The Memphis Grizzlies continue to be a team that I enjoy watching and rooting for. They're young, they score a lot, and they also lead the league in rebounding. I've mentioned before that I think their starting 5 is one of the few that have above average talent at every position. As I look at that lineup some more, I notice some similarities with the Lakers. A tall, skilled, center who can play on both sides of the rim and shoot. A power foward with terrific offense from the post who can also rebound well. A tough-as-nails shooter/scorer who can play terrific one-on-one defense while wanting to be the main crunch-time guy.
As I look around the league, I also notice that there aren't many center/power foward combos like the ones that these two teams have. Many power fowards who play with good legit centers tend to play like small fowards. Guys like Kevin Garnett, Rashard Lewis, Antawn Jamison, and Troy Murphy. On the other hand, it seems that in recent history, some teams with good power fowards have focused on defensive centers. Think Ben and Rasheed Wallace, Karl Malone and Mark Eaton.
So what are some other center/power foward combos that are both good at scoring/rebounding while staying true to their positions? The twin towers of Tim Duncan and David Robinson certainly come to mind. I also think that Larry "Grandmama" Johnson is often forgotten because of his injury issues and the fact that he played in an era with very little scoring. He played with two of the five best centers of that era in Ewing and Mourning. However, the best frontcourt of all time is still probably the trio of Bird, McHale, and Parish. Any others come to mind?
With the success of the Lakers and Memphis this year, perhaps this is the way to go in the future? The Clippers have also done very well this year with Kaman and Camby, and although Camby is a legit defensive beast, people forget that he can find ways to score too. The one combination that clearly doesn't work is Al Jefferson and Kevin Love. I think that's because Jefferson isn't a legit center and Love isn't a legit power foward. They need to blow that thing up or get a real defensive center in there.