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.