The NBA Playoffs are fast approaching and what better way of evaluating the best of the best than dropping our definitive list of the top-5 NBA power forwards in the league. NBA writers: Jr. Williams, Tyler Triplett, Kimani Gregoire, Blaine Hunkins, and Alex Brooks were asked to provide their list of the top-5 power forwards in the NBA as of right now – here are the results of their selections ranked five through one.
#5 Dirk Nowitzki (5th Place Votes – 2 out of 5)
Blaine Hunkins: At age 35, Dirk’s still got it. Although he’s dealt with several injuries after his magical 2011 NBA Playoffs, Dirk is still averaging 21 points and seven rebounds per game, while shooting 40 percent from behind the arc. For a 7’0″ power forward that can shoot and score at will, Dirk is as versatile as it gets.
Jr. Williams: I have to give Big Dirk the nod as he ranks fifth on my top 5 power forwards list in the league this season. He has helped transform a struggling Dallas Mavericks team from a disappointing 2012-2013 season where they fell short of grabbing the 8th playoff seed into a legitimate playoff contender this season. Nowitzi continues to dominate at his position, his beautiful stroke from beyond the perimeter continues to terrorize opponents on a nightly basis as he ranks fifth in scoring among all power forwards in the league.
#4 Anthony Davis ( 4th Place Votes – 3 out of 5)
Kimani Gregoire: The “Uni-brow” has exploded during his sophomore season in the NBA, showing off his all-around ability that had many comparing him to Kevin Garnett. He has shown tremendous improvement on offense (averaging over 20 points on better than 50 percent shooting) to go with his defense (top shot blocker and in the top 15 in steals per games). He is also among the top 15 in double doubles – despite missing several weeks with a broken hand.
Tyler Triplett: After an injury plagued rookie season Anthony Davis has really taken off in his second year averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds per game. Davis is just as dominant on the defensive end averaging 3.1 blocks per game.
Blaine Hunkins: After being drafted number one overall in the 2012 NBA Draft, Anthony Davis had high expectations. So far, he has lived up to the hype, averaging 20 points, 10 rebounds, and three blocks per game. Davis originally was a guard in high school, but grew seven inches his senior year, eventually being converted into a power forward. Davis hasn’t reached his ceiling offensively, so expect him to only improve moving forward.
Alexander Brooks: Davis has to make the top five at this point. Already an All-Star at such a young age, but he has earned it. He came in as a shot blocker, but now averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds – that view has changed. He is budding into one of the best power forwards in the game, and being so young and tall, he has a lot to learn but will only become better and better while becoming a match-up problem for any team in the league.
#3 Blake Griffin (3rd Place Votes – 2 out of 5)
Kimani Gregoire: The L.A. Clippers won 12 of the 18 games missed by their All-Star point guard Chris Paul due to a serious shoulder injury and the majority of the credit goes to Blake Griffin who has been playing out of his mind since becoming the focal point of the offense. Known for his crazy athleticism and exceptional leaping ability, he has added a post-up game and a more reliable mid-range jumper to his arsenal, resulting in career high in points per game this season (24.4) – tied for fifth in the league. He is also tied for fifth in the league for double doubles.
Alexander Brooks: His coming out party had to be during the All-Star game with his 38 point outing, but if you have been following him all season you would know he is fully capable of this type of game on a regular basis. He is averaging 24 points and 10 rebounds, great numbers for such a young player. He doesn’t get as much props as he deserves because he is known as that guy who jumped over a car and dunks a lot. But in the near future he will change the view of those people, to say he is a great all around player.
Blaine Hunkins: Griffin is known primarily as a dunker, but he has shown us this year that he can do much more than dunk. Griffin can hit most mid-range jumpers, as he has improved his jumper as a result of training over the summer. Griffin has also learned to be less reliant on Chris Paul, often calling for post-ups and isolations. At only 24 years old, Griffin still has time to expand every part of his game.
Tyler Triplett: Although Griffin is known for his high flying dunks he’s actually a bit underrated. He has a surprising arsenal of low post moves and he’s improved his mid range jumper.
Jr. WIlliams: Blake Griffin has quickly become one of the best power forwards in the NBA. The injury to Chris Paul earlier in the season has helped him to mature and become more reliant on his abilities as opposed to waiting for the pass. He has become the legitimate “go to guy” for the Los Angeles Clippers and he is one of most versatile power forwards in the league. Griffin can attack a defender in several ways and his outside jump shot has drastically improved.
#2 LaMarcus Aldridge (2nd Place Votes – 3 out of 5)
Tyler Triplett: Aldridge has one of the best back to the basket games in the league. The Portland Trail Blazers can dump the ball to him down low whenever they need two points. His turn around jumper out of the post is one of the most beautiful shots in basketball today.
Kimani Gregoire: LaMarcus Aldridge has taken a big step forward this season and as a result the Portland Trail Blazers have been one of the bigger surprises during the first half of the season. Aldridge is enjoying career highs in points, rebounds and assists per game and is ranked top on the team in points and rebounds this season.
Jr. Williams: In my opinion Aldridge has been one of the top power forwards in the NBA over the last 2-3 seasons. He is finally getting his deserved credit now that the Portland Trail Blazers are a winning team but that credit was long overdue. Aside from Dirk Nowitzki, Aldridge is one of the most difficult players to defend in the league, his outside shooting and post game are his most deadly weapons and he continues to improve on a nightly basis. Aldridge is #1 on my list of the best power forwards in the NBA. Without any hesitation, I would choose him over Kevin Love.
Alexander Brooks: He has been on fire this year averaging 24 points and 11 rebounds. By far one of the best power forwards in the game right now, and his team record shows that. Aldridge, along with Damian Lillard, are a huge reason for the success the Trail Blazers are experiencing this season. If he continues to play at a high level – watch out, the Blazers may find themselves in the NBA finals.
Blaine Hunkins: Aldridge has been one of the most underrated players in the NBA ever since breaking out in 2007. Aldridge was snubbed this year yet again, after being named a reserve in the 2014 All-Star Game. He’s averaging a career best’s in points (23 per game) and rebounds (11). Aldridge is one of the most skilled power forwards in league and is able to hit any mid-range jumper at ease, and for that he ranks third on my list.