The modern NBA is faster than ever and for the first time in the history of the NBA, big men no longer dominate the game and instead the NBA is a point guard and shooting guard driven league.
We are quite far removed from the days of Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Karl Malone, David Robsinon, and Shaquille O'Neil. The time when teams would facilitate their offense by feeding their big man in the paint 20 times a night is over. Instead, the NBA offense is now predicated around an outside- inside approach. Having great shooters around the perimeter, and running a three point shot heavy offense, NBA offenses now rely on deep shot making to spread out opposing team's defenses which in turn creates open cutting and driving lanes for players to finish around the basket.
So what has happened to all of the talented big men? Are they all gone? Of course not. Big men like Dallas Mavericks' forward Dirk Nowitzki and the San Antonio Spurs' Tim Duncan are still around and are still capable of scoring in large numbers, but even Dirk is more perimeter focused and relies on his deadly three point shooting as well as his patented one leg fade away for the majority of his scoring.
The days of the inside scoring big man do indeed seem behind us, and outside of the Sacramento Kings' DeMarcus Cousins, there doesn't seem to be any hope for the power forward/center position moving forward.
In order to fully appreciate how awful the interior play in the NBA has gotten, we must take a look at some of the NBA's biggest offenders.
Here are the NBA’s Top 15 Big Men with No Post Moves. (In order of players with the least amount of post skills.)
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15 Channing Frye
Frye is a NBA journeyman that has played for 5 different teams including the New York Knicks, Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic, and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Fyre had a few great years in Phoenix where he teamed up with point guard legend Steve Nash to score countless 3 pointers in pick and pop situations. As a career 38.8%, 3-point shooter playing the power forward position-Frye has managed a long career with absolutely no inside game.
How much does Frye rely on the three point shot? This season he has 194 three point attempts compared to only 283 regular field goal attempts.
14 Ersan İlyasova
If you haven't had a chance to watch Ersan play before, I compare him to a poor man's Dirk Nowitzki. Ersan is a streaky shooter that has the ability to score in bunches. The 6-foot-10 forward from Turkey is not as mobile as Dirk was early in his career, and unlike Dirk, Ersan can't score the ball around the basket. His career averages of 10 points and 6 rebounds per game are nothing to scoff at, but his production would be much higher if he didn't avoid the painted area of the basketball court.
13 Omer Asik
Omer Asik is a seven foot giant. Unlike others on this list who rely on their perimeter shooting, Asik can't shoot from the outside AND he can't shoot near the basket. He has no post game whatever.
On the bright side, Asik is a tremendous rebounder and even averaged a double double in the 2012-13 season with the Houston Rockets (most of those points coming from rebounds and put backs). It's possible Asik has never had the opportunity to work on his post game, but maybe he is simply scared trying to score in the paint for the risk of being fouled. As one of the NBA's worst free throw shooters, 55% career average, it makes sense that Asik wouldn't be too aggressive on the offensive side of the ball.
12 Josh Smith
Josh Smith would like to pretend that he is a small forward, but he is instead a power forward that prefers to jack up three pointers that miss more than they make.
Smith had a sequence of great seasons with the Atlanta Hawks and the Detroit Pistons where he was regarding as one of the top power forwards in the NBA. He was athletic, powerful, and a great defender. Now Smith is a bench player that settles for jump shots and aside from the occasional drive, he steers clear of the paint. As a 28% career 3 point shooter, Smith should probably not continue living on the arc if he hopes to stay employed in the NBA.
11 Kenneth Faried
They don't call Faried the "Manimal" for nothing. Faried is a animal on the boards. He has spent his entire NBA career being a fierce presence for the Denver Nuggets-unfortunately Faried's energy outweighs his talent.
If Faried isn't tip dunking or catching an alley-oop from his teammates, he is most likely not involved on offense. Faried has been in the NBA five seasons and still has yet to add a single offense post move to his repertoire. Faried is still young, but it doesn't look like he plans to add that sky hook anytime soon.
10 Matt Bonner
Commonly referred to as the "Red Rocket," Matt Bonner is a bench warmer, a three point specialist, and a NBA champion. It's hard to knock a guy that makes clutch three pointers year after year with the San Antonio Spurs. Bonner has never been a big NBA scorer and he rarely takes a step in the paint on offense, (unless running across the lane to set a screen for Tim Duncan to post up.) He hasn't scored many baskets down low and that is just fine-however it does land him the #10 spot on this list.
