The NBA: April 2014 Position Battle – The Top 5 Centers Right Now

In this Position Battle post, we will focus on the top five centers at this point in the season. We will take into account just the players’ stats for the latest five games of their respective teams. This will, hopefully, give us a more current picture of each player’s production.

This is the last Position Battle post for the regular season, as all teams have played out their 82 games. The next series of Position Battles will focus exclusively on the players in the postseason.

In this list, a resident Sacramento bad boy remains at the top spot, while a troika of playoff-bound big men crowd him. Oh, and quite possibly the league’s worst free throw shooter is here, too. Go figure.

The league's best centers are comprised of a curious sort.

Note: All of the following stats are based on each player’s stats as computed by They were taken on April 17, 2014 (Manila time).

5. Marc Gasol (MEM) - 19.2ppg, 11.2rpg, 4.2apg, 1.4spg, .571 FG%, 27.2 EFF
Gasol’s last five games have been really awesome, especially his near-triple-double drop against the Mavs yesterday. He registered 19 points, 9 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 steals, and 1 block as Memphis snuck past Dallas, 106-105. That gave the Grizz the seventh seed in their conference and, more importantly, it means Gasol and Zach Randolph get to match-up against, arguably, one of the weaker West frontlines (hello, OKC).

4. Joakim Noah (CHI) - 13.2ppg, 13.0rpg, 8.6apg, 1.4spg, 1.8bpg, 27.8 EFF
Chicago’s MVP should be the league’s DPOY. I mean, without Noah, Chicago would be in the dumps right now (yes, even with DJ Augustin and Taj Gibson both playing so well). Noah has just been the heart and soul of this squad for the better part of the last two seasons, and they will continue to need his all-around production to get by a dangerous Washington quintet in the first round of the postseason.

An ugly jumpshot doesn't ruin Noah's beautiful game.
(image by Gary Dineen/Getty Images)

3. Andre Drummond (DET) - 18.4ppg, 17.4rpg, 2.0spg, 1.4bpg, .607 FG%, 27.8 EFF
My jaw dropped after reading about Drummond’s scoring 26 points and grabbing 26 rebounds against Noah’s Bulls last week. He really looks to be Dwight Howard 2.0, save for the free throw shooting because, lo and behold, Drummond actually shoots WORSE than DH. Among all NBA players who attempt at least 3.0 free throws a game, he is DEAD LAST, making under 42% of his charities. You’re good, young fella, but you ain’t never gonna be great till you get your act together on the line.

2. Al Jefferson (CHA) - 23.6ppg, 14.6rpg, 2.6apg, .552 FG%, 30.0 EFF
He is the single, biggest reason the Bobcats are in the Playoffs right now. Many thought Al-Jeff wouldn’t make a world of a difference for Charlotte, but, man, he has. To illustrate? The Cats have gone 7-1 this month to close out the regular season as one of the league’s hottest teams. Sure, they have next to nil chances of beating Miami four times in a best-of-seven, but, hey, they can throw in some jabs and, hopefully, soften up the champs for the second round, right? The world has got a lot riding on you, Al-Jeff. Don’t disappoint.

Jefferson's postseason will be short, but it would
be good if he can make it eventful.
(image by Brock Williams-Smith/Getty Images)

1. DeMarcus Cousins (SAC) - 30.3ppg, 13.3rpg, 3.5apg, 2.0spg, 1.8bpg, .485 FG%, 31.3 EFF
Boogie is no hero, but he’s, objectively speaking and based purely on production, definitely the best center on the planet. Yes, we can all go on a dozen beers talking about each and every one of his SIXTEEN techs this season (that’s tied for first with Blake Griffin and, surprisingly, Kevin Durant), but the fact is his misdemeanor notwithstanding, this former Wildcat is the Kings’ only hope of any future success. Rein him in, surround him with complementary talent, and maybe Sacramento can be amongst hoops royalty again.
DeMarcus Cousins is the poster boy for the nouveau
NBA bad boy. Oh, and he is the league's best center, too.
(image by Steve Yeater/AP)

Outside looking in:
Timofey Mozgov (DEN) - 26.4 EFF
Enes Kanter (UTA) - 26.3 EFF
Marcin Gortat (WAS) - 23.6 EFF

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