Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now
 
Tag:Kevin Love
Posted on: May 20, 2012 9:36 pm
 

Top 10 Big Men Under 25 Years Old

The league has quite a bit of young big men, and even it's best one in Dwight Howard is still relatively young himself. However, I'd like to talk about the ones that still have plenty of room to grow and a chance to get even better and progress into something special. This list is the ten best post players in 25 years old, at least in my opinion. And just in case I didn't make it clear enough, this list is going forward and not based on just this season or past performances.


1. Kevin Love (4 years pro; 23 years old):

2011/2012: 26.0 ppg 13.3 rpg 2.0 apg 44.8% FG 37.2% 3pt FG 82.4% FT 39 min./game

Just a flat out amazing big man with a versatile arsenal of scoring as well as a great rebounder; only guy in the league that can challenge Dwight Howard in rebounds. Like most other power forwards, his defense is lacking and that doesn't look to be getting better. However, rebounding is a big part of defense so his dominance on the boards factors in and can't be ignored. He broke out in 2010/2011 season and took another leap forward this year. What's in store for next year? 30 and 15 perhaps?


2. Andrew Bynum (7 years pro; 24 years old):

18.7 ppg 11.8 rpg 1.4 apg 1.9 bpg 55.8% FG 69.2% FT 35.2 min./game

Drew has so much talent, but so small of a brain. He could be even better than Howard if he just quit pretending like he already is, and having serious attitude issues without showing signs of maturity. Still, despite being a man-child he can score in the post as well or better than anyone and can own the boards. If just puts a little more consistent effort on defense, he could top the list and possibly surpase Howard for best center in the league.


3. Blake Griffin (2 years pro; 23 years old):

2011/2012: 20.7 ppg 10.9 rpg 3.2 apg 54.9% FG 52.1% FT 36.2 min./game

Blake Show has become one of the most hated players in the league because of his consistent highlight dunks on ESPN and him making sure you knew he just dunked on you. Call it arrogance, hate him for his flopping, call him a punk, but none of it takes away the fact that he has already had two 20 ppg 10 rpg and 3 rpg seasons in the the FIRST TWO seasons of his career. He doesn't have a jumper, and doesn't have a bunch of post moves, but he still scores 20+ ppg on 50+ FG%. He's a strong rebounder on both ends of the court and uses his strong leaping abilities to give him an advantage against alot of players. The most impressive thing to me is his passing; he has averaged over 3.0 apg in his first two seasons and the only big men who I could find that averaged 3.0+ apg in their first two years were Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton. Yes, not even Tim DuncanKevin Garnett, Bill Russell, or any of the best passing bigs ever have achieved that feat. Not saying Griffin will be that good, but he's been very impressive so far in his young career.


4. Greg Monroe (2 years pro; 21 years old): 

2011/2012: 15.4 ppg 9.7 rpg 2.3 apg 1.3 spg 52.1% FG 73.9% FT 31.5 min./game

The Moose had his breakout year for the Pistons in his sophmore campaign. I've seen Monroe more than most, so I'm sure there isn't many as high on him as I am, but I think that will change in the next year or two. After watching him play as the starter for an entire year, I watched him display very strong post play with the ability to use mutliple different moves in the post to get the bucket, and as the year progressed his jumper did as well. He also showed the strong passing he was known for in college and was a versatile anchor for the Pistons. He has strong rebounding abilities and quick hands on defense, but does need to improve his help D and ability to protect the paint. I think he takes another jump next year and gets close to, if not reaching, 20 points 10 rebounds and 3 assists per game. Along with Brandon Knight, he will help lead this Pistons team back to glory!


5. Al Horford (5 years pro; 25 years old):

2010/2011: 15.3 ppg 9.3 rpg 3.5 apg 1.0 bpg 55.7% FG 79.8% FT 35.1 min./game

Despite getting hurt for most of this year on a freak injury, he still showed in the couple playoff games he played in that he's a strong post player especially on defense. He still has a well-rounded game that allows him to score, pass, and defend and a high level. I fully expect him to get back his regular form next season and remind everyone why he was talked about as a Top 5 center heading into this season.


