College, NBA / Sep 2, 2009 / 2:52 pm

5 power forwards to watch for 2009-10

Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett

After putting together the modified Top-50 list of players from ’08-09, I had about 50 leftovers who just missed the cut. And from that, there could’ve been a whole sub-category titled “Wait ‘Til Next Year.”

We’ve gone over the point guards, centers, two-guards and small forwards. Now here are five power forwards who look the most ready to crack the 2010 Top-10 with their performances next season:

KEVIN GARNETT — Besides ending Boston’s chances of a championship repeat in ’09, Garnett’s knee injury may have been the match that sparked an entire Eastern Conference power makeover. If KG isn’t sidelined for the playoffs, the Celtics probably would’ve beaten Orlando. So without that NBA Finals appearance on his resume, maybe Hedo Turkoglu doesn’t become unaffordable to the Magic, nixing the Vince Carter trade. And because the Cavs don’t get destroyed by Dwight Howard in the ECF, maybe they don’t feel the need to trade for Shaq.

Hypotheticals aside, this much is a fact about KG: If you thought he was an ornery bastard on the court last season, he’ll be even worse this time around. “When you get a taste of something, it’s even more frustrating when stuff doesn’t happen for you that you know you can get,” Kevin told me going into last season for his Dime #45 cover story. He knows Boston could’ve won the whole thing with him; part of him likely feels like he let everybody down. And since he spends a lot of his offseason in L.A., KG’s been witnessing the Lakers get the royal treatment all summer long. He’ll be on a mission to kill that noise.

LUIS SCOLA — If the Rockets stand a chance at getting back to the playoffs, Scola has to play big. The center situation is shaky at best, and Rick Adelman wants to run with this Yao-less group, meaning Scola (12.7 ppg, 8.8 rpg) will see a lot of time at the five in a small lineup. After Yao went down in the Lakers/Rockets series, Scola averaged 11.2 rebounds the rest of the way, but he struggled with his shot, hitting just 44% from the field, almost 10 percentage points below his regular season clip. Putting it all together consistently will be the key, but Scola (who’s been killing it at the FIBA Americas tournament for a depleted Argentina team) can crank out a 17-and-10 kind of year and keep the Rockets dangerous.

AMAR’E STOUDEMIRE — Just when the Suns went back to the Fast and the Furious style and Ama’re was putting together a monster second half, an eye injury took him out. Back in the gym with goggles never leaving his face again, the new James Worthy is unquestionably Phoenix’s go-to guy now that Shaq is gone.

ELTON BRAND — As much as some ultra-cynical Philly fans think their team is better without Brand, they’re just wrong. If it didn’t become crystal clear in the first-round loss to Orlando, the Sixers still need a dependable low-post scorer and rebounder, and another quality post defender to play alongside Sam Dalembert. That’s Brand. If he stays healthy (and I think he will), he gives the offense more versatility and takes some pressure off point guards Lou Williams and Jrue Holiday when they can just dump it into the 20/10 guy.

ED DAVIS — He could’ve left North Carolina after his freshman year and become the 2009 Marvin Williams, getting drafted ahead of his Tar Heels teammates despite being a 6th/7th man in college. Instead, Davis decided to come back and take over the PF spot left by Tyler Hansbrough, where he can showcase the skills that will make him a Lottery pick whenever he goes pro. The 6-10 lefty didn’t put up big numbers last year (6.7 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 18 mpg) for UNC’s title team, but will grow into the star on a young freshman-heavy squad.

(Editor’s note: Because they made last year’s Top-10 list, LaMarcus Aldridge, David West, Chris Bosh, Paul Millsap, Troy Murphy, Tim Duncan, Tyler Hansbrough, Dirk Nowitzki, Pau Gasol and Blake Griffin ARE NOT eligible for this list.)

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  • Mellmeister

    1st… b*tches!!! :P

  • eTc…

    OMFG im 2nd!!!

  • Ross

    College player OMG!!!11

  • Mellmeister

    5 power forwards to watch for 2009-10

    Charlie Villanueva – Now that he that he got the Money he wanted, will we be able to see hime play the way he’s supposed to. After having a decent year with the bucks, this former U-Conn Standout should feel comfortable and be able to adapt to the the Detroit Swagger (Physical Game) that would be a good addition to his “way ok” all-around game.

    Jordan Hill – with David Lee uncertain, This Rookie would be a great fit to D’Antoni’s system. Like Amare… He runs, jumps high and already has a midrange game, oh wait… he can defend. so it’s one of the facets of his game that he can capitalize on. and c’mon… everybody can score in D’Antoni’s “7 seconds or Less System”. He can be a 12-8 guy which is not bad for a rookie.