9 Ian Mahinmi
Ian Mahinmi is a 6-foot-11 center from France. He has played for the San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks, and Indiana Pacers.
On a positive note, Mahinmi shoots an extremely good field goal percentage, slightly above 53%. However, upon further investigation, almost all of those baskets are easy lay ups or offensive put backs. Mahinmi is a classic example of having a big athletic body that has not figured out how to be an interior threat- and he appears quite alright with that.
8 DeAndre Jordan
Jordan is arguably the best center on this list. He is a human highlight real and is also a phenomenal rebounder. Jordan currently averages 13 points, 14 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks- those are All NBA first team numbers, but those 13 points don't come the way you might expect.
Jordan scores the majority of his points from interior lobs from superstar point guard Chris Paul. When he is not catching lobs, he is busy attempting free throws-something he is atrocious doing. Jordan is the one of the most fouled players in the NBA which makes sense as he is shooting a league worst 43% from the charity stripe.
7 Joakim Noah
Noah is the fuel that makes the Chicago Bulls' engine go. It's no wonder that the Bulls' season went south as soon as Noah went out with shoulder surgery. So if Noah can't score by the basket, why is he so valuable? True, Noah is known for missing layups and often even missing the rim on simple close shots- but he also is known for his many intangibles. Arguably the NBA's best passing center and still a strong rebounder- he may have a lousy post game, but his heart makes up for it.
6 Rudy Gobert
The 23 year old and 7'2" Frenchman is a human pogo-stick. Gobert takes joy in skying high for major dunks and shot erasing blocks. His current averages of 9 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 blocks are all impressive-and if he can manage to develop a post game to go with it, he could be a major factor for the Utah Jazz for the next decade.
5 Andre Drummond
Drummond is helping the Detroit Pistons become one of the Eastern Conference's most scary young teams. Drummond does not have any interior skills and he can't shoot free throws well either, but what he can do, he does very well. Drummond averages almost 17 points and 16 rebounds a game. Rebounding numbers like that haven't been seen since Ben Wallace and Dennis Rodman.
Drummond relies heavily on offensive tip ins and dunks, but he is still young enough (22) to learn to become a dominant offensive player in the low post.
4 Tyson Chandler
As the starting center and the defensive anchor of the 2011 NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks- Chandler has nothing to be ashamed of by making this list. He has made a career out of being a defensive shot blocker and rebounder. As much as it would be nice for a 7-foot-1 center to know how to execute a basic drop step down low: who cares that he can't make a post move if he can defend his way to a NBA title?
3 Ryan Anderson
Ryan Anderson is what the modern NBA requires from a power forward. The ability to rebound as well as stretch defenses with perimeter shooting. Anderson has attempted more than 350 three pointers this season and is shooting threes at 36%, which isn't bad for a volume shooter. Anderson's ability to shoot 3's has made him one of the hottest commodities in the NBA the past few seasons. Anderson does not dare enter the painted area on offense, but then again- why would you when you have Anthony Davis as a teammate to control the paint.
2 Dwight Howard
Dwight Howard is the reason players aren't allowed to go straight to the NBA from high school. Not only did Howard never mature into a serious basketball player, but he never learned the essential post skills needed to dominate in the NBA. To be fair, Howard does have more moves than most on this list. He has an alright hook shot that he shoots while rolling across the lane and he is fairly decent with his left hand after a drop step on occasion, but with the physical abilities that Howard was given, its a shame what his career has come to. He will always be remembered for not living up to his potential, being the butt of NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal's jokes, and being the goofy center that had no post game.
1 Roy Hibbert
It wasn't long ago that NBA experts considered Hibbert the next superstar center in the NBA. Oh how the tables have turned for Mr. Hibbert. After leaving the Indiana Pacers and signing with the Los Angeles Lakers, Hibbert's career has taken a turn for the worse. The Laker big man is now averaging all career lows with 6 points and 5 rebounds a game in 23 minutes a game. It was disguised nicely when playing alongside David West and Paul George in Indiana, but now that Hibbert is on his own in L.A., it is clear that he has no business being a starting center with ZERO post game.
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