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[ESPN] Top 10 Centers in the NBA

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Kruze10, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. Kruze10

    Kruze10 Member

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    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/stor...thony-davis-ranks-no-1-top-10-centers-2013-14

    Who would we pick if we were choosing up sides on the playground for a game today? Our midseason update of player rankings continues to address that question with the men in the middle.

    It's been an interesting season for centers. Second-year player Anthony Davis -- a natural power forward -- has logged most of his time in the middle for the Pelicans and has built on his fabulous rookie season. San Antonio's Tim Duncan, whose position has always been up for debate, has logged more time in the pivot, as he's shared the court less frequently with Tiago Splitter. Other centers having good seasons have gone down with major injuries: Al Horford, Brook Lopez and Marc Gasol. And Roy Hibbert may be having the best defensive season of any player in the league as the anchor of the NBA's best first-half team, but his offensive metrics continue to undersell his real-world value.

    The summer center rankings can be found here. Each player's "TrueWARP" calculation -- a blend of a player's preseason baseline forecast and his 2013-14 results -- is noted, along with their 2013-14 WARP and their league-wide rank in WARP for the season to date.

    Because we're extrapolating from a half-season of real results, the methodology was a little bit different from our forecast-based summer rankings. See the explainer at the end of the article for how these rankings were derived.


    I can't remember my password so if anyone can post the entire article that would be guh-rate!

    If Howard isn't 1st then this list is all wrong. Maybe there is a case for Hibbert or Marc Gasol but not really.
     
  2. tim562

    tim562 Contributing Member

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    Hibbert should be #1.
     
  3. Crashlanded19

    Crashlanded19 Member

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    Does Hibbert average more than 15 points and double digit rebounds yet?...
     
  4. wfeebs

    wfeebs Member

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    According to this list, dude didn't even crack top 10
     
  5. YourSecretLover

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    Hakeem is the best center of all time and would destroy centers today, before his time, and did during his time as well!
     
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  6. CJLarson

    CJLarson Member

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    1. Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
    TrueWARP: 17.0 | 2013-14 WARP: 5.6 | Overall rank: 8
    Davis has improved his offensive efficiency by getting to the line more often. The improvements on that end have been subtle. He's using more possessions for the Pelicans, which can sometimes mean an increase in turnovers, but his rate of miscues has fallen to a minuscule number. His improvement on defense has not been so subtle. Davis leads the NBA in shot-block rate, something he seemed preordained to do coming out of Kentucky.


    Cousins
    2. DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings
    TrueWARP: 13.4 | 2013-14 WARP: 6.0 | Overall rank: 7
    Cousins has exploded on the scene this season, and if you think he is ranked too high, you didn't see him outplay Dwight Howard head-to-head in both of their meetings so far. Cousins has a league-high usage rate, and despite that hefty volume, his true shooting percentage is by far his best yet. He's also handing out more assists and grabbing more rebounds than ever before.


    Drummond
    3. Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons
    TrueWARP: 13.3 | 2013-14 WARP: 5.3 | Overall rank: 10
    The Pistons have been the league's most mercurial team, capable of beating the league's best teams and capable of getting blown out by teams in the middle class. Drummond has been a stalwart through it all. He leads the league in offensive rebounds, both in raw total and percentage. His overall rebound percentage also leads the league. By and large, Drummond is putting up the same excellent numbers he did as a rookie, only he's doing it in 12 more minutes per game.


    Howard
    4. Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets
    TrueWARP: 12.2 | 2013-14 WARP: 5.3 | Overall rank: 11
    Howard is having a better statistical season than he did during his one season with the Lakers. However, he's still well off the level of play he established in Orlando. Howard is having an excellent season -- see the No. 11 overall rank in WARP above -- but his shot-block percentage is down by a full percent and he's averaging his fewest minutes per game since his rookie season.


    Duncan
    5. Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs
    TrueWARP: 10.4 | 2013-14 WARP: 3.5 | Overall rank: 31
    Duncan struggled early in the season, and his overall PER is the lowest of his career. However, that worst-ever PER is still 20.7, which is a strong statement about just how great and consistent Duncan has been. His shooting percentage was well on the road to recovery in December, and the rest of his game seems to be intact.


