NBA / Jul 22, 2009 / 9:55 am

Top 10 power forwards of the ’08-09 season

Gasol rocked out in '08-09

Gasol rocked out in '08-09

Again, this is NOT a traditional “best players” list. If you see Tyler Hansbrough ahead of Tim Duncan here, I’m NOT saying the rookie is better than the Hall of Famer. Instead, I’m looking at the whole picture: Who had an overall better season? Who made the biggest impact on their level? Who put the biggest stamp on the entire game of basketball? Who made this season his own? With that, here are my Top 10 — not “10 best” — power forwards from the ’08-09 season.

10. LaMarcus Aldridge
LMA didn’t make the All-Star team, didn’t make a huge splash in the playoffs (Portland was knocked out in the first round), and didn’t finish among the League leaders in any of the important big-man categories. But with the way Aldridge held it down in the frontcourt (18.1 ppg, 7.5 rpg) and helped get the Blazers to their first postseason since ’03, his biggest accomplishment may have been allowing Greg Oden to quietly struggle through his rookie year without Portland fans being too worried.

9. David West
The NBA’s most overlooked All-Star averaged his now-customary 21 points and eight boards a night and kept getting fat on those mid-range jumpers and wide-open looks from Chris Paul. D-West hit a couple of game-winners, had a couple 40-point games and a 20-rebound game, and was one of the few (like, two) semi-bright spots in New Orleans’ playoff debacle (18.0 ppg, 7.4 rpg). Put him with a good point guard and he’ll produce as long as his body holds up.

8. Chris Bosh
Started off as strong as anyone, following an Olympic gold medal with some early MVP talk in the season’s first month. Things soon fell apart in Toronto, though: Losing streaks that seemingly lasted forever, coaches getting fired, and locker-room strife that became public. Through it all, Bosh got his numbers, averaging 22.7 points (9th in the NBA) and 10.0 rebounds (6th) even when he had his own personal problems put on blast.

7. Paul Millsap
Stepping in and stepping up when Carlos Boozer got hurt, Millsap salvaged Utah’s season and made himself one of the most coveted free agents on the ’09 market. He finished with career-highs of 13.5 points and 8.6 boards, and his 53.4 percent shooting from the field ranked 10th-best in the NBA. Millsap was considered one of the most notable All-Star snubs, and even after Booz returned, was still a double-double threat off the bench. He then parlayed his opportunity into a $32 million payday in free agency.

6. Troy Murphy
Take Danny Granger out of the mix, and Murphy would’ve been a solid candidate for the NBA’s Most Improved Player award on his own. He finished second in the League in rebounding (11.8 rpg), third in three-point shooting (45 percent), fourth in double-doubles (49), and his 14.3 points per night was a career-high. Loses some points for that mid-season mustache tragedy, however.

5. Tim Duncan
Even the biggest Duncan fan I know — me — has to admit the cracks are beginning to show. TD can still impose his will on a game and pull out a win, it’s just that he can’t do it as often now. With Manu Ginobili in and out of the lineup and Bruce Bowen officially falling off, Duncan (19.3 ppg, 10.7 rpg) had hardly any legit help outside of Tony Parker and still led San Antonio to the second-best record in the West. But for the first time in his career, Duncan’s postseason run ended in the first round.

Kevin Garnett, Dime #30

Kevin Garnett, Dime #30

4. Tyler Hansbrough
All he did was wrap up one of the most decorated NCAA careers of all-time by winning a national championship, becoming the ACC’s all-time leading scorer (12th-highest in D-1 history), and getting his fourth straight first team All-American nod. And for once, Hansbrough (20.7 ppg, 8.1 rpg) allowed us to believe that production in college counts for something, as the Pacers made him a Lottery pick.

3. Dirk Nowitzki
Finished 4th in the NBA at 25.9 points per game, and led the Mavs to a first-round upset over the nemesis Spurs and uber-nemesis Duncan. And Dirk can’t take the blame for Dallas’ second-round loss to Denver; in that series he averaged 34 points and 11 boards on 53 percent shooting from the floor. And all this while dealing with a psycho girlfriend who will 100% end up writing a book that embarrasses him.

2. Pau Gasol
Disappointed as he might have been in settling for Olympic silver, Gasol made up for it by bringing home the NBA hardware at the end of the season. He improved his regular season numbers almost across the board in the ’09 playoffs, putting up 18.3 points, 10.8 boards and 2.0 blocks while leaving Boozer, Yao, Kenyon Martin and Dwight Howard in his wake on the way to a Lakers’ championship.

