YOU MAKE THE CALL: Which young PF would you take?

Courtesy of BlazersEdge [via TrueHoop's Thursday Bullets] …

What’s Next for LaMarcus Aldridge
… time and again during the second half of last season — you remember the stretch when every home game seemed like a twenty point blowout —  I was sitting there dumbfounded (as Brother Wendell and the Mercury’s Ezra Caraeff can attest), watching LaMarcus do things we’d never seen him do before: truly take over a game, glare at the opposing team’s bench after a big dunk in traffic, get in someone’s face and have that person back down first.

On more than one occasion this spring, I found myself thinking (often thinking aloud, spraying spit with excitement) that Aldridge is really not that far from becoming the single most entertaining Blazer in franchise history.

His combination of pure skill, hustle, length, determination and intelligence is arguably already unmatched.  

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If you could only choose one, which young [25 or under] Power Forward in the NBA today would you select for your team?

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The choice of this corner?

At the Power Forward position, in today’s NBA … there is no player in the game with more straight-up basketball talent than Josh Smith.

When it comes to this specific choice, he’s the player yours truly would take from this list … believe it or not. :-)

If he’s ever fortunate enough to find NBA employment with [I] the RIGHT organization and [II] the RIGHT head coach, who knows how to use his numerous skills properly, within the team concept … still younger than many others realize … Josh Smith has more Capacity For Dominance, at the POWER FORWARD position, than any other, in conjunction with all three phases of the game [i.e. Offense, Defense and Rebounding].

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PS. Alternate choices, as well as your expanded thoughts on the subject, are welcome in the comments section.

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28 Responses to “YOU MAKE THE CALL: Which young PF would you take?”

  1. Scott G Says:

    I disagree – Josh Smith has a questionable attitude which, IMO, outweighs his vast array of skills.

    That said, I chose Randolph, a guy that some might argue has a similar problem.

  2. khandor Says:

    Scott G.,

    I would readily acknowledge Josh’s history of “attitudinal difficulties”. :-)

    This is where the right coach and the right organization come into play.

    Put Josh Smith with a practicioner like Dr. Phil, or Coach Pop, or Larry Brown, etc., and watch what will happen to his attitude and, then, his talent. :-)

    ————————–

    re: Randolph

    As you know already, I think Anthony is destined for stardom in the NBA … but, it will not be as a PF, IMO.

    In my book, A-Randolph is going to be a fabulous, all-league #3/SF, in the not-too-distant future.

    That’s the chief reason he was not my preferred choice … in combination with his slight build for a dominant player at this highly physical position [i.e. PF].

    —————

    PS. On a related note … It’s when you begin to look at some of the names on this list and then compare them to what exists in this league at the Center position that it should really become obvious to even the most dense Raptors fans why exactly certain individuals [e.g. like you and me] can see massive benefits to employing a player like Chris Bosh at the #5/C position for the bulk of his career now that Timmy D’s time in the spotlight is gradually coming to a close.

  3. Raps Fan Says:

    I am actually surprised with your josh smith selection. I have always loved his ability though.

  4. FLUXLAND Says:

    Welcome back, Sir!

    I, like RapsFan am surprised at your selection.

    And I picked him before I scrolled down and noticed you did as well.

    :)

  5. khandor Says:

    Raps Fan,

    I can recall having a real life conversation early in the season last year, when Bosh was playing at a high level for the Raptors, observing that it’s a relative no-brainer for me to distinguish accurately between “the talents” [i.e. strengths, as well as, weaknesses] of individuals like Chris and Josh Smith, at specific positions in the NBA.

    [i.e. when you've done it as long and successfully as I have, in a sense, it comes as 2nd nature]

    IMO, there should be almost zero doubt at this point of their respective careers which one is the better player at the PF & C positions.

    i.e. Josh Smith is a fabulous PF, still in the making in this league; while Chris Bosh is a terrific C. IMO, if you asked the Redeem Team coaches they would be in agreement with an observation like this.

