The small forward list may have been deeper, but the decisions at both the top and bottom of the power forward list may have been the most difficult. Chris Bosh is the player of note left off this list. Despite very good numbers, Bosh still has a lot to prove in my estimation from a team elevation standpoint. He will eventually get on this list, but for now the top 10 stands as follows.
10. Buck Williams - Yes, that is right, Buck Williams at #10. I could not leave off one of 5 power forwards to average a career double-double (12.8 PPG, 10.0 RPG) and the #12 all-time in total rebounds. Williams was also a career 54.9% FG shooter and the part of his game most overlook is that he was one of the best post defenders of the era. Williams made one Finals appearance with the Blazers tasting some playoff success.
9. Pau Gasol - Gasol has been underrated his whole career, but that is what happens when you play in Memphis and then under Kobe's shadow. Gasol has career averages of 18.8 PPG and 9.0 RPG, with an overall RASB of 14.4. Gasol got his championship ring and my get a 2nd in his 3rd straight Finals appearance. While Gasol is not option numero uno on these Finals teams, he is definitely playing the Robin role.
8. Alex English - Honestly, I did not know what to do with English on this list. He played a part of his career in the 70's and was originally a Milwaukee Buck (another good trivia piece). English was a smooth scorer, averaging 21.5 PPG and is #13 on the all-time scoring list. His RASB of 10.7 is very low and he never played in an NBA Finals. English was an 8-time all-star and unlike the previous two on this list, he was the unquestioned #1 on his teams.
7. Kevin McHale - Here is another one that gave me trouble. At no time was McHale the go-to-guy on his team, but he was an integral piece of 3 NBA Championship teams. His 17.9 PPG, 7.3 RPG, and RASB of 11.1 are solid, but do not stack-up with the remaining players on this list. His best statistical trait is his 55.4 career FG%, good for #12 all-time.
6. Chris Webber - "C-Webb" is known most for his infamous timeout at Michigan, but the former Wolverine put together a solid, if not spectacular NBA career. Webber averaged 20.7 PPG, 9.8 RPG and had an overall RASB of 16.8. Webber, like English, did not play in an NBA finals, although one could argue that officials had a lot to do with that. Webber's career coincides with the boom of power forwards and so despite his gaudy stats, #6 is Webber's place on the list.
5. Dirk Nowitzki - The remaining five players have all won at least one league MVP award and have played in at least one NBA finals. Dirk meets these minimum requirements, but is the only player of the 5 that is not averaging a career double-double. Nowitzki checks in at 22.9 PPG, 8.5 RPG, and a RASB of 13.1. Dirk sits as the 27th leading scorer in NBA history and is an uncanny shooter for a big man, evidenced by his 87.6 career FT%, which is good enough for 14th all-time.
The Mailman vs KG vs Sir Charles vs The Big Fundamental
4 Power Forwards, all-deserving of being in the discussion for #1. All four average(d) a career double-double. All four rank in the top 33 all-time in points, top 25 in rebounds and the top 20 in either blocks or steals. 9 NBA Finals Appearances, 5 Championships (maybe 6), 6 MVP's and 50 All-Star games. This group is loaded. Differentiating between them is difficult if not dangerous. Here are the stats - Karl Malone (19 year career)averaged 25.0 PPG, 10.1 RPG, RASB of 15.9 and ranks #2 all-time in scoring, #6 in rebounds and #10 in steals. Malone has also played the 2nd most games in NBA history. Kevin Garnett (15 yrs) averages 19.8 PPG, 10.8 RPG, RASB of 17.9 and ranks #22 in points, #20 in rebounds, and #19 in blocks. Garnett has one, possibly two NBA Championships. Charles Barkley (16 yrs) averaged 22.1 PPG, 11.7 RPG, RASB of 17.9, ranking #18 all-time in points, #16 in rebounds and #18 in steals. Tim Duncan (13 yrs) averages 21.1 PPG, 11.6 RPG, RASB of 17.9 and ranks #33 all-time in points, #25 in rebounds and #11 in blocks. Duncan has won 4 NBA championships and 3 Finals MVP's. You can't lose, no matter which way you go, but if I must....
4. Charles Barkley
3. Kevin Garnett
2. Karl Malone
1. Tim Duncan