After ranking the point guards, shooting guards and small forwards, we’re now on to the power forwards.

Following a rather controversial ranking of the shooting guards, there was a lot less debate about the rankings of the small forwards.

I had a conversation with some friends a while back, bemoaning the lack of quality, two-way power forwards in the NBA. In fact, I challenged them to name one very good two-way center under the age of 30 (they had to be very good on both ends of the court). They couldn’t. The power forward position seems to have been separated into those who score, but don’t defend much, and those who defend, but don’t score much.

Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and even Pau Gasol seem to be the last of a dying breed of power forwards who are game changers on both ends of the floor.

Now, Al Horford probably would have fit that description if he played his natural position of power forward, but he’s been the Hawks starting center since he was drafted, so he wasn’t included in either that argument or my rankings.

The two young power forwards of the future, Blake Griffin and Kevin Love, both leave defense to their teammates, which is probably okay because when they do play it they aren’t very good.

For the rankings, I included some players who have played center last season, but have been considered power forwards for most of their careers, like Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudemire and Kevin Garnett.

I have included Kevin Love’s stats from 2012 (other than his individual defensive stats, which I don’t have access to) since he only played 18 games last season.

Player
PER
Rank
WS
Rank
WS48
Rank
WP48
Rank
WP
Rank
Kevin Love*
25.4
1
10.0
2
0.223
1
0.226
3
10.1
4
Tim Duncan
24.4
2
8.3
7
0.191
3
0.230
1
10.0
5
Blake Griffin
22.4
3
10.6
1
0.196
2
0.178
8
9.7
6
Amare Stoudemire
22.1
4
2.7
30
0.191
3
0.108
19
1.5
29
Anthony Davis
21.7
5
6.1
17
0.167
8
0.174
9
6.7
15
LaMarcus Aldridge
20.4
6
7.2
13
0.124
21
0.081
24
4.7
19
David West
20.1
7
9.1
4
0.179
6
0.154
15
7.8
12
Chris Bosh
20.0
8
9.0
6
0.175
7
0.104
21
5.3
18
Dirk Nowitzki
19.8
9
5.0
22
0.145
16
0.108
19
3.7
22
Paul Millsap
19.8
9
7.6
9
0.154
13
0.150
16
7.4
13
Serge Ibaka
19.4
11
9.4
3
0.181
5
0.222
4
11.5
1
Kevin Garnett
19.2
12
5.6
19
0.133
19
0.090
22
3.8
20
David Lee
19.2
12
9.1
4
0.150
15
0.156
13
9.4
7
Kenneth Faried
18.5
14
7.8
9
0.167
8
0.228
2
10.7
2
Ersan Ilyasova
18.3
15
6.7
14
0.159
10
0.216
6
9.1
8
Thaddeus Young
18.2
16
7.4
11
0.136
18
0.149
17
8.1
11
Ryan Anderson
18.1
17
6.5
15
0.125
20
0.065
28
3.4
24
Zach Randolph
17.9
18
7.9
8
0.145
16
0.161
11
8.8
9
Ed Davis
17.8
19
5.4
20
0.159
10
0.217
5
7.3
14
Josh Smith
17.7
20
4.2
25
0.075
29
0.053
29
2.9
26
Carl Landry
17.6
21
6.2
16
0.159
10
0.162
10
6.3
16
Derrick Favors
17.5
22
4.4
23
0.117
22
0.155
14
5.8
17
Amir Johnson
17.3
23
7.3
12
0.151
14
0.216
6
10.5
3
Carlos Boozer
17.1
24
5.7
18
0.108
24
0.067
26
3.6
23
Pau Gasol
16.7
25
3.7
26
0.107
25
0.111
18
3.8
20
Luis Scola
16.7
25
4.4
23
0.096
28
0.007
30
0.3
30
Tristan Thompson
16.1
27
5.2
21
0.098
27
0.159
12
8.5
10
Elton Brand
15.2
28
3.4
28
0.107
25
0.084
23
2.7
27
Jason Thompson
14.6
29
3.6
27
0.075
29
0.067
26
3.2
25
Taj Gibson
14.4
30
3.3
29
0.109
23
0.072
25
2.2
28

For the most part, there probably aren’t a whole lost of surprises here, but there might be a few.

Kenneth Faried does well in WS, but is absolutely LOVED by WP, in large part because it favours defensive rebounding so much. To me this is an example of the flaws of this system, as WP considers Faried an elite player. In fact, he has the 6th highest WP in the entire league. I like Faried. But he’s not that good.

Pau Gasol had a horrible year, last season, and while it’s likely won’t be as bad this season, there’s a good chance last year wasn’t a blip but rather an indication of a dropoff in play.

Raptor fans might look longingly at Ed Davis’ numbers, since, per 48 minutes, he did well in both WS and WP, as did Amir Johnson.

Player
TS%
Rank
TRB%
Rank
OR%
Rank
DRR%
Rank
Stl Rate
Rank
Blk Rate
Rank
Amare Stoudemire
63.7
1
12.4
27
10
11
15.1
30
0.8
28
2.7
12
Serge Ibaka
61.2
2
14.2
15
11.1
7
17
28
0.6
30
7.4
1
Carl Landry
60.5
3
14.2
15
10.9
8
17.3
26
0.9
26
1.3
24
Chris Bosh
59.2
4
12.6
26
7
26
17.6
24
1.4
14
3.4
10
Amir Johnson
58.7
5
15.6
12
11.4
6
20
20
1.8
7
3.8
9
Kenneth Faried
57.3
6
18.3
4
13.2
2
23.2
9
1.8
7
2.9
11
Blake Griffin
57.2
7
15.2
14
8.7
15
21.5
12
2
4
1.6
22
Kevin Love*
56.8
8
19.0
3
11.6
5
26.4
3
1.1
23
0.9
28
Dirk Nowitzki
56.5
9
12.2
30
2.5
30
21.5
12
1.2
17
1.7
20
David Lee
56.1
10
16.8
8
8.5
17
24.5
6
1.2
17
0.6
30
Ed Davis
56.1
10
16.7
10
10.9
8
22.8
10
1.2
17
4.2
7
Anthony Davis
55.6
12
16.8
8
10.5
10
23.5
8
2.2
3
5.1
4
Tim Duncan
55.5
13
19.3
2
7.3
24
29.6
1
1.2
17
6.4
2
Ersan Ilyasova
55.2
14
13.9
19
7.9
20
20.3
18
1.7
10
1.3
24
Ryan Anderson
55.1
15
12.4
27
8.9
14
15.9
29
0.9
26
1
27
Paul Millsap
54.9
16
13.6
21
8.6
16
18.8
22
2.3
2
2.7
12
David West
54.4
17
13.0
25
6.8
27
18.8
22
1.6
12
2.1
18
Thaddeus Young
53.9
18
12.3
29
7.6
22
17.2
27
2.7
1
1.6
21
Kevin Garnett
53.5
19
15.5
13
4.5
29
25.8
4
2
4
2.4
16
Jason Thompson
53.3
20
13.6
21
8.4
18
19.5
21
1.1
23
2.1
18
Derrick Favors
53.2
21
17.8
5
11.9
4
24
7
2
4
5.7
3
LaMarcus Aldridge
52.7
22
13.9
19
7.2
25
20.9
16
1.2
17
2.5
15
Taj Gibson
51.8
23
13.6
21
9.7
12
17.5
25
1
25
4.7
5
Luis Scola
51.6
24
14.1
17
8.1
19
20.4
17
1.6
12
1.2
26
Carlos Boozer
51.2
25
17.4
6
7.8
21
27.2
2
1.4
14
0.8
29
Tristan Thompson
51.2
25
17.3
7
13.2
2
22.1
11
1.2
17
2.2
17
Pau Gasol
51.0
27
14.0
18
7.6
22
20.1
19
0.7
29
2.7
12
Zach Randolph
50.7
28
19.5
1
13.8
1
25.1
5
1.3
16
1
27
Josh Smith
50.1
29
13.6
21
5.8
28
21.3
15
1.8
7
3.9
8
Elton Brand
49.9
30
15.7
10
9.7
12
21.5
12
1.7
10
4.6
6

