Love rules among NBA bigs

Kevin Love tops the Barometer alongside a few other new faces

Updated: December 27, 2012, 5:13 PM ET
By Bradford Doolittle | Basketball Prospectus
Kevin LoveDavid Sherman/NBAE via Getty ImagesKevin Love, still on the mend from injury, posted several strong games last week.

One thing that has become abundantly clear as the Barometer is compiled every week is that in today's NBA, the exact definition of a big man isn't that easy to pin down. The best ones do a little bit of everything, and do it well. They also probably play more than one position. Old-school centers and power forwards -- with games built on low-block scoring, defending the rim and hitting the glass -- still exist to a degree and have plenty of value. However, teams may fill those various needs with players who aren't traditional big men.

Consider a stat that I built off play-by-play data from Synergy Sports Technology. Since you have to name a stat, I'll call it "NETPOST." This simply looks at the difference in points per play scored and those on post-ups.

The leader in NETPOST may surprise you: Pacers point guard George Hill. According to SST, Hill has scored 30 points on 28 post-ups, while allowing just four points on 13 plays on which he's attacked on the block. That translates to a NETPOST of plus-.764. The Pacers are a power post team, but they apparently do well with the finesse post as well.

Nos. 2 and 4 on the list aren't traditional bigs, either, though both have been featured prominently in the Barometer thanks to their teams' small-ball lineups: LeBron James (plus-.505) and Carmelo Anthony (plus-.443). In between, finally, is a conventional big in Washington's Nene, at plus-.494.

I'll be mixing in some more observations from NETPOST analysis in the rest of this week's Barometer. Details on how the Big Man Barometer is compiled can be found here.

Top 10 Big Man Performances

Week of Dec. 19-25. Players listed by winning percentage. Any player who played a total of at least 30 minutes at center or power forward last week is eligible for the rankings. Also included at the bottom are big man projections for next week.

1. Kevin Love | Minnesota Timberwolves (.863)


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