Monday, June 23, 2008

Best Centers in the NBA - Taylor's version:

  1. Dwight Howard – I’ll be shocked if Boyd doesn’t have Kendrick freaking Perkins at the top of his list. Never mind the fact that Dwight Howard might be the nicest guy in the NBA – this guy is just athletically superior to basically everyone in the league (he had 267 dunks this year—that’s 3.25 a game. Crazy). If he can develop more lower-body strength he might end up as one of the best of all-time. I hate to say it, but I was actually on the Okafor bandwagon when Orlando had the #1 pick. Needless to say, I was way off. In case you don’t recognize his skills, watch him kiss the rim – seriously:
  2. Yao Ming – when he’s healthy he can be dominant. He’s amazingly boring to watch, but he has developed a nice little post game. His outside shot is pretty slick too. I’ve always wondered what his hat size must be—the guy’s cranium is ginormous.
  3. Marcus Camby – this guy is so underrated it’s not even funny. He isn’t the best offensively, but defensively he’s an absolute brute and he rebounds like a champ. He can run the floor and is super physical. Plus, in college he collapsed before a game due to over-the-counter cough medicine. Talk about overcoming adversity…
  4. Shaquille O’Neal – Shaq is the best center I've ever seen, and he's the best since Abdul-Jabbar, and don’t give me that Hakeem Olodjuwon crap. When Shaq was in his prime he was as unstoppable as anyone who ever played (other than maybe Wilt). He’s on the down-slope now, but he is still a game changer. As he and Amare learn to play together, the Suns could be impressive. I love me some Shaquille O’Neal.
  5. Chris Kaman – another underrated player. He’s goofy, but underrated. He put up about 16 and 13 this year when he was healthy – those are great numbers from the center position. Too bad he plays for a team that will never get him anywhere. He’s pretty mobile for a center too.

Best defender: Camby – he can do it all. Samuel Dalembert is an underrated defender, and Okafor is pretty solid too, but Camby is the best.

Best shot-blocker: Camby – Howard averaged more blocks per game, but many of his came on help defense. Camby is better at guarding his man one-on-one and sending the shot back. I’ve got to give it to him.

Awesome-est center in the world (not NBA-specific): Rafael Araujo. This list wouldn’t be complete without this guy. I had to find a category for him. He plays for Spartak St. Petersburg in Russia. I’m sure he’s dominating…

Most overrated: Ben Wallace – everyone talks about this guy like he’s the best defensive player of all time. He’s not. Mehmet Okur is a bit overrated too. He can shoot like a champ but, like his frontcourt-mate Carlos Boozer, he can’t play D unless it’s the only thing he focuses on. He played great D against Yao in the playoffs last year but couldn’t score. When he scores, he doesn’t play D. I don’t know that this makes him overrated, but he certainly isn’t well-rounded.

Most underrated: Andrew Bogut – Bogut has improved and quietly become one of the top 10 centers in the league. If he played on a team that utilized his skill set better he’d get more credit. Well, maybe not—he plays in Milwaukee. Bogut is certainly one of the top 10 ugliest players in the league: Dalembert is pretty underrated also.

No specific category, but deserves mention: Tyson Chandler – Chandler is fun to watch, but I wonder if he is just a product of playing with Chris Paul. Chandler gets tons of open looks (he was 3rd in the league in dunks) because of Paul, so his stats look pretty good. He does play solid defense and is an excellent rebounder. I’m not really sure what to make of him.
Best in 5 Years: 1. Dwight Howard (and it’s not even close) 2. Yao Ming 3. Greg Oden 4. Al Horford 5. Andrew Bynum


Boyd said...

Howard had a full 1.5 less shots blocked per game, T-Bone.

Taylor said...

I feel better about what I had to say now - I was looking at the blocks per game in the playoffs. Camby baby!

Anonymous said...

Dude don't hate on the Dream ... he's probably the GOAT center and deffinitely in the top 5 of all time discussion ...