NBA Power Rankings: Dwight Howard and Each Team's Most Imposing Offensive Force

Andy Bailey@@AndrewDBaileyFeatured ColumnistMay 11, 2011

NBA Power Rankings: Dwight Howard and Each Team's Most Imposing Offensive Force

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    Dwight Howard may be a Los Angeles Laker soon. If he ends up playing for the Lakers, who won't just help them defensively.  He has become an unstoppable force on offense as well.

    He is without a doubt the most imposing offensive force on Orlando's roster.  Unfortunately for the Magic, they didn't get much from anyone else in this year's playoffs.

    Each team in the league has its own top offensive weapon.  This slideshow will tell you who they are...

Atlanta Hawks: Joe Johnson

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    Joe Johnson's scoring average was down a bit this year, and that has many people questioning the max deal he recently signed (as if they weren't already).

    However, he is still the best offensive weapon for the Hawks.  He averaged 18.2 points and 4.7 assists a game and has the ability to score in a wide variety of ways.

    At 30 percent, this was his worst year for three-point percentage since he was a rookie.  But his career mark of 37 percent shows that he can consistently hit from that range.

    In addition to hitting jump shots, Johnson has a solid runner and gets to the rim fairly well.

Boston Celtics: Rajon Rondo

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    Rondo may have been fifth on his team in scoring (10.6 points a game), but his overall contributions on offense more than make up for his lack of buckets.

    He was second in the league in assists at 11.2 a game.  His ability to create open shots for and distribute the ball to his teammates has allowed them to look good well into their 30s.

Charlotte Bobcats: Stephen Jackson

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    Stephen Jackson may not be a Bobcat for much longer.  But right now, he's definitely their most imposing offensive force.  In fact, he may be their only imposing force.

    His 6'8" frame makes him a very difficult matchup for a lot of wing defenders, and that helped him lead the team in scoring at 18.5 points per game.

Chicago Bulls: Derrick Rose

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    Derrick Rose's rapid development as an NBA player has led to his being named the youngest league MVP in history.

    His scoring average has jumped up about four points a game each season (17 a game as a rookie, 21 in his second year and 25 this season).

    One thing that helped him a lot this year was the addition of a three-point shot.  He made a total of 32 threes in his first two seasons.  He dropped 128 this year while shooting 33 percent from downtown.

    Then there are the things we all know he can do as well as anyone.  His size, explosiveness and ball-handling make him one of the game's very best penetrators.

Cleveland Cavaliers: Antawn Jamison

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    The Cavaliers were awful last year.  There's no getting around that.

    I remember being blown away last summer when I read reports that coach Byron Scott was going to bring Antawn Jamison off the bench.

    He is so much more effective on offense than any other player on the roster.  Eventually, Scott had no choice but to reinsert Jamison into the starting lineup.

    He ended up leading the team in scoring at 18 points per game.

Dallas Mavericks: Dirk Nowitzki

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    This is another no-brainer.

    The Mavericks are a very deep team with several solid role players, but Dirk is really the only star.

    He has ridiculous versatility as a seven-foot forward who scores a significant chunk of his points from the perimeter.

    Dirk was the single-most important factor in the Mavericks' sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Denver Nuggets: Danilo Gallinari

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    When the Nuggets traded Carmelo Anthony, they got a few solid scorers in return (Gallinari, Wilson Chandler and Raymond Felton).

    Because of his combination of size and perimeter skills, Gallinari not only the Nuggets' most imposing offensive force but has the potential to become one of the league's best offensive weapons.

    The team was very balanced following the Anthony trade.  Galinari averaged around 15 points on just nine shots a game as a member of the Nuggets.

Detroit Pistons: Ben Gordon

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    Gordon averaged just 11.2 points per game this year, but I still feel he is the best offensive player on the Pistons.

    Coach John Kuester did strange things all year and led the team to an awful record.  Pinning Gordon into such a minuscule role is one of the weirdest things he's done.

