizards have no proven presence in the post. JaVale McGee is physically and athletically gifted, but is still incredibly raw and under-developed offensively. Hilton Armstrong hasn't shown anything throughout his time in the league. 

    At small forward, the Wizards have two relatively well known players in Al Thornton and Josh Howard. Unfortunately the latter can't seem to stay on the court, while the former is a decent offensive player but is a terrible perimeter shooter. 


    Future Outlook

    The outlook for the Wizards is relatively bleak.

    Rookie sensation John Wall will provide a spark in the backcourt, but with the exception of Blatche, there is really not too much promise in the frontcourt for next season.

    Washington fans will have to be patient, and wait for their time to come. 

29. Toronto Raptors

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    2010-11 Frontcourt Rotation

    Center: Andrea Bargnani, David Andersen, Joey Dorsey

    Power Forward: Amir Johnson, Reggie Evans, Ed Davis

    Small Forward: DeMar DeRozan, Linas Kleiza


    Top 2009-10 Performer:

    Andrea Bargnani: 17.2 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 1.4 BPG, 47% FG



    Like Washington, Toronto will be giving major roles and playing time to unproven talent next season. 

    The Raptors are able to avoid the bottom spot through the stellar play of Andrea Bargnani. The former first overall pick is beginning to show why he was so highly-regarded, making significant strides in his all-around game in recent seasons. 

    The sharp-shooting Italian is undoubtedly the future of the franchise, now that Chris Bosh has left. 

    Unproven talent will play a big role in the Raptors' performance next season though, as it seems like Amir Johnson and DeMar DeRozan will start at the forward spots. Both are athletically impressive, but have yet to show solid basketball ability at this high level. 

    The Raptors will also receive rebounding contributions from veteran Reggie Evans, and streaky scoring from back-up center Dave Andersen. Bringing Linas Kleiza over from Europe was a positive move, as Kleiza has career averages 8.3 PPG and 3.5 RPG and is a solid trey shooter. 

    Rookie Ed Davis has major up-side, but could have used more time at college to further develop his body and ability on both ends of the floor. 


    Future Outlook

    With Bosh and Turkoglu gone, it seems like the Raptors are well and truly rebuilding. 

    The Raptors have some excellent young talent in DeRozan, Johnson and Davis but don't expect them to do more than scratch the surface of their potential in 2010-11. 

28. Cleveland Cavaliers

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    2010-11 Frontcourt Rotation

    Center: Anderson Varejao, Ryan Hollins

    Power Forward: Antawn Jamison, J.J. Hickson, Leon Powe

    Small Forward: Joey Graham, Jamario Moon


    Top 2009-10 Performer:

    Antawn Jamison: 18.7 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 1.3 APG, 46.1% FG



    The departure of LeBron James, Zyrundas Ilgauskas and Shaquille O'Neal has left the Cleveland frontcourt looking extremely bare. 

    While on the surface it looks like this team lacks a center, don't underestimate the toughness, defensive presence and rebounding of Anderson Varejao. 

    Veteran star Antawn Jamison will be looked on to carry the scoring load for the team, and will likely revert back to his nightly double-double ways. 

    J.J. Hickson is an intriguing young prospect, and could be primed for a major breakout season. Casual fans may remember him as the one player Cavaliers management refused to trade last season, despite only averaging 8.5 PPG and 4.9 RPG per contest. 

    On the wing both Joey Graham and Jamario Moon are solid defenders, but limited offensive threats. Jamison could find himself playing the three spot though, depending on how Hickson's play turns out. 


    Future Outlook

    Some may think I'm being generous with this ranking, especially when it looks as though Minnesota and New Jersey have more to offer in the frontcourt. 

    I would advise those fans to try and remember how much more effective Jamison can be when given a central focus in the offense. 

    This ranking is also riding a lot on Hickson's performance, as I expect him to breakout in a major way. Failure to do so would realistically plummet the Cavaliers frontcourt to the bottom of this list. 

27. Minnesota Timberwolves

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    2010-11 Frontcourt Rotation

    Center: Darko Milicic, Nikola Pekovic, Anthony Tolliver

    Power Forward: Kevin Love, Michael Beasley

    Small Forward: Martell Webster, Wesley Johnson


    Top 2009-10 Performer:

    Kevin Love: 14 PPG, 11 RPG, 2.3 APG, 45% FG



    The Wolves are looking decent across the board, but there are still many questions surrounding how their frontcourt will be utilized. 

    Center is the weakest component of the frontcourt, as Darko Milicic is a limited scorer, and Anthony Tolliver is undersized. Recent signing Pekovic is well-regarded in European circles though, and could prove a pleasant surprise. 

    The Wolves' greatest strength is at power forward, where they have two former top-five picks from the 2008 draft. Both Michael Beasley and Kevin Love averaged over 14 PPG last season, and are extremely talented. 

    Beasley was described by Pat Riley as being the most "gifted offensive player" he had come across, while Love has already carved a reputation as one of the league's elite rebounders. 

    The downside is that both are considered undersized, and both seemingly play the same position. 

    Rounding out the frontcourt is Martell Webster and  Wes Johnson. The former is a reliable scorer and perimeter shooter, while the latter was described by many as "the most NBA-ready draft prospect" from the 2010 draft. 


    Future Outlook

    The Wolves have a bright future ahead, with many young assets both in the frontcourt and backcourt. 

    Acquiring Beasley for next-to-nothing was a brilliant move, and now the Wolves have two extremely talented forwards suiting up nightly. 

    How the coaching staff will utilize the players is a mystery, but I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. 

26. Phoenix Suns

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    2010-11 Frontcourt Rotation

    Center: Channing Frye, Robin Lopez

    Power Forward: Hakim Warrick, Earl Clark, Gani Lawal

    Small Forward: Hedo Turkoglu, Grant Hill, Jared Dudley


    Top 2009-10 Performer:

    Hedo Turkoglu: 11.3 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 4.1 APG, 41% FG



    While the Phoenix Suns advanced all the way to the Western Conference Finals last season, they also lost Amar'e Stoudemire to free-agency. 

    Now they have no legitimate scoring threat in the post, and no post-presence to command double teams or help space the floor.

