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NBA / Dec 19, 2011 / 11:00 am

The NBA’s Top 5 Frontcourts

I’ll be honest with you. I’m waiting on Tyson Chandler to not live up to this new contract. It seems inevitable: big man who has career year at 29 years old, finds himself in a perfect situation, plays great D and rebounds but has it magnified because his team finally got through the West and won a title (seriously, if Dallas loses in the Western playoffs, is anyone talking about how great Chandler is right now?). Take it for face value: a 29-year-old, injury prone big man who’s coming off BY FAR the best year of his career, a guy who’s been incredibly up and down throughout his career was just given $56 million to come save the defense in the world’s most crazed media market.

Tell me you aren’t worried right now. The one saving grace for the signing is this – New York won’t ask him to do anything crazy. They want his size. They want his shot blocking and rebounding. They want his athleticism. And I think most of all – and it’s been very overlooked so far – they want his attitude. Chandler gets major props from me because he’ll bring that locker room together. I doubt we’ll get one major negative chemistry story from them all year. The Knicks would probably trade their backcourt for UConn’s guards right now, but when you have a big man group of Chandler, Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, you can get by.

So, as I posed the question last week, does that make New York the NBA’s No. 1 frontcourt? There are some other teams that may not have quite the talent, but definitely can hold down the paint. I tried to keep this including all three positions evenly; To make the list, you needed production from everywhere rather than being top heavy. The Lakers and Heat, for instance, both have two great players in the frontcourt. But their third-best starters (Joel Anthony and whoever the Lakers pick to start) are average at best. Here are the NBA’s best frontcourts:

FRONTCOURT OF THE FUTURE: Utah Jazz
They’ve been flying under the radar for a minute. Actually, they’ve been flying under the radar forever. But the Jazz have done their homework, and while I don’t think they’re a playoff team, they have a nice, young nucleus. Their frontline is especially intriguing. Gordon Hayward might still look like a little boy when he’s 30, but I’m betting he’ll still be starting even then. His numbers (5.4 points and 1.9 rebounds a night) as a rookie were pretty weak, but that’s only because they kept him chained up in the doghouse for almost half the year. Add in Al Jefferson, one of the best low-post scorers in the NBA, and Paul Millsap, who’s shown that if you get him on the floor, he’ll produce, whether it’s off the bench or from the opening tip. There’s also lottery pick Enes Kanter, and Mehmet Okur, who’s coming off an injury. There’s no way he can still move as well as he used to now that he’s 32. But you can’t lose that stroke.

And lastly, since seeing him in high school as literally the next Dwight Howard (check out his pre-draft measurements. Scary similarities), Derrick Favors hasn’t blown up. To me, he’s too nice of a kid to ever really blow up the way he probably could. But when you’re a bigger and better athlete than 95 percent of the NBA, that doesn’t really matter. You can get away with it and still be a problem.

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  • north

    nothing like recycling what people post on your last article for the new one…

  • http://www.LakersNation.com Lakers Nation

    Sean – how is Andrew Bynum & Pau Gasol not up on this list?

  • KL

    Curious where’d Darko, Love and Beasley rank in such a list.

  • http://www.psychodrama.com Chicagorilla

    So with All-might Dirk the Diggler, Shawn -dumbest hair do in the NBA- MArion, Lamar – I cry at night- Odom, and Brendon Haywood. The Dallas Mavs can’t get a nod here?

    I mean just this Summer Dirk was a GOD and the best PF ever.
    Just a few weeks ago Odom was the greatest trade Peice the Hornets never got.
    And Shawn Marion shut down LBJ in the finals.

    oh how quickly we forget.

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    @ Chi – I figured they’d be better than the Pacers, at the very least.

  • LMNOP

    5 Dallas – Haywood, Dirk, Odom, Marion
    4 OKC – Perk, Ibaka, Durant
    3 Lakers – Bynum, Gasol, Metta World
    2 Griz
    1 Knicks

    Thats my list. I thought about Dwight howard being able to squeeze into the top 5 by himself, then i looked and saw he has Turkygloo and a fat child in the front court with him and it just made me feel sorry for the poor man.