    Elton Brand – After Enjoyin’ Sixer’s money for almost the whole season, Elton Brand would be out of his “Elton John Suit” and continue his 20-10 routine, and give the 76ers their much needed low post option.

    Kevin Garnett – Needs to Prove his healthy and pave way on the defensive end for his beloved Green. his going to be out with a vengeance!!!

    Luis Scola – Rockets without Yao would be playing with a small ball lineup that would feature “The Spanish Junk Yard Dog” with a lot of PT and since The China-Man would be out rehabilitating. and yup, he’s tearin’ shit up in FIBA Americas. and Carl Landry would flourish too.

    I’m out like Marbury on his Mind.

  • Kobeef

    Chuck V – After 4 years of wondering if he is going to be in the starting lineup – or even play, this multi-skilled PF finally gets all the PT he wants. He’s a good kid. I can’t see him screwing-up this opportunity.

    ANTHONY RANDOLPH – is he the real deal? We may never know. But we might find out this year.

    Elton Brand – if he sucks this year the Sixers franchise is doomed.

    Serge Ibaka – He’s 6-10 has a 7 foot something wingspan and has a 44 inch vert – but can he play basketball? OKC fans will find out this year.

    Yi JianLian – Is he the piece that convinces LeBron that the starting line of Harris, Lopez and Lee can make him a winner in Brooklyn? It would be nice. A breakout should come any day…..

    Tyrus Thomas – great playoff run for the young PF. Can he join the starting lineup for good?

  • Jordan

    ^^^^Are you guys gonna hire this guy or not?

  • Jordan

    (Mellmeister)

  • http://allthatjazzbasketball.blogspot.com/ Amar

    Carpaul Boozersap

  • Mellmeister

    @Jordan

    I hope they Hire me… Hahahaha! that would be one of the best jobs in the world… writing something about what you love. and become a critic… hahaha! Pinoy Pride in NY be knockin’ ‘em off like Pacquiao does Mexicans. :P

  • sh!tfaced

    Blake Griffin – if he busts up, then it’s official, the Clips are cursed.

    Tyler Hansbrough – if he busts up, then it’s official, Larry Bird is cooked.

  • ProphetGk

    What about Bargnani, do you think he’s finally going to be the all-star we all hope he will?

  • Mellmeister

    Think before you act… or read before disagree… :P

    (Editor’s note: Because they made last year’s Top-10 list, LaMarcus Aldridge, David West, Chris Bosh, Paul Millsap, Troy Murphy, Tim Duncan, Tyler Hansbrough, Dirk Nowitzki, Pau Gasol and Blake Griffin ARE NOT eligible for this list.)

    I’m out like Penny with an injury.

  • sh!tfaced

    DOH! My bad. Read everything but the ***. How that for an answer in random question of the day.

  • Mellmeister

    @shitfaced

    Oh Mayne!!! That could count…

  • LB

    I’m REALLY looking forward to seeing Anthony Randolph develop. I’ve never seen a player like him. Closest comparison I can come up with is Lamar Odom on meth! 6’11 with ridiculous length, hops, an overactive motor, handles and shooting range- but can he put it all together?

    Tyrus Thomas- Can he end up becoming the next Matrix? Or will he end up being the next Stromile Swift?

    Brandan Wright/ Yi Jianlian- Worth the high draft picks?

  • zainn

    I’m upset. HOW can you forget Tim Duncan.

  • http://Bearcatnews.com Boosilini

    No KMART mention?

  • http://sevendeu2u.wordpress.com/ Seven Duece

    I wonder what Wright has done (or not) to make Nellie chain him to that bench for 2 years.

  • NC

    Bosh is playing for MAX dollars and is entering his prime, so he should be # 1. I did see the editors note at the end though.

  • david

    “(Editor’s note: Because they made last year’s Top-10 list, LaMarcus Aldridge, David West, Chris Bosh, Paul Millsap, Troy Murphy, Tim Duncan, Tyler Hansbrough, Dirk Nowitzki, Pau Gasol and Blake Griffin ARE NOT eligible for this list.)”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~“

    Yeah, since they made that list, they should just sit out the year.

  • J.Hicks

    @david — Umm, no. Read the intro again. It’s a list of 5 guys who DIDN’T make the previous Top-10 list, who have the best chance of making that Top-10 list at the end of this season. It’s not that complicated. Well, maybe for you…