    From my perspective … the two of them … in combination with one another would be absolutely devasting, in the type of basketball which I prefer to see played [i.e. which coordinates Defense, Offense, and Rebounding, Individual and Team play, in both Half-court and Transition scenarios, predicated on the in-game situation].

    Explosive Quickness, relative to the position played, in concert with high calibre Basketball Talent and highly Intelligent Coordinated Play/Action [i.e. individual & team] is what the game is all about.

    When it’s harnessed with outstanding coaching, GMing and ownership … there’s no game like it on this earth!

  6. Dave Says:

    I’m looking at three players — Chris Bosh, Anthony Randolph and Blake Griffin — I’m unsure which of the three I’d pick though.

    I think I’ll go with Anthony Randolph for sheer potential.

  7. khandor Says:

    Flux,

    1. Thanks for the welcome back. It was a most enjoyable experience being, “< href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSICoacOT60&feature=fvst">On the road, again … “.

    2. Explosive quickness, relative to the position played … in concert with other factors, such as, coordinated strength & size, of course … is the single most important physical attribute a basketball player can have. Josh Smith has it in spades at the PF spot, in addition to a terrific skill set. IMO, all Josh needs is to work with a top notch coach [and GM]. Then … KABOOM! He has the capacity to be a dominant force in the game. Without that type of coaching, however, he will not be able to attain that level of performance, given his “attitudinal difficulties”, as pointed correctly by Scott G.

    Fortunately a prodigous “talent” like Dennis Rodman had the chance to work with astute men and outstanding practicioners like Chuck Daly [Jack McCloskey] and then Phil Jackson [Jerry Krause]. If not, I can only imagine the complete waste it would have been and how much poorer off the hoops world have been for never having had the opportunity to see “The Worm” in action at the height of his potency as a DOMINANT NBA player, at the PF position.

    It’s a wonderful game … when it’s played by those who truly do know what exactly they’re doing. :-)

  8. khandor Says:

    Hi, Dave.

    Thanks for providing your input.

    Did you happen to get the recent email I sent to you?

  9. Dave Says:

    Ah, I’m not sure. I’m terrible for checking e-mail regularly. I’ll go have a look.

  10. The 10-man rotation, starring Van Gundy’s ‘disrespect’ card | Sports News Images and Videos Says:

    [...] Sports Radio Interviews. Mike Miller(notes) compares the Wizards to the old pre-Duncan Spurs.SG: Khandor. Poll: Which young, say 25 or under, power forward would you select for your team?PG: Hoops Addict. [...]

  11. FLUXLAND Says:

    Khandor,

    I couldn’t agree more about Mr. Smith and all the points you made.
    It’s an absolute joy to watch him “operate” and knowing that the potential has not been fully tapped.

    I agree about the “attitudinal difficulties”, and that’s just probably his age. Hopefully, things fall into place for him before it’s too late.

  12. Skeptic Says:

    I’d have to say that not picking Chris Bosh is kind of…ridiculous? Your question isn’t which PF under 25 has the most potential. Your question asks which PF under 25 would you take on your team. Josh Smith may not be in the right place, and not with the right coach, but we’re not sure what he would do with the right place and with the right coach. We’re not sure if there IS a right coach, and if the right coach might only work with him. How would your imaginary team fit with Josh Smith? There’s too many variables to want to take Josh Smith over Chris Bosh in that situation.

    Josh Smith is amazing, that is a given. However, is his skill set (and ceiling) so much greater than Chris Bosh’s that you would risk the “attitudinal difficulties”? Another quick question: you nominate Phil Jackson and Popovich as candidates for Josh Smith’s coach. However, Phil Jackson and Popovich have strict systems in which I’m not sure Josh Smith will be able to fit in. Will he be able to handle the limited touches in the Triangle Offense? Hmm…we’ll probably never know.