1. Blake Griffin
From wire-to-wire, Blake reigned as the best player in college basketball and the consensus top pro prospect in the country. Griffin (22.7 ppg, 14.4 rpg) swept the national Player of the Year awards, led Oklahoma to the Elite Eight, and on Draft Night the Clippers made him the No. 1 overall pick and their newest franchise savior.

THE BOTTOM FIVE
5. Kevin Garnett — Injuries limited him to 57 regular-season games and sidelined him for the playoffs. And knowing KG, the fact that his team could’ve won it all with him burns in his gut more than if he’d been on a Lottery squad. KG’s on-court persona (the same one he’s had for 14 years) was also the subject of sudden and unexpected public backlash.
4. Amar’e Stoudemire — Also grounded by a season-ending injury and unprecedented public criticism, before that Amar’e was stuck in a system he didn’t like with a coach he clearly didn’t get along with, was involved in trade rumors that still haven’t let up, and his team ultimately missed the playoffs.
3. Brandan Wright — Resided in Nellie’s doghouse almost all year, and it’s not looking any better now that Anthony Randolph is one of the hottest names in the NBA. If he’d stayed at UNC one more year, Wright would be sitting on a national championship, and maybe on a roster where his coach doesn’t mind playing rookies.
2. Elton BrandPhilly’s big ’08 summer pickup spent most of the year in a suit (29 games), and quickly turned off an already rough fanbase, many of whom think the Sixers are better off without him.
1. Sean May — “This one time, at Fat Camp…”

* Top-10 Point Guards

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  • Young Lebron 23

    Hopefully this can work wit EB. We also need A TRU POINT. HELP PLEASE LOL

  • sh!tfaced

    Pareces muy gay, Pau Gasol. LOL

  • Data

    Pau should be in the bottom five based on that rolling stone cover alone. How does your inner circle approve that picture?

  • AdvancedMind

    Brenda Wright, holy shit what a bust.. How terrible are you when you cant get tic on a team that has a coach whos all about being soft and not playing D, and thats two of Brenda’s STRONG POINTS… Him and Shelden Williams should have a baby together so when hit steps on the court they can play Tupac’s “Brenda’s got a baby”, and we can watch Shelden cheer from the side line like Omarr Epps in the movie “Love and Basketball”, what a failure.

  • JHUSTLE

    thank u dime for giving dirk his props. people always seem to overlook the fact that he is one of the games most dominant scorers and that he demands as many doubleteams as anyone else in the league does. he can’t be guarded one on one, and his bball IQ is underrated. You got the top dogs of the league: kobe, lebron, melo, wade, and then u got dirk just an inch behind them. give the white boy his props and i dare you to name another white dude as good as dirk since larry bird retired……. (silence). Do you know how good a white dude has to be to win the fuc*ing MVP??? lol oh yea and he’s also the best shooting 7 footer of all time. Im like the only mavs fan who posts on this site so anytime a maverick gets some shine i gotta represent. Now if we can just get odom…..make that money talk cuban. Aight im ghost like team USA’s new roster. ouch

  • sh!tfaced

    @5

    ahh… steve nash?

  • the_don_mega

    what’s up with that Rolling Stone cover??? LOL!

  • AdvancedMind

    @5 … Yea steve Nash won 2 mvp’s, and whats race have to do with the MVP? Dirk doesnt get props cause nobody cares about how a 7 footer shoots, thats soft shit, go bang in the paint.And to even put Dirk in the same sentence with “Larry the legend” is retarded.

  • jzsmoove

    Overall good list. Better reasons for Aldridge could have surfaced instead of just dodging bullets for Oden.

  • JHUSTLE

    @6
    yea nash got the 2 mvp’s and deservingly so but he hasn’t even reached the finals. And yea dirk didn’t win it but he shouldered a much heavier load than nash. Nash had amare to throw the lobs to, dirk had no one even close to that level on his team. And by the way, marbury got just as far as nash did with amare. ppl 4get that

  • dk

    In response to the haters of the Pau Rolling Stones cover.

    QQ Would fuck!!!

