Remember back in the 90's the league had some pretty damn good big men and they weren't all power forwards?
H. Olajuwon, S. O'Neal, D. Robinson, P. Ewing, A. Mourning, D. Motumbo, a young T. Duncan (though he has always been listed as a PF)
and to a lesser extent R. Smits, A. Sabonis, V. Divac, K. Willis, B. Reeves, Z. Illguaskas, etc.
By the time the 2000's rolled around most teams were playing PFs or highly unskilled guys that happened to be tall at the position.
Shaq and Duncan were really the only ones still playing (atleast at a consistent quality level).
A few quality centers have been added here in there (like Yao for instance) but the league as a whole has been under manned at the spot.
Take a look at the league over the past few seasons and there have been a good number of young centers coming into there own and a good number of centers drafted that are oozing with the "p-word". If all pans out we could have a league where half the teams or more have a legit center. I know its not likely that it will all pan out, but I'm still excited about the possibilities of future match-ups in the post and am intriged by a number young centers.
We have the guys already established:
Tim Duncan, SAS
Dwight Howard, ORL
Amare Stoudamire, PHO (when Shaq retires will he go back to center or will Robin Lopez be good enough?)
Yao Ming, HOU
The guys coming into their own:
Al Jefferson, MIN (more of a PF but one of him or Love have to play the C)
Chris Kamen, LAC
Andrew Bogut, MIL
Andrew Bynum, LAL
Emeka Okafor, CHA (though I'd rather he be a PF)
Andris Biedrins, GS (another PF playing center)
Tyson Chandler, NO
Samuel Dalembert, PHI
Mehmet Okur, UTA
Their's a whole lotta young guys who could rank anywhere among the ones above:
Greg Oden, POR
Al Horford, ATL (again a true PF, maybe they get a center in the future and put him at PF?)
Spencer Hawes, SAC
Marc Gasol, MEM
Brook Lopez, NJN
Robin Lopez, PHO
Marreese Speights, PHI (PF, but a potential center)
Roy Hibbert, IND
JaVale McGee, WAS
Alexis Ajinca, CHA
Kosta Koufas, UTA
Stanko Barac, IND
They'll probably be a few more quality guys coming in next draft (Thabeet, Mullens)
Alot of "potential" great match-ups in the post are to come (hopefully). Any matchups you guys excited about? Anyone who intriges you? Is their anyone that I omitted that you'd keep an eye on?
I know they are some obvious answers to all the questions and I'm pretty sure there will be some difference of opinion. I'd like to hear any thoughts.