    Recent signing Hakim Warrick will do his best Amar'e impersonation with highlight-reel-dunks, but ultimately will not make up the lost offensive production from Stoudemire's departure. 

    Hedo Turkoglu was brought over from Toronto and should thrive playing next to Steve Nash, but this doesn't solve any of the issues Phoenix has inside. 

    At the five spot Channing Frye can shoot, but is not a legitimate banger or post-defender. 

    On the plus side, Robin Lopez showed flashes of brilliance while averaging 8.4 PPG and 4.9 RPG last season. If he performs well next season, the Suns could find themselves surprising a lot of teams. 


    Future Outlook

    The Suns have done a respectable job at bringing in pieces to soften the blow of Amar'e leaving. 

    Despite this, they are lacking the inside scoring necessary to spread the floor for the multitude of shooters they have at their disposal. 

    Moving forward they will likely be stuck in mediocrity until Steve Nash retires. 

25. Detroit Pistons

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    2010-11 Frontcourt Rotation

    Center: Ben Wallace, Jason Maxiell, Greg Monroe

    Power Forward: Charlie Villanueva, Jonas Jerebko, Chris Wilcox

    Small Forward: Tayshaun Prince, Austin Daye, Dajuan Summers


    Top 2009-10 Performer:

    Tayshaun Prince: 13.5 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 3.3 APG, 48.6% FG



    Unike the previous team, the Detroit Pistons have a stacked frontcourt. 

    Veterans like Ben Wallace and Tayshaun Prince seem to be the most notable names in the frontcourt, although there is plenty of young talent. 

    Among the young prospects is Jonas Jerebko, who averaged 9.3 PPG and 6 RPG in his rookie campaign last season. Fellow rookie Austin Daye showed flashes of his high-ceiling, and new rookie Greg Monroe is set to join the fray next season. 

    The glaring hole in the Pistons' frontcourt is at center, where there is a serious need for low-post scoring. 

    Unfortunately neither Wallace or Jason Maxiell are known for their offensive ability, and this is an aspect which will seriously hurt the Piston's success.

    Last year's off-season signing Charlie Villanueva will need to play a lot better next year in order to justify his hefty contract. 


    Future Outlook

    Detroit has a solid combination of veterans and young talent in its frontcourt. 

    Unfortunately the presence of so many players may hinder the development of the younger players due to a lack of court-time. 

    The two players who could be exciting to watch next season are Jerebko and rookie forward-center Monroe. 

24. Charlotte Bobcats

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    2010-11 Frontcourt Rotation

    Center: Erick Dampier, DeSagana Diop, Nazr Mohammed

    Power Forward: Boris Diaw, Tyrus Thomas, Eduardo Najera

    Small Forward: Gerald Wallace, Derrick Brown


    Top 2009-10 Performer:

    Gerald Wallace: 18.2 PPG, 10 RPG, 2.1 APG, 48.4% FG



    The stellar play of Gerald Wallace is one of the only real positives for this group of frontcourt underachievers. 

    Last season Wallace was named an All-Star and proceeded to lead the Bobcats to a playoff seed, while finishing the season ranked ninth overall in rebounding. 

    Now onto the negatives. 

    The 'Cats have no real scoring threat in the post, and at center there is no guarantee that Erick Dampier will even be retained for the entire season. 

    The other centers, DeSagana Diop and Nazr Mohammed are serviceable backups but don't present much of a threat on either end of the floor. 

    At the four the Bobcats have a versatile player in Boris Diaw, and an overrated Tyrus Thomas. Diaw is more of a finesse player than a banger, and Thomas doesn't do much outside of block shots and dunk the ball. 

    That said, Thomas did average a respectable 10.1 PPG and 6.1 RPG in 2009-10 after being acquired mid-season from Chicago. 


    Future Outlook

    The Bobcats are pretty weak at two out of three positions in the frontcourt.

    The only thing stopping them from being ranked lower, is the ridiculous contributions Wallace makes across the board. 

    Don't expect the 'Cats frontcourt to move up this list next season though, as giving this position is already being relatively generous. 

23. Philadelphia 76ers

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    2010-11 Frontcourt Rotation

    Center: Marreese Speights, Spencer Hawes, Tony Battie

    Power Forward: Elton Brand, Thaddeus Young, Jason Smith

    Small Forward: Andre Iguodala, Jason Kapono, Andres Nocioni


    Top 2009-10 Performer:

    Andre Iguodala: 17.1 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 5.8 APG, 44.3% FG



    Depth pushes the 76ers ahead of the Bobcats in these rankings. 

    At the forward positions the 76ers have a number of players who are capable of playing major minutes. 

    It starts with Andre Iguodala, a versatile forward who is capable of playing point-forward on offense, and disrupting offenses on defense. Backing up Iguodala is deadly marksmen Jason Kapono, a career 44% shooter from three. 

    Andres Nocioni and Thad Young are two players capable of playing either the three or four, and both can fill it up. 

    Considering the inconsistent play of Elton Brand, both aforementioned players could find themselves playing major minutes at the four next season. 

    At the pivot, Marreese Speights and Spencer Hawes will battle for the starting position. Both have had stretches of stellar play in the past, and will need to prove that they can consistently impact the game. 


    Future Outlook

    The 76ers have a solid group of young, talented players in the frontcourt. Despite this, it seems that they are continually underachieving. 

    Young, Speights and Hawes are three players who have shown glimpses of star-power, but have not been able to consistently deliver for their teams. 

    If even one of them is able to hit their stride next season, the 76ers could find themselves quickly moving up these rankings. 

22. Indiana Pacers

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    2010-11 Frontcourt Rotation

    Center: Roy Hibbert, Jeff Foster, Solomon Jones

    Power Forward: Tyler Hansbrough, Josh McRoberts

    Small Forward: Danny Granger, Mike Dunleavy, Paul George, James Posey


    Top 2009-10 Performer:

    Danny Granger: 24.1 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 2.8 APG, 42.8% FG



    While the Pacers are relatively unproven at power forward and center, they have a solid collection of talented players across the board. 

    It all starts with Danny Granger, a potent scorer and versatile offensive talent who has averaged over 85% from the free throw line for three consecutive seasons. Granger is the franchise player, and at 27 years of age he has well and truly begun to reach his peak. 

