Are There Any Real “Big Men” Left in the NBA?

The New York Times’ John Krolik has an interesting piece about the erosion of post-up play in the NBA.  To bring his point home Krolik unearthed this jaw-dropping stat from Synergy Sports:

According to Synergy Sports, Nowitzki, Boozer and Bosh have combined for 1,119 post-up possessions this season. The rest of the starting power forwards and centers on the remaining playoff teams have combined for 318. That’s every center remaining in the playoffs, plus Serge Ibaka.

Wait it gets better:

Kobe Bryant alone accounted for 337 post-up possessions this season.

If there’s any bright side to this development it’s that these last few years have also brought a resurgence in skilled defensive big men.  Players such as Tyson Chandler, Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Garnett, Marcus Camby, Joakim Noah, and of course Dwight Howard put forth stellar defensive efforts around the basket on a nightly basis.  Right behind these guys are the likes of Brendan Haywood, Andrew Bogut, Roy Hibbert, Andrew Bynum and Andres Biedrins who are also adept interior defenders.

That said, no one will confuse this current crop of big men with the mid 90s cohort that included David Robinson, Patrick Ewing, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Shaquille O’Neal.

It remains to see precisely how post play will evolve in the NBA, but if recent trends continue devolution might be a better word the trajectory of interior play in the NBA.


Post a comment