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2021 B/R NBA Player Rankings: Predicting Top 25 Bigs This Season

the Toronto Raptors
the Western Conference
Detroit PistonsBlake Griffin
Portland Trail BlazersAfter
Nate Bjorkgren
Golden State
G Leaguers
Orlando MagicSo
New Orleans Pelicans
Karl-Anthony Towns
The Utah Jazz
the Boston Celtics
the Dishes & Dimes
the Eastern Conference Finals
Siakam didn't
The Miami Heat
the Denver Nuggets
Basketball Reference
NBA for Bleacher Report

James Wiseman
Adam Fromal
Sean Highkin
Grant Hughes
Bryant Knox
Greg Swartz
Bryan Toporek
Andre Drummond
Serge Ibaka
ClippersSerge Ibaka
Wendell Carter Jr.
Billy Donovan
Jim Boylen
Kevin Love
LaMarcus Aldridge
Blake Griffin
Danilo Gallinari
James Harden
Jusuf Nurkic
Myles Turner
Domantas Sabonis
Draymond Green
Stephen Curry
Klay Thompson
Kevin Durant
John Collins
Jaren Jackson Jr.
Jaren Jackson Jr.'s
Nikola Vucevic
Luka Doncic
Deandre Ayton's
Devin Booker
Chris Paul
Zion Williamson
Rudy Gobert
Donovan Mitchell
Yasmin Duale
Nick Nurse
Brook Lopez
Giannis Antetokounmpo
Charles Barkley
Bam Adebayo
Kevin Garnett
Goran Dragic
Tyler Herro
Jimmy Butler
Joel Embiid
Anthony Davis
Nikola Jokic
Karl-Anthony Towns
Jamal Murray
Dan Favale
Hardwood Knocks



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Los Angeles
San Antonio SpursAge
Golden State
Michigan State
Kristaps Porzingis