    Roy Hibbert is the man in the middle, a legitimate seven-footer with solid shot-blocking presence. He was predicted to break-out last season, and could be primed for a monster season in 2010-11. 

    At power forward the Pacers will start Tyler Hansbrough, as former starter Troy Murphy was shipped over to New Jersey yesterday. Hansbrough is a bruiser who suffered through nagging injuries in his rookie season. Despite this, he is incredibly tough and has a real intense attitude towards winning. 

    Adding to the toughness of the Pacers frontcourt is Jeff Foster and Josh McRoberts, two rotation players. The former is a renowned glass-eater, while the latter is mostly known for his highlight reel dunks.

    Finally the Pacers also have Paul George, the 10th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. George is an athletic forward whose play mirrors Granger in more way than one. 


    Future Outlook

    Indiana fans should be optimistic, as they really do have a collection of solid players in the frontcourt. 

    The performance of Hibbert and Hansbrough could really spell the difference between making the playoffs, and falling short again next season. 

    To put it bluntly, the Pacers should aim to put it all together as soon as possible, while Granger is still performing at the highest level. 

21. New Jersey Nets

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    2010-11 Frontcourt Rotation

    Center: Brook Lopez, Johan Petro

    Power Forward: Troy Murphy, Derrick Favors, Kris Humphries

    Small Forward: Terrence Williams, Travis Outlaw, Damion James 


    Top 2009-10 Performer:

    Brook Lopez: 18.8 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 1.7 BPG, 49.9% FG



    If it wasn't for Brook Lopez the Nets would find themselves a lot closer to the bottom of these rankings. 

    Despite only two seasons in the league, Lopez is already one of the best centers in the league. He is more-developed offensively than Dwight Howard, and is a nightly double-double threat. 

    An All-Star berth could be coming for Lopez next season, if the Nets can manage to win even a handful of games by mid-season. 

    While the Nets are anchored by Lopez in the middle, the recurring theme of potential and unproven talent continues at the other positions. 

    The only other proven player is newly-acquired Troy Murphy, a unique power forward who has deep range on his jump shot but also crashes the boards aggressively. 

    Terrence Williams could be primed for a breakout season, but needs to show he is a more reliable shooter. Derrick Favors was a top-five pick in the draft, but needs to show that he is more than an athletic freak with albatross-like wingspan. 

    On the plus side, Travis Outlaw is one of the better young role-players in the league today and brings effort on both ends of the floor. He averaged 9.1 PPG for the Trail Blazers last season, shooting over 38% from three. 


    Future Outlook

    Lopez is undeniably the future of the Nets. He is the last of a dying breed of pivot-men, possessing great footwork and fundamental skills. 

    In addition, Williams and Favors look like guys who could legitimately become All-Stars down the track. 

    All in all, the future is looking bright for the Nets. 

20. Sacramento Kings

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    2010-11 Frontcourt Rotation

    Center: Jason Thompson, Samuel Dalembert, DeMarcus Cousins

    Power Forward: Carl Landry, Hassan Whiteside

    Small Forward: Omri Casspi, Antoine Wright, Donte Greene


    Top 2009-10 Performer:

    Carl Landry: 16.8 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 1.0 SPG, 52% FG



    Rankings the Kings this high may be the first real surprise of these power rankings.

    Despite this, solid play from their bigs combined with a two new acquisitions effectively boost this frontcourt a few spots higher than expected. 

    Last season Carl Landry emerged as an offensive weapon, averaging 18 PPG and 6.5 RPG after being acquired in a trade with Houston. His efficient play was a real positive in an otherwise bleak season. 

    In addition Jason Thompson, while inconsistent, showed good ability on the boards and solid interior scoring. Omri Casspi was more than impressive on the wing, displaying excellent shooting touch for a rookie. 

    Now the Kings have added the defensive presence of Samuel Dalembert at center, while drafting highly-regarded rookie DeMarcus Cousins. 

    Dalembert is an elite shot-blocker and rebounder, while Cousins is considered by many to be the rookie with the highest-ceiling in terms of on-court ability. 

    The Kings also have defensive-minded Antoine Wright and streaky scorer Donte Greene at small forward. 


    Future Outlook

    Rankings the Kings this high may be premature, but I believe they have put together a strong group of players in the frontcourt. 

    Landry is emerging as a reliable go-to scorer, while the potential of Thompson and Cousins is extremely high. 

    Add in reliable players like Casspi and Dalembert, as well as added depth at the three and four spots, and you have a relatively strong frontcourt. 

19. Golden State Warriors

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    2010-11 Frontcourt Rotation

    Center: Andris Biedrins, Dan Gadzuric,

    Power Forward: David Lee, Brandan Wright, Ekpe Upoh

    Small Forward: Reggie Williams, Dorell Wright, Vladimir Radmanovic


    Top 2009-10 Performer:

    David Lee: 20.2 PPG, 11.7 RPG, 3.6 APG, 54.5% FG



    The Warriors made major waves in the off-season by bringing in highly-touted big man David Lee.

    The up-tempo offense of the Warriors will bring out Lee's best play, and he should thrive playing with sophomore-sensation Stephen Curry. 

    In addition Andris Biedrins should have a bounce-back year, as he will finally be paired with a legitimate offensive force. Biedrins disappointed last season, but averaged 11.9 PPG and 11.2 RPG in the previous year.

    Unfortunately it is the Warriors lack of depth at center, and unproven talent at small forward that keeps them ranked this low.  

    Dan Gadzuric is a decent veteran, but the Warriors are lacking some fire-power at the five spot. In addition, Reggie Williams will need to prove that he can be a threat for an entire season, not just the 24 games he played last season. 

    The signing of Dorell Wright was underrated though, as he proved to be a reliable perimeter shooter and athletic defender last season in Miami. 


    Future Outlook

    The future is extremely bright for this Golden State frontcourt. 

    Lee is a big-time player who will breathe some fresh air into a frontcourt that has mostly been lacking in recent years. 

    If Biedrins can bounce-back, and Williams prove his worth, this frontcourt will help the Warriors win a lot of games in 2010-11. 

