Dirk Nowitzki and The 10 Best Power Forwards in The NBA
Point guards and swingmen get all the attention in today's NBA, but let's not forget the importance of the power forward. These men are not only expected to defend and rebound, but also score from all over the floor and often be a primary option on offense.
We all know the German is lethal from anywhere on the floor and a threat to drop 30 points on any given night. But where does he rank among the best power forwards in the game?
Read on to find out.
10. Blake Griffin
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Griffin may only be a rookie, but the 21-year-old is looking every bit the part of premiere power forward. He's averaging a mouth-watering 21.2 ppg and 12.4 rpg on 52 percent shooting.
He's still not an elite defensive player and could stand to learn a couple of post moves, but Griffin's combination of strength and athleticism makes him one of the hardest players in the NBA to defend (just watch a SportsCenter highlight to see why).
9. Chris Bosh
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Bosh's scoring and rebounding is down as a third wheel in the Miami Heat offense. But don't be fooled by the numbers—this guy can really play. He can hit shots from anywhere on the floor and is more athletic than most bigs. He's not much of a post player, though.
Bosh is averaging 18.5 ppg on 51 percent shooting. He's also pulling down 8.2 rpg and almost a steal and a block each game.
8. Zach Randolph
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Jokes about his weight aside, Randolph is adept at using his 6'9", 260-pound frame to outmuscle and out-position opposing defenders. He's already averaging 17.9 ppg and 12.4 rpg for an upstart Grizzlies team.
He may not win any foot races, but if Randolph has the ball within 18 feet then it's game over. He's shooting just a shade under 48 percent on the year.
7. Kevin Love
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Most people thought the Timberwolves were crazy for trading away Al Jefferson, one of the best post players in the league. Well, that was still a bad trade but Love has more than stepped up as Minnesota's starting power forward.
He's averaging 20.6 ppg and is the league's leading rebounder with 15.5 rpg. Love's also a great shooter (45 percent from the floor and 43.4 percent from three). He's not as athletic as other names on this list, but he's one of the NBA's smartest players and has a definite nose for the ball.
6. Tim Duncan
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He may be 34 years old, but Duncan is still an incredibly dangerous player. Teams are still trying to figure out a way to defend his mid-range jumper.
His minutes are down this year as the Spurs seem to be trying to save his legs for the playoffs, but he's still averaging 13.6 ppg and 9.6 rpg to go on top of two blocks a game. He's one of the smartest men to play the position and will not hesitate to teach rookies a thing or two about the game of basketball.
5. Carlos Boozer
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If anyone's still doubting that Boozer isn't worth the maximum contract that the Chicago Bulls gave him, then they probably haven't been watching Boozer play this season.
The 29-year-old forward seems revitalized playing with Derrick Rose and is having what could be a career year. He's up to 20.4 ppg, 9.4 rpg and about a steal. He's also good for two or three assists a game and rarely misses an open shot, shooting 54.5 percent from the floor.
4. Pau Gasol
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Gasol doesn't get nearly as much attention as his LA teammate, Kobe Bryant. But he's every bit as much of a part of the Lakers' success.
He's one of the few bigs with real post moves and is already averaging 19.5 ppg, 11.0 rpb and 2.0 bpg. He gets a lot of his points on easy put-backs, but can also knock down some shots from the floor (career 52.1 percent shooter).
3. Kevin Garnett
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Garnett is back! Anybody watching a Celtics game this season should have seen KG do something that he hasn't been able to consistently do since 2008—jump. He's an All-Star even without his ups, but if Garnett is healthy then he's one of the most dangerous big men in the game.
His numbers aren't earth-shattering (15.6 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 0.8 bpg), but that's a product of him not being the focal point of the Boston offense (or second or third option).
But when the Celtics need KG to make a shot, he usually does. He's shooting 54.5 percent from the floor right now and looks as good as ever.
2. Dirk Nowitzki
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Nowitzki's numbers, however, are unbelievable. He's one of the league's leading scores with 24.1 ppg and is a more than respectable rebounder with 7.4 rpg.
Nowitzki is one of the few players in the league capable of dropping 40 points on any given night and he's impossible to defend. As long as his shot is falling, which it has been (54.5 percent), Nowitzki is easily one of the best bigs in the NBA.
1. Amare Stoudemire
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If you want gaudy numbers, look no further than this 28-year-old king of the New York Knicks. He recently snapped an incredible streak of games in which he couldn't score less than 30, but he's still averaging 26.2 ppg.
Stoudemire has never been known for his defense, but 9.3 rpg and 2.2 bpg is nothing to laugh at. Stoudemire is a Dwight Howard-esque player who uses his athleticism and length to wreak havoc all over the floor.
He's impossible to defend with the ball in his hands because he's so much stronger and faster than anyone on the floor. This looks like the season in which Stoudemire has finally brought together all his talents, and if he keeps that up he'll remain the best power forward in the NBA.