What’s important to note here is that no one in the top 6 were either the first or second option on the team, and in many cases not even the third or fourth one. It’s easier to shoot a higher percentage when you the defenses aren’t keyed on you. Of course, Blake Griffin, Kevin Love and Dirk Nowitzki took more shots than anyone else on their team, and they all finished in the top 10 in True Shooting Percentage, thanks to a lot of foul shots and close shots for Griffin and a combination of  a lot of three point shots and foul shots for Love and Nowitzki.

Clearly, you can shoot efficiently while still being your team’s main scorer, something players like Josh Smith and Zach Randolph should take note of.

While Stoudemire was an efficient scorer, off the bench last season, he was awful in the other above categories.

Like Stoudemire, some of the older power forwards, like Chris Bosh, Pau Gasol and Nowitzki struggled on the boards, probably caused by a lack of mobility that seems to happen when you get older (something I can attest to). Rebounds they would have gotten five years ago are out of range today.

While Amir is an efficient scorer, and good on the offensive boards, he is only average overall, partially because he is a below average defensive rebounder at his position.

Player
PPP
Rank
Post up
Rank
P&R
Rank
Spot up
Rank
DRating
Rank
DWS
Rank
 xRAPM
Rank
Zach Randolph
0.75
1
0.76
8
0.83
13
0.83
6
99
2
4.7
2
1.0
23
Kevin Garnett
0.76
2
0.64
1
0.81
10
0.88
10
99
2
3.8
8
5.9
2
Taj Gibson
0.76
2
0.75
5
0.96
23
0.84
7
101
6
2.3
19
2.6
8
Dirk Nowitzki
0.8
4
0.73
4
0.8
7
0.79
2
106
22
1.8
26
1.3
17
David Lee
0.81
5
0.84
15
0.6
1
0.82
4
104
16
3.7
9
1.1
19
Josh Smith
0.81
5
0.71
2
0.92
20
0.93
15
101
6
4.5
4
3.3
6
David West
0.81
5
0.89
21
0.97
24
0.81
3
99
2
4.7
2
2.3
10
Pau Gasol
0.82
8
0.75
5
0.87
15
0.88
10
106
22
1.7
27
1.6
14
Chris Bosh
0.82
8
0.81
13
0.72
4
0.85
8
103
14
3.4
11
2.0
12
Blake Griffin
0.83
10
0.88
20
0.61
2
0.95
18
102
10
3.9
7
1.4
16
Carlos Boozer
0.84
11
0.9
24
0.95
21
0.72
1
100
5
4.3
5
1.1
19
Tristan Thompson
0.84
11
0.79
9
0.91
18
1.01
24
108
27
2.0
23
1.0
23
Derrick Favors
0.86
13
0.92
26
0.81
10
0.87
9
101
6
2.9
13
3.1
7
LaMarcus Aldridge
0.86
13
0.71
2
0.98
25
0.91
14
107
25
2.3
29
2.1
11
Thaddeus Young
0.86
13
0.89
21
0.68
3
0.94
16
103
14
3.7
9
1.7
13
Elton Brand
0.87
16
0.8
11
0.88
16
0.96
21
102
10
2.2
22
2.6
8
Paul Millsap
0.87
16
0.8
11
0.8
7
1.01
24
104
16
2.9
13
3.4
5
Tim Duncan
0.88
18
0.75
5
1.12
30
0.95
18
95
1
4.9
1
6.3
1
Amir Johnson
0.88
18
0.84
15
0.73
5
0.94
16
104
16
2.9
13
3.6
3
Luis Scola
0.88
18
0.83
14
1.04
28
0.82
4
107
25
1.9
24
0.7
25
Jason Thompson
0.88
18
0.79
9
0.98
25
0.9
13
111
29
0.9
28
0.6
26
Serge Ibaka
0.89
22
0.84
15
0.91
18
1.03
26
101
6
4.1
6
3.5
4
Ryan Anderson
0.9
23
0.86
18
0.81
10
0.99
22
112
30
0.8
29
-2.9
30
Ersan Ilyasova
0.94
24
1.02
28
0.76
6
0.99
22
104
16
2.5
16
0.1
27
Kenneth Faried
0.95
25
0.89
21
0.95
21
1.15
29
102
10
3.4
11
1.1
19
Ed Davis
0.95
25
0.96
27
0.9
17
0.95
18
102
10
2.4
17
1.2
18
Anthony Davis
0.97
27
0.9
24
1
27
1.11
27
104
16
2.4
17
1.1
19
Amare Stoudemire
0.97
27
1.08
30
1.06
29
1.11
27
108
27
0.6
30
-1.3
29
Carl Landry
0.98
29
0.86
18
0.85
14
1.26
30
106
22
1.9
24
-1.2
28
Kevin Love*
1.03
30
1.03
29
0.8
7
0.88
10
104
16
2.3
29
1.5
15

As I’ve said previously, all of these defensive ratings are fairly flawed. Zach Randolph is NOT a very good defender, but because he plays beside one of the best in the league, and because Memphis is a very good defensive team, he does very well in all but the XRAPM rating.

Serge Ibaka, one of the better defenders in the league, at the power forward position, fairs poorly in the situational defensive stats, but not in the ratings.

And then there is Stoudemire, who is probably very appropriately ranked in all but the XRAPM rating.

Amir does pretty well across the board, which is probably where he should be. Amir has shown to be a good, but not great, overall defender.

Faried, despite his favourable WS and WP rankings, doesn’t not fair well in most of the defensive categories.

Player
Rank Avg
Tim Duncan
7.95
Blake Griffin
9.32
Zach Randolph
10.26
Amir Johnson
10.68
Serge Ibaka
10.74
David Lee
10.95
Kenneth Faried
11.05
Kevin Garnett
11.16
Kevin Love*
11.42
Derrick Favors
11.89
David West
12.21
Chris Bosh
12.32
Paul Millsap
12.68
Anthony Davis
13.47
Ed Davis
13.79
Thaddeus Young
14.74
Dirk Nowitzki
15.16
Josh Smith
15.53
Ersan Ilyasova
15.63
Carlos Boozer
15.68
Tristan Thompson
16.37
Elton Brand
16.58
Taj Gibson
16.63
LaMarcus Aldridge
16.63
Carl Landry
17.89
Pau Gasol
18.00
Luis Scola
20.47
Amare Stoudemire
20.68
Ryan Anderson
21.26
Jason Thompson
21.32

If you’re a Raptor fan, you have to like the ranking average for all the power forwards, which favours Amir’s overall positive finish in most categories.

