2. Jakob Poeltl Should Be All-NBA
Notice I made sure not to say “All-Defensive,” which most Spurs fans would agree on. Jakob Poeltl has been an anchor down low on both ends of the court for the Spurs this season. Last year, the Spurs averaged 111 points per game and they're still maintaining that in 2022. Last season, Poeltl was ninth on the roster in points. This year, he is fourth.
The main argument comes from his comparisons to other good players. There are ten players leading the way for the frontcourt All-Stars for the Western Conference, and Poeltl is not one of them. He is beat out by Deandre Ayton, Anthony Davis, Karl-Anthony Towns, Rudy Gobert, and Nikola Jokic.
Including Poeltl, out of those six players, Jakob is fourth in field goal percentage but last in points. He is first in offensive rebounds and last in defensive rebounds, which is weird, but half of his rebounds are on the offensive end. Karl-Anthony Towns’ ratio is a third of his total rebounds are on the offensive end, and he’s by far the next closest on the list.
While Poeltl is the worst scorer out of the All-Star centers, he ranks third in blocks, fourth in assists, and turns the ball over the least. Per 36 minutes, he is actually an average rebounder despite his poor per-game performance.
So, while Poeltl is definitely not the best center in the Western Conference or even in the top three, he can clearly carry his weight with the All-Stars and even beat a few of them out where it matters. He is one of the best defenders at his position and, unlike Anthony Davis, does not disappear at times.
I don’t think he should be an All-Star, but it’s time fans started to recognize that an apparent throw-in piece in the DeRozan trade is one of the top centers in the West.