6. Serge Ibaka (3 years pro; 22 years old):

9.1 ppg 7.5 rpg 3.7 bpg 53.5% FG 66.1% FT 27.2 min./game

Leading the league in blocks as well as giving the Thunder a defensive presence in the paint proved to be huge for his team this year that allowed them to nearly get the #1 seed in the West. He doesn't have a ton of offensive talent, but doesn't hurt them either on offense. His athleticism is just the beginning of makes him such a strong rebounder and shot blocker. It surprises me that he still plays under 30 minutes a game; hopefully he takes the next step next year and becomes an even bigger presence for the Thunder in the paint.


7. DeMarcus Cousins (2 years pro; 21 years old):

2011/2012: 18.1 ppg 11.0 rpg 1.6 apg 1.5 spg 1.2 bpg 44.8% FG 70.2% FT 30.5 min./game

It seems like he watched Bynum play and thought that was the standard way to act for a young, talented NBA big man. Everyone knew he had attitude problems coming into the league, but the also knew he had immense talent as well. So far, he's proven both to be very true. The problem is, which will end up coming out the most? His talent or his attitude? Hopefully he wisens up quicker than Bynum and focuses on improving his game. He's already a strong rebounder and pretty shot blocker, but like a young Howard and Bynum, he's been way too over-agressive on defense and gotten himself into consisten foul trouble. He led the league in fouls and fouls per game by quite a bit; not to mention he was 2nd in the league in technical fouls and first in disqualifications. And while scoring 18.1 ppg looks nice, the 44.8% FG makes it look a little worse.


8. Roy Hibbert (4 years pro; 25 years old):

2011/2012: 12.8 ppg 8.8 rpg 1.7 apg 2.0 bpg 49.7% FG 71.1% FT 29.8 min./game

He was able to help anchor the Pacers in the paint on defense get them into the playoffs as the 5th seed in the East. The Pacers had one of the league's tougher defenses this year, and it's quite obvious he's a big part of it. He's never going to be looked to do a lot of scoring, but standing at 7'2", all he needs to do is rebound and protect the paint and anything else is just gravy for the Pacers.


9. Kenneth Faried (1 year pro; 22 years old):

10.2 ppg 7.7 rpg 1.0 bpg 58.6% FG 66.5% FT 22.5 min./game

Coming out of college, everyone knew he could rebound (after breaking Tim Duncan's college record for most career rebounds in Division 1), but with concerns about the rest of his game he dropped to 22nd in the draft. Early on in the season, he didn't get alot of playing time with Nene anchor the Nuggets, but once he was traded Faried (and even shortly before when Nene and other bigs got injured) shown his talent. He was not just a strong rebounder, but also a good defender and shot blocker as well as showing the ability to use his athleticism and hustle to get points in the paint. 


10. Bismack Biyombo (1 year pro; 19 years old):

5.2 ppg 5.8 rpg 1.8 bpg 46.4% FG 48.3% FT 23.1 min./game

Yes, another one of my personal favorites, Biyombo did not have the kind of season I expected him to. Then again, I should have known not to trust the Bobcats to be smart and them having the worst season ever speaks for itself. However, despite the Bobcats being horrible, Biyombo's strong rookie season kind of gets lost in the shuffle. Early in the season, he rarely got any playing time. Despite that, he still averaged nearly 1.8 blocks per game on the year which put him in the Top 10 in blocks for his rookie year; only Serge Ibaka had more blocks per 36 minutes than Biyombo this season. Also, as he began to get playing time increased, he started to show his strong rebound as well and even added 5 double-doubles. I watched him a few games and he definitely has some strong defense and rebounding abilities; once he gets more playing time he will breakout and make believers out of more people than myself.


Honorable Mention: 

JaVale McGee (4 years pro; 24 years old):

2011/2012: 11.3 ppg 7.8 rpg 2.2 bpg 55.6% FG 46.1% FT 25.2 min./game

Everyone expected McGee to improve on his breakout year last year, and while starting well McGee faded towards the All-Star break as well as after it. Then he switched teams and was traded to the Nuggets in the Nene deal. He lost playing time and didn't have the kind of season people expected. Still, he's very young and has strong shot blocking and rebounding skills with loads of athleticism. Hopefully, he can earn a starting role with the Nuggets next year and fit in with their young team going forward.