On the other hand, one of the best young power forwards in the league, LaMarcus Aldridge, finishes horribly close to the bottom, maybe hinting he might be a tad overrated.

Rank
Player
1
Tim Duncan
2
Kevin Love*
3
Blake Griffin
4
LaMarcus Aldridge
5
Serge Ibaka
6
Chris Bosh
7
Kevin Garnett
8
Dirk Nowitzki
9
David West
10
David Lee
11
Paul Millsap
12
Ersan Ilyasova
13
Zach Randolph
14
Amir Johnson
15
Kenneth Faried
16
Thaddeus Young
17
Josh Smith
18
Pau Gasol
19
Anthony Davis
20
Derrick Favors
21
Carlos Boozer
22
Tristan Thompson
23
Ed Davis
24
Ryan Anderson
25
Carl Landry
26
Amare Stoudemire
27
Taj Gibson
28
Luis Scola
29
Elton Brand
30
Jason Thompson

While he can’t play 35 minutes per game, anymore, I had to put Tim Duncan at the top. There isn’t another power forward in the league who can play at both ends as well as Duncan, even at his advanced age.

While Love and Griffin are not good defensive player, they both are so productive, they almost make up for their weakness on the defensive end. I say almost because their respective teams will probably struggle with those two should they go deep into the playoffs.

Those who believe the Hawks are worse because Josh Smith is no longer with the team might want to take a closer look at Paul Millsap, who seems to be a better player than Smith.

Ersan Ilyasova played a lot of small forward last season, which probably negatively affected his stats, but he might be one of the most underrated power forwards in the league, right now. He scores efficiently from inside and out, is a very good rebounder and a decent defender. And he probably he one of the better contracts in the league, right now.

While Faried is loved by some advanced stats, the fact that he’s undersized, and thus struggles on defense, makes it difficult to rank him very high.

While Amir Johnson will never make an All Star team, Raptor fans should be very pleased to have such a good, all around power forward. I would say that position is the least of their worries, especially considering how few good two-way power forwards there are in the league.

  • zigzagas

    Why didn’t you use any traditional metrics such as PPG, RPG, BPG, MPG, etc? I mean anyone who watches basketball knows that Amir isn’t even in the same league as Gasol, and is certainly not as good of a player as Josh Smith, Boozer, Amare, or maybe even Faried. But you’ve ranked him higher than them? Sure, the guy can play some good D and is a solid rebounder. But aside from that?

    • mike, prague
    • Tee

      I think that he just does these for fun & discussion.

      I read lists like this all the time on bleacher report.

    • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

      People really have to get away from using traditional metrics as a way of measuring a player, because they actually mean so little. Does someone score a lot because he’s actually a good scorer, or because he gets a lot of shots on a bad team (my favourite example, look up Tony Campbell)? And maybe someone doesn’t score as many points as they could because they are on a more talented team and they don’t need to score.

      Someone getting more rebounds than another person might mean they are a better rebounder, or it just might mean they get more minutes and their team plays at a faster pace and misses more shots.

      The number of blocks a player gets gives no indication of how good a defender a player is, because we don’t know if that player tries to blocks everything, leaving himself in a bad defensive position when he doesn’t get the blocks, which is most of the time **cough**JaVale McGee**cough**, or whether he blocks shot as part of good defensive play, like TIm Duncan.

      I think people often overvalue certain players because of the role they play on the team, or because of how many points they score. Josh Smith is a better scorer than Amir, but he scores so inefficiently, his scoring is less valuable than Amir’s. Boozer gets good surface stats, but maybe there’s a good reason behind Chicago apparently offering him for Bargnani. He can score and rebound, but he is very inefficient as a scorer and is a poor defensive player. How much does he really help his team win?

      • mountio

        how much does Kevin Love, who blows away advanced stats, help his team win?

        • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

          Well, with him they are a playoff team. Without him they are a lottery team. I’d say about that much.

          • mountio

            Unless im missing something, they havent made the playoffs since 2003 and Love has been on the team for the last 5 years .. so not sure where you are getting that from

            • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

              Minnesota was above .500 with Love last year. He got injured and their season went down the tubes.

              • bed

                That doesn’t mean anything. The Raptors were also > .500 with Gay last year. This is just confirmation bias.

                • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                  Only on the surface. The Raptors were playing .500 ball when Gay was traded and continued to play .500 ball after the trade. And they were only SLIGHTLY above .500 thanks to winning 7 games in their last 8, thanks to them playing a bunch of teams that had either given up on the season and/or were resting their starters for the playoffs.

                  Minnesota was playing well, DESPITE not having RUbio. And they didn’t have the advantage of playing teams at the end of the season.

                  Now, Im not saying Love is a franchise player, or anything. I think his defense will eventually hurt the T-Wolves, as I stated in the article. But Love is one of the best PFs in the game, and I don’t see how you can argue that he’s not.

                • mountio

                  Its not that Kevin Love is a bad player .. just that hes very overrated by advanced stats. And, hes a good reminder that advanced stats, just like regular stats (PPG, APG, RPG etc) are helpful indicators of the quality of a player .. but arent the be all and end all. Despite the fact that win shares and wins produced would suggest they have a strong correlation with winning, In fact, in Love’s case, they dont tell us much about his ability to get his team to win at all. In fact, hes been quite bad at getting his team to win, despite stuffing the stat sheet (and despite some pretty decent teamates in Pekovic, Rubio and others).
                  I have no problem with using advanced stats .. in fact I think they are great tool to help understand a players effectiveness. I do have a problem though when people think that they are somehow a magical measure of players’ ability to win, which they are not.

                • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                  Like Griffin, I criticize Love in the article, and had he been healthy, I said I would have probably put him on the overrated list I wrote earlier this year, as I did with Griffin. But I find it hard to argue he should be much lower than I put him. I would say the only truly elite player on this list is Duncan, but the fact is that I have to rank someone second and third, and Love is probably the second best power forward in the league right now.

      • SR

        I don’t see zigzagas discounting the stats you did use, he asked why you didn’t include a few more basic ones. Your anti-anti-advanced metrics rant sort of missed the point, didn’t it?

        • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

          No, it didn’t. My “rant” against traditional stats is EXACTLY why I didn’t include them. I think they are almost useless and I think people need to get away from looking at them as a way of measuring a player. In my first ranking of the point guards, I discussed why I was looking at the stats I did.

          • SR

            Your rant is about box score stats vs. advanced metrics. Zigzagas didn’t present you with that dichotomy, he suggested using both, so I still think you missed his point a bit there. I think that if we’re doing a statistical analysis, the outcome’s going to be more accurate if more data is included. Of course you can give box score stats the proper weight and considerations for context that they deserve, as you’ve pointed out.

            • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

              Actually, all he asked was why I didn’t use box score stats. And I explained why, as I did in my first rankings of the point guard. Maybe I could include them, and I might if I do these rankings next year. I’ve actually thought of coming up with a system of ranking the players that might make it a bit easier to follow my logic. COnsider this version the beta test.