    Noah
    6. Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls
    TrueWARP: 9.6 | 2013-14 WARP: 3.8 | Overall rank: 25
    Noah was supposed to relinquish some of the larger offensive load he carried last season, but another major injury to Bulls star Derrick Rose snuffed out that plan. Chicago is again running much of its offense through the skilled Noah. This season, he's struggled to finish at the basket. However, his playmaking is even better, and he's taking better care of the ball. The defense is still there, as are all the intangibles you'd want in a third wheel.


    Horford
    7. Al Horford, Atlanta Hawks
    TrueWARP: 9.0 | 2013-14 WARP: 3.6 | Overall rank: 30
    Horford was having a career season before going down with a season-ending pectoral tear. Before that happened, Horford had become a high-usage big man who kept his efficiency high. He also remained an underrated post defender at the other end.


    Lopez
    8. Brook Lopez, Brooklyn Nets
    TrueWARP: 8.9 | 2013-14 WARP: 2.7 | Overall rank: 52
    Lopez's PER has improved for three straight seasons, reaching a career-best 25.7 in 17 games in 2013-14. That's where it will stay, too, as Lopez sits out the rest of the campaign with yet another foot injury. He has become the most skilled scoring center in the league, so let's just hope his latest procedure can keep the foot injuries at bay.


    Jordan
    9. DeAndre Jordan, Los Angeles Clippers
    TrueWARP: 8.5 | 2013-14 WARP: 4.1 | Overall rank: 20
    Jordan has really become a fixture in the middle of the Clippers. He has missed just two games since the start of the 2010-11 season, and has started 187 straight games at the position. This season, he's leading the league in field goal percentage for the second straight season and is also averaging a career-best 13.4 rebounds per game.


    Gasol
    10. Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies
    TrueWARP: 8.1 | 2013-14 WARP: 1.4 | Overall rank: 107
    Gasol's shooting numbers were down from last season at the time he was hurt, but he was occupying a larger share of the Grizzlies' offense. His shot-blocking was off as well, but nevertheless, you can bet Memphis is eager to get Gasol back.

    Next five: Al Jefferson, Charlotte Bobcats; Anderson Varejao, Cleveland Cavaliers; Roy Hibbert, Indiana Pacers; Nikola Vucevic, Orlando Magic; Derrick Favors, Utah Jazz.

    Hibbert would crack the top 10 if we were ranking based strictly on this season, but there is little doubt that the metrics aren't doing him justice. He'd probably be more than satisfied to trade a spot in the WARP rankings for a No. 1 seed for the Pacers. Vucevic is putting up the same season he did in 2012-13, though he is getting a little more love from the officials. Still, he needs to become more of a physical presence in order to enter the league's elite in the middle. Favors showing up on this list is bittersweet for Jazz fans. If his partnership with Enes Kanter were working better when they shared the floor, Favors would be grouped with power forwards.

    Also notable: Tyson Chandler, New York Knicks (16); Chris Bosh, Miami Heat (17); Pau Gasol, Los Angeles Lakers (20).

    Chandler is dragged down by his missed time, of course, but he's also shooting his lowest percentage from the field in nine years. Bosh is clearly much better than his ranking here, but his minutes are down, which exacerbates the many sacrifices he has made to fill a role on a championship roster. Gasol's numbers have been on the upswing of late.
     
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  7. Kruze10

    Kruze10 Member

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    Hibbert reminds me a lot of Asik. Doesn't put up the numbers but is a defensive beast.
     
  8. Kruze10

    Kruze10 Member

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    Agreed. I also believe that if Yao were healthy today, he'd be unstoppable.
     
  9. omgTHEpotential

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    Drummond 3rd? Really?
     
  10. OmegaSupreme

    OmegaSupreme Contributing Member

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    thx, cjlarson.

    lolol at "...and he's averaging his fewest minutes per game since his rookie season" as being a negativism. isn't that a very good thing? :confused:
     
  11. Voice of Aus

    Voice of Aus Contributing Member

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    The rankings are based on the metric: trueWarp
     
  12. Depressio

    Depressio Contributing Member

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    Guess they didn't see the lesson Howard put on Drummond recently.
     
