The NBA: December 2013 Position Battle – The Top 5 Power Forwards Right Now

This is our fourth Position Battle post of 2013-2014, and we will focus on the top five power forwards at this point in the season. This is a pretty interesting list, since some of the biggest PF names in the past few years will be missing the cut. I’m talking about guys like Pau Gasol, Kevin Garnett, and Kenneth Faried. It’s a list dominated by young ‘uns, and that just tells me a new era is upon us.

Note: All of the following stats are based on each player’s stats as computed by They were taken on December 22, 2013 (Manila time).

Of course, there IS one old guy here whose spot in the HoF is all but sealed…

Dirk Nowitzki has regained top form this season.
(image by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

5. Dirk Nowitzki (DAL) - 21.0ppg, 6.1rpg, 3.0apg, 1.1spg, .492 FG%, 1.5 triples per game, .413 3pt%, .919 FT%, 22.0 EFF
December is shaping up to be a great month for the best German player to ever play in the NBA. Dirk outplayed Ryan Anderson last December 4, outplayed LaMarcus Aldridge last December 7, and did a number on Zach Randolph a few days ago. All those games ended up as Ws for Dallas, too. It seems like we’re seeing the Dirk who led the Mavs to that miraculous 2011 title, and NOT the one who wimped through 2012 and early 2013. Good for Dallas, bad for the other 29 teams.

4. Blake Griffin (LAC) - 20.4ppg, 10.3rpg, 3.1apg, 1.0spg, .517 FG%, 23.3 EFF
Yes, Griffin still hasn’t really grown his game much from his rookie year. He still isn’t really a sure bet as a back-to-the-basket player. He still isn’t a consistent threat from midrange. Unlike Kevin Love, whom we’ll talk about later, Griffin hasn’t really developed any semblance of a perimeter game. BUT what Griffin does do – run the floor, rebound the basketball, and flush the rock like nobody’s business – he does extremely well. And on a team with maybe the best all-around point guard in the league, maybe Griffin doesn’t really need to be THAT all-around, too.

3. LaMarcus Aldridge (POR) - 23.3ppg, 11.1rpg, 1.1spg, .479 FG%, 25.8 EFF
WHAT?! The best player on the league’s most surprising team isn’t the top guy at his positiong?! Travesty! Yes, and yet it’s still the way it is. For all his awesomeness, Aldridge still isn’t the most productive 4 out there. You gotta love his game, though. He has been nothing short of super in leading Portland to a 9-2 slate so far in December. He’s racked up double-doubles in all but 2 of those contests, and he should be a sure-fire All-Star early in 2014. If the Blazers can actually be consistent enough to secure a top four spot in the West, then Aldridge’s place among the league’s elite big men might already be as sure as sunrise.

2. Anthony Davis (NOP) - 19.1ppg, 10.3rpg, 1.7spg, 3.4bpg, .502 FG%, 26.4 EFF
Yes, Davis might be a center in most NBA fans’ books, but he’s a PF in mine. And, wow, look at his numbers! He leads the league in blocked shots, leads all PFs in steals, and is ninth overall in rebounding. By far the most impressive thing, however, is this – he is the league’s fifth best player in terms of player efficiency. Yes, this sophomore on a bad team is among the league’s five most productive players! The other four guys? Oh, you might have heard of them before – Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Chris Paul, and…

1. Kevin Love (MIN) - 25.2ppg, 13.7rpg, 4.2apg, 2.5 triples per game, 30.2 EFF
How the Minnesota Timberwolves have the league’s best power forward and still manage to be just the eleventh best team in the West is insane. And it’s not even really their fault. If Love and his Wolves were out East, then they would probably be a top four team. Instead, despite Love having a career year, Minnesota is outside looking in. Love does it all for these guys – he shoots, he rebounds, he hands out assists. Who else thinks he’s too good to be in this situation and that he should just move to another city?

Kevin Love and LaMarcus Aldridge are two of the league's top PFs.
(image from Total Pro Sports)

Outside looking in:
David Lee (GSW) - 20.6 EFF
Paul Millsap (ATL) - 19.9 EFF

Serge Ibaka (OKC) - 19.4 EFF

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