Ranking the best power forwards in the NBA heading into the 2014-15 season

As good as the power forward position was a year ago, the 2014-15 season should be even better.  The reason for such high hopes for the 4 spot is the addition of some talented rookies, a new home with more opportunities for success from others and even a handful of position changes.

Here is a look at who should have the best season as a power forward during the upcoming season.

15.  Nene Hilario, Washington Wizards: after missing nearly half the season last year, Nene should be healthy and ready to put up big numbers for one of the best young teams in the East.  He has a solid post game and the ability to stretch the defense with his midrange game.  He also does damage in the transition game because of his effort at running the floor.

14.  Greg Monroe, Detroit Pistons: Monroe is great on the glass (9.3 rebounds per game in ’13-14), and a terrific scorer in the paint.  He has one more season in Detroit before he becomes an unrestricted free agent,which gives him just enough time to shows if he can be a No. 1 option for a playoff contender.

13.  David Lee, Golden State Warriors: Lee is the only real offensive weapon that the Warriors have in the front court and he needs to have another big year for Golden State to replicate the success it had last season.  He is a tough rebounder who will be the Warriors go-to guy when they need a bucket in the paint.

12.  Pau Gasol, Chicago Bulls: Gasol made the move to the Bulls in the offseason to bolster an already strong lineup.  He will be a great fit in Chicago because of his ability to knock down the midrange jumper.  He will also be a huge asset for the Bulls as one of the best passing big men in the game.

11.  David West, Indiana Pacers: West has taken a back seat on the offensive end over the last few years, but that wont be an option if the Pacers are going to have success this time around.  With the loss of Lance Stephenson to free agency and the injury to Paul George, West will be counted on to be the No. 1 offensive weapon as well as the team leader in the locker room.

10.  Kenneth Faried, Denver Nuggets: Faried made huge strides over the summer as a member of Team USA.  He showed that he could be much more than a glue guy because of his work ethic and tenacity when going to the glass (8.6 rebounds a game last year).  He is also a fierce finisher in the paint (54.5 percent from the floor in ’13-14), and a great defensive presence.

9.  Paul Millsap, Atlanta Hawks: Millsap was asked to do a great deal in his first season in Atlanta with the early season loss of Al Horford.  He delivered with averages of 17.9 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists to carry the Hawks to the playoffs and earn his first trip to the all-star game.  With the return of Horford, Millsap will have some help carrying the load and should give him more space to work.

8.  Zach Randolph, Memphis Grizzlies: Even though Randolph has been in the league for well over a decade, he is still one of the best rebounding (10.1 per game last year) and scoring (17.4 points per game in ’13-14) power forwards in the game.  For the Grizzlies to make another playoff appearance, he will need to put up those same kind of numbers as the first option in Memphis.

7.  Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks: Nowitzki is the leader of a retooled Mavericks squad looking to make a bigger splash in the Western Conference race this season.  Even though he doesn’t score the way he used to, Nowitzki can still stretch an opposing defense with his ability to shoot the ball from the outside and fill it up from all over the floor.

6.  Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City Thunder: Ibaka has evolved from a shot blocker early in his career to one of the most gifted big men in the league.  He can hit the offensive glass, score in the paint, and even step out and make a jumper.  For the Thunder to have success without Kevin Durant, Ibaka needs to be more aggressive on offense while still playing at the same high level.

5.  Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers: after years of being the man on a bad team, Love has the chance to be a secondary option on a championship contender.  With so many other high-level players in Cleveland there is no doubt that he wont put up the same stat lines that he did in Minnesota (26.1 points, 12.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists in ’13-14), but he will play for a winner.

4.  Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks: Anthony has a new coach, a new offense and a new chance to shine in New York after signing a big contract to stay with the Knicks in the offseason.  Whether the Knicks struggle as a team or find success in the new system, he will still put up huge offensive numbers while trying to propel New York back to the playoffs.

3.  LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers: After a great regular season in ’13-14, Aldridge showed that he could be one of the elite scorers in the game in the Blazers run to the second round of the playoffs.  In two road wins over the Houston Rockets to start the first round, he scored a combined 89 points to go along with 26 rebounds and five blocks.  If he can carry that success into this year, he will be one of the toughest guards in the game.

2.  Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers: Griffin continues to take steps to become more of a complete player.  Even though he can still attack the rim and finish with the best in the game, he can also knock down the occasional jumper and even make a free-throws.  He is also a solid rebounder (9.5 rebounds a game in ’13-14) and a skilled passer who will only get better in another year under Doc Rivers.

1.  Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans: With the trade for Omer Asik in the summer, Davis will have the chance to spend most of the season at his more natural power forward spot this season.  After a solid rookie season, he emerged as a prime time player for the Pelicans in his second year.  He averaged 20.8 points, 10 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.3 steals and 2.8 blocks.  With more talent surrounding him, including a healthy back court of Eric Gordon and Jrue Holiday, Davis will be able to show off even more skills.








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