              • SR

                Hey, you know what would be a lot of fun – write up everything leading up to the final rankings in the same way, then leave a poll up for a couple days and let readers rank based on your article/data presented. Publish the poll results after a couple days and then post your own final rankings. That would be a good time.

            • bed

              ” I think that if we’re doing a statistical analysis, the outcome’s going to be more accurate if more data is included. ”

              This would only be true if we are actually using more data. Statistical analysis is not about using more and more metrics but rather to analyze, transform, and form conclusions about the data you have.

              • SR

                I said: “The outcome’s going to be more accurate if more data is included.”
                You said: “This would only be true if we are actually using more data.”
                Conclusion: We agree!

    • theboss96

      Boozer? Ru serious Bulls will given away Boozer away for a bag of basketballs, bulls are much better w/o his terrible defense and huge contract. Gasol is soft and had a very bad season last year, A’mare played like 5 gms last season and is paid big time. Josh SMith takes the most questionable shots, hawks are better off with millsap. Amir showed he was worth his contract last season and shown he can grow as a player, he is only 25 and from lokking at last season he is a good pf who will get better. JV and him shown alot of promise so did lowry and T-raw.

    • Ian Reynolds

      I don’t think those stats actually mean that much, as they’re pretty flawed for one reason or another as others have said. Blocks, for example, don’t tell the story, at all.

      Is a guy being posted up, and rejecting 1.3 shots a game? Or is he not a great man-defender and getting 2 weekside blocks per game? I actually think this kind of thing applies to Ibaka. He gets a lot of blocks on rotations, but I don’t think he’s actually all that good playing Man D.

      If you’re going to use the basic stats such as the ones you mentioned, at the very least you have to use per36, rather than per game, in order to get a base level of comparison between different players.

  • c_bcm

    This was fun. Some surprises: (1) Amir>Josh Smith? OK, we got good value on that contract eh Pistons fans? Kind of a double-edged sword on them. (2) Ed Davis getting some love. This is likely because he is quite efficient and productive when he is on te court. It will be interesting to see if he can maintain that production when he is playing heavier minutes. (3) Tim Duncan is my hero, full stop.

    • SR

      Tim Duncan is incredible. Half of his generation is already retired (think of T-Mac, who’s three years younger). Duncan has not only paced himself and stayed healthy (ex. Vince Carter), but he’s still friggin’ top 3 at his position at 37. That’s absolutely insane.

      • Van Grungy

        When Duncan retires Popovich will be revealed as just some coach that got lucky

        • Lucas

          I hate, hate, HATE the Spurs, but that’s just a thoughtless thing to say. Yes, he is lucky to have that level of talent available to him, but do you seriously think Vinny Del Negro could have done as much with that roster? Not to mention that we don’t know how Tim Duncan would have turned out if he had been coached but mediocre coaches like that his whole career (or whether he would even have stayed).

          Also, don’t you think there’s a reason he had the utmost respect of his best players?

          Realistically, they have been so good for so long because of a combination of great coaching, great players who stay put, and great talent scouts and talent developers.

          Don’t forget that people wrote those guys out as old a few seasons ago, after losing in the first round twice, and in the second round once. Since then Pop has adapted by shifting their style of play, and they’ve gone to the Conference Finals and to the Finals, with the same stars, only they’re even older (and in Ginobili’s case, washed up).

          In conclusion: I hate the Spurs, but I have a LOT of respect for them. They’ve earned that much.

        • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

          You REALLY need to watch more of the Spurs if you think Popovich isn’t one of the best coaches, if not THE best coach in the NBA.

          • Van Grungy

            Well, I’m not going to say that until Duncan retires and Popovich proves you right.

            • c_bcm

              You are of course entitled to your opinion, but that is craziness. Phil Jackson and Greg Popovich occupy the elite level of coaches in the last 20 years. No one else comes close.

              • Van Grungy

                Phil Jackson took his system of Player Management and the Triangle to a different team and made it work. That is a massive achievement in coaching.
                Nobody is EVER going to say that Jordan would have won 6 titles without Phil Jackson. NOBODY is EVER going to say that Shaq, Kobe and Gasol would have won those titles without Phil Jackson.

                • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                  That’s reason to believe Jackson is a great coach, but it’s not a reason to believe that Popovich isn’t.

                  And, ironically, there are many people that think Jackson is overrated because he was able to win only because he had Jordan, Pippen, Shaq and Kobe to coach. I am not one of those people, but there certainly are more people that question Jackson’s greatness than Popovich’s.

                  And you could easily say that TIm DUncan doesn’t win four titles, with two COMPLETELY different teammates.

                  And I would argue that Popovich is a better tactician than Jackson, and I don’t think I’d get much argument from 99.9% of people on that.

                • HogyG

                  I’m not sure about all that. I’m not going to debate that Pop isn’t one of the best (as clearly has been for quite a while, but better than Phil? You should add that to your list of “things to make into a poll”, because I think more people may disagree with you than you think. Rings baby!

                  How many rings does Phil have and what has he accomplished? (copied from Yahoo! Answers)

                  As player:

                  2× NBA Champion (1970), (1973)
                  NBA All-Rookie Second Team (1968)

                  As coach:

                  11× NBA Champion (1991–1993, 1996–1998, 2000–2002, 2009-2010,)
                  6× Eastern Conference Champion (1991–1993, 1996–1998)
                  7× Western Conference Champion (2000–2002, 2004, 2008–2010)
                  1× NBA Coach of the Year (1996)
                  4× NBA All-Star Game Coach (1992, 1996, 2000, 2009)
                  Top 10 Coaches in NBA History
                  Most NBA Championships won as a head coach
                  Most Conference Championships won as a head coach
                  Most wins in NBA Playoffs history
                  Most wins in a season (1996)
                  Best regular season winning percentage (1996)
                  Most wins in Chicago Bulls history
                  Most wins in Los Angeles Lakers history

                  “A better tactician”… Now there would be an interesting debate. As the above info suggests to me that he is THE ULTIMATE, I would have to favor Phil. However, when faced with adversity, I can see that Pop may be able to change his game plan and reevaluate his tactics on the fly with better success than Phil, but I would argue that it is only because he had to in the first place (see above stats ie. “Most wins in….” as proof). Phil’s initial game plan (a.k.a. tactics) worked from the onset of the game and thus he did not need to alter his game plan and only needed to stay the course to capture victory.

                • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                  I never said that Popovich was a better coach than Jackson. I aid he was a better tactician. Theres a very big difference.

                • HogyG

                  Alright you may have never stated directly that Pop is a better coach, but I hate to say you kinda did. The word tactics is defined as the art or science of disposing military or naval forces (or in our case athletes) and maneuvering them in battle. It would further break down as any mode of gaining advantage or success. In sports, success often boils down to wins and who has them. Phil has them over Pop, his records show that nobody has more playoff wins, no one has more titles and likely won’t any time soon. Since the main duty of any coach is to come up with the tactics used to defeat their opponent it is fair to say that one correlates with the other. Both are crafty individuals who are masters of deceiving both their opponents as well as the media. However, to say that there is a very big difference between being a better coach and being a better tactician is simply not correct.

                • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                  I meant that Popovich is better at x’s and o’s, which is what is commonly referred to as a good tactician in coaching. You seem to be looking for some sort of an argument where there isn’t one.

