Blogtable: Who is the best frontcourt?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.


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> Klay Thompson says he and Steph Curry are the best backcourt in the NBA today. My question for you, then, is who’s the best frontcourt in the NBA today?

David Aldridge, NBA.com: I’ll go with the Spurs (Leonard, Aldridge, Duncan) in a photo over Cleveland (James, Love, Mozgov). The addition of Cousin LaMarcus puts San Antonio’s three over the top; his offensive repertoire is just as effective as Love’s, and while Kevin is a better rebounder, LaMarcus is, to me, a little better defender (not that either is a lockdown guy). Duncan’s a Hall of Famer, to be sure, but at this stage, it’s Leonard whose game is otherworldly. We’ve seen Kawhi, in consecutive Finals, be able to slow LeBron’s normal dominance while also producing himself at the offensive end. (Of course it’s a team effort guarding James; no one player does it alone. But like Joe Dumars was the head of the Pistons’ defensive snake against Michael Jordan, Leonard is the effective first line against James.) The Warriors’ threesome of Barnes, Green and Bogut is in the conversation, too.

Steve Aschburner, NBA.comCleveland. And since I didn’t see the adjective “starting” anywhere in the question, I’m going to fine-tune my answer as LeBron James, Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson rather than Timofey Mozgov, because that’s the Cavaliers’ best finishing frontcourt. Thompson is a mobile beast on the offensive boards. Love is much more his old self this season and, uh, no other frontcourt in the league can throw LeBron at the opposition.

Fran Blinebury, NBA.com: San Antonio. A legend, an MVP candidate and just a guy named LaMarcus.

Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.comThe Bulls. This isn’t the best time to say so, with Joakim Noah just sidelined, but what depth. And that’s with Jimmy Butler starting at shooting guard. When Butler moves to small forward, the Chicago frontcourt can beat opponents in so many different ways.

Shaun Powell, NBA.com The Spurs with Aldridge, Leonard and Duncan. I realize Duncan is a part-time player from November through mid-April, but we saw last spring in the playoff series against the Clippers how he can still transform  when money’s on the line. Aldridge is an All-Star and Kawhi might be the best two-way player in basketball and could finish in the top 5 in MVP voting if he keeps this up.

John Schuhmann, NBA.comThe Warriors — Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green and Andrew Bogut, with Andre Iguodala and Festus Ezeli off the bench — have a case for having the best frontcourt, too. It’s hard to argue against LeBron James, Kevin Love and a whatever rebounder/defender you want to put out there with them. But right now, the best frontcourt belongs to the Spurs. Kawhi Leonard and Tim Duncan (still) are impact players on both ends of the floor, while LaMarcus Aldridge is a guy you can run the offense through. And then you have Boris Diaw‘s passing and David West‘s rebounding coming off the bench.

Sekou Smith, NBA.com: Klay Thompson was right, by the way. The top honors in the frontcourt resides in San Antonio, where the rise of Kawhi Leonard, the addition of LaMarcus Aldridge and the eternal force that is Tim Duncan overshadows the rest of the contenders. No team covers the frontcourt bases the way the Spurs’ trio does, on both ends of the floor. The best power forward of all time paired with arguably the best two-way player in today’s game and a 7-foot double-double machine thrown in for good measure makes this an easy pick.

Ian Thomsen, NBA.com: Clearly that honor goes to the retro-frontcourt of the Spurs. Which is why their anticipated conference final against the Warriors would be ideal: Would the traditional big lineup of Tim Duncan, LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard prevail against the perimeter-driven champions of Curry and Thompson? My hunch is that the winner would be the team most able to adapt to the opposing style, because neither the Warriors nor Spurs are going to be able to have it their way throughout a seven-game series.

Lang Whitaker, NBA.com’s All Ball blogIt’s easy to try and get cute with this answer. I mean, you can argue that the Sacramento Kings have two gold medalists in their frontcourt, while the Atlanta Hawks have a couple of All-Stars out there. Any frontcourt with Anthony Davis involved has to be rated highly, no? But of course, the easy answer and the answer that might be overlooked, at least initially, is in this case probably the right answer: The frontcourt of the San Antonio Spurs, with Tim Duncan, LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard, is nothing short of tremendous, all the way around.

30 Comments

  1. Karl Rover says:

    Still Cleveland…amazing depth and versatility… plus LeBron James.

  2. Jaelo says:

    Cousin LaMarcus?

    • Same Same says:

      David Aldridge wrote that. Lamarcus Aldridge. Not sure if they’re actually cousins, but he jokes about it on TV all the time.