18. Los Angeles Clippers

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    2010-11 Frontcourt Rotation

    Center: Chris Kaman, DeAndre Jordan

    Power Forward: Blake Griffin, Craig Smith

    Small Forward: Ryan Gomes, Rasual Butler, Al-Farouq Aminu


    Top 2009-10 Performer:

    Chris Kaman: 18.5 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 1.6 APG, 49% FG



    While the Warriors may have an All-Star named David Lee, the Clippers have their own All-Star; a dominant center called Chris Kaman. 

    The Clippers' frontcourt starts and ends with Kaman, a legitimate force around the ring who can also step out and hit the mid-range jumper. He is also a solid shot-blocker, with a career mark of 1.4 swats per contest. 

    Kaman is joined by Blake Griffin, last season's first overall draft pick who missed the season due to injury. Griffin is expected to have a strong rookie season in 2010-11, and could very well emerge as a major impact player. 

    Backing up Griffin is Craig Smith, a veteran bruiser known for his toughness and ability to score inside. DeAndre Jordan is Kaman's back-up, a long-armed shot-blocker who is still developing his offensive game. 

    The position holding this frontcourt back is small forward, as Ryan Gomes and Rasual Butler are good, but not great. 

    That could change quickly though, as top-10 draft pick Al-Farouq Aminu is an extremely talented rookie who could turn heads next season. 


    Future Outlook

    The Clippers have a solid, but not dominant frontcourt. 

    If Kaman can continue his high-level production, he could easily see himself selected for a consecutive All-Star appearance.

    The Clippers will likely move up these rankings as the season progresses, but right now I'm waiting to see how Griffin produces when the season begins. 

17. New York Knicks

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    2010-11 Frontcourt Rotation

    Center: Amar’e Stoudemire, Ronny Turiaf, Eddy Curry

    Power Forward: Anthony Randolph

    Small Forward: Danilo Gallinari, Kelenna Azubuike, Wilson Chandler


    Top 2009-10 Performer:

    Amar'e Stoudemire: 23.1 PPG, 8.9 RPG, 1 APG, 55.7% FG



    It's pretty ridiculous how one player can make or break your frontcourt. 

    For the Knicks that player is Amar'e Stoudemire, an explosive forward with a renowned offensive ability. Stoudemire comes to New York with a pedigree for putting the ball in the basket, whether by means of his potent mid-range jump shot, or athletic moves to the rim. 

    Another new addition to the Knicks is talented forward Anthony Randolph, a versatile scorer and solid shot-blocker. Analysts believe that being paired with Stoudemire will help Randolph, a notorious underachiever, reach new levels of on-court performance. 

    Rounding out the starters is Danilo Gallinari, who created a reputation as a three-point bomber for himself last season. Gallinari proceeded to knock down 2.3 three's per game, while shooting over 38% from deep. 

    Backing up the starters will be a number of players including tough shot-blocker Ronny Turiaf, and productive forwards Kelenna Azubuike and Wilson Chandler. 

    The only thing lacking from the Knicks' frontcourt is a reliable scorer coming off the bench, who can play both power forward and center positions. 


    Future Outlook

    The Knicks have not experienced NBA success for many years, and Amar'e will do his best to erase all the bad memories. 

    The degree to which the frontcourt is effective rests on the degree to which Randolph improves, as his performance on the court will be vital for the Knicks' success. 

    All things taken into account, New York fans will find it hard not to enjoy this season if Stoudemire is able to lead the Knicks to the playoffs. 

16. Oklahoma City Thunder

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    2010-11 Frontcourt Rotation

    Center: Nenad Krstic, Serge Ibaka, Cole Aldrich

    Power Forward: Jeff Green, Nick Collison, D.J. White

    Small Forward: Kevin Durant, Morris Peterson


    Top 2009-10 Performer:

    Kevin Durant: 30.1 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 2.8 APG, 47.6% FG



    Is there really any other place to start than with Kevin Durant? The kid is a flat-out stud, and clearly one of the brightest stars in the NBA. He is already the best scorer in the league, and has the determination and willpower to go with it. 

    In addition to Durant, the Thunder have Jeff Green at power forward. Green is a versatile offensive talent, who is too strong for small forwards to guard, and too quick for big forwards to defend. He also has perimeter range on his jump shot, as shown by the 104 treys he knocked down in 2009-10. 

    Backing up Durant is Nick Collison, a tireless worker and efficient rebounder. The Thunder also have D.J. White, another young player who has yet to fully find his groove in the league. 

    The biggest weakness for the Thunder is at center though, as they lack a true presence to clog the middle and anchor the defense. Nenad Krstic does a decent job, but isn't the type of player they need. Serge Ibaka's defense is good, but he still needs more time to develop. 

    The Thunder tried to address this need by drafting Cole Aldrich in the lottery, a physical presence who spent last season playing for Kansas in the NCAA. 


    Future Outlook

    It's hard to knock the Thunder's frontcourt when they have one of the best players in the world starting at small forward. 

    In addition, players like Green, Collison and Ibaka contribute effectively on a nightly basis. 

    Until the Thunder find a legitimate presence in the middle though, they will have a hard time competing with the best teams in the league. 

15. New Orleans Hornets

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    2010-11 Frontcourt Rotation

    Center: Emeka Okafor, Aaron Gray

    Power Forward: David West, Darius Songaila

    Small Forward: Trevor Ariza, Peja Stojakovic, Julian Wright


    Top 2009-10 Performer:

    David West: 19 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 3 APG, 50.5% FG



    In terms of starters, the Hornets have one of the better frontcourts in the league. 

    All-Star forward David West continues to lead the way with his reliable scoring and lethal mid-range shooting. Emeka Okafor also emerged as an important piece of the puzzle, averaging 9 RPG and 1.6 BPG last season.

    Despite the stellar play of these two starters, the back-ups at power forward and center leave a lot to be desired. Aaron Gray and Darius Songailia are decent, but not really great in any respect. 

    In contrast, the Hornets have a number of options at small forward. 

    Despite his age, Peja Stojakovic continues to be a shooting threat who can spread the floor. Newly-acquired Trevor Ariza combines decent offense with strong defense, and athletic wing Julian Wright contributes with his versatile play. 