                  Personally, I don’t think you can say that one is a better coach than the other. Both are great coaches whose record speak for themselves. Jackson had the advantage of playing with more talent than Popovich had.

                • Van Grungy

                  It’s hard to compare Popovich and Jackson yet, Duncan hasn’t retired.

                  “you could easily say that TIm DUncan doesn’t win four titles”
                  No. I can safely say that no matter what, Tim Duncan would win a handful of Finals no matter where he played.

                • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                  Garnett and Duncan came into the league nearly at the same time and have had nearly identical stats throughout their career, yet Garnett won only won Championship when he was traded to Boston.

                  And someone could say the same thing about Jordan.

                • Van Grungy

                  I would take Duncan over Garnett every single time.
                  Intangibles.

                  I don’t think Jordan wins anything if he had signed normal contracts at market rates. The Bulls always had a huge financial advantage during the Jordan years. If Jordan was on any other team he would have won a handful of Finals just because of the long term contract he signed to allow for team stacking.

                • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                  I take Duncan over Garnett every time, too, but that’s not the point. The difference isn’t THAT big.

                  As for your comment about Jordan, I really don’t know WHAT to say about that. THe Bulls weren’t “stacked” in the least, other than the fact he was on them and that Pippen was the second best player on the team. Of course, you could say the same thing about Bird’s Celtics and Magic’s Lakers. Let’s just put an asterisk beside EVERY Championship, because you could easily do that.

                  It seems to me that you’re arguing based on personal preference, and not accepting the same arguments you are using to counter them.

                • Bendit

                  You do realize that Phil too Tex Winter wherever he went. There is a reason for that.

            • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

              How much of the Spurs do you actually watch? I really don’t think there is any sane person alive that doesn’t think that Popovich isn’t, at least, a good coach. What makes you say he’s not?

              The Spurs run one of the best pro offenses I have ever seen, and it changes from year to year. He’s shown the ability to adjust the offense from one that revolves around Duncan to one that revolves around Parker, without missing a beat. He’s created the best system in the NBA for getting the most out of every single player in the team. I suggest checking out bballbreakdown on Youtube and looking at some of the Spurs videos he does. They are astounding.

              • SR

                Popovich is a genius, and he will probably retire as soon as Duncan does.

              • Van Grungy

                If you are coaching in the NBA you have to be a ‘good’ coach. I just don’t think he is special.

                I’m sure Popovich will do better in the time AD (After Duncan) than Jerry Sloan AS (After Stockton). At least Popovich has won and has that experience to draw on.

                • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                  Please don’t tell me you didn’t think Sloan was a great coach, either. Sloan was probably the sole reason Utah didn’t bottom out enough to to get one top 5 pick despite not having a whole lot of talent to play.

                  As for Popovich, you haven’t said what makes you think he’s not something special. Now, keep in mind, I’m a big Spurs fan and have been so since before Duncan was drafted, so I have watched a lot of them. And if you think I’m biased because of that, I’m guessing you haven’t read any of my criticisms of the Raptors, my favourite team.

                  Watch this: http://youtu.be/rQK8YUpRSsc

                  Popovich was voted best coach in the NBA in a survey of the league’s GMs.
                  http://www.nba.com/news/features/2012-gm-survey/index.html

                  Then there’s this….
                  http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/58016/the-best-coach-in-the-nba

                  I’m just not sure what reason you have to suggest he’s not one of the best coaches, if not THE best coach in the league right now. So far, you haven’t given any.

                • Van Grungy

                  “you haven’t said what makes you think he’s not something special.”
                  Yes I have. I said that I think Duncan is the primary reason for the Spurs success. Popovich surfed the Duncan tsunami of talent and skill.

                  Why is your assumption negative? Pat Reilly rode waves of players, but he was no Phil Jackson or else the Knicks with Ewing would have won multiple Finals, or one at least.

                  I actually remember the Admiral years. People used to call him the 7 foot version of Jordan. The basketball lottery gods smiled upon David Robinson by giving him a basketball son.

                  Would Tim Duncan still be one of the greatest had he not been mentored by Mr. Robinson?

                  Coaches in the NBA are sometimes blessed. Popovich certainly is that.

                • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                  “I said that I think Duncan is the primary reason for the Spurs success. Popovich surfed the Duncan tsunami of talent and skill.”

                  But you have never said WHY you believe that. I’ve explained why I think Popovich is a great coach. You just said that you didn’t think he was, but haven’t told me any reasons for that. The fact that he had Tim Duncan isn’t a reason any more than the fact Jackson had Jordan, Pippen, Kobe and Shaq is a reason he wasn’t a great coach.

                  I’m not downplaying Duncan’s role, as I think he’s the best player of his generation, but he was fortunate to have a coach like Popovich just as much as Popovich was fortunate to have a player like Duncan.

                  Pat Riley deserves mention among the best coaches of all time, too. The New York team he coached to the FInals was one of the worst Finals teams in a long time. And the fact his Lakers teams and Knicks teams played COMPLETELY different styles, yet both were successful, shows how good a coach he was.

                • Van Grungy

                  Why? I just do.
                  Tis my opinion.

                • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                  From your original comment, it didn’t sound like an opinion, but a statement of fact, which I figured you could back up. Makes me wonder why even bring it up.

                • Van Grungy

                  discussion sparked
                  😉

  • ItsAboutFun

    “one of the best young power forwards in the league, LaMarcus Aldridge, finishes horribly close to the bottom, maybe hinting he might be a tad overrated.”

    Or maybe hinting (a tad gentle?) that this “stats ranking average system” (is there another name?) is a lot overrated.

    • SR

      My first thought was exactly the same. If the stats seem out of line, use your eyes. Aldridge is a very talented and fairly well-rounded basketball player.

      Also, it’s getting harder as he ages, but I still think Bosh’s stats are suffering considerably because he’s just doing what Miami’s asking him to do instead of going for 20 and 10. He’s become a very underrated cog in their system, which totally depends on his mobility and range at both ends of the floor. Not many guys on this list would have been able to block that Danny Green 3 the way Bosh did.

      • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

        I ranked as Aldridge 4th best.

        • SR

          So did you overrate him too? Why did you put him 4 based on your use of stats that ranked him much lower than that? I think it would be interesting to include in these posts some of your opinions/criteria that lead to your final rankings.

          • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

            Like with Griffin, I think his high ranking had more to do with the lack of quality two-way power forwards in the league. I would have gone into more detail, but, quite frankly, I didn’t have the time. I wrote this thing late last night.

            • SR

              Alright, not looking to argue here – honest questions about the process, because now I’m confused. The premise of these posts is using advanced metrics to make a more detailed analysis of who is “the best” at each position, right? What’s the point of arguing for these metrics (which you do repeatedly in the comments thread, vs. “eye-test” context considerations and traditional box score stats) and then essentially tossing them out when you write up your final list because you figure they’re not reflective of certain players’ (i.e. Aldridge) actual ability/impact? Isn’t the whole process moot as soon as you do that? Or, if there are considerations that can swing a guy all the way from the bottom of lists to the top 5, aren’t those considerations worth including in the post? Or, if I’m reading between the lines, aren’t you actually taking into consideration some eye-test/context factors in your final judgement, contrary to the many arguments you make for advanced metrics above all else that you make in the comments thread?

