LaMarcus Aldridge and Power Forwards with a Mid-Range: Ranking the Top 10 in NBA

Ben RosenthalContributor IIJanuary 5, 2012

LaMarcus Aldridge and Power Forwards with a Mid-Range: Ranking the Top 10 in NBA

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    In today's NBA, it has become more than just in vogue for 4s and 5s to be able to space the floor with a capable mid-range shot—it has become absolutely necessary.

    The pace and style of the game has changed so much that a power forward—and even a center to some extent—needs to have a diversified game in order to be successful at the NBA level.

    Sure, there are a few exceptions, but even a player like Kevin Garnett has needed to adjust in order to not go the way of the dinosaur.

    As this list will show, just about all of the best power forwards in the league have very capable mid-range shots.

Honorable Mention

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    Tim Duncan

    I felt just wrong leaving Duncan off of this list entirely, but this is a list of current NBA players, so Duncan doesn't get credit for his backboard-beating shots of years past.

    Even though Father Time is just about lapping Duncan, he still has one of the most steady mid-range shots in the game.

    The 6'11'' Duncan has made a strong case as the best power forward of all time.

     

    Zach Randolph

    Being an undersized power forward—6'9''—Randolph has always had to rely on his touch in order for him to outshine taller players.

    Having a wide frame allows for him to be near the tops of rebounding totals, but he has great range on his jumper...although he fancies himself a three-point shooter at times too much for my liking.

     

    Carlos Boozer

    Boozer has one of the uglier shots in the league, but somehow his long release where he whips the ball behind his head is effective.

    He too suffers from the same lack of height that Z-Bo is afflicted with at 6'9'', so spacing the floor with an adequate jumper is a must.

    I guess if you practice enough, you can make a hideous shot look pretty when it splashes through the net.

     

    Kevin Garnett

    Talk about a metamorphosis, KG was a supreme athlete coming into the league, and he really didn't need to have a top-notch jumper.

    The current version of Garnett, however, is a jump-shot-shooting fiend.

    At 6'11'', KG may be on par with Boozer's shot in terms of palatability, but with the way he shoots it over his head, he is nearly impossible to block.

No. 10 Brandon Bass

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    I have always been a big fan of Bass—personally, I think the Celtics got away with highway robbery by trading Glen "Big Baby" Davis to the Magic for Bass.

    On top of being a great athlete—when juxtaposed to his LSU teammate Davis, he looks like the second-coming of LeBron James—he also also boasts a very steady and confident-looking mid-range game.

    At 6'8'', his athleticism and shooting ability make him a more-than-serviceable power forward for the Boston Celtics.

No. 9 Elton Brand

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    Having been in the league since the 1999-2000 season, Brand is still one of the most underrated players in the NBA considering his impact and the numbers he puts up.

    At 6'9''—noticing a bit of a trend with smaller power forwards being great shooters?—Brand is not only a bruising low-post player and rebounder, but he is deadly from mid-range as well.

    If I were assembling the All-Underrated NBA team, Brand would be my starting power forward.

No. 8 Chris Bosh

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    Though he may be one of the more unpopular players in the league thanks to his seemingly unscrupulous move to Miami, at 6'11'', Bosh has one of the most steady mid-range games in the NBA.

    On a team that is filled with superstars but lacks deft shooting, Bosh's jump shot is of paramount importance if the team hopes to enjoy NBA Finals success.

    Bosh's length and awkward-looking shot make him a tough matchup for even the most skilled defenders.

No. 7 Luis Scola

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    Having some of the most funky moves in the NBA, there is no wonder why the 6'9'' Scola was a terror in the Olympics for Argentina when he went against players who had never seen a game like his before.

    Having been in the NBA since 2007-2008, defenders are still trying to guess what he is going to pull out from his bag of tricks.

    Perhaps it is his arsenal of moves that allows for him to get the required room needed to put on a mid-range display.

No. 6 David West

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    It is hard to have a list of the best mid-range shooting power forwards and leave West's name off...considering shooting jumpers is just about all he does.

    Heck, he inked a two-year, $20 million deal with the Pacers because of his ability to stretch the floor with his shot.

    Color me curious, but I will be interested to see if West will be as open this year without Chris Paul feeding him the ball in ideal spots on a nightly basis.

    Still, at 6'9'', West has one of the most consistent jumpers in the league.

No. 5 Amar'e Stoudemire

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    Having played with Steve Nash as his point guard for his entire career coming into last year, I was curious to see if Stoudemire's game would translate with the New York Knicks.

    Well, thanks to his supreme athleticism and 6'11'' frame, Amar'e has been everything the Knicks could have hoped for.

    A high-arcing jump shot that rarely ever even touches the rim lands Amar'e in the middle of this list.

    Being able to throw it down with Blake Griffin-like authority is an added bonus.

No. 4 Andrea Bargnani

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    It seems there are a disproportionate number of quality-shooting foreign big men in the NBA—Andrea definitely meets this criteria.

    Up until last year, he kind of played like a step above Yi Jianlian—albeit a massive step—but after Chris Bosh left town, the 7'0'' Italian flourished.

    He may be the only person in the city of Toronto that was happy when Bosh ran off to Miami.

    Not that it counts towards this particular list, but he may have the best shot from three in the NBA for a power forward, and he is adept at the long two as well.

No. 3 LaMarcus Aldridge

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    Aldridge is an absolute force for the Portland Trail Blazers, and like Elton Brand, he doesn't get nearly the amount of credit he deserves.

    At 6'11'' and with a seemingly endless wingspan, Aldridge can get his shot off at will.

    Additionally, he also possesses a very strong low-post game and can run the floor as well as any big man in the league.

    His well-rounded game makes him the power forward version of LeBron James—impossible to guard.

No. 2 Pau Gasol

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    Though he can be classified as a center, with Andrew Bynum on the team, he is the Lakers' starting power forward.

    At 7'0'', Pau may be the most skilled big man in the league—evidenced by his adeptness with either hand, a bevy of different hook shots and his ability to make space for his shot with some clever spin moves and ball fakes.

    If you leave Pau open anywhere inside the three-point line, he will punish you every time.

    Like Aldridge, he has a low-post game that is a sight to behold.

No. 1 Dirk Nowitzki

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    You could probably have guessed Dirk would be No. 1 from the headline.

    Dirk's offensive game is one of the most unique in NBA history—for any position.

    Standing 7'0'', Dirk's patented fade-away jump shot may just be the most lethal move in the NBA today.

    Since his career has progressed, he has taken fewer threes and more mid-range shots by using his body to make room for his impending bucket.

    The arc coupled with the natural fade Dirk has with his shot makes him a basketball anomaly.

    As we saw in the playoffs last year, Dirk is now comfortable putting the ball on the floor and getting to the rim.

    This just makes him all the more unpredictable and unfair.

     

    Any glaring misses on my part, or is the order screwed up? Let me know in the comment's section.