Taj Gibson and the Best Backup Power Forwards in the NBA

Al Rieger@Al RiegerCorrespondent IJanuary 18, 2012

Taj Gibson and the Best Backup Power Forwards in the NBA

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    Taj Gibson backs up Carlos Boozer on the Chicago Bulls, but has been closing out games on a regular basis.  Tom Thibodeau keeps Gibson's minutes up as he adds valuable energy and defense when the team needs him most.  

    He's known as a hard-hat, lunch pail kind of player.  While Gibson won't light up the stat box he provides defensive intensity, rebounding, shot-blocking and now flashes of offense; contributing just under eight points a game in 20 minutes this season.  

    Here's a list of the best backup power forwards in the NBA.   

Glen "Big Baby" Davis, Orlando Magic

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    8.6 ppg, 4.9 rpg, .3 bpg

    Strengths: Versatile, Interior scoring, Physicality

    Looks as if Davis will be a nice fit for Orlando.  Fans should be patient with Davis as he needs to get comfortable in a Magic Uniform.  He was in Boston for four years and won a championship, so he might need some time to settle in.  In fact, coming off the bench for the hot Ryan Anderson might be a good role for Big Baby.  

Jason Thompson, Sacramento Kings

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    6.6 ppg, 3.8 RBG, .2 bpg

    Strengths: Scoring, Rebounds, Motor, Efficient 

    With Demarcus Cousins and J.J. Hickson in the line-up, Thompson will see limited minutes this season.  So far, in his third year in the NBA, Thompson is a sign of hope for the future and has made the most out of his playing time.

Kenneth Faried, Denver Nuggets

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    3.5 ppg, 4 rpg, 2.5 bpg

    Strengths: Energy, Defense, Shot-blocking, Plays above the rim

    This rookie out of Morehead State has a high ceiling.  He was the best rebounder in college, but his talents seem to have translated nicely to the NBA.  

    A lot like Taj Gibson, Faried is a role player who knows how to play his position, giving valuable energy and defense to the Nuggets.  Against the Kings, Faried played only 10 minutes but managed seven points and four rebounds.  Also, Faried wooed the crowd by stuffing a one-handed, no-look lob from Rudy Fernandez.  

Tristan Thompson, Cleveland Cavaliers

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    7.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.3 bpg

    Strengths: Athleticism, Shot-blocking, Length

    Thompson is a player the Cavs can build around.  Picked fourth in the draft, the 20-year-old rookie is expected to be a premier defender in the NBA.  In his professional debut against the Raptors, he scored 12 points and had five rebounds in 17 minutes.   

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Milwaukee Bucks

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    4 ppg, 4 rpb, 1 bpg

    Strengths: Rebounding, Length

    Mbah Moute was expected to play (knee) last night in a loss against the Nuggets but didn't get off the bench.  Although he's missed most of the season, Mbah Moute is a good role player and one of the best rebounders in the NBA.  He plays his role nicely and is a valuable big man for the Bucks.   

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