In a guard heavy NBA, the traditional big man might be going extinct. However, a slew of big men can be critical to NBA postseason success.
This off-season, forward LaMarcus Aldridge and center DeAndre Jordan received lost of free agency interest, because they helped redefine the big man role.
Not only can today’s NBA front court rebound and defend in the post, but they must also run the floor against smaller lineups. Therefore, it is important to have the center and power forward compliment each other well.
Either way, here are how the teams with the best duo in the front court. These rankings only consider the starting pieces at the power forward and center position.
This starting front court possess more athleticism than any other duo in the league.
Power forward Blake Griffin spent last season putting up 20 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists. Griffin can play faster than bigger forwards and body smaller defenders.
His counterpart Jordan lead the league in rebounds for the past two seasons. Do not forget how good Jordan looked when Griffin was out with injury. Jordan averaged almost two blog shots and alters shots. Clipper bias aside, Griffin and Jordan can run and defend any back court in the league.
No. 2: Memphis Grizzlies- Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph
Talk about a dying bread. This group consistently dominates the league with their physicality. The passing abilities of forward Zach Randolph and center Marc Gasol compliment each other well.
Randolph is the big space-space eater with touch around the rim. Gasol is the agile defender with range. They are the ying and yang for NBA front courts.
Randolph commands touches near the rim, while Gasol can hit a mid-range jumper. These two are the example that the tradition big man has not died yet.
It is hard to put a team in transition above two teams with rapport. The Spurs added All-StarÃÂ Aldridge this offseason. He brings a twenty points and ten rebound game to San Antonio. However, Aldridge will adapt to a new role with the Spurs. Aldridge is used to carrying the team, but now he will be one piece of a whole.
Still, his game should mesh well with five time champion Tim Duncan. Both are selfless players who should establish a nice high-low game. However, neither player is a defensive stopper. Hence, the Clippers and Grizzlies both bet the edge.
The Hawks have the best front court in the Eastern Conference, based on last year’s regular season. Al Horford and Paul Millsap both made the All-Star game in 2015, after the Hawks had the best regular season record. The formula remains the same as both return for this season.
However, when Lebron James plays the power forward position, he can single-handedly best any front court. The Hawks found that out last postseason. Still, Horford and Millsap bring a blue-collar work ethic to every game. They should rank among the league’s best once again.
This unit could be the best if theses rankings considered depth. Taj Gibson and Nikola Mirotic spark this team in relief of Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah. Gibson and Mirotic need more minutes to keep Gasol and Noah fresh.
Alone, Noah and Gasol compliment each other well. The lengthy players can both pass the ball and fill up the stat sheet. Gasol struggles on defense, but Noah is a stopper. Noah struggles on offense, but Gasol can do almost anything with the basketball. Gasol also struggles with motivation, but Noah is tougher than nails. Another year together, should help this duo compliment each other even more.
The Best of the Rest
It was difficult excluding the Golden State Warriors’ front court from the list, but they won the 2015 title based on back court play. As for the Cavaliers, their remains too many questions with Anderson Verejao and Kevin Love‘s health.
If Terrance Jones continues improving, he and Dwight Howard will make easily make this list for the Houston Rockets.
The Milwaukee Bucks Greg Monroe and Jabari Parker duo could rise to this list. Do not sleep on the young front court of the Philadelphia 76ers either. Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor could take the east by storm.
Meanwhile, a healthy Chris Bosh and Serge Ibaka could put the Miami Heat or Oklahoma City Thunder both into consideration for best front courts, respectively. New Orleans Pelicans Anthony Davis and whoever plays beside him could also get into contention for the best duo just based on Davis’ talent.
Overall, the NBA features plenty of great front-courts. Many talk about the great guards, but there are still plenty of great front court duos taking the hardwood for the 2015-16 season.
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