The era of the NBA “big man “may be waning, but as long as Memphis is winning in the postseason, your daddy’s NBA ain’t dead yet.
There’s significance to this LA Clippers/Grizzlies series that‘s deeper than moving one round closer to an NBA title sniff.
When fathers tell their sons stories of 7-foot big men with Goliath paint presence, pulling rebounds, clogging the lane like immovable cinderblocks and exhibiting bullish low post moves—the son usually has an “I gotta see it to believe it, pop” mentality.
The “Big Man’ in basketball, and the importance of an inside power game, is fading away like a JR Smith trey off his back foot.
Watching Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph coexist in an NBA based on speed and three-point execution is a treat for basketball novices. We’re probably witnessing The Last of the Mohicans, as far as tough post players being the focus of a team’s offense.
Watching the tandem combine for 48 points and 22 rebounds in Game 4, while tying the series up at 2-2, conjured memories of past “Twin Tower” combos like Hakeem Olajuwon and Ralph Samson, Bill Cartwright and Patrick Ewing and Tim Duncan and David Robinson.
Watching Memphis beat a “new-age” NBA team, with an “old school” style, gives hope to the bleak future for NBA centers and traditional power forwards. There has to be some middle ground between Dirk Nowitzki and Shaq, but that compromise has to be a bit better than Brook Lopez.
As far as throwback-big men, there’s not much coming down the pike. Anthony Davis doesn’t have the complete game yet. D Howard and Marc’s brother Pau can’t get it together. Can the Klitschkos’ ball?
Anybody versus the Grizzlies is a bad matchup because no one game plans for post presence anymore. Gasol can pass and pop a trey, so he and Randolph have a rare chemistry. In essence, these cats have the future of NBA big men in their hands. If they can capitalize on key injuries to potential title favorites and win the whole diamond-studded ball of wax, maybe the center can make a comeback. Or at least get put back on the NBA all-star ballot.