« How Goran Dragic tried to dunk, lost the ball in midair and settled for a layup because of a flat tire | Main | Dwyane Wade, Amare Stoudemire tout chemistry after beating Pelicans »

Hassan Whiteside, All-NBA? He's got at least an outside shot

Hassan Whiteside, who now goes by the nickname "Agent Block," has made no secret of shooting for Defensive Player of the Year and the the NBA's All-Defensive team.

There's another potential honor, however, of which he wasn't aware until Tuesday morning.

Whiteside could get a serious look for one of the All-NBA center slots.

"I mean, that would be amazing," Whiteside said. "I didn't even think I would be a candidate, just because I didn't make All-Star. That would be a huge accomplishment. Like a dream come true." 

But, remember, All-NBA isn't just first team. It's first, second and third team. And it's also important to note that, unlike fan voting for the All-Star Game, media voting for All-NBA does include a center position. So three centers will be selected. 

Last season, those centers were Marc Gasol, DeMarcus Cousins and DeAndre Jordan.

Gasol's 2015-16 was cut short, so you can take him out of the mix. 

His brother, Pau, has played a lot more center this season, however. And that's one of the complication -- where players are listed. Even after he's now out for the season, Anthony Davis may get some center votes.

Here's where Whiteside ranks among players whom the NBA's official stats site lists at center, some of whom, like Davis, Derrick Favors, Al Horford and Kristaps Porzingis, also play forward:

-- 15th in scoring

-- 4th in rebounding

-- 1st in blocks (and that's not especially close: 3.8 compared to 2.5 for Jordan)

-- 6th in field goal percentage

So, it is likely?

Maybe not. There are more veteran players in the conversation, and reputation will play a role. 

But after Cousins and Drummond and maybe Jordan (whose team has a better record), it's hard to find a pure center whose stats pop out like his. 

"I try to be the best two-way center in the NBA," Whiteside said. "I'm not taking a ton of shots. I'm not just a defensive guy. I try to be the best, most balanced. I try to play both ends." 




Powered by TypePad