              I know I’m picking at things a bit here, so excuse that.

              • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                Maybe my rankings aren’t the most consistent thing, but I’ve never felt that relying on one thing is the way to go, and I’ve always been consistent with that. As I said in another reply to you, I may do things a little differently if I do this again next year.

  • SR

    Duncan, Garnett, Gasol, and (even) Howard are aging and wearing down, but the next generation of PF/C is going to be fine. Between Anthony Davis, Jonas, TT, and this year’s and next year’s draft classes, there will be some very talented bigs rounding into form over the next 3-5 seasons. I don’t think the two-way big man is on the way out – just a temporary trend with guys like Love, Griffin, and Ibaka.

    • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

      Davis and Thompson aren’t good scorers, at this point, and I doubt Thompson ever becomes anything close to a 20 ppg scorer, so I wouldn’t put him in that category. And Valanciunas is a center, not a power forward, which is what my question was regarding.

      • Thimble

        Also, sometimes these stats don’t really show the intangibles. Amir was constantly hustling everywhere on the floor. If someone was diving for a ball on the Raptors, it was usually Amir.

  • Mugsy

    While I appreciate any well thought out opinion, especially with so much analysis and enjoyed reading this, this is a very good example of how stats can distort the truth. Without getting into a debate of what “truth” really means in the context of rating players, Il pose a simple question: Would you REALLY rather have Amir Johnson than Pau Gasol on your team?

    • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

      Right now? Absolutely. Did you watch much of Gasol last year? He was an inefficient scorer and poor defender. If the Lakers had Amir instead of Gasol last year, they would have won more games.

      Now, maybe Gasol gets healthy again and bounces back, but the Gasol from last season doesn’t help his team win as much as Amir.

    • Ian Reynolds

      I know the point you’re trying to make, but you picked two bad examples to make it. I would rather have Amir than last year’s Pau on my team.

  • HogyG

    I see you put a lot of work into this article (thanks for your effort), however when you put Blake Griffin as the 3rd best overall power forward in the league you make all of your hard work completely useless. He is more and more being recognized by top level analysts around the NBA as one of the most overrated players (bar position) in the league. Don’t agree, let me break it down for you right quick.

    Blake is a poor defender (as you even admitted) and therefore isn’t a quality two way player. If you look at his minutes played, size/stature and athletic prowess, it becomes apparent that he is a below average rebounder, this year he only managed to pull down just over 8 per game this past season (something we as Raptor fans slammed Chris Bosh for and saw as under-performing throughout his time with us). Furthermore, he isn’t a high quality free throw shooter (65%) and doesn’t appear to have a consistent mid-range game, which limits the ways he can effectively score. How does a monster sized dunk champion, playing with Chris Paul, have less points per game than before he started to play with him? He apparently has a low basketball IQ, and reminds me of those kind of guys we all went to school with who is stellar in a pick up game on the playground, but sits on the bench IF he makes the team because he can’t follow a simple drawn up play.

    When in the playoffs this year, he absolutely crumbled under the pressure (5.5 rbs and 13 ppg), and again found a non existent injury to blame for his poor performance. In fact, except for not being painted green he could be confused for the Hulk, yet so far throughout his career he doesn’t do well with any sort of contact/tough play against him. He’s a one dimensional cry baby, if he doesn’t get an ally-oop pass or a open lane he just can’t effectively score. With that said, what PF in the league isn’t an effective scorer when passed an ally-oop or have an open lane to the hoop. This doesn’t make him special or good, it makes fans silly for allowing man crushes around the league for a guy who dunked over the short part of a car to skew their beliefs of his actual ability. He’s the NBA’s boy and is treated as such, and people around the league fell victim to the NBE’s (National Basketball Entertainment’s) propaganda to make another rising star.

    Why would Chris Paul express his discontent of Blake Griffin if he was ACTUALLY the third best PF in the league?

    • SR

      Whoa boy, context! He’s talking ’bout context!

    • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

      Well, first of all Griffin was injured during the playoffs, so his playoff stats bear little resemblance to the Griffin who played during the regular season. And I’m as hard on Griffin as anyone, putting him on my list of overrated players earlier in the year. And you may have missed the part in the article where I said both the Clippers and the T-Wolves will struggle if their team goes deep in the playoffs because of Griffin and Love’s poor defense.

      BUT…

      While he’s a poor defender, he’s also a game changer and a supremely talented player. Griffin ranked so high also highlights my point about there being so few good, two ways power forwards in the league. Ten years ago, he’s not even a top five power forward. Now, he is. But that says more about the state of the power forward position.

      • HogyG

        A player can’t be both overrated and the third best PF in the league. You discredit yourself by pointing that out. Make up your mind, is he over rated or the third best PF in the league? Make a chioce and stick with it, unless of course you’re trying to take a page of of BG’s play book and flip-FLOP on your opinion of him.

        AND…

        Supremely talented? At what? Flopping, jumping over cars or making fun of himself in commercials? To me, talent indicates skills in your profession and he has very little of them. Is he a physical specimen? Yes. Is he supremely athletic. Again, the answer would be yes. But what actual basketball skills does the man possess to dub him “supremely talented”?

        He’s a poor shooter (both mid range and free throw) and hasn’t gotten better thus far indicating an unwillingness to improve (D12 anyone), perhaps he’s an average passer as his 3+ assists per game can indicate (however I believe it more indicates the confident shooters they surrounded him with), but still has very little court vision. He seems lost on the floor during half court possessions and at no time can the man dominate a large portion of the game in a 1 on 1 scenario (like any of your other top three choices in the previous position breakdowns). He can’t dribble, and as we both agree upon on multiple posts today he can’t defend his position. He averaged about 32 minutes per game this past year, a declining trend each season he has been in the league, and if you stopped to ask yourself why, perhaps it’s because the coach/CP3 didn’t trust in his abilities to perform/finish when it mattered, and instead trusted his minutes to Lamar Odom who was a shadow of his former self all season long, but got the minutes anyway because of his willingness to work hard on the defensive end and properly run/execute plays which is integral to the success of any coaches schemes to work.

        With this in mind, when you puff up his numbers by looking at per 36 minute or per 48 minute evaluations, his numbers will obviously look far better than they are in REALITY. There was no legitimate reason/excuse for Blake to average so few minutes. This is why you shouldn’t use these types of numbers to analyze a players abilities. When you do you present a “what if” scenario instead of looking at what he actually brought to the table. These types of analytics are fine when looking at someone like Ed Davis (who isn’t getting any legitimate minutes) for the use of projecting what he may be able to grow into if given the opportunity, NOT for a starter in the league who should be easily averaging 36+ minutes per game all on his own. I suggest looking at starting players actual numbers and asking questions like “If BG was so damn good, why did they cut some of his minutes to give them to other players considered “washed up” on the team?”

        Basketball is not Baseball. You can not look at numbers and extract the worth of a player from them because there are simply too many variables not being addressed, like basketball IQ, match ups, rotations, injuries, schemes/setups created by your coach and execution of them as just a few examples. This is why the “eye test” is such an important factor to GM’s, fans and analysts alike.

        • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

          As I said (a few times), Griffin’s high ranking probably has more to do with the state of the power forward position than anything. Where would YOU rank him?