  3. p thomas says:

    Several answers given has their own merits about the best front court in the nba.However I strongly believe the one that turns out to be the most adaptable according to its opponents would be regarded as the best.

  4. BorisXp says:

    people are so blind with GS, i be saying since day one of this season, GS will NOT win the title. The Spurs rooster is of the chain, the addition of Aldridge was a killa move, Ima OKC fan, but i fear the Spurs this year, theyll probably win the all thing, but NOT GS, not even close

    • Daniel says:

      I suppose you said that GSW wouldn’t win last year, too?!
      Tell me, clown, how do you know? Can I have your crystal ball please, I want to see which stocks are going to rise on the Dow Jones!!
      They are off to the best start in history, and they are just clobbering teams.
      Only Spurs and Cavs have a chance to knock them off. (I’m a Rockets fan)
      Why so much hate?!?

  5. Karlo Garcia says:

    The best frontcourt today is The Spurs (Kawhi Leonard,Tim Duncan & Lamarcus Aldridge). Everything you want in a team,chemistry,communication,teamwork. They also show its comes naturally when they play.

  6. staygolden_IE says:

    “The best front court is the warriors…im sorry, its actually the Spurs” – Steve Harvey haha

  7. CT says:

    Hmmm, i would agree with SPURS, but if you put any other team, and not mention GSW? How about GSW only lose 1 game? I don’t have to Justify their frontcourt , the same way i don’t have to for SPURS.

  8. john stockton says:

    funniest comment ever old hooosier lol.karl malone is a bigtime choker,no championships…duncan has five,hes the best power forward ever,just ask reggie and charles.

  9. Old Hoosier says:

    memo to Mr Sekou Smith: I agree with your best front court & everything you said with one polite disagreement: T Duncan is the second best power forward ever, after Karl Malone.

    • Monster Baller says:

      Ha ha ha…too funny🤔…second on what planet? Karl Malone has how many rings? How many MVP’s? How many trips to the finals? How many Finals MVP’s?….enough said

    • LePiv says:

      I was thinking the same thing: “wasn’t Karl Malone supposed to be the best pf ever?” … until i realized something: Malone dominated during the NBA’s golden era. He was the best pf when the 2nd best was Sir Charles, an undersized-yet-unstoppable force, then after that you really had a bunch of really good pfs who for the most part were one-dimensional players (Kevin Willis, Denis Rodman, Charles Oakley, James Worthy, Kevin McHale, Shawn Kemp, Larry “Grand Mama” Johnson, Horace Grant, Danni Manning, Cliff Robinson, Derrick Coleman, Anthony Mason, Otis Thorpe, …)
      On the other hand, Duncan dominated during the pf’s golden era against a bunch of guys that could do kind of anything (Dirk, LaMarcus Alridge, Garnett, Cousins, Webber, Rasheed Wallace, Bosh, Amar’e, Z-Bo, Love, Jermaine, the Gasol bros, Blake, David West, just to name a few) while expanding the role and pushing the boundaries for what a pf should do.
      So in my opinion, The Mailman did his thing, but The Big Fundamental couldn’t afford to take a single night off since every night presented a different challenge in the form of a fellow pf, and he still always came out on top.

    • tas06 says:

      you could argue that Tim Duncan is a Center…

  10. marioo. cruz says:

    Spurs, byfar

  11. I like Steven Adams, Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka. I would say the Hawks, but Al Horford is slacking lately.

  12. Jason cross says:

    Technically the best scoring backcourt is dame and cj in portland but i’d say spurs or cle have the best front courts

  13. Staygolden_ie says:

    the best back court is Goldenstate…I’m sorry , I’m sorry it’s actually San Antiono. -Steve Harvey

  14. Whhaaaat says:

    Have you guys not heard of durant, Adams and ibaka? No?? Okay!

  15. Duke says:

    When you consider that the Spurs have won an NBA Championship every 3 years for the last 15 years.. it’s an easy pick. Now add Aldridge to the mix, it’s quite obvious. The Spurs should win another championship should they remain healthy.

  16. James H. says:

    The SPURS without a doubt

  17. DRivers says:

    Spurs probably do have the best frontcourt. OKCs frontcourt is solid with Durant, Ibaka, & Kanter. Clippers deserve some consideration for Griffin, Jordan, & Smith/Pierce. Bulls could definitely be the deepest with Butler at SF, Gasol, Mirotic, Noah, Portis, & Gibson. In a couple years, the T-Wolves & Magic could be in this discussion as well. Just my opinions.

  18. No love for OKC’s frontcourt?