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2013 NBA Power Forward Preview 

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This is a position that could be even more stacked if you were to include guys like Melo and Lebron, but this is more about pure PF’s. I have 20 lined up for yall. Let’s get to them.

20. Ersan Ilyasova (Mil)

This guy was supposed to explode last season. Instead he made more of a lateral move. This year may be his year. Now that he isn’t playing with two guards that love to shoot he may have a chance to take on a bigger role offensively. But he needs to hit the boards a bit more. In 2011-12 he averaged 8.8 rebounds a game and last year that number dropped to 7.1. Of course the emergence of Larry Sanders hurt that number a bit, Ilyasova needs to be more aggressive this year. On the glass, on offense and on defense. He has the tools to be a good player in this league, this is the year he needs to start to maximize his output using those tools.  

19. Andrea Bargnani (NYK)

Bargnani’s season will largely rely on Carmelo Anthony and Mike Woodson. Bargnani could be a key piece on this Knicks team if they use him right. Carmelo was really good playing the four last year and if they continue to go small it could cut into Bargnani’s playing time. If they use him at the three it could open up the floor for Melo. Bargnani can spread the floor and knock down outside shots. He has a bit of a soft reputation but if you watch him he seems to be rather feisty. He had a bad go of things in Toronto and could rebuild himself in NYC.

18. Cody Zeller (Cha)

This Zeller is really going to benefit playing with Al Jefferson. He should learn quite a bit from Big Al and could turn into a great low post player playing alongside one of the best in the NBA. I think this Bobcats team is going to turn some heads and it will take a nice breakout season from the rookie who should see a lot of single coverage and open lanes cutting to the hoop when Al Jefferson draws the double team. He won’t garner much rookie of the year buzz but he will have himself a nice season on an up and coming team.

17. Carlos Boozer (Chi)

Boozer may end up on the trade block if it can land Chicago a piece to put them over the hump but regardless he is good for a steady 16-8 every night. He is capable of having big nights and he is capable of making some boneheaded mistakes. That high arching fall away never looks like it has a chance and then almost almost ends with a swish. With Derrick Rose back in the mix, Boozer should get himself a lot more open looks and may benefit from Rose’s return nearly as much as Luol Deng will.

16. Paul Millsap (Atl)

After spending his entire career in a crowded Utah frontcourt he heads to Atlanta to replace Josh Smith. There will be no questioning his role with this new club. He is the starter at the four spot and should have a much bigger season without some young guys breathing down his neck. He could post numbers up around 17-9 a night.

15. Kevin Garnett (Brk)

The hoops fan in me is really excited to see him and Brook Lopez playing at the same time. They should fit together nicely and it should raise Lopez’s level of play. KG’s minutes will be monitored very closely but he should have himself a nice defensive season as he will look to round into form and stay healthy towards the end of the season.

14. Kenneth Faried (Den)

Faried is one of the most fun players in the league to watch. He is as aggressive as they get and he’s a freak athlete to boot. This year he should become a consistent 10 points 10 rebounds player. That Nuggets style of play really benefits him. He is great at getting up and down the floor and has a Rodman-esk knack for knowing where the ball will bounce off the rim and the athleticism to beat everyone else to that spot. I expect him to have a career year and be right up there in the defensive player of the year voting.

13. David West (Ind)

David West really bounced back from a down year in 11-12. Last year he raised his scoring production by nearly five points. As Hibbert continues to get better it opens things up for the wily vet. The Pacers should be a nice and steady team this year largely in part to West’s leadership. He should have himself another solid season as the Pacers look to build off of their trip to the Eastern Conference Finals a year ago.

12. Greg Monroe (Det)

At 23 years old Monroe has already posted two seasons averaging more than 15 points and 9 rebounds a night. If the Pistons can play Josh Smith, Monroe and Andre Drummond at the same time Monroe could really explode this year. He is a great passer and a great low post scorer. With passing options surrounding him he will either be able to toast the single coverage he receives on the block or find an open guy if they choose to double him. I think the Pistons offense needs to run through Monroe more than anyone else thinks, in order for them to really be good.

11. Derrick Favors (Utah)

This kid is going to explode this year. Playing in a reserve role behind Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap he only played an average of 23 minutes a night. He showed plenty of flashes of brilliance just didn’t have the consistent playing time to play to his capabilities. Now this year, this is his team. Provided someone can get him the ball on the block he should have a monster season. He is only 22 years old and still learning. He could turn into a 20-10 guy already this season. Expect to hear a lot from this kid for years to come.

10. Zach Randolph (Mem)

Now with a full year under his belt after the knee injury ZBo should elevate his game this year. The only thing holding him and the Grizzlies back is their lack of outside shooting. The have the best 4-5 combo in hoops yet have done nothing to surround them with guys to pass to on the outside. They need to make a trade to make it back to the Conference Finals and to really unleash the beast within Zach Randolph. Even if they don’t he will be good for 17 points and 11 rebounds a night to go along with two or three fights over the course of the year.

9. Pau Gasol (LAL)

Well the stage has been set and Pau better deliver this year. All that talk about how the lane was clogged for Gasol with Bynum and Howard also on the team (Then why do the Memphis Grizzlies have an advantage down low?), I’ll admit I was part of it. I saw Gasol play at his best in the playoffs and in some of the Finals games. He is extremely talented but he may just be inconsistent. But now he has no excuses, the other big on this team is Chris Kaman. Kobe Bryant is out for god knows how long. He is the man in LA to start this season. We should be able to read exactly how good Gasol has been throughout his career by his performance in this season.