No matching tags

Positivity     43.00%   
   Negativity   57.00%
The New York Times
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Also, be sure to check out our top 25 guards and forwards, the former of which explains why position installments have been cast aside (in a nutshell, the league has outgrown them):Your usual friendly reminder: Players are ranked based on where we think they'll finish the season. Anyone who isn't slated to play this year won't make an appearance, and final placements are impacted by injuries, major setbacks in the rearview and, wherever necessary, potential regression due to age.Rookies are excluded as well. He was moving well on defense, making the same plays on offense and averaged over 30 minutes per game.Expectations needn't be adjusted for him this season. His rim protection is hard to come by against the volume of shots he faces, and he's better suited to getting stops in space than a good chunk of 4s, not to mention his frontcourt partner (and fellow center) Domantas Sabonis.Striking some semblance of offensive continuity is all that separates Turner from the titanic leap Indiana has spent years waiting on. It was never going to be the season in which he gave—*Deadpool voice*—maximum effort.Mind you, Golden State still defended at a league-average level during Green's time on the floor. The Warriors have NBA players now—talent that jibes with Green's vision while running the floor, and that is good enough to deserve his exhaustive defensive engagement around which Golden State founded its dynasty.15. He is someone who can score 20-plus points entirely within the flow of the offense.Defense and availability will have a larger say in Jackson's immediate future. A 7'3" big who uncorks threes in droves and protects the rim at an All-Defense level is, conceptually, an ideal No. 2 for a championship contender with an alpha ball-handler.Playing in Dallas has only increased the apex and likelihood of that best-case outcome. And on those occasions when he is working from a standstill or off the dribble, he's more aware of his surroundings, and the open shooters they include.Fully healthy, this is not a player who counts 10 bigs better than himself, or who is clinging to top-40 status overall. His timing off screens is mostly impeccable, even if he sometimes sticks too close to the ball-handler, and defenses struggle to guard against someone who can catch lobs, slip through open seams or down looks at the rim after one or two quick dribbles off the catch.Phoenix doesn't even need screens to put him in position. He has shown he'll slither behind the defense without them when spacing allows for it and knows how to get deep enough in the post to finish turnarounds and jump hooks that don't call for any extra dribble creation.Expertly scoring within the larger offensive dynamic—for the most part—might be Ayton's launching pad into the fringe-star discussions, but it's his defensive improvement that will help stick the landing. He won't always make the right read around the rim or provide the most timely or appropriate help, but he showed the decision-making needed to reach that level more frequently last season.Ego is really all that stands to derail Ayton's ascension at this point. Three-point shooting is no longer a determinate skill given his defensive upswing, but it would add another dimension to Phoenix's offense and Ayton's stardom-bound arc. Or is it more impressive he managed to have a positive impact at all, for any stretch of time, under the circumstances?Between his torn right meniscus at the beginning of the year, minutes limit upon return, the league's stoppage, his having to leave and reenter to the bubble and then his right knee acting up again by the end of everything, Zion's rookie year was a tale of nine seasons.Flashes mean more when they come amid topsy-turvy conditions, and Zion's highest highs were more like games-long reels than volatile glimpses. That the New Orleans Pelicans demonstratively outperformed opponents with him on the floor is both small-sample theater—and yet, the data reflects regression in Disney—and an accurate snapshot of just how overmatched defenses seemed when he took the court.Put another way: his best moments weren't lightning in a bottle, and not much has to change for him to make a big jump other than better availability. His screens lead to better floor-spacing and shot opportunities, and he's ranked lower than the 87th percentile in finishing out of the pick-and-roll just once over the past four years (2019-20).There is truth to the belief that impact centers can be approximated at a discount. He still turned in 23.6 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game on average-adjacent true shooting.Given the rate at which Siakam has improved since entering league, now is not the time to assert that he's reached his peak. He added another layer of playmaking to his arsenal, improving his decision-making out of double-teams and flashing the ability to make less obvious finds when given time to survey the floor.The end result: Giannis Antetokounmpo and Charles Barkley are the only players to clear 25 points, 10 rebounds and four assists per game for an entire season with a higher true shooting percentage. (Note: Towns made just 35 appearances in 2019-20.) And Towns reached those benchmarks not only on higher three-point volume but also while anchoring lineups in which no more than two other players would have started or closed games for other teams.Plop some of his contemporaries into that situation, including a few in front of him here, and they're not guaranteed to do the same. He may never be the equivalent of a 75-games-per-year player, but what if he's closer to 67 or 70 than 60? Davis' on-off splits last season were often cited to poke holes in his Defensive Player of the Year candidacy, but deeper dives revealed a simple yet salient explanation: He was tasked with anchoring lineups that had almost no business existing even with him.Singularly sparing four-player combinations from disaster is not something just anyone can do. And if there was ever a time to make a case for him over Jokic and Embiid, it would be now, when he's coming off a championship run during which he drained 38.3 percent of his triples and morphed into Kevin Durant from mid-range.The book on Nikola Jokic no longer includes a chapter explaining why he deserves to be mentioned among the league's elite. has to be emotionally and physically draining for defenses.Yet, while Jokic's highlight passes are what most keep him in the spotlight, he has somewhat quietly established himself as one of the league's clutchest scorers.Over the past two seasons, he is shooting a combined 87-of-174 (50 percent) during the final five minutes of games in which the Nuggets neither trail nor lead by more than five points. Evidence of his capacity to carry a team is linear: just as available in the final five minutes as the first 43.Giannis Antetokounmpo's floor among the league's best players needs no expansive explanation. Everything from the ground he covers on-ball to the possessions he upends on defense to the lines he posts are hypnotizing, but they're also years-old. Antetokounmpo managed to push boundaries anyway, averaging 29.5 points, 13.6 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks in barely 30 minutes of run, his fewest since he was a mystery-box rookie.Somehow, compiling two outings' worth of stats in one game isn't sufficiently reflective of the motor with which he plays.

As said here by Dan Favale