This is THE easiest way to create an NBA dynasty. Countless articles have been written about the importance of having a big man in an NBA, so I’ll spare you the details. They’re really important. Trust me. I’m not talking about the Dirk Nowitzkis and Amar’e Stoudemires, I’m talking about the old-school, back-to-the-basket big men.
The big guys that are low-post threats on offense and intimidators on defense. On offense, they give you a high percentage scoring option that allows you to give it to one player and they muscle their way to two points or a foul (or both) and create scoring opportunities for other players (Shaq was an underrated passer who passed out of the double team very well).
True big men should have a dependable jump hook, with counters and fakes in case the defense is expecting it. Good footwork is a must, and having quick feet (for those deadly drop steps) is essential. Being athletic and physically fit is important, but just as important is having good hands and a soft touch around the rim (Two huge reasons why Andrew Bynum is better than Kwame Brown).
On defense, the impact of having a big man is even more pronounced. You need someone to protect the basket, grab rebounds, and prevent opposing players from getting easy buckets. They don’t need to block too many shots, they just need to intimidate players in the lane and alter their shots.
Sometimes the big man role can be done by committee (The Wallaces of the 2004 Detroit Pistons or KG + Kendrick Perkins in 2008), but the true big men do it alone. Tim Duncan, Shaquille O’Neal and Hakeem Olajuwan are the perfect examples of big men.
The Lakers are lucky they have two big-men that can be considered true centers in the NBA: Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum. Both of them are capable of playing in the low-post with their backs to the baskets and scoring high percentage buckets. Defensively both of them are capable defenders who interfere with shots, and gobble rebounds.
Even though the demise of the big man is all but complete, if you want to build an NBA dynasty, your best bet is still to start with a big man. Just look at the current Orlando Magic team. Other than Dwight Howard, the roster is essentially filled with glorified role players and one or two difference makers. However, the impact Howard has on both ends of the floor carried Orlando to the NBA Finals in 2009.
Next: Superstar/Clutch Player