Point Guards like Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, and Kyrie Irving have taken the NBA by STORM for the last couple of years. But while everyone has their eyes turned toward these high-flying guards, some big name Centers are quietly showing their dominance. Here are the top 10 Centers in the NBA!
10. Joakim Noah (New York Knicks)
Broken, bruised, and battered, last season was definitely one Noah should forget. He became a liability on offense and miss easy opportunities for rebounds. Let's not forget that this is the same guy that was in MVP conversations just a couple years back. And while it is clear he is not the same player he was a couple season ago, he still deserves a spot on this list. His defense, determination, and jus sheer hustle are all characteristics that make him a very valuable asset in today's game, where power and guts can get taken for granted.
9. Nikola Vucevic (Orlando Magic)
This guy racks up points and rebounds like he’s a hungry dog that hasn’t been fed. Undoubtedly one of the most underrated players in the league, Vucevic gets a nod on this list for being able to consistently put up big numbers despite whatever struggles this Orlando team faces. He can also stretch the floor and has a pretty good handle for a guy of his height. He’s only 25 years old too, so there’s no reason why we can’t keep expecting these kinds of numbers from him.
8. Al Horford (Boston Celtics)
In the 2015-2016 season, Al put up 15 points and 7 rebounds. Those aren’t bad numbers when you’re on a team that preaches ball movement and team oriented offense. Last year, he also showed his ability to hit the three-ball. And in today's NBA, the three means everything. What makes Horford so special though is his mental awareness of the game. He is always making smart choices and you’d be hard pressed to find a time where he took a bad shot. Being in Boston now should only help his numbers improve, as he’ll be more of an offensive focal point.
7. Hassan Whiteside (Miami Heat)
Remember when Whiteside could barely get an eyeball to look in his direction? Yeah….I don’t either. It seems all I remember from Whiteside are high flying dunks and supreme shot blocks. In fact, the only thing keeping Whiteside from being higher on the list is mental maturity and a more rounded post up game. Other than that, this guy has it all. With Wade out of the door and Bosh’s availability on the question, Whiteside should be the automatic first option on offense. Either way, you know whenever Whitesides on the floor things are going to happen.
6. Dwight Howard (Atlanta Hawks)
The big word here is “Impact”. Dwight may not seem like the sixth best Center to the naked eye, but when you go back and look closer you can see that Howard has a huge impact on the game. On defense, he practically shuts down the paint and lowers practically everybody’s shot percentage. On offense, he not only attracts the defenders to him on the inside (which allows more room for shooters), he’s a beast on the offensive boards and gives the team second chance opportunities. He might have his problems in the locker room, but make no mistake: Dwight is still big time.
5. Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota Timberwolves)
In only his rookie season, KAT has averaged 18 points, 10 and a half rebounds, and almost 2 blocks a game. Those are pretty incredible numbers for a 20-year-old. He seems to have it all, as we’ve seen multiple ways of scoring from this kid. What might be most encouraging, though, is his mental thinking of the game. He strives to get better and trusts his teammates to create a great situation for him. While he isn’t as great on D as some of the higher Centers on the list, he still has a knack for getting rough down in the paint. As well rounded as Towns is, he is only expected to get better. Which should be scaring the entire league.
4. Marc Gasol (Memphis Grizzlies)
Marc’s deteriorating body caused him to miss most of the last season. Whether he comes back playing well or not, his play will almost surely take a small hit. That small bump has allowed other Centers to surpass him for the time being. However, do not be surprised if he climbs back up the list. His defense is true, his offense is pure, and his rebounding is crisp. He has exceptional passing for the position which makes even the most stubborn of jaws drop. His post play is no different, and that's an important quality for a Center to have. Even at 70%, Marc is still an elite center in this league.
3. Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons)
Anytime you watch the Pistons play, pay attention to how important Drummond is to the team's success. A lot of times, the team wins if he plays well and loses if he plays terrible. There is a reason for that, as Drummond is the gear that keeps the team going. He plays both sides of the ball very well, and his post play is especially appealing to behold. His sweet spot, though, is rebounding. He was a league leader last year for rebounds, and I’m pretty sure he’s got everyone else beat in that department. Only his free throw shooting keeps him from going higher up this list.
2. DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers)
Why is DeAndre so high on the list? Defense, that’s why. DeAndre is not the most skilled offensively, and there's a lot he can still improve on in that department. But on defense, he is the best in the league when it comes to big guys. Not only does he swat shots like crazy, but he knows how to affect shots and influence a shot attempt like nobody else can. The entirety of the Clippers defense relies on DeAndre being there to patrol the middle. Because of the 3 ball, interior defense is often looked over. But some things will always remain important, and having that anchor in the middle is one of them.
1. DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings)
No surprise here, but DeMarcus is the best Center in the league. To put it simply, he dominates the interior on every end of the floor. His offensive game is so potent and no center has as many ways to score as him. He can stretch out to the 3 and also post up on the inside. On D, he contests every shot that comes his way.
He can be a headache to coach sometimes, but DeMarcus has an undeniable passion for the game that shows every time he touches the ball. He also does something that no other center really does. He LEADS. He is the locker room leader and the floor leader. The team comes to him when they need a voice. He is truly the definition of an all-around type of player.