  13. joemama Says:

    Josh Smith is a very special athlete. His leaping ability allows him to dunk like a beyotch and block shots in an aesthetically-pleasing manner. But his “skill set” pretty much begins and ends with his athleticism. Despite being able to come out of nowhere to block a shot, he is not really a solid, consistent defensive player you can build around. He not much of a shooter. And he does not have, as others suggested, “attitudinal difficulties.” He is, in fact, an idiot. And I use “idiot” in the old-time technical sense, meaning that his IQ is below 25. His “capacity for dominance” is therefore easily eclipsed by his “capacity to eat his own poop.” Anthony Randolph and Chris Bosh are the only remotely plausible answers to this poll.

  14. The 10-man rotation, starring Van Gundy’s ‘disrespect’ card | Lancilo USA Says:

    [...] Sports Radio Interviews. Mike Miller(notes) compares the Wizards to the old pre-Duncan Spurs.SG: Khandor. Poll: Which young, say 25 or under, power forward would you select for your team?PG: Hoops Addict. [...]

  15. TK Says:

    I think there is one thing missing here! While Offense, Defense & Rebounding are key, i think you may be missing out on the ability to take over a game & put a team on your shoulders. Bosh has that ability, and maybe Jefferson does to, who knows what Griffin will be able to do, but I don’t know of too many times when Josh Smith has done that.

    Your Thoughts?

  16. Hope4bobcats Says:

    Aldridge and Bosh have to seem like the top too. Hard to pick between them but i would go with Aldridge. Josh Smith is a freak athlete that rarely comes around but his shooting touch is lacking. That could have been something that he improved upon had he gone to a big time university. I think he was headed to UNC originally. Defense and athletic ability alone would put him over the top but it seems like it will always be a case of what could have been for him had he been a more polished shooter he would be on Lebrons level. LBJ skipped school too but hes not just a freak of nature, he is a one in a million freak of nature

  17. Hope4bobcats Says:

    wow i did misspell two there sorry. In summary, the Blazer’s future as a team makes me sick they have so much young talent waiting to explode

  18. khandor Says:

    Skeptic,

    My preference would be to have both Josh Smith [PF] and Chris Bosh [C] on my team.

    Chris’s stable nature and Josh’s sublime athleticism at their best positions, respectively, would be a dynamic combination, at the size which I prefer to have in my Bigs. Smith has terrific range on his 3PT-Shot, and all the tools [plus the attidude it takes] to become a beast on the block, while Bosh is simply the quickest #5/C in the League, with good size & strength, by a wide margin … who knows how to get to the line, seemingly at-will. Both are very solid rebounders, outstanding in transition, with the capacity to be first-class shot-blockers, help defenders, and are terrific working against all Pick & Roll/Pop scenarios, plus temporary Switches.

    In short, with the right coach, and GM, and owner, and complementary teammates … look out! There would be no other PF & C tandem in the league who these two could not deal with successfully.

  19. khandor Says:

    Many thought [mistakenly] that Rasheed Wallace was an “idiot”, as well, when he played with the Trail Blazers, early in his career.

    Then … Sheed was fortunate enough to hook-up with a head coach like Larry Brown, who knows how to handle talented individuals that need to have a clearly defined role cut out for them and a personal relationship with a leader who they trust and who returns that same level of R.E.S.P.E.C.T., in-kind.

    Josh Smith is a special talent who needs to work with a special coach.

  20. khandor Says:

    Hope4cats,

    Welcome aboard!

    Josh’s shooting is still erratic at this point in his no doubt but with better coaching and the increased disciple that can come about from that … the mechanics of his shot are quite sound, IMO … he has the capacity to become a consistent threat with his jumper.

    ——————————-

    re: leaving Bosh out of the mix entirely as a PF

    As I’ve said in the past, IMO, Chris’ best position in the NBA is #5/C, where he has a dominant level of quickness to go with his more-than-adequate level of size & strength.

