The new big three: Adebayo, Jokic, Davis,

"Guard skills" define the best big men

BY DAVID THORPE

In The New York Times, Marc Stein tells the story of 2019 Team USA. Worried about the 6-foot-9 height of the Heat’s Bam Adebayo, Gregg Popovich’s staff cut him—while keeping 7-foot Brook Lopez, 6-11 Myles Turner, and 6-11 Mason Plumlee.

It was a mistake. The national team had a historically bad performance, and Adebayo’s Heat are the toast of the postseason—just one win from the Finals. It might be overly simplistic to say it’s all because of him, but it is certainly time to update our thinking about the job of a big man. 

The game is changing fast. Three of the four best players left in the playoffs—Nikola Jokic, Anthony Davis, and Adebayo—have what were long considered guard skills. And there’s every reason to think they’re showing us the future.

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