  13. sealclubber1016

    Supporting Member

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    Damn, with these great centers now wonder New Orleans,Sacramento and Detroit are winning so much.

    Stats are a tool, a useful tool, but best player should never be ranked by a stat in the NBA, where a player impacts everything around him in regards to winning. There's a reason Dwight hasn't played on a bad team since his 2nd season.
     
  14. jocar

    jocar Member

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    these rankings are warped
     
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  15. dobro1229

    dobro1229 Contributing Member

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    I have yet to have anyone really truly convince me that WARP really matters that much. To me it just screams... "Im more important to my team therefore I'm better than you" which isn't really a just case for who is better than the other guy.

    The Rockets, if Asik was healthy, would be a perfect team to measure the inaccuracies of WARP with Howard. The Rockets have the ultimate replacement player, and shouldn't lose much at all production when Howard goes to the bench and a healthy Asik replaces him.... Still that says more about the Rockets depth than it does about how good of a player Howard is. The only reason why Howard is ranked #4 here is probably because the Rockets haven't had Asik most of the season and the production does drop off a cliff when he isn't on the court. Otherwise he might even be out of the top 10.

    I dunno... just haven't really been sold on this stat yet. Seems to reward players on crappy teams where the production drops off a cliff when that player isn't on the floor.
     
  16. jbasket

    jbasket Member

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    This list is obviously off-based, like the statement that Cousins outplayed Howard. The writer should actually watch the game before saying those things.

    IIRC, Davis did not match up against Howard for the majority of the game, and when he did, it was brutal for him. I would love to see Davis isolated in the post against Howard for a full game.

    Clearly, making a rankings list based on one stat will never turn out well.
     
  17. ThatBoyNick

    ThatBoyNick Member

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    I honestly think Cousins is or will become the best center in the league.

    I think of Davis as a PF though.
     
  18. real_egal

    real_egal Contributing Member

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    Well, I am pretty sure current Rockets team would manage to stop him by giving him even a lot less touches than they did to Howard.
     
  19. flamingdts

    flamingdts Member

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    Yao and Howard's offensive game are not really remotely comparable.

    Yao could be a pick and roll or pick and pop finisher. That automatically makes him a much more versatile PnR threat than Howard and was one of the reason why the T-Mac/Yao PnR was the bread and butter of Houston's offense.

    Furthermore, the Rockets could comfortably give Yao the ball further away form the basket because Yao is a mid-range threat as well.

    The Rockets could utilize Yao a lot more during crunch time because Yao is an amazing free throw shooter.

    Lastly, Howard attempts 11 shots per game. That's the 3rd most on this team and is basically Howard's career average.
     
  20. real_egal

    real_egal Contributing Member

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    Throughout his career, Yao and Rockets never really beat the fronting. Yao dominates any defender at his back, Howard included, but he really struggles to get the ball facing long athletic fronting defenders.

    TMac spoiled his relationship with Rockets on the end, but he's the best in feeding Yao - because he's long, smart, a great passer with incredible vision. Shane did a very decent job at passing to Yao from the side line as well.

    Rockets under JVG could be frustrating to watch, because they lack of offensive weapons outside of TMac and Yao, but they were a very disciplined team, and really live and die by the inside-out game plan.

    Please tell me, who on the current Rockets team can and will pass into the post on a regular base? Bounce pass from Lin or AB at ankle height is not going to work for Yao. Those sponteneous in-traffic-passes often resulted in TOs when the receiving end was Asik, how would they fare for Yao?

    Yao was a much better mid-range shooter in his early career. But ever since he became a dominant force down low, his 15-18 footers regressed a lot.

    Yao is a half-court guy, and I wouldn't have high expectation for him in a free lancing offense, where anyone will dribble past the mid-court and decide to shoot a pull-up 3.

    We struggle to keep Howard involved in offense for any 48 mins, it would be even harder for Yao.
     

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