    By no means is any one of those players extremely effective, but at least the Hornets have a few guys to choose from. 


    Future Outlook

    The Hornets have maintained a decent frontcourt in recent years, mainly due to the consistently strong play of reliable star West. 

    The arrival of Ariza will help take relieve some of the pressure from the frontcourt offensively, but look for the guards to make just as many big plays next season. 

    If the Hornets can bring in some solid role players to sure up the power forward and center spot, their frontcourt will be a lot more imposing. 

14. Milwaukee Bucks

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    2010-11 Frontcourt Rotation

    Center: Andrew Bogut, Primoz Brezec, Jon Brockman

    Power Forward: Drew Gooden, Ersan Ilyasova, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute

    Small Forward: Corey Maggette, Carlos Delfino, Chris Douglas-Roberts


    Top 2009-10 Performer:

    Andrew Bogut: 15.9 PPG, 10.2 RPG, 2.5 BPG, 52% FG



    After a surprisingly good showing in 2009-10, the Bucks are quickly becoming one of the hottest teams in the league. Much of their success can be attributed to their strength, and depth in the frontcourt. 

    It starts at center, with Australian center Andrew Bogut anchoring the defense. Bogut averaged 2.5 BPG last season, and became the first Australian in history to be named to an All-NBA Team. He is also a threat on offense, possessing an array of moves on the block. 

    The Bucks added Drew Gooden, Corey Maggette and Chris Douglas-Roberts this off-season, a collection of moves which greatly added to their frontcourt depth. 

    Gooden is a tough-nosed power forward, and both Maggette and CDR will bring plenty of offensive firepower to the table.The relatively unknown Jon Brockman was also added, the rebounding ability he showed in Sacramento last season obviously enough to attract the Bucks' attention. 

    This collection of new players will join the returning Carlos Delfino, Ersan Ilyasova and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute to form a collectively deep core. 


    Future Outlook

    Milwaukee has brought in some good supporting players to surround All-NBA talent Bogut. 

    The future looks very exciting, as the Bucks now have a frontcourt to compliment the talent and ability of point guard sensation Brandon Jennings. 

    Next season will be fantastic, as the Bucks should find themselves in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race. 

13. Memphis Grizzlies

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    2010-11 Frontcourt Rotation

    Center: Marc Gasol, Hasheem Thabeet

    Power Forward: Zach Randolph, Darrell Arthur

    Small Forward: Rudy Gay, DeMarre Carroll 


    Top 2009-10 Performer:

    Zach Randolph: 20.8 PPG, 11.7 RPG, 1.8 APG, 48.8% FG



    The Grizzlies put together a surprisingly good season in 2009-10, and most of their success was due to contributions from the frontcourt. 

    Zach Randolph put together an impressive season, posting nightly double-doubles and showing more leadership than has ever been seen in his NBA career. 

    Another success story is Marc Gasol, the lesser known Gasol averaging 14.6 PPG and 9.3 RPG through the course of last season. Marc's ability to crash the boards, block shots, and score through a combination of skill and strength make him one of the best young centers in the league. 

    The third man in the lethal frontcourt trio is Rudy Gay, a versatile player on both ends of the floor. Gay was inked to a major contract this free-agency, proving the Grizzlies believe in his abilities on the floor. 

    Behind the talented trio of starters is a number of players, mostly unproven. Hasheem Thabeet headlines that list as a former second overall pick who still needs a lot of time to develop. 

    In contrast, Tony Allen was recently picked up through free-agency, and is a proven veteran and one of the league's best on-ball defenders. 


    Future Outlook

    The trio of Randolph, Gasol and Gay are a reason for every Grizzlies fan to be thinking positively.

    Ultimately the only frontcourt concern, is a lack of post-season experience, and not much proven depth behind the starters. 

    If Gasol and Gay continue improving and Randolph maintains his stellar play, there is no reason why the Grizzlies won't challenge for a playoff seed in 2010-11. 

12. Houston Rockets

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    2010-11 Frontcourt Rotation

    Center: Yao Ming, Chuck Hayes, Brad Miller

    Power Forward: Luis Scola, Patrick Patterson, Jordan Hill, Jared Jeffries

    Small Forward: Shane Battier, Chase Budinger


    Top 2009-10 Performer:

    Luis Scola: 16.2 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 2.1 APG, 51.4% FG



    The Rockets ranked a lot higher until they traded away athletic swingman Trevor Ariza. 

    What it now comes down to, is whether Yao Ming will be healthy or not. If healthy, the Rockets will have one of the best frontcourts in the league. If not, they will struggle to win games in the frontcourt. 

    Behind Yao is Chuck Hayes and Brad Miller. The former is solid defensively, while the latter is solid offensively, but neither will be able to make up for Yao if he under-performs. 

    With the center position questionable, the strongest frontcourt position for the Rockets is power forward. Luis Scola emerged as a very good starter last season, scoring at an efficient rate and rebounding well.

    Behind Scola will be Jordan Hill and Patrick Patterson, two young players with excellent talent. Patterson is definitely a rookie to watch, as his physicality and improved shooting range make him a tough cover for defenses. 

    Another impressive young player is Chase Budinger, a second-round pick from last season. Budinger is a strong athlete and perimeter shooter, averaging 8.9 PPG as a rookie while shooting 37% from deep. 

    Budinger will split time at small forward with Shane Battier, renowned defender and all-around worker. Battier's contributions, both tangible and intangible will be invaluable to the growth of the young players on the team. 


    Future Outlook

    Like the Jazz and Trail Blazers, the Rockets are a team that tentatively rank at this position. 

    The ultimate question regarding their ranking is Yao, and the level at which his play will be when he returns. 

    Expect the Rockets to exceed expectations regardless of Yao's injury, as they are a collection of determined and hard-working players. 

11. Utah Jazz

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    2010-11 Frontcourt Rotation

    Center: Al Jefferson, Mehmet Okur, Kyrylo Fesenko 

    Power Forward: Paul Millsap

    Small Forward: Andrei Kirilenko, Gordon Hayward


    Top 2009-10 Performer: 

    Al Jefferson: 17.1 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 1.8 APG, 49.8% FG



    While the Jazz look depleted up front, they claim this spot because I believe they will sign another big man before preseason. At the moment they are only carrying 12 players, and need at least 13 to be eligible to play. 

