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Final Fantasy Rankings - Center

Pau Gasol started 32 games at center making him eligible for the "Big Man Award."
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - The end of the 2009 NBA regular season also means the end to the NBA fantasy season. Which means its time to evaluate what happened to our fantasy studs and sleepers.

Let's start with the big men in the middle.

If you were starting a NBA franchise, you would quickly focus on Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic. He dominates rebounds, points and blocked shots and you could build a dynasty around him.

BUT, we are not starting a franchise, we are looking for the best fantasy center of 2009. Which means a player who contributes in every category, if possible, and that includes free throw shooting percentage, three-point shooting, steals and assists while keeping turnovers to a minimum.

Taking nine possible categories into consideration, our No.1 center in 2009 goes to ...Los Angeles Lakers big man Pau Gasol. Gasol started the season as the team's power forward, but moved over to center when Andrew Bynum was injured (again) and started 32 games there making him eligible for the "Big Man Award."

The durable Spaniard played in 81 of 82 games, shot 56.7% from the field and a solid 78.1% from the line. Gasol averaged 18.9 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 3.5 apg, 0.6 spg and 1.0 bpg, while turning the ball over just 157 times compared to 239 times for Howard.

Yao Ming was a close second, bettering Gasol in FT%, PPG and BPG, but not by enough to overtake the Lakers star's overall game.

2008-09 Center Rankings
Rank Player Team GP FG% FT% 3PT% PPG RPG APG SPG BPG TO
1 Pau Gasol LAL 81 56.7 78.1 50.0 18.9 9.6 3.5 0.6 1.0 157
2 Yao Ming HOU 76 54.8 86.6 100.0 19.6 9.9 1.8 0.4 1.9 230
3 Dwight Howard ORL 78 57.4 59.4 0.0 20.7 13.9 1.4 1.0 2.9 239
4 Mehmet Okur UTA 72 48.5 81.7 44.6 17.0 7.7 1.7 0.8 0.7 132
5 David Lee NYK 80 54.8 75.3 0.0 16.0 11.7 2.1 1.0 0.3 152
6 Al Jefferson MIN 50 49.7 73.8 0.0 23.1 11.0 1.6 0.8 1.8 92
7 Andrea Bargnani TOR 78 45.0 83.1 40.9 15.4 5.3 1.2 0.4 1.2 135
8 Shaquille O'Neal PHX 74 60.9 59.8 0.0 17.8 8.5 1.7 0.7 1.4 167
9 Marcus Camby LAC 61 51.3 72.2 25.0 10.4 11.2 2.0 0.8 2.1 93
10 Nene Hilario DEN 76 60.4 72.3 20.0 14.6 7.8 1.4 1.2 1.3 146
11 Brook Lopez NJN 81 53.4 79.1 0.0 13.1 8.1 1.0 0.5 1.8 145
12 Al Horford ATL 67 52.5 72.7 0.0 11.5 9.3 2.4 0.8 1.4 103
13 Emeka Okafor CHA 81 56.0 59.3 0.0 13.4 10.2 0.7 0.6 1.7 143
14 Zyd Ilgauskas CLE 65 47.2 79.9 38.5 12.9 7.5 1.0 0.4 1.3 90
15 Marc Gasol MEM 81 52.9 73.2 0.0 11.8 7.4 1.7 0.8 1.1 163
16 Andres Biedrins GSW 61 57.5 55.2 0.0 11.9 11.2 2.0 1.0 1.5 108
17 Jermaine O'Neal MIA 68 47.4 78.8 0.0 13.3 6.4 1.8 0.4 2.0 144
18 Kendrick Perkins BOS 75 57.4 60.0 0.0 8.5 8.2 1.3 0.3 2.0 163
19 Tyson Chandler NOH 44 56.1 57.3 0.0 8.8 8.9 0.5 0.3 1.3 66
20 Greg Oden POR 60 56.5 63.6 0.0 8.8 7.0 0.5 0.4 1.1 84


Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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