The current NBA playoffs offer up a flavorful question, which is:
Who do you want on your team, if winning the NBA title is the ultimate goal, an absolutely dominant backcourt, or an absolutely dominant frontcourt? Posts or Guards?
History will tell you that having an absolutely dominant big earns you more titles (Russell, Wilt, Kareem, Moses, Hakeem, Shaq, Duncan, etc). But todays NBA has evolved into a fast paced, transition heavy, pick n’ roll, three point shooting league. One where guards have reigned supreme for some time.
The last seven NBA champions reaching back to the 2007-2008 season, had guards as their best players (with the exception of Dirk Nowitzki in the ‘10-‘11 season, but even then, Dirk is not what we’d call a “low post presence”). Those guards were Kawhi Leonard, LeBron twice, Kobe twice, and Paul Pierce.
The last dominant center in his prime was Tim Duncan, in the ‘04-‘05 season. Prior to that, Shaq was holding court with his Lakers threepeat. But since then, there hasn’t been a dominant big winning world championships.
So what type of player do you go with in today’s game? A dominant guard in his prime or a dominant big? The next Michael Jordan, or the next Kareem? In this year’s playoffs, do you lean on Steph Curry, or the triple double machine that has been Blake Griffin? Lebron, Kyrie, and Co., or big man Dwight Howard?
Decisions, decisions, decisions…