  • JHUSTLE

    @8 challenged mind
    nobody cares how a 7 footer shoots?? thas cuz no other 7 footer has a shot that u have to fear on a nightly basis. Dirk will shoot the lights out on any given night and the only reason i had him mentioned with bird is bcuz he’s white, tall, and has a deadly shot. race has nothing to do with the mvp but dam how many white dudes have won it??? it was more of a compliment and an appreciation to dirks game. he doesn’t have to bang in the paint bcuz he’s got two ppl guarding him at all times. Your teams best defender has no clue on how to guard dirk thats why he gets double teamed as soon as the rock touches his hands, if not sooner. Yall better quit hatin on dirk dam it dont get me started. Now im out like nash’s shot at a ring in phx u suckas

  • sh!tfaced

    marbury with amare, farthest – eliminated in the 1st round (by the spurs)

    nash with amare, farthest – western conference finals (beaten by dirk and the mavs)

  • AdvancedMind

    @12 Yea, um yea… You are right he does demand doubles outside of the paint pretty much a good scoring threat, and he also can, um can.. can do what? Cause he not playing D, he can dribble and he was given that MVP trophy that KObe should of gotten. Its clear your a MAVS fan, and u answered your own question. YES only mavs fans give a shit about “slow motion” Dirk lol

  • LakeShow84

    Look at my boy RockStar’ed out!!!

    GEETTTT EMMMMMMMMM lol..

  • dk

    Dirk can fucking shoot and thats it. His shot never falls in crunch time either.

  • http://parkandco.com/blog/author/josh Josh

    The more you write, the bigger a joke you look like. Blake Griffin ahead of the NBA champion?

    I can see your credibility walking out to the trash right now.

  • Ross

    That picture is priceless.

  • karizmatic

    About KG..I think he got backlash for his persona this year because he took it a little too far. I never saw him until this past season run beside an opposing point guard and scream at him while not making any attempt at all to defend him. That is a bit much.

  • Kante

    @ 16: Dirk is one of the best Clutchplayer. Check 82games.com and their statistics. He is 3rd or something. Just because he misses a freethrow against the ref-mafia doesnt mean he isnt clutch. CHeck last season (Indiana, Philly…).

    Typical americans: A 7-footer needs to dunk every posession right? Wrong, Dirk opened a new world for Power Forwards. No one can guard that guy. You can´t block his fadeawys (who are the best in the NBA).

    Not speedy? Check some Tapes from earlier where was quicker that Kobe. ;) He is 31 what do you epect? Of course he is getting slower. He is stil one of the best but most (not all) americans don´t accept that because he is a european player!!

  • karizmatic

    Dirk sucks as a power forward, he has no appreciable post game and at power forward, that is the name of the American game. Dirk can shoot all the jumpers he wants and he won’t win anything as the leader of a team because his game is not well-suited for the American game. Sure he opened a new world for power forwards, but it’s a world that needs to be closed again. Very entertaining but not winning basketball. At least not in America. No one is hating on Dirk because he is European, his style of play does not win in the states. Give me a Tim Duncan 20 and 10 over a Dirk 20 and 10 anyday.

  • AdvancedMind

    @21 well put CHURCH.

  • sh!tfaced

    @21 and we are out like the new world, suckas

  • BiG ShoT BoB

    Americans don’t like Dirk because we know when you play in America that soft shit aint going to get you any where near that trophy.

  • sh!tfaced

    TMZ has got the confiscated LeBron crowning coming out anytime now…

    http://www.tmz.com/2009/07/22/the-video-lebron-never-wanted-you-to-see/

  • control

    At least the foo writing this shit didn’t let his Boston Nuthuggin put Glenn “Fat baby” Davis aka “the fat Jerry kid” the fuck on this list…

    I’d put Valgina on the list. He has absolutely no skills, and brings really nothing other than flopping, being a pussy ass bitch, and RETARDED hair to the Cavs, and got PAID because of it. Any year you become the most overpaid player in the NBA is a good year…

  • doc

    I like the list.I aint see the Pau cover,I can see him doing some gay shit though.Dirk is a fucking monster on that ball court fuck what u heard.He better than Nash and talk all that choke shit you want but he got a team to the Finals as the top dog and he CAN do it again before its all said and done.He got some bitch up in his blood from some of his reactions u see him have but he comes back and goes at u and usually busts your ass while doing it.His team hasent really had another THAT DUDE type of player that these other champs had either.Once Mark Cuban can get his hands on a CP3 D-Will type of talent it can get ugly for Kobe out West.

  • JCARR

    LMFAO At Sean May remark!!! Kings got his oversized body for one year.

  • flavur

    That picture of pau is killing me I haven’t laughed this hard in a long time.

  • karizmatic

    @29

    LOL. Speaking of bias against europeans…see what happens when we let a Spanish guy get a ring?

  • “Tha Boddy” Bad Like Michael

    Antawn Jamison put up 22 and 9 and showed he is still a balla…So some respect to a guy who has been throwing down in the L over 10years and doing what he needs to on the court and in the community

  • dagood

    am i the only one who thinks pau is a center?

  • doc

    @thaboddy-Tawn won like 3 games last year tell him step his game up.

