The Best Power Forwards in the NBA Finals

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The 2023 NBA playoffs have already produced some thrilling encounters. As we reach the halfway stage of this series, we have seen favorites toppled and underdogs punching above their weight.

While each player has a role to play in their team, it’s the Power Forwards who can often get sides over the line in tight situations. As those playoffs build towards the finals series, which of those power forwards will have the final say?

The Situation as it Stands

Some top teams have fallen off the radar in this playoff series, the Denver Nuggets have emerged as the narrow favorites to win the title in 2023. In the current NBA championship odds list the Nuggets at the top of the outright market, with the Philadelphia 76ers close behind.

Those looking to catch the leaders include 2022’s beaten finalists the Boston Celtics, while the Phoenix Suns and the Miami Heat are among those off the pace. There is some way to go before the champions are decided, but those are the teams most likely to claim the pennant in 2022.

Each of those sides possess a talented roster, but it could all come down to a battle between some of these incredible power forwards. Including those whose teams have already been eliminated, here are some of the best in this position.

Giannis Antetokounmpo: Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks may have fallen at the first playoff hurdle, but an iconic interview with Giannis Antetokounmpo helped to put the notion of ‘failure’ into perspective. It’s a growing process as far as this player is concerned and his stats show that he’s getting better and better.

While he’s returned some exceptional numbers this season, the 28-year-old may not quite improve on his standing from last term when he was placed third in MVP voting.

Antetokounmpo was a first round draft pick in 2013 and he went straight into the Milwaukee Bucks roster. He remained loyal to the men from the Fiserv Forum and that loyalty was rewarded when the Bucks won the NBA Championship in 2021. The key power forward picked up the MVP award for his contributions in that series.

Milwaukee’s star man is often described as the best ‘two-way’ player in the association. This simply means that he is effective in both offense and defense. Giannis Antetokounmpo’s stats this term bear out that theory.

Jimmy Butler: Miami Heat

While they may not be among the clear favorites to win the NBA championship this season, Miami Heat are poised to take their place in the Conference Finals. That will leave them within touching distance of their first appearance in the overall finals series since 2020.

Miami’s progress to date has relied much on their power forward Jimmy Butler who was traded from the Philadelphia 76ers in 2019. Butler also ranks strongly in offense and defense and his 2022/23 stats show him averaging just under 23 points per game.

The 33-year-old has appeared in the NBA All Star Team on six occasions, and just needs a championship medal to add to his impressive CV.

Anthony Davis: LA Lakers

The Conference Semi Final game between the Golden State Warriors and the LA Lakers could well deliver this year’s champions. If they get over the line to become the most successful team in the history of the NBA, forward Anthony Davis will have played a starring role.

Davis arrived from the New York Pelicans in 2019 and, a year later, he was a part of the Lakers’ team that won their 17th championship. He missed out on the MVP award in that 2020 finals series, but he was named as the most valuable player in the 2017 All Star game.

It’s already been a positive campaign for Anthony Davis who is averaging a fraction under 26 points per game this season.

Al Horford: Boston Celtics

He’s very much the comeback man as far as power forwards are concerned. After a period struggling with form, 36-year-old Al Horford is back and looking to drive his Boston Celtics team to their second successive NBA final.

Horford originally joined the Celtics from the Atlanta Hawks in 2016, but he was traded on after three mixed seasons. Following spells at the Philadelphia 76ers and the Oklahoma City Thunder, he returned in 2021 and has been far more productive for the Boston franchise.

The Celtics’ hopes of progressing through the playoffs are in the balance, but they will want to retain Horford who is enjoying a career resurgence.

While some of the names here will take no further part in the 2022/23 season, others may make the crucial plays as the competition develops. It’s a team game but, as evidenced by the multiple MVP awards claimed, the power forwards will often be the difference between winning and losing.

The ultimate destiny of the 2023 NBA championship may well rest in the hands of one of these key players.

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