Trying to decide who is a power forward and who is the center on most teams isn’t easy. Guy flip flop at those two spots all the time. With that in mind, coming up with a list of the best power forwards was a little challenging for me. To remedy the situation, I decided to use how NBA.com classified each player and went with that in every case except one. Tim Duncan is listed as a power forward with the Spurs. I’m sure they do this so that everyone can say that Duncan is the best power forward of all time. There is one flaw with that logic however. The way I see it, Duncan has been the Spurs center ever since David Robinson retired. For that reason alone, Tim Duncan is not on this list.
There are a couple guys that just missed the top ten that still deserve a mention. Kenneth Faried and Jeff Green are great young players who poised for break out seasons and could land on this list as early as next season. There is another young player that deserves special note. That player is Tobias Harris. Harris spent much of last season languishing on the Bucks bench before being moved to the Magic in a deadline deal. Thankfully for Harris, and every basketball fan out there, the Orlando Magic decided to see what he was worth in his 36 games with the team. During that stretch he proved he is a star in the making, averaging 17.3 points a game to go along with 8.5 rebounds, 2.1 assists, just under a steal and 1.4 blocks.
A few of the guys who did make the list had down years last season because of injury, but most assuredly will bounce back to their former glory in the upcoming year.
10. Pau Gasol- Gasol really struggled last year as did every Laker other than Kobe Bryant. Now that the anchor known as Dwight Howard is now a member of the Houston Rockets, Gasol should return to his old was as a Laker stud. Even though Gasol wasn’t at the top of his game last year, he still averaged 13.7 points, 8.6 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.2 blocks a night.
9. Josh Smith- Smith would be a dominating player in this league if he decided to abandon his horrible outside game. Even with his atrocious jumper, Smith makes the list because of everything else he can do on the floor. Smith averaged 17.5 points, 8.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.8 blocks a game. It will be very interesting to see how Smith incorporates his game in Detroit since he signed a massive deal this off season to play for the Pistons.
8. David West- West is one of the most underrated big men in the entire NBA and has been for a long time. Last season was no different. West was a huge part of the Pacers run to the Eastern Conference Finals last season, averaging 17.1 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and a block a game.
7. Dirk Nowitzki- Dirk only played 53 games last year after coming back from injury and appeared to have lost a little something. Even though he was a step slow, Nowitzki still managed to average 17.3 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists a game.
6. David Lee- Lee was a huge reason the Warriors had a breakout season last year. Lee killed it on the glass and was a beast around the rim on the offensive end of the floor. He averaged 18.5 points, 11.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists a game. For his efforts last season, Lee made it to his first All-Star game.
5. Zach Randolph- Now that most of the little lift he had is gone, Randolph really needs to perfect his face up game to keep his effectiveness up to his lofty standards. Even though Randolph is no longer the offensive force that he used to be but is still a great player. Randolph averaged 15.4 points, 11.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists a game.
4. Blake Griffin- Griffin might have the worst face up game of any non-center in NBA history. Even with no offensive game to speak of other than dunks and layups Griffin knows how to get it done. In fact, Griffin was an ankle injury away from leading the Clippers on a deep run in last year’s playoffs. Griffin averaged 18 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.2 steals a game.
3. LaMarcus Aldridge- even though Aldridge matched his career low in shooting percentage, he has established himself as one of the premier power forward in the NBA. Aldridge has a nice face up game but can kill you on the block as well. Aldridge averaged 21.1 points, 9.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.2 blocks a game.
2. Kevin Love- Love only played 18 games last season because of a number of injuries, but still put up ridiculous numbers in his short time on the court. Love might be the best rebounder in the game with averages of 15.2, 13.3 and 14.0 over his last three seasons. That’s not the only thing that love does very well though. He can also really score the ball averaging more than 22 points a game over his last three years. Not bad for a player who was called a bust after his rookie season.
1. Carmelo Anthony- Anthony isn’t your prototypical power forward and is probably the worst rebounder on this list, averaging only 6.9 boards a game. But what he lacks in rebounding prowess, he makes up for in scoring ability. In his first year at the four spot, Anthony led the NBA in scoring, averaging 28.7 points a game.