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View Full Version : Better big men: U.S. or World?



mrblisterdundee
12-11-2017, 07:24 PM
I remember there historically being apprehension toward foreign big men because of perceived issues with rebounding, rim protection and other defensive factors. Guys like Nowitzki seemed to be the exception to the rule that international big men don't do as well in the NBA.
But the NBA seems to have drifted more toward the international game in style. Now, 18 NBA teams have at least one international big man starting in their front court. Four teams have international big men starting at both front court positions. Philadelphia starts three international big men.
Five international big men have been taken in the top five of the draft over the last five years two as the top pick overall. One of those is now favorite to win rookie of the year. At least three international big men are sensible top-10 MVP candidates. One is a strong candidate for DPOY.
Have international big men caught up to their American counterparts? Are American big men just taking some time to adjust to the more spaced-out, internationally influenced game?
Let's define a big man as someone 6'8" or taller who regularly plays power forward or center, with some exceptions such as Draymond, who is 6'7" but is obviously a big man. Here's a list of some star big men:

U.S.
LeBron James
Anthony Davis
DeMarcus Cousins
Andre Drummond
Blake Griffin
DeAndre Jordan
LaMarcus Aldridge
Draymond Green
Kevin Love
Karl-Anthony Towns
Aaron Gordon
Hassan Whiteside
Paul Millsap

World
Joel Embiid
Giannis Antetokounmpo
Rudy Gobert
Nikola Jokic
Marc Gasol
Al Horford
Kristaps Porzingis
Ben Simmons
Clint Capela
Jusuf Nurkic
Steven Adams
Nikola Vucevic
Jonas Valanciunas
Pau Gasol

Giannis94
12-11-2017, 08:18 PM
I feel like it would be for a fun 5 vs. 5 match up.

I dunno. Fun to think about.

PG: LBJ
SG: Aaron Gordon
SF: Dray
PF: KAT
C: Boogie/AD

vs.:

PG: Simmons
SG: Jokic
SF: Giannis
PF: Porzy
C: Gobert/Embiid

Raps18-19 Champ
12-11-2017, 09:02 PM
Big men outside of US, especially in the US, are usually more skilled, especially offensively. But sometimes they may not be able to adapt to the athletic big men in the US.

KnicksorBust
12-11-2017, 09:23 PM
RIGHT NOW... U.S. but the second Lebron declines its world.

Ahriman
12-12-2017, 09:50 AM
The skillset is widely different, big men you listed in U.S. are usually athletic ones with no large impact on the game outside of their physical abilities (except LeBron / Dray obv and Boogie/Griffin to a lesser degree)

Big men from the world list impact the game in many ways, take Porzy / Embiid outside range or even more in the passing abilities (Gasol bros, Jokic and Horford are beasts)

I'm biased but I'll say World even if the best player is on USA side :)

Hawkeye15
12-12-2017, 09:58 AM
nitpicking, but Towns played for an international team as a youth, so he is "World".

that would be a pretty tough debate honestly...

KnicksorBust
12-12-2017, 12:33 PM
I'm sorry but we can love Embiid, Porzingis, Simmons, etc. but Giannis is the only one that is already a superstar. The US Team is so much more proven. In 3 years it might be the world in the landslide but for right now you can't get caught up in the hype. Give me LeBron/AD/Blake/Draymond etc. over all those guys for this season.

mrblisterdundee
12-12-2017, 01:10 PM
nitpicking, but Towns played for an international team as a youth, so he is "World".

that would be a pretty tough debate honestly...

Towns could technically play for the Dominican Republic or U.S. I counted him as an American, considering he's from New Jersey.

Scoots
12-12-2017, 03:57 PM
I don't think LeBron, Draymond, or Millsap should be included. 6'7" isn't "big" to me.

mrblisterdundee
12-12-2017, 07:09 PM
I don't think LeBron, Draymond, or Millsap should be included. 6'7" isn't "big" to me.

They primarily play as big men. And Draymond is the only guy you mentioned under 6'8".

More-Than-Most
12-12-2017, 08:43 PM
I cant vote... Originally i was going to say any team with Embiid but then I saw my other true love lebron on the other team........ I am so conflicted.

Giannis94
12-12-2017, 10:00 PM
I cant vote... Originally i was going to say any team with Embiid but then I saw my other true love lebron on the other team........ I am so conflicted.

Injured God >Judas. Just saying.

Scoots
12-13-2017, 01:20 AM
They primarily play as big men. And Draymond is the only guy you mentioned under 6'8".

LeBron's combine height was 6'7.25"
Millsaps was 6'6.25"
Green was 6'5.75"

LeBron generally doesn't want to be labelled as a big, and while he's often the 2nd largest player on the court nowadays I wouldn't say he belongs in the discussion of NBA bigs because he's unique and if you are going to shoe horn those 3 in you are putting some effort to improve the US side of the list.

Klay Thompson regularly defends 4s and 5s and he's around that height and weight ... is he a "big"?

Heediot
12-13-2017, 07:40 AM
Both James and Giannis aren't bigs IMO. It just doesn't fit right with me on a subjective level.

Defensively I would go World. Offense US.

Tg11
12-13-2017, 07:43 PM
For me I would go World as far as defensively when it comes to big men but when it comes to offensively as far as in the offensive department then USA takes the edge but it is just so fairly even