The Decline of the Traditional Center in the NBA

by Salvatore Pane

“The 2012 Finals allegedly heralded the triumph of a new era in the NBA, with two wing players — LeBron James and Kevin Durant — logging heavy minutes at ‘power forward’ in non-traditional lineups that broke opponents with speed and shooting. Two months later, an injury-depleted Team USA won the Olympics almost exclusively with lineups featuring one or zero traditional big men.

The next half-decade or so will answer the question: Was this the acceleration of a long-term trend, or just the impact of two all-time great players who happen to be wing types capable of shifting to power forward?”

-Zach Lowe on Grantland