The NBA's Top-Five Power Forwards

DarrenContributor IAugust 22, 2008

1. Tim Duncan

Tim Duncan remains the best power forward in the league today, and he is arguably the greatest of all time. Tim Duncan has been a champion pretty much since the start of his career.

He has also been the Finals MVP in every finals he's played in except for 2007, where Tony Parker won the Finals MVP.

Some critics say that if you switch Tim Duncan's team with the type of team that Kevin Garnett had in Minnesota, Duncan would never win a ring. That is false. Tim Duncan didn't really have any teammates in 2003 when he had won the title. He had no other All-Stars by his side.

David Robinson was on his last leg that year, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili were nothing more than role players at that time as well. So you cannot say Tim Duncan is a guy who is only successful because of his teammates.

It also took Kevin Garnett's placement with great teammates to not only win the NBA Finals, but to get to the NBA Finals.

Tim Duncan has been so consistent in his career that many people in the world today don't appreciate his ability. Duncan is not only the best all around power forward in the league today, but he's also the best defensive power-forward in the league.

Duncan may not have won Defensive Player of the year in 2008, but that does not mean he is not a better defender. It really means that Garnett had been a bigger impact on that end, and he has changed much of it.

Garnett is a more versatile defender, but Duncan is a much better interior defender, which is what a lot of people look for in a power forward. Neither of them have dominating stats anymore, but they are very great team-players, something you don't see in a stat sheet.


2. Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett, at the very least, is second in most rankings of power forwards. Garnett just won the NBA Championship for the first time in his career and had been the leader of the Celtics throughout the first three series' in the playoffs, and was their most consistent player.

He may not have always been the leader statistically but I think he is clearly the best locker-room leader in the league. He brings so many intangibles, so much intensity, and so many things people under appreciate because it isn't in a stat sheet.

During his years with the Timberwolves, he had done a fantastic job improving their franchise. He is, at the moment, the greatest T'Wolve of all time. It will take many years before somebody can pass Kevin Garnett.

He led a bunch of tomato cans to the playoffs, and he had dominating stats during his time as a T'Wolve. He probably would have traded those stats for a ring, because Kevin Garnett has a heart of a champion and just always wants to be one.

Unlike other star players, Kevin Garnett never asked to be traded during his run there. He would have been supportive if he had, but he didn't want to disrupt the team chemistry by asking for a trade. Many people should, and do, respect him for that.


3. Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk Nowitzki has been an elite power forward and an elite player for a while now. People all over the world have already forgotten that Dirk single-handedly led his team to the Finals in 2006.

People always think of the bad times Dirk has had, like choking against the Warriors and choking against the Heat. It seems like Dirk is very underrated now a days. People always call him soft and a choker, but it doesn't seem to be true.

Dirk is easily the best-shooting big man in the league and is also one of the best-passing big men in the league. Passing is something Dirk has been very underrated at; he seems to get a lot of assists per night, but people don't realize it because it's not on SportsCenter.

Dirk and Amare are players that are debatable for the No. 3 spot in the power-forward rankings. Dirk deserves it more for the fact that he has been a much better leader and has lesser talent of teammates.

The only thing Dirk needs to work on is his defense. He's not a bad defender but there is room for improvement. He isn't an impact defender but his man-to-man defense is better than Amare's.


4. Amare Stoudemire

Amare Stoudemire is one of the young, athletic big men in the league and is clearly an elite power forward in the league. Amare Stoudemire is probably the best offensive power-forward in the league.

His finishing ability is one of the best in the league, and his scoring ability is also one of the best in the league. Ever since Shaq came to Phoenix, Amare has blossomed at his natural position: power forward.

Many critics say that Amare is a product of Steve Nash. That is complete b.s. Amare had average 25 points and 10 rebounds in the second half of the season during his sophomore year in the NBA.

His FG% might be a product of Steve Nash and others, but Amare is not a product of Steve Nash. He can score on his own, he's an amazing finisher, and he has also grown to be a deadly shooter.

Amare is still a young player, and he can easily be the best power forward in the league in a few years. One thing he should work on is his man-to-man defense; he seems to have very low IQ on that end.

He can block shots and all, but man-to-man defense is also important because of the foul situation.


5. Elton Brand

Although Elton Brand was injured most of last season, he is still a top-five power forward in the league. Elton has been a consistent player and gets 20/10 night in and night out; it is something to appreciate.

Elton is also a fantastic leader, as he led the 2006 Clippers to the playoffs, and they didn't just get to the playoffs, but they got to the second round. Brand is also a great defender, better than most power forwards in the league. He may not block as many shots, but he can shut players down.


Honorable Mentions: Chris Bosh, Pau Gasol, David West, and Carlos Boozer.