    One of the things which I find very interesting is how a site like 82games.com seems to agree with me about this aspect of Chris’ game, as they consistently list him as the Raptors’ principal Center despite the fact that the Raptors own basketball braintrust has decided NOT to use him at this position in favour of Andrea Bargnani.

  21. JohnTBallin Says:

    On RanDONT- How in the good god hell is Randolph above Josh Smith? He averaged 7 pts per game last year!! All he is, is hyped up!! Chances are he will average a whoppin 8 or 9 pts per game this year at most!! How many shot attempts is he gona get on GS with all the shot chuckers there! And Don Nelson now loves to run S Jax and Maggs at PF. I know Im not drafting Randy in my fantasy league, but all u lames who pick him above J Smooth go ahead and take Randolph in the second round, then email me your last place results at the end of the season. And lastly about Randolph you all hype him up so much cuz of some blogs you’ve read and yet have any of you seen him play since the end of last season? True his April game logs were much beter than the beginnig of the season but have any of you guys physically seen him play this summer, I doubt few have.

    On Bosh- Back to reality. You guys claim Josh can’t shoot? Doesn’t my boy hit like 1 or two threes a game, while the rest of the guys on the list havent made 10 in their career? And speaking of one sided games, ya Bosh can shoot MID RANGE, but have you ever seen skeletor get down in block? Bosh has no post game, relies on that jumper more than one Jermaine O Neal tried to prove he had a fade away. Bosh is the more proven scorer, but again he’s first option, Smith could probably come into thruition if he was on lotto Raptors with no Joe Johnson. Give Bosh a number two option like he’ll have with Turk or an even more ligit 2 option or an even more ligit 2 option like Antwan Jamison and Bosh averages 19 a game at most.

    Blake Griffin – NBA games played 0. Nuff said. And didn’t this guy average like .6 blocks as a PF in summer league? I smell Zach Randolph version 2 coming. Carlos Boozer with hops anyone? Guy has handles tho I’ll give him that but a top PF already, we all know how Clippers players generally progress, its gonna take awhile.

    Al Jefferson- A Center not a PF really, but for arguements sake lets call him a PF. Pretty good example of good stats on a bad team. Even when he averaged 16 on Celtics, they were a lotto team then. But looking past that he is a pretty solid player, almost fills the rebounding hole when KG left but he doesn’t ahve all around game, not like J Smooth.

    Aldridge- Bosh is the lame duck answer, but Id definately consider Aldridge here. He gets you about a block and a half, has brought it every year, compare Bosh and Aldridges rookie season, Aldridges numbers are much better. Aldridge gets u about 8-9 rebers, close to a block and a half, pretty good with steals too, and he’s 6’11 taller than most of these candidates and he’s still in his rookie contract, his ceiling has no where hit.

    JOSH SMITH THE MAN THE MYTH THE LEGEND!!-

    Lets say you’re adding this player to your team, that team already has a first option. Defense wins championships, what most of the teams in the NBA are lacking is a little more defense. Add in a guy like Josh Smith who’s top ten in blocks every year, sometimes top 5. Ok so you add Josh Smith to a team that needs a lock down defender at PF, or if you wanted to you could slide him to SF or run teams out the gym with him at C. With that youre also getting a minimum of 16 pts 8 rebounders and 2 and a half assists a game, which is most assists per game than any of these other PFs currently get. Athletism up the wazoo, the guy brought excitement back to the slam dunk championship(and then Gerald Green ruined it again). The guy can probably slap the top of the backboard, yes Josh Smith can jump over the moon. So you’re getting defense, blocks, quickness, atheltism, adequete passing, three point shooting, dunks off the chain, and 16 and 8 a game for your second option. Do you need a guy to come in and drop 30, no, you’re adding him to your team, you already got a first option. I mean if Im building a team, Im starting with an offense guy like Dirk and surroudning him with all defense caliber type players around him, thats just the way I would go about it.

    Like it love it, but Josh Smooth is the best defensive PF on the list thats under 25 with a solid all around game, and you can’t go wrong with that.