    Judging by the players they have now though, the Jazz have a very solid frontcourt core. 

    Acquiring Al Jefferson was the best way of negating the negativity of Carlos Boozer's departure, and Jefferson will more than adequately fill his role in the offense. Nicknamed "Big Al" by his peers, Jefferson is one of the best low-post scorers in the league and is also a decent rebounder. 

    The arrival of Jefferson also means Paul Millsap will be given more court time, enabling him to continue flourishing. Millsap averaged 11.6 PPG and 6.8 RPG last season despite playing only 27 minutes per contest. 

    Rounding out the frontcourt trio will be Mehmet Okur, a former All-Star who is a few seasons away from the twilight of his career. Okur will effectively play alongside both Jefferson and Millsap, and his ability to stretch the floor will provide mismatch opportunities. 

    At the three the Jazz have Andrei "AK47" Kirilenko and lottery pick Gordon Hayward. Kirilenko's versatility and defensive prowess will prove as important as ever, and Hayward has strong shooting and play-making ability.


    Future Outlook

    The Jazz rank tentatively at the half-way mark of this list, because it is not yet clear who they will add to the mix of solid contributors they already have in the frontcourt. 

    Fans should be optimistic, as Boozer's departure should not signal an end to winning times in Salt Lake.

    If used properly, the trio of Jefferson-Okur-Millsap could be very effective in 2010-11.  

10. Portland Trail Blazers

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    2010-11 Frontcourt Rotation

    Center: Greg Oden, Joel Pryzbilla

    Power Forward: Lamarcus Aldridge, Marcus Camby, Jeff Pendergraph, Dante Cunningham

    Small Forward: Nicolas Batum, Luke Babbitt


    Top 2009-10 Performer:

    LaMarcus Aldridge: 17.9 PPG, 8 RPG, 2.1 APG, 49.5% FG



    The Blazers have a stacked frontcourt, but also their fair share of problems.

    Injury-ridden Greg Oden is the biggest problem, as his inability to stay on the court seems to be holding back the effectiveness of the Blazers frontcourt. When healthy Oden is a dominant presence, but it seems more people are calling him a bust these days.

    Oden aside, the Blazers have a reliable presence in Marcus Camby. The ageless Camby is consistently among the league's top rebounders and shot-blockers, and his 11.8 RPG and 2 BPG last season were vital contributions. 

    Rebounding aside, the Blazers' frontcourt is primarily focused around LaMarcus Aldridge. He has been the leading frontcourt scorer for the last three seasons, and has a versatile offensive game. 

    The biggest question mark is health, because if healthy, the Blazers have great presence on the boards, solid size down low, and adequate post-offense. 

    Small forward is the weakest frontcourt position, but that is due to the number of young players the Blazers are developing at this spot. Nicholas Batum is the best player right now, a versatile defender with efficient shooting percentages. New acquisitions Wes Matthews and Luke Babbitt will see the floor as well though. 


    Future Outlook

    Like the last two seasons, the Blazers will start the season positively. 

    Then it will become a waiting game, to see if Oden will fall to yet another fatal injury. 

    If the Blazers frontcourt can somehow all stay healthy, they will be dangerous come playoff time. 

9. Denver Nuggets

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    2010-11 Frontcourt Rotation

    Center: Nene, Chris Andersen

    Power Forward: Kenyon Martin, Al Harrington, Shelden Williams

    Small Forward: Carmelo Anthony, Renaldo Balkman


    Top 2009-10 Performer:

    Carmelo Anthony: 28.2 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 3.2 APG, 45.8% FG



    Denver is bringing back the frontcourt that helped them win 53 games, with the addition of Al Harrington. 

    The newest Nugget will bring some offensive firepower to the power forward position. Mainstay Kenyon Martin is especially solid on defense, so Harrington's scoring ability will be a good compliment. Last season he averaged 17.7 PPG and scored in a variety of ways. 

    Aside from Harrington, the Nuggets will once again be lead by Carmelo Anthony. Anthony has emerged as one of the true superstars of the league, and is one of the hardest players to guard defensively.

    As Joey Graham has departed, there are not many viable options to back Melo up at the three spot. 

    At center the two-headed monster of Nene and Chris Andersen will continue to be effective. Nene will start and provide efficient offense, while Andersen will continue coming off the bench to provide energy, post-defense and shot-blocking. 

    Denver also added Shelden Williams to play rotation minutes at both center and power forward. While Williams is not an impact player, he had a decent campaign playing for the Celtics last season. 


    Future Outlook

    The Nuggets have made slight improvements to their frontcourt by bringing in Harrington and Williams. 

    The loss of Graham however, could lead to a significant loss in perimeter defense from the small forward position. 

    Look for the Nuggets to put together another 50+ win season, and attempt to make a deep playoff push. 

8. Atlanta Hawks

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    2010-11 Frontcourt Rotation:

    Center: Al Horford, Zaza Pachulia

    Power Forward: Josh Smith, Josh Powell

    Small Forward: Marvin Williams, Maurice Evans


    Top 2009-10 Performer:

    Josh Smith: 15.7 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 4.2 APG, 50.5% FG



    While the Hawks may lack a true superstar up front, they have arguably the best defensive tandem in the Eastern Conference in Al Horford and Josh Smith.

    Is there anything Smith can't do? Seriously though, the man is an incredibly versatile player, and I'm hard pressed to find another player who fills the stat-sheet like him.

    Horford has been great as well though, averaging 9.9 RPG in 2009-10 while being incredibly efficient on offense.

    If this was a ranking of top frontcourt duos, the two aforementioned players would have a hard time staying away from the upper echelon of the list.

    The biggest contributor aside from the dynamic duo is Marvin Williams, a former second overall draft pick. Though Williams has not yet lived up to the hype, his contributions across the board are solid.

    Also in the rotation is Maurice Evans, an athletic small forward who can defend and score in bunches. Former Lakers Josh Powell should see minutes at power forward and center, as he is a decent scorer and offensive rebounder. 


    Future Outlook

    The Hawks frontcourt is extremely good, and will continue to perform well in years to come.

