The Return of the Center

For years the Center position has been obsolete in the NBA. They removed it from All-Star voting and the last two champions have won playing small ball lineups. Gone were the days you needed someone who could dominate the paint to win. There hasn’t been a dominant Center since Dwight Howard in 2009. Scoring wise we haven’t seen anyone since Shaq’s last years in MIA. Is that drought over now though?

People have said that the Center position is dead nowadays but I’m of the belief that it just lacked talent over all these years. All the guys who were supposed to be big ended up hurt (Yao Ming, Greg Oden) and either cut their career short or never started it at all. Nowadays we have a great young crop of big men starting to take over the league. 13 Centers are averaging at least 15 points a game. The most since the 1997-1998 season. Those guys don’t include talents like Andre Drummond, Rudy Gobert, Dwight Howard, Myles Turner, Enes Kanter, or DeAndre Jordan. Out of the top 10, Player Impact Estimate 6 of them are Centers as well with Joel Embiid as 11. So yes, they are back with a vengeance. They not only block shots, rebound, and protect the paint. They can shoot 3s too. Should be interesting to see how they do come playoff time. Maybe they should add that position back to the All-Star game voting?

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