By Cody Williams @TheSizzle20 on March 14, 2014
Small forward may be the most talented position in the NBA, especially when you look at the players at the top of the league featuring the likes of Kevin Durant and LeBron James. While that may be the case, power forward is by far the deepest position in the league. There’s a seemingly endless string of fours that have a big impact on games. Who are the top 10 this season, though?
David Lee gets a lot of flak around the league for a number of reasons and a number of his shortcomings as a player. He’s not a good defender at the NBA level, he often is a black hole on offense, and sometimes his rebounding has less of an impact than you’d think. However, it’s hard to fully deny a guy who can score quite well and put up a double-double on any given night.
Taj Gibson is probably the clubhouse leader right now to take home the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year honors. While you can make a case that Gibson should be starting for the Chicago Bulls heading down the stretch, his impact at the power forward this season has been forceful and huge for this feisty team that won’t stay down.
One of the secrets about Serge Ibaka is that his defense has always been a bit stat-based and not as great as you might think. However, Ibaka has taken great strides this season as both an offensive player and in becoming a more effective overall defender. Before long, Ibaka could wind up cracking the top five on this list.
There aren’t many players that have saved their respective team in the manner that Paul Millsap has. Since Al Horford went out for the season with the Atlanta Hawks, Millsap has stepped up and kept this team in the playoff picture. If you don’t think so, look at how they performed when he was sidelined over the last month or so.
Tim Duncan has been at this game for a while now and many people consider him to be a center more than anything. However, with Tiago Splitter in San Antonio, I’m calling him a power forward. The Spurs big man is definitely not at the same level that he used to be and certainly plays less, but to say Duncan still can’t get it done is just lying to yourself.
Just like Duncan, Dirk Nowitzki is a veteran in this league that’s still making things happen. Flanked by a new supporting cast in Dallas, Nowitzki has come out and gotten it done again this season. His game has evolved a great deal over his career, but this version of Dirk is absolutely lethal in the mid-range and still demands the attention of every defense he faces.
LaMarcus Aldridge sometimes gets caught up in a bit of hyperbole in fans that call him the best power forward in the game. I don’t believe he’s on that level, but he has been fantastic for the resurgent Trail Blazers this season. He’s largely been their most reliable option offensively and has continued to be effective on the boards. Aldridge isn’t the best, but he’s still been great.
I’ve written recently that Anthony Davis is already a superstar in this league and I firmly believe that. He just turned 21 years old, but is already a player that can change the game on both ends of the floor. We all know he’s a stalwart defensively, but the development of his offensive game already is staggering. If he’s this good while he’s this young, the future is near limitless for him.
Early in the season, Kevin Love was making a strong case for MVP consideration. While Durant and LeBron have really put a stop to that, but Love has still been phenomenal. It’s become more uncommon for Love to not end up with a double-double than the alternative. Whether it’s his rebounding, scoring, or insane outlet passes, Love has been a pleasure to watch this year.
Blake Griffin deserves even more credit than he’s gotten from most people this season. People have been calling for him to evolve as a big man in this league and he’s done just that and more. Especially with the Chris Paul injury, Griffin has become a leader for the Clippers and has helped guide them to a spot as a possible contender in this league.
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