    While some attribute the Hawks' success to Joe Johnson, it is plain ignorant to overlook the contributions that the Horford-Smith tandem make. 

    Ultimately the 2010-11 season should bring another high playoff seed, and another challenge to go deeper into the post-season. 

7. San Antonio Spurs

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    2010-11 Frontcourt Rotation

    Center: Antonio McDyess, Tiago Splitter

    Power Forward: Tim Duncan, Dejuan Blair, Matt Bonner

    Small Forward:  Richard Jefferson, Alonzo Gee


    Top 2009-10 Performer:

    Tim Duncan: 17.9 PPG, 10.1 RPG, 3.2 APG, 51.9% FG



    The Spurs being ranked this highly may be another surprise to readers. 

    Never count out a team of champions though, and the Spurs' team is clearly just that.

    Tim Duncan will suit up for another season, and be the recipient another season's worth of talk that he is truly declining. Despite this he will continue to score efficiently, and be ever so effective on the defensive end. 

    There is enough strength across the board to negate a drop-off from Duncan though, as the Spurs have solid players across the entire frontcourt. 

    DeJuan Blair will continue his "grown-man" play, rocking the boards like he did in his rookie season to the tune of 6.4 RPG. Richard Jefferson will play his part, scoring from the wing and making aggressive plays into the paint. 

    The most intriguing player will be newcomer Tiago Splitter. Born in Brazil, Splitter was the 2010 MVP of the Spanish League and considered by analysts as the most underrated signing of this off-season. If Splitter is the real deal, we may see a second-coming of the twin towers in San Antonio. 


    Future Outlook

    The Spurs are quietly gaining momentum as a dark horse contender in the West. 

    Despite the aging Duncan, the Spurs frontcourt will remain effective due to its combination of savvy veterans and talented youth. 

    If Splitter turns out to be as good as they say, the Spurs could going deeper into the playoffs than they've been since 2007. 

6. Chicago Bulls

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    2010-11 Frontcourt Rotation

    Center: Joakhim Noah, Kurt Thomas

    Power Forward: Carlos Boozer, Taj Gibson

    Small Forward: Luol Deng, James Johnson, Kyle Korver


    Top 2009-10 Performer:

    Carlos Boozer: 19.5 PPG, 11.2 RPG, 3.2 APG, 56.2% FG



    The Bulls may not have the star-power of the Heat, but they have a more balanced frontcourt. 

    Newcomer Carlos Boozer will lead the way offensively, as he is a versatile scorer who can finish with either hand around the basket. His rebounding will also add toughness to an already tough frontcourt core. 

    The other starters will be Joakhim Noah and Luol Deng. Both have proven to be effective players, and Noah in particular has been drawing attention for his hard-style of play. Last season he was particularly dominant on the glass, averaging 11 RPG and being extremely active on defense. 

    Key players in the Bulls rotation will include Kurt Thomas, Taj Gibson and Kyle Korver. Back-up power forward Gibson will bring a big impact off the bench, as he is an underrated athlete and solid rebounder. 

    Like Boozer, Korver played for the Jazz last season and will add another dimension to the Bulls' offense. His ability to hit the long-ball at an elite rate will help spread the floor and open up more opportunities. 

    The Bulls frontcourt is solid in every position, with no glaring holes or weaknesses in one aspect or another. 


    Future Outlook

    The Bulls made strong moves by bringing in key players like Boozer and Korver.

    The toughness of the Bulls frontcourt in particular, is a very strong element that the majority of other teams are missing. 

    Boozer's ability to mesh well with the explosive Derrick Rose could well play a key role in determining the degree of success which is achieved by the Bulls in 2010-11. 

5. Miami Heat

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    2010-11 Frontcourt Rotation

    Center: Joel Anthony, Zyrundas Ilgauskas, Jamaal Magloire

    Power Forward: Chris Bosh, Udonis Haslem, Juwan Howard

    Small Forward: LeBron James, Mike Miller, James Jones


    Top 2009-10 Performer:

    LeBron James: 29.7 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 8.6 APG, 50.3% FG



    If these rankings were based on power forward and center alone, the Heat would be near the bottom. 

    When ranking the whole frontcourt though, the Heat rank better than most. This is due to the fact that they have the best small forward in the league, and a top-five power forward in the league. 

    Yes I'm talking about LeBron James and Chris Bosh, the two newest superstars to join the Heat. I won't waste words talking about James, because we all know what he's capable of. Bosh will also be great, providing the Heat with a nightly double-double threat in the post. 

    The rest of the frontcourt is surprisingly impressive. At both forward positions the Heat have solid back-ups, as Udonis Haslem is among the toughest forwards in the league, and Mike Miller has a wide array of talents on the offensive end. 

    Clearly the limitation of the Heat frontcourt is that gaping hole they have at center. Zyrundas Ilgauskas, Joel Anthony and Jamaal Magloire will provide size, but whether they can rebound and defend effectively against the top frontcourts in the league is another question. 

    The Heat clearly have confidence in Anthony though, as they recently inked him to a respectable contract. His defense is definitely underrated, as he has averaged 1.4 BPG over the last two seasons in limited minutes. 


    Future Outlook

    The Heat have assembled a team which makes their future look extremely bright. 

    Despite this, it is clear that there is a major question mark at the center position which will not be resolved until the season begins. 

    At the end of the day the Heat will be among the NBA's elite, but whether they can be the best is a whole different question. 


4. Dallas Mavericks

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    2010-11 Frontcourt Rotation

    Center: Brendan Haywood, Tyson Chandler, Ian Mahinmi

    Power Forward: Dirk Nowitzki

    Small Forward: Caron Butler, Shawn Marion


    Top 2009-10 Performer:

    Dirk Nowitzki: 25 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 2.7 APG, 48.1% FG



    The fallacy with putting Dallas this high, is that they always seem to underachieve. Despite this, it seems that they have addressed the one weakness that has consistently plagued them in recent years. 

    That weakness has been lacking a center to anchor the defense and do the dirty work on offense. 

    The Mavericks now have the two-headed monster of Brendan Haywood and Tyson Chandler to complete this task. Both are extremely active on the boards, and among the better shot-blockers in the league. Recent news is that Chandler has been training with Team USA and is returning to high-level game fitness. 