8. David Lee (GS)

This Warriors club simply just needs to stay healthy. Here’s a remarkable stat from last year that I certainly don’t remember happening… David Lee averaged 18.5ppg and 11.2rpg. The rebounds sure, this guy has a knack but 18 and a half points a night? By no means was this a fluke either… apparently he has averaged over 20 points a night in two of the last four seasons. While he won’t get that high this year, he is going to really benefit from the outstanding guard duo in Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. He won’t get double teamed down low because you can’t leave either of those guys open for a three. This is a good team, again; provided they stay healthy. He is a key proponent in that.

7. Blake Griffin (LAC)

After a discussion with AP3, I dropped Blake a few spots. Blake fans will have an argument after this but not a logical one. Blake has gone downhill since his rookie year when he averaged 38.0mpg 22.5ppg and 12.1rpg. Since then he has had seasons of 36.2mpg, 20.7ppg and 10.9rpg in 2011-12 and then 32.5mpg 18.0ppg and 8.3rpg last year. Yes the Blake lovers can argue that he played less minutes in each season since his rookie year and that the five and half minute difference may make up for the four point swing, but it doesn’t make up for the four rebound swing. And it certainly doesn’t make up for the fact that he has taken less free throws with each season. His rookie year he averaged 8.5 free throw attempts per night then 7.1 and now this past year just 5.3. That is a direct result of a combination of the refs getting used to his flopping bullshit and him not being as aggressive due to his lack of size. He may be listed at 6’10 but he is closer to 6’7 than he is to 6’10. Which by the way should not be allowed. Why is it okay to list Blake two inches taller than he really is? Same goes for Dwight Howard. Just because they can play bigger doesn’t mean they are. Teams shouldn’t be allowed to bullshit people like that. Like when I went to check and see if Prince Fielder was actually the size of former WWF wrestler Rikishi. He seems closer than they list them but who the fuck actually knows. Prince Fielder is literally the size of a portable shithouse and probably looks like Rikishi with his shirt off, but I’ll never actually know just like most people will assume Blake is actually 6’10. Stop lying to everyone and ban this nonsense.

6. Tim Duncan (SAS)

Did you realize that Timmy had his best season in three years last year? The only thing that may harm him from improving on last year is the number of games/minutes he played in their playoff run last year. In 2010-11 he averaged just 13.4ppg and 8.9rpg in 76 games but in the two seasons since has stepped his game back up a notch. In 2011-12 he averaged 15.4 and 9.0 and then last season he averaged 17.8 and 9.9. He is good for 65-70 games and nearly 18-10 a night this year. He may even top those numbers if Kawhi Leonard really plays to his potential. He should take over this team with the help of Tony Parker. That would make things much easier on Duncan and should prolong his career. Which means this could be the best season Timmy has left to offer.

5. Anthony Davis (NO)

This kid is about to take a major leap forward. While he should get some help out of Stiemsma and Withey he will succeed the most when he plays the center position and Ryan Anderson gets some run at the four. However a trade may shake that up and ultimately is probably the smart thing since Nerlens Noel awaits a roster spot alongside Davis. That duo could protect the rim like no other team could. But with his status up in the air, Davis should excel early. Provided he can stay healthy he seems in line to average 15 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks while throwing himself into the defensive player of the year voting. This kid should turn into a monster this season.

4. Dirk Nowitzki (Dal)

Dirk is about to have a big year. This year he actually has somebody that can create their own shot in Monta Ellis. With him it’s just a matter of how much with he share the rock. While the Mavs are really light on bigs once again, they brought in Calderon and Shane Larkin at the point which should help create some open shots. Those two guys should be able to get the ball in the hands of the open man and result in quite a few assists to Dirk. He may have his best season since he was the best player on a championship winning team.

3. LaMarcus Aldridge (Port)

You may not hear much about this undersized big man but he is good for 21 points and nearly 9 rebounds a night. However at 28 I think we know who he is. Maybe he has a career year with Damian Lillard getting him the ball but that means a 22-9 season. I don’t mean to diminish that, I have him ranked 3rd after all. His NBA stature sort of reminds of a poor mans Paul Pierce’s with the Celtics. Pierce flew under the radar for most of his career while quietly killing his opponents. That’s what Aldridge has done. He can’t be the only great player on a championship team, but he may be able to be the best one if given the right teammates. A second season with Lillard is a big step in the right direction, especially if Batum matures like he should. The floor may open up big time for Aldridge this year.

2. Serge Ibaka (OKC)

Here is the direct benefactor to the Russell Westbrook injury. There is no certain answer as to when he will be right. That means Serge Ibaka needs to be more aggressive offensively. He already has defensive player of the year votes in his favor now he needs to step up and handle a second scorers type of offensive load. Last season he jumped up his point production by over four points a night while mostly maintaining his rebounding and defensive statistics. His shooting percentage may suffer due to the Westbrook injury, but that will be because of an increased load. Ibaka should post a career best in points per game this year and could be a great trade piece early on in a fantasy hoops season. I know I seem down on Ibaka but I would not have ranked him 3rd if I thought so little of him. You can question him all you want but this is a guy that can handle the load. He can be the second best player on a contender, during the regular season, if you need him to be.

1. Kevin Love (Minn)

Yes he is coming off of a poor showing in what games he did play last season. But he has shown so much promise that he merits a #1 billing. In 2011-12 he averaged 26.0ppg and 13.3rpg. The year before he actually averaged 15.2 rebounds a night, which is flat out insane. The only things holding him back from MVP consideration are his potential future with another franchise and his habit of getting injured. Things might get so weird with the Wolves that Love gets traded, regardless look for him to have a stellar season, one that merits keeping him in a fantasy league.


Monday, October 27 2013

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