Ranking the Top 5 Power Forwards in the NBA

By Jordan Foote
Oct. 27, 2017

Welcome to the fourth installment of The Best Foote Forward's "Top 5 in the NBA" series. This week, we'll be ranking the top 5 players at each position in the NBA. I've developed a scoring system for each position that varies based on the importance of each category to the position at hand. Today, we'll be focusing on the power forward position. The scoring system is explained below (out of 60 points):

Shooting: Out of 10 points. Ability of the player to efficiently shoot the ball from inside and outside the three-point arc.

Inside Scoring: Out of 10 points. Ability of the player to get to the rim and finish with , along with being able to score points under the rim in rebounding situations.

Athleticism: Out of 10 points. Overall athletic ability of the player. Graded based on top-end speed and quickness while handling the ball and vertical ability on jump shots, layups and dunks.

Defense: Out of 10 points. Ability of the player to guard opposing players. Graded based on technique, ability to steal the ball from opponents, overall IQ on defense and defensive real -minus.

Passing: Out of 5 points. Ability of the player to make routine passes, difficult passes and distribute the ball on offense. Graded not solely based on assist numbers, but the ability of the player to find the open man and make his team better. This number is out of 5 for power forwards instead of the 10 used for point guards because these guys aren't called upon to distribute the basketball as much as point guards are.

Rebounding: Out of 10 points. Ability of the player to grab offensive and defensive rebounds.

Durability/Toughness: Out of 5 points. Ability of the player to avoid injuries or play through them.

Understand the system? Good: let's get to the rankings!

5: Paul Millsap (Denver Nuggets)

I was one point away from having a tie for 5th place between Paul Millsap and LaMarcus Aldridge. This one was a tough choice, but I'm taking the consistent Millsap over the likely-to-be-resurgent Aldridge. The former Atlanta Hawk averaged 18 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game last season to go with 1.3 steals and a block per contest on the defensive end. He may see his overall numbers decrease a bit in Denver but his efficiency should increase quite a bit. He might even spend a bit of his time at the small forward spot, which will give him an advantage against smaller opponents. Millsap is a jack-of-all-trades and should enjoy a quietly solid season in Denver. Check out his ratings on the 60-point scale below:

Shooting - 7

Inside Scoring - 7

Athleticism - 7

Defense - 8

Passing - 3

Rebounding - 7

Durability/Toughness - 4

Overall - 43/60

4: Kristaps Porzingis (New York Knicks)

Kristaps Porzingis is in for a big year in New York. No more Derrick Rose, no more Carmelo Anthony. Instead, Tim Hardaway is the only player "threatening" to take shots away from the Unicorn, which says a lot. Porzingis should be happier playing at the 4 slot and should benefit from it on the offensive end. His three-point percentage increased two percent from 33.3 to 35.7 between 2015-2016, so we're hoping that will make another tick up this season. On defense, KP is always a threat to block shots, as told by his 2 blocks per game in each of his first two seasons. He's an underrated defender both at the rim and on the outside. He's the man now in the Big Apple; it's time for him to play like it. Here are Kristaps' ratings on the 60-point scale:

Shooting - 7

Inside Scoring - 8

Athleticism - 8

Defense - 9

Passing - 1

Rebounding - 7

Durability/Toughness - 5

Overall - 45/60

3: Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers)

If only he could stay heathy. Blake Griffin is undoubtedly one of the most talented players in the NBA, but simply can't remain healthy for a whole season. He missed 15 contests in 2014, 47 in 2015 and 21 last year. When healthy, Griffin is good for 21 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists per game. His improving three-point shot will help him stretch the floor on offense and if he can improve a bit on the defensive end, he'll re-join the conversation as one of the best players in the NBA by the season's end. Blake is a tantalizing talent that can be very good when healthy. It's easier said than done. Griffin's ratings on the 60-point scale are below:

Shooting - 7

Inside Scoring - 9

Athleticism - 10

Defense - 8

Passing - 5

Rebounding - 8

Durability/Toughness - 2

Overall - 49/60

2: Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors)

Draymond Green could walk off the court on the offensive end and still be one of the better players in basketball. That's just how good the reigning Defensive Player of the Year's performance on the defensive end is. Despite being just 6'7", Green is one of the best rim protectors in the NBA and is quick enough to step out and defend players on the perimeter. He is also a very solid rebounder (8 per game last season), which helps a lot. Offensively, Green's three point efficiency dipped from 39 percent in 2015 to 31 percent last year, but should be somewhere in between those two figures this year. He's also one of the more underrated passers in the league. 10-12 points, 8-9 rebounds and 7+ assists per game and (arguably) the best defense in the NBA sounds good to me. Draymond's ratings on the 60-point scale can be found below:

Shooting - 7

Inside Scoring - 8

Athleticism - 7

Defense - 10

Passing - 5

Rebounding - 8

Durability/Toughness - 5

Overall - 50/60

1: Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans)

Easy, easy, easy pick. Anthony Davis is one of the best players in the NBA at just 24 years old. He has quietly been adding a three-point shot to his arsenal on offense that already sported a good mid-range jumper and around 50% efficiency from the field overall. On the boards, Davis is good for 10+ rebounds a game. Passing is not his strong suit, which is one of the only things holding him back from being in the conversation of top-5 players in the league. The other issue is health. Davis seems to constantly be injured. He's very tough and often plays through the pain, but it's amazing to think of just how effective he could be if healthy for a whole season. Could his numbers of 1 steal and two blocks per game could be even higher? That's a scary thought. One of the best two-way players the league has today, here are the Brow's ratings on the 60-point scale:

Shooting - 7

Inside Scoring - 10

Athleticism - 10

Defense - 10

Passing - 1

Rebounding - 10

Durability/Toughness - 3

Overall - 51/60

That's it for the Top 5 Power Forwards in the NBA. The top three players on this list will likely be the same this time next year, but it's entirely possible that the 4/5 spot is shaken up by a lackluster season by someone on the list or a sudden resurgence of another player. All of these players are very talented and are on track to continue playing great basketball in 2017-18. If you're hand-picking a team as a GM and one of these five men are still on the board, you better grab one of them.

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This is your reminder to put your Best Foot(e) Forward in everything you do today! Be the best version of yourself possible and treat others with respect at all times!

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