          • HogyG

            Without ranking them I would rather answer by simply saying who I would take on my team instead of him. I hope you accept this response, instead of what you asked me for. Note that I am actually willing to answer your question, unlike you who managed to ignore Why CP3 would bad mouth a teammate that you ranked the 3rd best in his position.

            So, in no particular order here is who (from your list above) I would take over the infamous Blake Griffin.

            Tim Duncan – even at 100 years old is still fantastic on both ends of the court. Simply a no brainer, even you agreed.

            Kevin Love &

            Dirk Nowitzki – both are top notch shooters from their position and have a high basketball IQ and are motivated to perform, execute and improve their game. Dirk averaged just over 1 rebound less than Blake last year despite being injured not to mention old as dirt and often behind the arc. K. Love average 6 rebounds more than Blake did also despite finding himself injured and often behind the arc on the offensive end.

            Ryan Anderson – Same as above as a fantastic shooter (let alone “for his position”) and I’d like to add that he averaged only 1.5 rebounds less per game than Blake despite being 30 feet away from the hoop on the offensive end and playing along side Anthony Davis who wants to eat those up as well.

            LaMarcus Aldridge – the man has serious two way game and is a formidable opponent on every night. Very consistent player with no obvious flaws.

            Chris Bosh – who without his two blocks late in game 6 of the finals (top of the three and in the corner baseline) wouldn’t be a two time champion right now. His numbers are affected incredibly by his selfish teammates as he is the only star on that team willing to change his game to whatever the team needs of him to win.

            Pau Gasol – easy to argue as the best passing big in the league. His willingness to morph into what’s needed on the floor shows incredible versatility and dedication to his team. Great basketball IQ and scoring ability/range. Not to mention a competent defender as well.

            Zach Ranolph – who dominates Blake Griffin every time they match up with a two inch vertical and ACTUAL BASKETBALL SKILLS! Not athleticism, which is all that BG has going for him so far.

            Josh Smith &

            David West – both of these characters are hard nosed players that give their respective teams toughness on the court. They are versatile players who are willing to play out of their position to allow their team different looks on the floor. Where all YOU see is inefficient scoring in Smith I see versatility, you can’t just deny these men the paint like you can with BG cause they can shoot it instead.

            Paul milsap – a versatile player (much like $mith & West) capable of scoring in multiple ways, rebounding and giving your team options.

            Amir Johnson – his physical and mental toughness, his modest contract in comparison to BG’s and his ability to get the majority of his points without having plays run for him. Not to mention his defensive prowess and ability to rebound as well, as well as his team chemistry and positive demeanor.

            So far that makes 12 players I would take over Blake and I wouldn’t rank him any higher than D. Lee, or Faried simply because Blake Griffin’s max contract makes him overvalued. Also at best equal to KG who despite being overpaid and older than dirt still has more game and toughness in one finger than Blake will ever have.

            What do all these Power Forwards have that Blake doesn’t, you may ask yourself. For me, they are all more confident in their game, they are all willing to compete on defense (regardless of the outcome) instead of flopping and complaining to the ref as their go to move, their games have been refined during their time in the league showing growth in their abilities and skills, they get their game/skills talked about more than the commercials they appear in, generally their numbers/focus increase in the playoffs, and most importantly they don’t have their starting point guard complaining about their performances after the season is brought to an abrupt end. They are leaders on and off the court, and have versatility as a staple in their game. They don’t publicly complain for more touches and create hard feelings within their respected franchises. They are all effective in more than 1 way unlike Blake as well. I’m sure I could continue, but why bother.

            Does this satisfy your curiosity? Regardless, I hope at least it opens your eyes to the fact that your way of ranking players only by statistic leaves a lot off the table that should be factored in.

            • mountio

              Wow .. thats a major hate on for Blake. I dont disagree with your premise that he is overrated and you had me down to Randolph (although Id take Gasol out at this stage of his career) – i think your argument is credible to there. Below that, guys like Amir and David West over Blake is just plain crazy

            • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

              Sorry, but I think your nuts, here. Let me just quickly go down the list. Dirk is still a very good player, but at 35, he’s nowhere near where he used to be.

              Ryan Anderson is a very good stretch four, but he’s a poor defender.

              Did you watch Gasol last year? Again, you seem to be going on a name without looking at how they are currently.

              Josh Smith? I’m not even touching that one, other than to say he had the second worst True Shooting percentage among all 30 PFs. In other words, DeRozan was a more efficient scorer than Smith was.

              Now, I understand the criticism Griffin gets, and I’ve given my fair share, including in this article. And I can’t say I disagree with Chris Paul’s criticism of him at all, but I think you misunderstand it. Paul wasn’t criticizing Griffin because he believed he isn’t a top power forward, but because Griffin hasn’t taken the steps a player of his calibre should have. Keep in mind, Paul did re-sign this summer despite the fact that Griffin is inarguably the second best player on the team. If Paul really thought as little of Griffin as you do, he wouldn’t have re-signed.

              • HogyG

                You may think I’m nuts but you only brought up 4 players from my list, I guess that leaves 8 you’re fine with then? NOTE: We aren’t talking about who has the most potential, or who would be the best long term investment, who is on the up swing or who is on the decline, we are talking about who was the best (or in this instance the third best) Power Forward in the league last year. When the game is on the line do they go to Blake? Dallas goes to Dirk. New Orleans goes to Anderson. Atlanta went to Josh Smith. The Lakers go are willing to go to Pau if Kobe’s not there.

                If you truly wanna harp on Pau, than take into account that he played through injuries throughout the season (unlike Blake who makes up being hurt when he has a bad game. Yes, I’m hating. Get over it.) and still managed to help the Lakers eek into the playoffs. Pau was a better defender than Blake last year as well despite his immobile condition last season due to injuries. Keep in mind he also had the black hole better known as Dwight Howard sucking up as many rebounds and shot attempts as he could along side him on any given night. Despite that he still managed to out rebound Griffin with 8.6 versus 8.3 (marginal perhaps but better never the less) as well as out block him with a respectable 1.6 versus .6 blocks per game. He also was a better ball distributor with over 4 assists per game.

                How does a man as athletic and awesome as BG only able to average 8 boards and .6 blocks per game, when a washed up has-been like Pau (as you try to paint him to be) can do better injured? Also as you mentioned Blake is an irrefutable second option on the Clippers, so then why is it he only averaged 4 points more per game than Pau, who for at least part of the season came off the bench and when he did start was lucky to be considered the third option last year. He consistently differed his scoring opportunities to Kobe, Dwight, Nash and even Clark, Jamison and Metta throughout the season in order to find a harmony within his team and teammates, another attribute your advanced statistical analysis will never show.

                No matter what you want to say about how any of the older players I mentioned, may not be what they once were, it doesn’t discount that last year they brought more to the table for their team than Blake did, unless of course you count endorsements and fan boys. To see that you may have to look beyond the stats posted at the end of the night, you might actually have to watch the games.

                • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                  I didn’t want to get into a long, detailed discussion, so I just commented on the big ones. I really don’t think Zach Randolph had a good year, at all. He was horribly inefficient offensively and not very good defensively.