Golden State Warriors: Stephen Curry

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    I know what you're thinking: I'm crazy for going with Stephen Curry instead of Monta Ellis here.

    Hear me out.

    Yes, Ellis led the team in scoring, but Curry actually averaged more points per shot attempt.  Plus, Curry led the team in assists per game.

    Curry played nearly seven fewer minutes a game than Ellis.  When you compare their production per 36 minutes, the gap in points is smaller while the gap in assists is bigger.

    If you look at a few advanced statistics, the picture becomes even more clear.

    Curry had a better Player Efficiency Rating and had more Offensive Win Shares than Ellis.

Houston Rockets: Kevin Martin

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    Kevin Martin has averaged over 20 points a game in each of the last five seasons.  This year, he led the Rockets in scoring at 23.5 points a game.

    He is an extremely efficient scorer, as he averaged fewer than 16 field goal attempts per game.

    So how does he score so many points on that amount of shots?  He averages 2.2 threes and 7.4 free throws made per game.

Indiana Pacers: Danny Granger

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    Granger's numbers were down a bit this year, but he's still clearly the most imposing offensive force on the Pacers.

    He led the team in scoring at 20.5 points per game and is one of the league's best three-point shooters.  He shot 39 percent from downtown and was sixth in the NBA in threes made at 157.

Los Angeles Clippers: Blake Griffin

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    The word imposing may suit Blake Griffin better than anyone else on this list.  His ferocious mentality made him a nightmare inside this year.

    He led his team in scoring at 22.5 points per game and was fifth in the league in offensive rebounds per game at 3.3.

Los Angeles Lakers: Kobe Bryant

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    Once upon a time, Kobe may have been the most imposing offensive force in the entire NBA.  He seemed to be able to score at will, especially when his team was in desperate need of a basket.

    He's certainly not the same player he once was but is still one of the league's best offensive players (and definitely the Lakers' best).

    He led his team in scoring and assists at 25.3 points and 4.7 assists per game.

Memphis Grizzlies: Zach Randolph

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    Zach Randolph's numbers have been insane over the last couple years with the Grizzlies.  He has posted around 20 points and 12 rebounds a game in two seasons.

    One of the most imposing aspects of his offensive game is the way he hits the glass on that end of the floor.  At 4.3 a game, he was second in the league in offensive rebounding this year.

Miami Heat: LeBron James

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    Some people may think this one belongs to Dwyane Wade.  It doesn't.  And it's really not very close.

    James averaged more points while shooting a higher percentage from the field and three-point range. He averaged significantly more assists.

    LeBron led the league in Player Efficiency Rating (which says a lot more about offense than defense).

Milwaukee Bucks: Andrew Bogut

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    Bogut was third on the Bucks in scoring this season at 12.8 points per game.  He's still their most imposing offensive force for a few reasons.

    He didn't average a lot of points because the team's starting backcourt consists of two volume shooters (Brandon Jennings and John Salmons).  Bogut is easily the team's most efficient scorer.

    Plus, he was in the top 10 in the NBA in offensive rebounds at 3.1 per game.

Minnesota Timberwolves: Kevin Love

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    Here's another one that's a pretty easy call.

    Kevin Love led his team in scoring at 20.2 points per game and led the league in offensive rebounds at 4.5 per game.

    One of the most underrated aspects of Love's game is his three-point shooting.  This year, he was 14th in the NBA in three-point percentage at 42.

New Jersey Nets: Deron Williams

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    If Deron Williams signs an extension in New Jersey, they could be one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference in a year or two.

    What makes him so imposing on offense is how much better he makes his teammates.  

    He averaged nearly 13 assists a game as a member of the Nets, and the team averaged nearly six more points per game after they acquired him.

    Kris Humphries and Brook Lopez especially benefited from Williams' presence.

New Orleans Hornets: Chris Paul

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    Chris Paul had a pretty significant drop-off in production this year (15.9 points and 9.8 assists per game), but during the playoffs, reminded us all just how dominant he can be.