Well that's my list. Feel free to make your own, discuss, and somehow find away to bring in LeBron James or Kobe Bryant!
Posted on: February 5, 2012 10:56 am
 

Paul Millsap: I'll say it again.........

He's a Top 10 PF in the league and maybe a Top 5 PF by next year. Everyone called me crazy in the off-season threads for saying Millsap would be this good, but each game he plays he is proving me more and more right. People thought I was crazy for saying he's better than Carlos Boozer, but that's looking more and more spot on as each game is played. Paul Millsap started out the season almost splitting minutes exactly with Derrick Favors, but since he's started to get the majority of the minutes at PF, he's exploded into the player I've always said he's capable of being. He's been averaging nearly 20 ppg and 10 rpg over his last 13 games (19.7 ppg  10.6 rpg). Here is Millsap's numbers on the year: 

Millsap: 16.8 ppg (13.2 shots/game) 52.6% FG  78.9% FT  9.5 rpg (3.3 offensive) 1.9 apg  1.5 TO/game  1.5 spg  31.3 min/game


The most impressive thing is that he's doing this while sharing time and touches with 3 other big men in Al Jefferson, Derrick Favors, and Enes Kanter. Big Al is getting 33 min./game and taking 16.6 shots/game, and Favors is getting 20.8 min./game and taking 6.3 shots/game (Kanter gets 14.5 min./game and taking 4.1 shots/game). When you look at all the other top PFs in the game, they don't have share as much as Millsap has had to with their big men. For example: 

Dirk Nowitzki shares with Brendan Haywood and Lamar Odom. Haywood takes nothing away from Dirk on offense and Odom has had a down year where he's not doing a ton to take away from Dirk either. 

Kevin Love shares with Darko Milicic and Derrick Williams. Milic does very little outside of playing defense and Williams hasn't lived up to his hype yet. 

Blake Griffin shares with DeAndre Jordan and Reggie Evans. Jordan isn't usually an offensive threat and Evans is only playing 15 minutes a game this year

LaMarcus Aldridge shares with Marcus Camby and Kurt Thomas. Camby might be the reason he doesn't average alot of rebounds, but neither takes away offense from Aldridge. 

Chris Bosh shares with Joel Anthony and Udonis Haslem. Rebounds? Maybe, but they do nothing else to take away from Bosh.

Amar'e Stoudemire shares with Tyson Chandler and that's pretty much it. 

Carlos Boozer shares with Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson. Noah has had a down year, and Gibson is not doing nearly as well as he's down in previous years.


All of these top PFs, other than Dirk and Boozer, are getting alot more minutes and taking alot more shots per game/getting alot more overall touches. 

Dirk Nowitzki - 31.8 min./game 14.1 shots/game (19.5 ppg 6.9 rpg - Per 36 min.)
Kevin Love - 39 min./game 17.8 shots/game (22.9 ppg 12.5 rpg - Per 36 min.)
Blake Griffin - 36 min./game 16.5 shots/game (21.1 ppg 10.7 rpg - Per 36 min.)
LaMarcus Aldridge - 36.4 min./game 18.3 shots/game (22.8 ppg 8.6 rpg - Per 36 min.)
Chris Bosh - 36.2 min./game 14.8 shots/game (19.9 ppg 7.7 rpg - Per 36 min.)
Amar'e Stoudemire - 34.4 min./game 15.5 shots/game (19.1 ppg 8.5 rpg - Per 36 min.)
Carlos Boozer - 30.4 min./game  12.7 shots/game  (17.4 ppg 10.1 rpg - Per 36 min.)

Millsap averages 19.4 ppg and 10.9 rpg per 36 minutes, and as you can see, that's comparable with most of these guys (with Love the only one standing way out on stats). I don't think anyone can doubt anymore that Millsap is the real deal and is a Top 10 PF in the NBA. If he were the go-to guy like alot of these PFs, he could very well be putting up 20 and 10 + numbers and be getting alot more credit. I also think it's hilarious that I heard some people before the season saying Derrick Favors is a better big man and should start over Millsap. Not only was that laughable, but has looked like a very foolish statement to this point.

People seem to forget Millsap is only 26 years old and just in his 2nd year as starter for the Jazz. He could very well get even better than this and should be able to develop into the 20 ppg and 10 rpg player I said he was capable of way back in his 3rd year in the league.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com