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Top Ten Power Forwards In The NBA

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Blake Griffin and Kevin Love Bonding

Bromance
Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

An NBA power forward is arguably the most complex and varied position in basketball. A great power forward typically has the height of a center but is more athletic than “bulky.” There are a number of power forwards who are frighteningly athletic for their height and body type.

In addition, power forwards can block, rebound and score. They must excel in offence, and ideally, also on defense since there is such a strong presence of “complete” power forwards in the league these days. A pure center is so hard to come by, so power forwards tend to take on some of the responsibilities of the center position.

It’s becoming more and more common for a power forward to post big points. The NBA season often come to an end with several power forwards averaging 20-plus points a game as well as high numbers in various other areas.

Dirk Nowitzki, Andrea Bargnani, Kevin Love and Kevin Garnett are all examples of power forwards who can shoot threes and make long-range shots. Garnett and Tim Duncan ushered in a new era of power forwards who are more athletic and skilled than ever

The power forwards of this NBA generation are phenomenal. If a team has a “complete” player or a player who is the base of the franchise, as opposed to a big three or a big four, it tends to be the power forward because they’re so versatile.

Who are the ten best in the game right now going into the 2012-2013 season?

Honorable mentions: Chris Bosh.

All stats from Hoop Stats.

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10. Josh Smith

Smith
Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE

The choice for this spot came down to Chris Bosh or Josh Smith.

During the finals last season, there were some jokes about Bosh’s performance being the determining factor in the Miami Heat success or failure in the finals. Bosh can play well or he can play “meh.” But, the Atlanta Hawks never need to question Smith’s ability.

Smith goes above and beyond the normal sequences of an average power forward.

Smith EFF is 22.6. He averages PTS 19.1, REB 10.4, and 1.8 blocks per game.

He's consistently better and statistically better than many of the top power forwards in the league right now.

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9. Andrea Bargnani

Bargnani
Kelvin Kuo-US PRESSWIRE

Andrea Bargnani, like Pau Gasol, has a very European style of play.

Bargnani is hiding up in Toronto and is consistently overlooked. In addition, Bargnani doesn’t play for a winning team so he is easily forgotten about.

Bargnani spent some of last season injured but he was a first overall draft pick for a reason. He’s is a more athletic and younger version of Gasol.

Bargnani, if he stays injury free, he has the talent to take the Toronto Raptors to the postseason. The Raptors have a strong roster. For the first time in a very long time, they have great prospects of seeing the postseason.

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8. LaMarcus Aldridge

Aldridge
Michael Hickey-US PRESSWIRE

How LaMarcus Aldridge keeps such a lower profile is beyond me. He’s the key player on the Portland Trail Blazers. Aldridge is the foundation of the team.

Aldridge told Isaac Ropp and Big Suke on 1080 AM The Fan:

"I'm a realist. I do feel like I'm the best power forward in the game. But I do also know that I have to be an overall better rebounder. I think that's going to come this year. I still do feel like I'm the best power forward in the game."

Aldridge might be a little bias. His stats, accomplishments, and merits don’t allow claim that he is the best power forward in the game to be legitimate. However, he definitely evidentially could be.

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7. Amar'e Stoudemire

Stoudemire
Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

Last season, Amar'e Stoudemire averaged 7.9 REBs and 16.9 PTS.

Stoudemire is an excellent midrange shooter. In addition, throughout his career, he has shot nearly 80 percent from the line.

Although, Stoudemire played well last season, sometimes, it was easy to forget that the New York Knicks had Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler on the same roster. Although, they’re all outstanding players, they couldn’t really perform to the best of their abilities together, all at the same time.

Jeremy Lin ended up being most important player on the team and the most notable thing to happen to the Knicks in a long time.

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6. Pau Gasol

Gasol
Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE

Pau Gasol joined the Los Angeles Lakers during a rebuilding phase. Upon his tenure, Gasol was one of the most important pieces that helped the Lakers win two NBA Championships.

Gasol has a little bit of the European “Dirk Nowitzki” model of play. He has a bit of small forward and a bit of center in him.

Gasol has had great seasons in the past but his upcoming season with the Lakers has the potential to be historical.

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5. Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk
Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE

Dirk Nowitzki does not execute an especially athletic style of play, but one based on skill and dominance. His skill set is far beyond that of a typical power forward.

Nowitzki has been the standard for what a power forward should be for a decade.

He's a cement choice for any list of top power forwards and will continue to be for at least another season or two.

As my former roommate would say, "Dirk isn't old. He's seasoned."

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4. Tim Duncan

Duncan
Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

There have been rumors that Tim Duncan has stepped into more of a role player position as of late. He did take a pay reduction, which is normally a sure sign. However, during the playoffs last season, Duncan gave even the youngest and most athletic players a hard time.

Duncan’s game has always been highly consistent and he still throws down the odd double-double now and then. Duncan remains among the top 10 power forwards in the league across the board. In every category. Duncan averages 9.5 rebounds a game.

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3. Kevin Garnett

Garnett
Mark D. Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Kevin Garnett is proof that being a 36-year old athlete isn’t what it used to be. The Boston Celtics have gone under the radar throughout the offseason due to the high-profile transactions that occurred with the Lakers and the Heat.

Yet, the original big three team is still very much a given to take up a playoff spot.

Garnett is maybe the most complete player in the league? Maybe ever?

Garentt is still one of the best. No argument. He will remain that way until the day he retires. Garnett does not have the type of personality that will ever step into a "role player" type position for Boston.

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2. Blake Griffin

Griffin
Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Blake Griffin takes a beating in the media. However, overall, his stats are the second best in the league when weighted to consider the important factors for a power forward. Plus, Griffin is one of the top finishers in the game right now.

Yet, critics still point to certain aspects of his game that need work.

Regardless, Griffin can get it done. And really, as long as he gets it done, does it matter how?

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1. Kevin Love

Love
Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE

Kevin Love is coming off from an unreal season. He ended his 2011-2012 campaign with astounding stats in almost every category. Love banked averages of 30.2 EFF, 26.5 PTS and 13.3 REB.

Love never left the court, playing an average of 40.4 minutes per game. If that wasn't enough, he also has an unreal 3-point shooting skill set to his game, which gives him an edge on offence.

Although, Love did absolutely everything he possible could to make it happen, a postseason run wasn’t in the cards last season.

The Western conference is pretty stacked for the 2012-2013 season but Ricky Rubio, Derrick Williams and Love are almost a given to make a playoff appearance in the upcoming postseason.