Over the past decade, the NBA has turned into a guard-driven league. Point guards, in particular, rule the day.
Think about a random NBA point guard. Let's take Andre Miller for example. If you asked someone what they thought about Andre Miller, the response would go something like this:
"Andre Miller? Hmmm...he's a solid veteran floor general. Knows how to run the team, very good passer. Wait, didn't he lead the league in assists one year? And he's a sneaky good scorer too. There was that one time he dropped like 50-something on the Mavs. Good player. One of the better starting point guards in the league."
Is he really?
There are a lot of positives to Andre Miller, but would he make any rational NBA analyst's top ten point guards list? Would he make the top 15? Is there a significant difference between him and, say, D.J. Augustin?
Point guards have almost become a dime a dozen. Just look at all the ones that have come up in the last few seasons. Three of the past four No. 1 overall picks have been point guards, after only one was taken first overall in the previous 28 drafts (If you can even call Allen Iverson a point guard).
The point guard boom has coincided with a dearth of true big men. Gone are the days of the lumbering trees in the middle, rooting themselves to one block or another. Today's typical big man is a long, hyper-athletic pogo stick that can run the floor and win slam dunk contests, but has no low post game to speak of.
That's why it's become so important to have a size advantage in the NBA these days. Look at recent champions like the Lakers, Spurs, Pistons, and Celtics. All had either one supremely dominant big man (Duncan, KG) or multiple All-Star caliber bigs (Wallace Bros., Gasol/Odom/Bynum). Shaq gave the Heat the interior presence it needed to capture their first ever NBA title, and even the Mavericks this past season won after adding 7-foot Tyson Chandler to their resident 7-footer, Dirk Nowitzki.
With strong guard play everywhere, teams can only separate themselves with superior size. With an eye to potential future (or perhaps even present) contenders, here are the top five big man tandems under the age of 25.