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Discussion Starter #1
I was looking at some of the Threads about the best players at each position. No one ever list what makes for a good player at that position so I thought try listing my opinion and then try and get your.

Most important Skills for a center in order of importance:

1) The ability to shut-down the middle defensively. This is not necessarilly shot-blocking. Think bill Cartwright and Luke Longly.

2) The ability to score in the Low post. Specifically to force the defense to double team you in the post.

3) Defensive rebounding. Not as important because PF can provide this (think Rodman with Longly)

4) The ability to pass out of the double team. It's a real plus to be able to run your offense inside-out. It creates open looks for your shooters (think robert Horry).

5) The ability to run the court.
 

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I don't think the skills a center needs to be effective can be quantified as easily as you are trying to quantify them here. I think centers need to do whatever there team needs them to do. A team like Portland with Rasheed being a dynamite post player with a solid outside shot, needs a good offensive rebounding center with passing ability both from the block and from the perimeter. A team like New Orleans with a dirty work type of PF like PJ who scraps for loose balls and who gets lotsa hustle rebounds needs a center with post moves and soft hands who can handle delicate inside passes and finish hard. A team like Philadelphia with a dominate personality like AI on the outside needs a center who can clean up the mess on offense to increase the number of shots for the guards and erase mistakes on defense to make up for Iverson's gambling in the passing lanes.

All-in-all there is no easy answer to this question (unless of course you go team-by-team through the whole league).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Originally posted by <b>RollWithEm</b>!
I don't think the skills a center needs to be effective can be quantified as easily as you are trying to quantify them here. I think centers need to do whatever there team needs them to do.
I disagree, the things I listed have to be done inorder to have a chance at winning. Most of them need to be done by the center. A smart GM/Coach will assess talent based on their team needs and pick players who they think and fulfill these roles.

Some roles are interchangeable, like defensive rebounding, and some are needed more or less depending on others on the team (i.e., scoring)

But if you can't shut down the middle and control the defensive boards you won't win. Also, if you don't have any inside threats, either a low-post player or a penetrating guard, you won't beat teams who do have it (think Bucks two years ago). Inside-out works better than outside-in in the NBA.
 
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