    With those two doing the dirty work, Dirk Nowitzki will be able to focus on contributing on the boards and lighting up defenses on offense. Nowitzki's play has not yet begun to drop off, and he is still arguably the hardest cover due to his deadly shooting. 

    At small forward Caron Butler will contribute with his strong two-way game, contributing on both ends of the floor. Next season should be a good indication of how Butler meshes with the Mavericks, as last season he had to learn his role in the offense on the fly. 

    Butler's defense in particular will be needed on the perimeter, and last season he averaged 1.8 SPG after making the move to Dallas. 

    Shawn Marion will add to the depth of the frontcourt, with his ability to play both forward positions and defend four positions on the court. 


    Future Outlook

    Finally the Mavericks appear to have addressed their need at center, but is it too good to be true?

    The future of the Mavericks frontcourt is bright, but their window of opportunity has an expiry date which will come sooner rather than later. 

    Next season will be their first chance to prove that they are winners, and not chokers. 

3. Orlando Magic

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    2010-11 Frontcourt Rotation

    Center: Dwight Howard, Marcin Gortat,

    Power Forward: Rashard Lewis, Ryan Anderson, Brandon Bass

    Small Forward: Mickael Pietrus, Quentin Richardson


    Top 2009-10 Performer:

    Dwight Howard: 18.3 PPG, 13.2 RPG, 2.8 BPG, 61.2% FG



    When you have the most dominant frontcourt player in the league, you automatically get a top-five slot.

    In all seriousness though, Dwight Howard is just a physical monster. While he may not have the offense of a young Shaquille O'Neal, Howard is easily the best rebounder and shot-blocker we've seen in a while. 

    The center position as a whole is strong for the Magic, as Marcin Gortat may be the most physical back-up center in the entire league. 

    The forward positions are also stacked, and suited to compliment Howard's inside presence. 

    Rashard Lewis and Ryan Anderson are two power forwards who can shoot the rock from deep, and create mismatches with their versatility. Brandon Bass is the sole bruiser, who also has a sweet mid-range jumper. 

    The only weakness is the fact that Lewis continually underachieves, hence limiting the effectiveness of the Magic team as a whole. 

    Small forward contrasts the other two positions, as there is no clear star. Despite this, both Mickael Pietrus and Quentin Richardson can score effectively. Newly-acquired Richardson is among the best trey shooters in the league, as shown by the 142 triple's he knocked down last season. 


    Future Outlook

    The Magic have one of the best frontcourts in the league, and naturally will contend for the title. 

    That said, Lewis will need to be a lot more assertive and aggressive if the Magic are to become champions, or Howard will need to significantly improve his offensive arsenal.

    The Magic frontcourt are very good, but very good frontcourts don't win championships. Great frontcourts do. 

2. Boston Celtics

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    2010-11 Frontcourt Rotation

    Center: Kendrick Perkins, Jermaine O’Neal, Shaquille O’Neal

    Power Forward: Kevin Garnett, Glen Davis

    Small Forward: Paul Pierce, Marquis Daniels


    Top 2009-10 Performer:

    Paul Pierce: 18.3 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 3.1 APG, 47.2% FG



    If it was earlier in the decade, this Celtics frontcourt would be the undisputed top frontcourt on the list.

    Unfortunately it's 2010, and swapping an old Rasheed Wallace for Jermaine O'Neal and Shaquille O'Neal isn't enough to earn the Celtics the top spot.

    The production they will lose from Wallace, is essentially what they will get from Jermaine, with Shaq serving as a decent back-up until Kendrick Perkins returns. Then Shaq (or Jermaine) will be relegated to to a third-string role, and likely will only see garbage minutes. 

    The real question is whether Kevin Garnett is in the twilight of his career. He only averaged 14.3 PPG last season and truly looks like he has lost that physical edge on offense. His willpower and intensity is as strong as ever, but that won't hold his body up. 

    Paul Pierce will take the leader role again, and will ensure that the Celtics are not forgotten in 2010-11, despite them all being another year older. 

    On the positive side, Glen Davis is an exciting role player to watch. His enthusiasm and drive on the court makes him the kind of player that leaves it all out there. 


    Future Outlook

    The Celtics have stacked their frontcourt, but they are very old. 

    They may well have the most physical frontcourt in the league, but remember only two forwards and one center will be on the court at any one time.

    Whether they can beat the Lakers is the ultimate question, but let's see if they can first get back to the Finals. 

1. Los Angeles Lakers

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    2010-11 Frontcourt Rotation

    Center: Andrew Bynum, Theo Ratliff

    Power Forward: Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom

    Small Forward: Ron Artest, Matt Barnes, Luke Walton


    Top 2009-10 Performer:

    Pau Gasol: 18.3 PPG, 11.3 RPG, 3.4 APG, 53.6% FG



    Is it a surprise that the Lakers frontcourt claim the top spot? I don't think so.

    The Lakers frontcourt is simply too big, too strong, and too long to not be on top. 

    It all starts with Spanish legend Pau Gasol, easily the most skilled all-around big man in the game. He is a maestro on offense, with unparalleled footwork and an array of finesse moves around the rim. 

    Gasol often combines with center Andrew Bynum, to form a rebound-eating machine. Bynum has freakish length, making him an imposing force on defense, and a tough cover on offense. 

    Lamar Odom is often the odd man out, wreaking havoc off the bench as arguably the league's best reserve. Odom averaged 10.8 PPG and 9.8 RPG last season despite playing only 31 minutes per contest. 

    The small forward position is equally good though, with Ron Artest holding down the fort on defense. His contributions to the championship team last season were invaluable, especially considering the big shots he made in the playoffs. 

    New acquisition Matt Barnes will provide the Lakers frontcourt with another defensive stopper, while recent signing Theo Ratliff gives them a veteran presence and shot-blocking force inside. 


    Future Outlook

    The Lakers' frontcourt is simply too dominant, in every sense of the word.

    Give Kobe Bryant all the props you want, but acknowledge that the Lakers' frontcourt has been without equivalent peer for the last two seasons. 

    If the frontcourt and especially Bynum can stay healthy, there is no reason why the Lakers can't three-peat, or four-peat, or five-peat.