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One Has To Go: Bigs In Their Prime Edition

Hey it's Monday afternoon, why not have ourselves another quality NBA Twitter debate? This time we're talking about four PFs who were absolute monsters in their prime. For the sake of this exercise I'm only going to be evaluating them based on their run with the team in that picture. So that means from 2004-10 for Bosh, 2003-10 for Amar'e, 2011-18 for Blake, and 2009-14 for Love. Not what they ultimately turned into, but the player they were during those timeframes. Each brought something a little different to the table, but all were fairly dominant in their own way. When you look at how they stack up it's not as easy a decision as you may think, so let's just dive right in before we get to our choice of who gets cut.

Chris Bosh

Stats: 20.2 points / 9.4 rebounds / 2.2 assists / 0.8 steals / 1.2 blocks / 49% FG% / 113 Ortg / 107 Drtg

Seeing as how he played in the Atlantic Division, I had a lot of experiencing watching Toronto Bosh play, and he was very much the monster you thought. He didn't have an outside game but that didn't exactly matter. The production was still there even if the team success wasn't. In his entire TOR run they had only 2 first round appearances and won over 40 games just twice. No wonder he left for MIA. He was the type of guy that was good enough to be the #1 on that team, but it was pretty clear he was going to have to be a supporting star on a title team, which he ultimately was. Still gave people problems as a Raptor though.

Amar'e Stoudemire

Stats: 21.4 points / 8.9 rebounds / 1.3 assists / 0.9 steals / 1.4 blocks / 54% FG% / 115 Ortg / 105 Drtg

Amar'e was also someone who I had the pleasure of seeing a whole bunch since his prime years as a Sun happened while I was at ASU. So much time has gone by and his knees obviously went to shit, but for my money there was a time when Amar'e might have been the most physically gifted PF in the entire league. He was putting up MONSTER numbers even against legends like Tim Duncan. A huge part of that 7 seconds or less Suns team, the magic he and Steve Nash made was some of the most fun basketball of this entire era. He truly gave you some "oh shit" moments every time he stepped on the floor. Like Bosh he didn't even come close to having an outside game, but it didn't matter for him either.

Blake Griffin

Stats: 21.5 points / 9.2 rebounds / 4.3 assists / 0.9 steals / 0.5 blocks / 50% FG% / 113 Ortg / 105 Drtg

Lob City, ever heard of it? What makes Blake different from everyone else on the list is he wasn't just a dunker and rebounder. This is a man that was by far the best playmaker of the four, and towards the end of his Clippers tenure actually started to show signs of an improved outside shot. I still think that a healthy Blake is a top 5 MVP caliber player and at times that's what we got in LAC. It just sucks his injury history boned him during the playoffs because I'd argue he's the best all around player of the four.

Kevin Love

Stats: 19.2 points / 12.2 rebounds / 2.5 assists / 0.7 steals / 0.5 blocks / 45% FG% / 117 Ortg / 107 Drtg

Remember pudgy Kevin Love? Double double machine. I know it says he averaged 19/12, but more often than not that line was like 25/12. They never won mostly because those MIN teams were dogshit, but Love was by far the best rebounder and outside shooter of the four. Surprisingly his defensive metrics weren't as bad as I thought. Love did play the fewest of any of the four with that MIN franchise, just 364 games, but I can't ignore the double double monster that old school KLove was.

So who gets cut? Well I'm certainly not cutting the two time winning Blake of the Year and the guy who I consider the best all around player. He's safe. I'm also not cutting Amar'e because I remember how special he was. That means it comes down to Bosh or Love for me, and frankly I'd rather have the combination of inside/outside/rebounding that Love provides. There is nothing that Bosh provides that the other three don't, and I can't justify replacing anyone else for him. And maybe I'm like 27% upset about all those bullshit threes he hit in Game 7 as a member of the Heat. I know that's not supposed to matter in this blog but I can't help it.

That's my three. Keeping Amar'e, Blake, and Love. Is your choice the same? If not who is getting the boot for you?