    He averaged 22 points and 11.5 assists per game in the Hornets first-round series against the Lakers. 

New York Knicks: Amar'e Stoudemire

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    Carmelo Anthony may have scored more points when these two were together, but that has a lot to do with the fact that Melo loves to shoot.

    Stoudemire is the more imposing offensive force because of his ability to absolutely dominate inside (when he gets the touches).

Oklahoma City Thunder: Kevin Durant

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    After watching most of Oklahoma City's playoff games, it's clear that Russell Westbrook would like to have this title.  

    There's no doubt that Westbrook is important for what they do on offense but not as important as Durant.

    Kevin Durant is arguably the best scorer in the NBA.  Last year, he became the youngest player to ever win a scoring title.  This year, he made it back-to-back titles.

Orlando Magic: Dwight Howard

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    I let this one slip in the introduction.  But you already knew who would be on this slide.

    Howard had the best individual season of his career in 2010-11.  He was 11th in the NBA in scoring at 22.9 points per game and fourth in the league in offensive rebounding at four a game.

    He was also second in the league in field goal percentage at 59.

    If he goes to the Lakers, he and Kobe Bryant may be the best one-two combo in the NBA.

Philadelphia 76ers: Andre Iguodala

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    At 6.3 a game, Andre Iguodala was second in the league in assists by non-point guards (behind LeBron James).

    On his team, he was second in scoring and assists.

    He's one of the most underrated facilitators from the wing and could be a really nice addition to some team looking to trade for him this summer.

Phoenix Suns: Steve Nash

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    Nash has led the league in assists in five out of the last seven seasons.  This year, he did it with a pretty weak supporting cast.  He averaged 11.4 a game in 2010-11.

    What makes him really imposing is his incredibly accurate shooting.  For his career, he shoots 49 percent from the field, 43 percent from three-point range and 90 percent from the free-throw line.

Portland Trail Blazers: LaMarcus Aldridge

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    As Brandon Roy's injuries have become more of a nuisance each year, LaMarcus Aldridge has officially filled the role of Portland's best offensive force.

    He led the team in scoring with a career-high 21.8 points per game and was fourth in the NBA in offensive rebounding at 3.4 a game.

Sacramento Kings: Tyreke Evans

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    This was actually the toughest team on the slideshow to make a decision for.  You could easily make a case for Marcus Thornton or even rookie DeMarcus Cousins.

    I went with Evans because of the combination of his ability to score and distribute the ball.  He was second on the team in scoring at 17.8 points per game and led the team in assists at 5.6 a game. 

San Antonio Spurs: Tony Parker

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    This one came down to two obvious choices—Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker.

    While Parker averaged one less point per game than Ginobili, he shot a better percentage from the field, and he led the team in assists at 5.2 a game.

Toronto Raptors: Andrea Bargnani

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    Bargnani is clearly the most difficult matchup opposing teams have to deal with when they play the Raptors.  That has been a big factor in his becoming the team's most imposing offensive force.

    He's a legitimate seven-footer and can score from all over the floor.  For his career, he has averaged over 100 threes per season while hitting 37 percent from downtown.

    He led the team in scoring at 21.4 points a game.

Utah Jazz: Al Jefferson

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    After Deron Williams was traded, Al Jefferson took on the unfortunately familiar role he filled in Minnesota.  He became a "looter in a riot," scoring tons of points for a terrible team with few other offensive options.

    Prior to the trade, Jefferson averaged 17 points and nine rebounds a game.  After the trade, he posted 22 points and 11 rebounds a game.

    When the Jazz acquired Jefferson, I was excited for him.  I thought he'd finally get to the playoffs. Then everything fell apart in February.

Washington Wizards: John Wall

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    Lost in the splendor of Blake Griffin's rookie campaign was an extremely good rookie season for Washington point guard John Wall.

    16.4 points and 8.3 assists a game are ridiculous numbers for a first-year player.

    In a year or two, the Wizards backcourt of John Wall and Jordan Crawford/Nick Young could be one of the most explosive in the league.