  • First & Foremost

    Where are the Hawks? Their backcourt rotation can hang with just about anyone. Zaza, Collins, Smith, Williams, Horford. Nah I’m just playin.

  • i am a witness

    @ Laker nation – BYNUM and GASOl not on the list because as Sean said in the article, all 3 memeber s of the front court must be good excludein teams like MIAMI ( Bron ,bosh and ?? j Anthony lol) and LAKERS (Gasol, Bynum and ?? M. World Peace). Good job pointing out that CHANDLER is vastly overated sean. If dallas didnt win this year chandler would b gettin noooooo loveee

  • http://www.psychodrama.com Chicagorilla

    Oh snap i forgot about the Lakers front line.

    Apparently Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum are worth Dwight Howard.
    So you would think that Gasol, Bynum, Artest, Murphy would be a top 5 front court by default right?

    I mean according to Lakers fans, Gasol was going to change the fortunes of the Houston rockets all by himself. And Andrew Bynum is the 2nd best Center in the NBA.

    Also KL has a good point about Beasley and KLove.

  • http://www.psychodrama.com Chicagorilla

    Also You claim Chandler to be overrated but also claim he had the Best season of his career. WHEN ACTUALLY HIS 2007-2008 Season with the Hornets was his best season ever.
    12ppg-12reb-1blk-62%FG while also grabbing 4-off rebounds per game.

    The year before that 2006-2007 Season
    9.5ppg – 12rpg- 2bpg – 62%FG and 4-off reb per game.

    Yet somehow you think he had his best season last year where he avg
    10ppg-9rpg-1bpg- 65%FG with 3-off Reb per game.

    I’m not really sure why you think Chandlers last season was so big. He did nothing special and nothing to seperate himself.
    You claim the Knicks need his shot blocking but the dude only gets 1 block per game and he barely gets that.

  • G

    Portland was ranked way too high. Lakers should’ve been shown some love. I don’t care if Joel Anthony is a bum the heat still are nice.

  • control

    Chandler was going to get paid no matter what, the guy is 7 foot, that’s worth a solid 60 million isn’t it? You got fucks like Valgina making 60 million, and he isn’t even fully 7 foot. Teams always overpay for people who are 7 foot.

    Chicago’s front court shouldn’t be on this list. That team is successful because of their backcourt. Boozer is a lazy and overrated, Joakim is ugly and overrated and Deng is aight. 2 x overrated + 1 x lazy + 1 x aight doesn’t make the 3rd best front court in the league.

    Rest of what I was going to say has already been said, hah.

  • wcs

    The Twolves fron court of KLove-Mike Beasley-Derrick Williams is greater than all.

  • First & Foremost

    How are the T-wolves frontcourt greater than all. Quick name their starting center? If you guessed Darko, then by default their frontline drops out of the top anything.

    Yes, they potentially have 3 very good 4s on offense but you have to look at all three positions and which teams could rank near the top on both ends of the floor.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    Couldn’t have said it better about Indiana’s front line. I think they have the most well-rounded, complete front line — inside scoring, mid-range shooting, long-range shooting, rebounding, defense, height — in the NBA, even if they’re not the most talented or the most productive.

  • abpin

    The achilles is actually by the heel, not the knee… just sayin…

  • Knicksfan84

    Yep the author of this article should officially be drug tested.

  • Chuck Norris

    Perkins-Ibaka-Durant not on the list?! WTF!

  • Ian

    chioago
    thats because chandler was lucky to be in dallas the season dirk decided to butt fuck everyone in the playoffs

  • http://www.livingcheapla.com hakasan

    also agree that
    perkins/ibaka/durant not being on this list kills credibility…

    horford/smith/collins is at least as good as in the indy front court… heck, gortat, frye, and hill is as good as the indy front court…