Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Position Analysis: Center




















Starters Rankings
  1. Dwight Howard-ORL (6-11/265)....................18.3ppg, 13.2rpg, NBA Defensive Player of the Year- 82 games played/59 wins
  2. David Lee-NY (6-9/250) .................................20.2, 11.7- 81/29
  3. Andrew Bogut-MIL (7-0/260)..........................15.9, 10.2- 69/46
  4. Al Horford-ATL (6-10/245)..............................14.2, 9.9- 81/53
  5. Chris Kaman-LAC (7-0/265)..........................18.5, 9.3- 76/29
  6. Andrew Bynum-LAL (7-0/285)........................15.0, 8.3- 65/57
  7. Brook Lopez-NJ (7-0/265)..............................18.8, 8.6- 82/12
  8. Al Jefferson-MIN (6-10/265)............................17.1, 9.3- 76/15
  9. Mehmet Okur-Utah (6-11/263)........................13.5, 7.1- 73/53
  10. Andrea Bargnani-TOR (7-0/250)....................17.2, 6.2- 80/40
  11. Joakim Noah-CHI (6-11/232)..........................10.7, 11.0- 64/41
  12. Nene-DEN (6-11/250)......................................13.8, 7.6- 82/53
  13. Marc Gasol-MEM (7-1/265) ............................14.6, 9.3- 69/40
  14. Jason Thompson-SAC (6-11/250) .................12.5, 8.5- 75/25
  15. Marcus Camby-POR (6-11/235)......................7.5, 11.8- 74/2 teams, helped Portland to playoffs
  16. Emeka Okafor-N0 (6-10/255) .........................10.4, 9.0- 82/37
  17. Jermaine O'Neal-MIA (6-11/255) ...................13.6, 6.9- 70/47
  18. Channing Frye-PHO (6-11/245)......................11.2, 5.3- 81/54
  19. Kendrick Perkins-BOS (6-10/280).................10.1, 7.6- 78/50
  20. Brendan Haywood-DAL (7-0/263)...................9.1, 9.3- 77/2 teams, helped Dallas to playoffs
  21. Shaquille O'Neal-CLV (7-1/325).....................12.0, 6.7- 53/61
  22. Samuel Dalembert-PHL (6-11/250)................8.1, 9.6- 82/27
  23. Roy Hibbert-IND (7-2/278)...............................11.7, 5.7- 81/32
  24. Nenad Krstic-OKC (7-0/240)...........................8.4, 5.0- 76/50
  25. Ben Wallace-DET (6-9/240)............................5.5, 8.7- 69/27
  26. Antonio McDyess-SA (6-9/245)......................5.8, 5.9- 77/50
  27. Tyson Chandler-CHR (7-1/235).......................6.5, 6.3- 51/44
  28. Chuck Hayes-HOU (6-6/238)...........................4.4, 5.7- 82/42
  29. JaVale McGhee-WAS (7-0/252).....................6.4, 4.1- 60/26
  30. Ronny Turiaf-GS (6-10/250).............................4.9, 4.5- 42/26

Top 5 Backups:
  1. Rasheed Wallace-BOS (6-11/230).................9.0, 4.1- 79/50-would rank around #23
  2. Anderson Varejao-CLV (6-11/260).................8.6, 7.6- 76/61-would rank around #23
  3. Spencer Hawes-SAC (7-1/245)......................10.0, 6.1- 72/25-would rank around #24
  4. Brad Miller-CHI (7-0/261)..................................8.8, 4.9- 82/41-would rank around #26
  5. Robin Lopez-PHO (7-0/255).............................8.4, 4.9- 51/54-would rank around #26

Notable Players not on list due to injuries:

Yao Ming-HOU (7-6/310)
Andris Biedrins-GS (7-0/240)
Greg Oden-POR (7-0/285)

Highest Paid Starter: Jermaine O'Neal-23.02 million
Lowest Paid Starter: Ben Wallace-vet minimum-825,497

Oldest Starter: Shaquille O'Neal-3/6/72 (the oldest player in the NBA)

Youngest Starter: Brook Lopez-4/1/88


Top Free Agents:
David Lee
Yao Ming (ETO-17.7 million, not likely to opt out, but you never know)

Channing Frye (PO)
Brendan Haywood
Jeramine O'Neal
Shaquille O'Neal
Brad Miller
Amir Johnson

3 Young Players to Watch For:
DeAndre Jordan-LAC-21 years old (6-11/250)
Amir Johnson-TOR-23 years old (6-10/210)
Hasheem Thabeet-MEM-23 years old (7-3/267)


Overall Synopsis: Rebound, defend and take up space in the paint. Those are the jobs of the modern role playing center. Center is no longer a position of star power. The game has evolved and the modern day center must be athletic in addition to having size and strength. Shaq was the greatest center of the last two decades and Yao Ming showed flashes of greatness when he wasn't hurt but big guys like that are a dying breed.

There is only one Dwight Howard. He is the only true superstar at the position now. After Howard, their is a major drop off. Andrew Bogut, Chris Kaman and Andrew Bynum are great players but not stars. Many of the top centers are in power forwards bodies including David Lee, Al Horford and Al Jefferson. Brook Lopez might be the best young center in the game today and has shown flashes of stardom.

I listed the height and weight of every player listed to illustrate the major differences. I did this only for centers. The disparity in size is tremendous. Many starting centers are 7 foot or taller. Seven starters are 6-10 or smaller. Chuck Hayes is only 6-6 and started every game at center for the Houston Rockets in the absence of Yao Ming. Shaq is the largest starting center and the only one over 300 pounds. Joakim Noah is the lightest starter at 232 pounds.

This years draft has a few decent draft prospects who could come in and start at center for their team next. These prospects include DeMarcus Cousins, Cole Aldrich, and maybe even Larry Sanders whose size and skill set is cut from the Joakim Noah mold.

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