                  And I realize Pau was injured, but at his age, we have no idea whether he will ever get back to where he was, which I stated up front. He played poorly last season and his knees may never be the same, so we have no idea if that poor play will continue.

                  It seems for a lot of these guys you’re going on reputation, rather than their recent play.

        • Sidquan Foster

          This posy is ridiculous Blake played fewer minutes because the Clippers had the 3rd highest point differential in the league and the best bench so of course he would play fewerr minutes when you are blowing people out every other night.

          Blake averages more assists than other other power forward but it only makes him average in comparison to other power forward ?? That has hater written all over it .

          He cant dribble yet I can post a dozen or so links showing him taking to coast to coast

          This was about ranking the POWER FORWARDS and your entire post is filled with holes because youve chosen to dislike Blake Griffith and try to manufacture claims that just dont exists.

          • frankb

            Tim W,, thanks for the analysis. Although the Power Forward position is the second weakest (above shooting guards), there’s a lot of depth. Agree that there isn’t a potential top ten all-time in the under 30 group at this point.
            I’d like to put forth the position that Duncan isn’t a “true” 4. He’s been listed as such since he entered the league, even marked with an “F” in the Spurs lineup. I’ve done an extensive analysis of his minutes v the other “bigs” used by the Spurs throughout his career, and it tilts in favour the centre position. Presently, while Splitter is nominally the centre, he plays limited minutes, and the other bigs (Diaw, Bonner, Blair) are forwards. Even in the Robinson era, Duncan often played the low post to let Robinson, quicker and a better slasher, work the perimeter, and D often guarded the “bigger big”.
            A case can be made for Gasol as a centre as well, as during most of his career with the Grizz, he guarded the opposition big man. As his game is somewhat similar to Horford, that is a “small” centre, but he has a much better low post game (maybe the best in the last decade), and he is a true seven footer. Since Bynum’s injuries and departure, he’s been the biggest player on the team.
            This does not diminish the stellar careers of D and G, although it does put D in about the fifth/ sixth place among centres all time, versus the popular reckoning that he’s the best power forward ever.
            Frank B.

            • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

              You’re definitely right about Duncan, but that’s the position he’ll forever be known as, so that’s where he has to be ranked. Besides, there is almost no difference between a PF and C, nowadays. About the only question is who you usually defend. That’s why I always thought those arguments about moving Bargnani to PF would be better for him, because he did better defending big, slower centers (and having them defend him), than defending quicker PFs.

          • HogyG

            Good call, I will admit I am a “hater” of Blake Griffin. Haha, you caught me, straight up. It grew from discussions with friends stemming and from comments by people like Charles Barkley and others in the media who slurped this kid unnecessarily calling him the best power forward in the NBA. His athletic prowess and physical stature may make him the most dominate PF in the NBA but not the best. I stand by my position that I would prefer all of the players on my list over Griffin. That isn’t to say he doesn’t have the ability to improve upon his game and round it out within the time frame of his career. I just think that his game hasn’t grown since entering the NBA.

            I Apologize if he is your favorite player and I’m dumping on the guy, I know how that can be painful. I was only using him as just one example in the list to try and make the stand that statistical analysis doesn’t always show the whole picture.

            Do you agree that he should be third on the list? This isn’t a list about potential, since the stats were from last year it’s only fair to say that he was the third best PF of last year. personally I say no. That said, I am a now an admitted hater and my opinion is undoubtedly skewed when talking on his behalf.

          • HogyG

            “He cant dribble yet I can post a dozen or so links showing him taking to coast to coast”

            I can do the same for Shaq too, but I wouldn’t boast about his handles either. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIeH39RFX7g

            • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

              Shaq was actually a good ball handler for his size, so I wouldn’t say that advances your argument.

              • HogyG

                Shaq was a capable passer and could dribble with his back to the basked in a powerful and dominate way. Having handles suggests that the player can turn and face up his man in a triple threat position and take him off the bounce through the lane and even in traffic. Just like Dirk Nowitzki, Josh smith, LaMarcus Aldridge, Andrea Bargnani, Chris Bosh, Pau Gasol, Zach Randolph and other PF’s are able to do against Blake Griffin. Shaq didn’t set up in the triple threat position, he posted up and bowled people over as he backed up into the lane and didn’t lose the ball in the process of spinning to the hoop.

                I think this is what you remember and why you are confused.
                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CBvWWbAQ-o

                • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                  Uh, I’m not confused. And the reason Shaq didn’t take players off the dribble was because he had no outside shot to speak of, which is kind of necessary. I’m not suggesting Shaq had “mad dribbling skills”, but for a 7’1, 300 lb big man, he had better than average handles.

  • Roarque

    How did Andrea Bargnani fare? You did include him, right? After all, he is a power forward every bit as much as Chris Bosh is. He was injured for much of 2012/13 but you could use his stats from 2011/12 as you did for Love. I can’t believe you ignored his body of work.

    • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

      I thought about it, but advanced stats don’t look kindly on Bargnani, so he would most likely finish near or at the bottom. It might have been a fun exercise, but I’ve already talked about Bargnani enough for a lifetime.

      • Roarque

        Wow, how the mighty have fallen. You thought about it? Did you? For how long? And this attitude on a ‘MADE in TORONTO’ blog. It will be interesting to watch Il Mago’s career in New York this season – it’s going to be embarrassing if he turns 2013/14 into an extension of the first part of 2011/12.

        • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

          I just think dissecting Bargnani’s game has been done to death. We know what his problems are. I just think I didn’t see the point.

          • Roarque

            Tim W., Fair enough.

        • ezz_bee

          ^ Call me a fisherman ‘cus I be trolling

  • Ian Reynolds

    Interesting seeing guys like Ed Davis and Paul Millsap ahead of Josh Smith. Are Ed and Josh really that different? Or Millsap and Josh Smith?

    Smith has this rep as a high flying dunker who can make plays, but realistically, he’s just tall, skinny, and can’t shoot. He’s a typical power forward who plays too far away from the net to be properly effective.

    Millsap and the cap space to re-sign Teague and a guy like Demarre Carroll, or Millsap/Brand/Korver being resigned? I’d much rather have either of those packages than Josh Smith, 100 times out of 100. All areas of your game, except probably ballhandling are covered with improved efficiency and flexibility, by guys who stay in their lanes and do what they’re supposed to.

    I can also see Ed getting more important minutes this year. Memphis has a very good rotation of bigs with Gasol, ZBo, Ed, and Kosta Koufos, but Randolph is going into year 12 and is making 16 million dollars. He’s a good player but at this point, it’s hard to judge whether Memphis needs to retool around 2 younger guys making his salary. Especially on a team with no outside shooting, a situation in which Gasol would thrive even more.

    • DDayLewis

      Josh Smith is a case of having the talents and abilities, but not harnessing them in the right way. He’s an elite defender when he’s engaged, and a phenomenal post-up player. As you said, he takes too many long jumpers, but that doesn’t render him ineffective.

      If (and this is a big if) he can be convinced to stop taking long jumpers and only do what he does well, he would definitely be a top-10 PF in the NBA.

      • Ian Reynolds

        Josh is likely to be in the same situation as the Rudy types I rant against – he’s going in to his 10th year. I don’t suddenly see him changing his game when it’s been proven time and time again that he won’t. Which is really too bad.