  • Ian

    jhustle
    when did marbury lead the suns to the wcf??? dude they lost in the first round to the spurs. here is what i know kidd subs marbury and got to the finals then nash subs for marbury and got to the wcf. im sorry but again when did marbury and nash lead the suns to the same place?

    advancedmind
    no its not retarded.

    shitfaced
    nash got to the wcf twice vs mavs and vs spurs.

    kante and doc
    agree 100% dirk is clutch and people here are talkin some serious bs it was the same thing with manu when some haters said he wasnt that good it took a 1st round beating from the mavs to prove how important he is.

    now on the pau pic hes looks like the retarded version of beto cuevas (la ley).

  • doc

    @ian-Manu important but Duncan getting older too which is why they reloading because if him and Tony parker got to switch ages for the first round Timmy getting past Dallas.

  • Ian

    doc you got the point but i can say well if manu healthy with old timmeh we still get to the wcf.

  • http://www.werebucked.com/ We’re Bucked

    I see Brandon Wright on the list of bottom 5 and just shake my head, and agree. Its too bad he cannot go somewhere he can be allowed to play more. His PER is among the top 10 in the league, but at the 3. The Warrior should move him to a team that could use him to make room for Randolph, Bucks?

  • http://www.werebucked.com/ Justin

    Sean May, Fat Camp, I wonder how Kings fans feel about their signing of him?

  • Ian
  • Ian

    number 32 is overrated hes adam dunn playin 1b in a hitters ballpark.

  • Ian

    you know what forget the list i just saw grady 38 and carpenter 40 and still no kinsler or pedroia he just landed the top 6.

  • QQ

    Still talking shit huh dk? Fuck you man.

  • QQ

    And the only reason I’ve sounded gay is because you’re a pathetic piece of shit impostor. so fuck off. Loser.

  • Leonard Wilson

    What about Granger???

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @Ian — That’s nice. That’s also one guy’s opinion. Sporting News took a survey of 100 former Major Leaguers and Jeter ranked 8th. Again, never said he’s better than A-Rod, but he’s a HOF lock and that’s all there is to it.

  • spirow

    Do you just pick names in a hat and make random selections? Blake griffen? WTF is wrong with you the mans gonna be a rookie. . . Bosh at 8? what you high. . . Do you dumb one dimentional fans ever get a chance to see bosh? The fact the Timmy D is 5 is the funniest of all . . . plz have some professional writers who know what their talking about. . . don’t waste my time!

  • Chris From LB CALI

    READING THIS makes me want to never read DIMEMAG AGAIN!

  • Allen Zhang

    I like the cover of this issue of Rolling Stone.Pau Gasol looks like a rock star.

  • http://www.nba.com smoove chips

    i hate that RS cover
    lakers in 2010
    give that flucka his twinkies buss..

  • Shah

    I gotta ask, why wasn’t David Lee on this list? I mean, he DID lead the league in double double’s and put up a solid 16 points and 11 boards a night. If Aldridge, Bosh, and TROY MURPHY are on this list – there is no reason David Lee shouldn’t be.

  • Guitar Hero

    Come on, Dirk is an amazing offensive player. Who the fuck cares if he bangs inside or not? He still gets his 25.
    If he was Shaquall DeLorean from the Bronx, you’d be ravin’ about how he changed the game at 7 feet, yada yada.

  • u r dums=b

    THERE IS NO WAY UR GONNA PUT BLAKE GRIFFIN BEFORE DIRK NOWITSKI, CB4, KG, TYLER HANSBROUGH, AND AMARE STOUDAMIREE!!! HE’S NOT EVEN CLOSE TO THE LEVEL OF ANY OF THE PLAYER MENTIONED (EXCEPT MAYBE TYLER HANSBROUGH). YOU NEED TO SERIOUSLY WATCH BASKETBALL WITH UR EYESOPEN FROM NOW ON!! (Y):@

  • http://youtube.com/rahzel2k4 rahzel2k4

    co sign Guitar Hero. Dirk changed the game for 7 footers. Bargnani = next in line.

  • Marcos

    A healthy kg and eb deserve top 5 and a Amare deserve top 10… Blake hasn’t proved anything he culd be the next Malik rose… 1. Gasol 2. Dirk 3. Td 4. Amare 5. Brandon bass

  • http://Spurstalk.com Rodney

    As the Great and Sage Paul Mooney would say “NIGGA PLEAZE!!!”

  • Fatima

    ARE YOU SERIOUS!!!! Stoudemire won NBA Allstar from 05-09! And Garnett everyone knows that he is and will always be one of the best power forwards of the game! Blake is new and just started his career. He deserves it for this year but Stoudemire and Garnett don’t deserve to be in the bottom five. This list is stupid!