  22. brain colangelo Says:

    i picked Smith too but had in mind as a piece to build around. He wouldn’t be the guy i’d add to a contender.

  23. khandor Says:

    JTB,

    Welcome aboard! :-)

  24. khandor Says:

    Brain,

    IMO, Josh Smith has value in either/both scenarios [i.e. i. Foundation Player; or, ii. Late Addition Player], as long as the head coach, GM, ownership, etc., is a good fit and a top notch operation in the first place.

  25. Radoja Says:

    Going over most of the posts I wonder if anyone actually knows what a PF is supposed to do these days. Did anyone take into consideration that PF needs a post game? Well if so chop off Josh Smith and Chris Bosh. Both arent bangers, dont “box out” ( a term that they prolly never knew cuz throughout their whole life their hops bailed them out) and drift threw seasons. Bosh doesnt drift so much, he’s more injury prone. But Smith, WOW! My man gets surgery last season and goes from 3.3 blocks per game to 1.8! He has never been the same since that injury, chucking up more 3 bombs, grabbin less rebounds and gettin beat left right and center on D.

    For those of you who want a shooting guard as a PF grow up. I love seeing a PF who can shoot the three, its entertaing ball and ads new dimensions to the game. But thats all it does, it doesn’t win championships! You need PFs to be able to bang down low and grab rebounds! You all are talkin bout D being the “be all end all” and you’re right, but rebounds are part of D. And Josh Smiths 7 per will not get it done.

    Heres my point I am a die hard LA fan but Al Jefferson is the best PF on this list. Hands down. Has anyone actually watched this beast play? Most of you prolly change the channel when the wolves are playin your team and im not harpin on you for that (man they suck). But Jefferson night after night pours in 20/10. And that doesn’t come easy playin with no three point threats on his team. He faces consistent double teams day in and day out and still managed to keep his team competitive. You give this kid any sort of “decent” supporting cast and the team is a contender! Al Jefferson is one of the most underated post players because his team is crap. Watch this guy dominate the paint like bigs are supposed to and you all might reconisder you vote.

  26. brain colangelo Says:

    Khan,

    If you needed a scoring big as a late addition player would you still pick Smith? I’d pick Bosh in that scenario.

    Brain Colangelo

  27. khandor Says:

    Brain,

    If I’m looking for a Late Addition, the first assumption would be that I have a good team already with several other high calibre players/people [marquee & support] in place already, and a good coach, etc.

    In such a scenario … if I’m looking to add a Scoring PF [rather than a Center] then, I would choose Josh Smith over Chris Bosh.

    Despite the fact that he is capale of scoring more than his fair share of points, I really do not see “scoring” as one of Chris Bosh’s best attributes as a PF … nor do do I see Chris Bosh with the versatility [athletic & skill-based] required to shift seemlessly between the PF and C positions … and, thereby, warranting proper classification as a “Big”, in general.

    In my book … and, unlike, say, Kevin Garnett or Rasheed Wallace or Antonio McDyess or Pau Gasol, etc. … Chris Bosh has an extremely well-defined role in the pro game, if he is going to be used at his maximum capacity.

    Chris Bosh is an outstanding Center … albeit with specific challenges in the area of size … based on his level of quickness, and “just” an above average Power Forward [without many outstanding qualities that separate him from a slew of other players at this same position].

    Josh Smith, on the other hand, is a more versatile player, who is a terrific Power Forward that is also capable of sliding over to the C position, if need be … but, who does NOT provide the sort of STABILITY a team needs at this “Centrifugal Force” position, in order to be properly classified as an elite level squad in the NBA.

  28. khandor Says:

    Radoja,

    1. Welcome aboard! :-)

    2. AJ is a terrific offensive PF. On the defensive end, however, he’s a liability, given his overall lack of athleticism … especially on the perimeter and when required to Switch-out onto smaller players. IMO, defense at the PF position has always been more important than offense.

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