Writer: Jared White
It could undoubtedly be argued that this is the best generation of point guards in NBA history. From Steph Curry, the greatest shooter the world has ever seen, to the triple-double machine Russell Westbrook, and even James Harden who last year played point guard and averaged a league high in APG and finished second in PPG! And the list of current great point guards goes on with names like John Wall, Chris Paul, Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard etc.
Because the NBA has been so guard heavy over the last several seasons people started questioning if the center position was the weakest it’s ever been, or even a dying position. But several centers, mostly young, have stepped up this season and shown that their productivity and value isn’t dropping any time soon. These are the five best centers in the NBA today!
5. Nikola Jokic
Stats: 16.3 PPG 10.2 RPG 4.5 APG & 1.2 SPG
Team record: 19-17
Nikola Jokic, along with the Denver Nuggets, has not been talked about much this season. The Nuggets are currently the 6th seed in the western conference, despite Paul Millsap having missed 20 games, and have shown that with the help of Millsap they even have potential for a first round win. But when it comes to Jokic the team has a losing record without him, and at only 22 years old plays very similar to a young Pau Gasol, especially when it comes to their excellent passing.
4. Andre Drummond
Stats: 14.3 PPG 15.0 RPG 3.6 APG 1.4 SPG & 1.3 BPG
Team record: 20-15
The Detroit Pistons have been a pleasant surprise this season. They are currently the 4th seed in the eastern conference and Andre Drummond has put up great numbers across the board like always. But there is one aspect of Drummond’s game that he has really improved. Before this season his highest average APG for a season was 1.1, (last season) and although three and a half assists doesn’t sound like much it is a big improvement to his game and one of many reasons the Detroit Pistons have started the season as one of the top 10 teams in the league.
3. Karl Anthony-Towns
Stats: 20.4 PPG 11.5 RPG 2.1 APG & 1.5 BPG
Team record: 22-14
Karl Anthony-Towns has taken a step back from last season, mostly due to the addition of Jimmy Butler. But his statistics are still those of a top 5 NBA center and his team is the 4th seed in an extremely tough western conference. He will continue to be a fantastic building block for any NBA team and give them everything a coach could ask for.
2. Joel Embiid
Stats: 24.0 PPG 11.0 RPG 3.4 APG & 2.0 BPG
Team record: 16-19
Joel Embiid has been wildly impressive this season. He has continued to have great defense, shown he can get teammates good looks, and has also shown his Hakeem like post moves. Earlier in the season, on November 15th, against the Los Angeles Lakers, he had arguably the best performance by any player this season when he logged 46 points, 15 rebounds, 7 assists, and 7 blocks, a stat line that no player has ever recorded in NBA history! The only complaint most fans have about Joel this season is his absence in 9 of his teams games due to caution considering potential injuries. But those games show Joel’s importance to his team as they have gone 2-7 during his absence. Joel is undoubtedly a top 5 center in the NBA, and in my opinion, given injuries are no concern, is a better player to build around than Karl Anthony-Towns!
1. DeMarcus Cousins
Stats: 26.2 PPG 12.5 RPG 5.2 APG 1.5 SPG & 1.5 BPG
Team record: 18-18
DeMarcus Cousins has been absolutely amazing this season. In just his last 2 games he has combined for 61 points, 39 rebounds, and 12 assists, and this season he has averaged more PPG, RPG, APG, and SPG than his All-Star teammate Anthony Davis! The only chink in his armor is his team’s success. But they are still in the playoff picture (Currently 8th seed) and besides the previously mentioned Anthony Davis he has only a couple good players as teammates. But ultimately DeMarcus’ scoring ability, improved defense, and incredible passing ability for a center, make his easily the best center in the NBA.