NBA center rankings: No. 2 Al Horford

SportsBasketballNBAAtlanta HawksAl HorfordHollinger IncorporatedDwight Howard

Let's just be up front right away: There's no suspense this time.

We're ranking the NBA's top 10 players at each position over five weeks, and this week we're evaluating the centers.

Yeah, we all know how this is going to end. So how does everyone fall in line behind Dwight Howard?

These are not fantasy basketball rankings. These rankings also don't measure players' potential or their career achievements. Instead, these rankings are meant to capture where players rank at this moment.

We'll unveil two rankings a day, beginning on Monday mornings with the 10th best player at a position and ending on Friday afternoons with the best player at that position.

Think a player's ranking is too high or too low? Voice your opinion by writing in the comments field below.

Al Horford

Center ranking:2nd

Current team: Atlanta Hawks

Height/weight: 6-10, 245

Age on June 3, 2011: 25

Seasons with current team/in NBA:4/4

2010-11 regular-season stats: 77 G, 35.1 mpg, .557 fg%, .798 ft%, 15.3 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 3.5 apg

2010-11 advanced regular-season stats*: .587 ts%, .558 efg%, 16.0 trb%, 118 ortg, 105 drtg, 20.7 PER

2011 postseason stats: 12 G, 39.0 mpg, .423 fg%, .769 ft%, 11.3 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 1.0 bpg

2011 advanced postseason stats*: .458 ts%, .423 efg%, 14.9 trb%, 100 ortg, 104 drtg, 13.3 PER

Contract status: Horford has four years, $48 million left on his deal.

Strengths: Horford offers a nice multi-talented package. He can shoot mid-range jumpers and jump-hooks as well as run the floor. A strong offensive rebounder, he can get out and start the break.

Weaknesses: Obviously, he plays out of position at center. Bigger players can shoot over him or muscle inside. His talents are more suited as a power forward.

The future: Horford is a cornerstone player for the Hawks.

*All advanced statistics come from Basketball-Reference.com. Here's what those advanced statistics mean:

ts%: True shooting percentage, a measure of shooting efficiency that takes into account 2-point field goals, 3-point field goals and free throws.

efg%: Effective field-goal percentage, which adjusts for the fact that a 3-point field goal is worth one more point than a 2-point field goal.

trb%: Total rebound percentage, an estimate of available rebounds a player grabbed while he was on the floor.

ortg: Offensive rating, an estimate of points produced per 100 possessions.

drtg: Defensive rating, an estimate of points allowed per 100 possessions.

PER: Developed by ESPN.com's John Hollinger, PER stands for Player Efficiency Rating and is intended to measure per-minute productivity. It's adjusted for pace. The higher the number, the better. The league average for every season is set to 15.0.

bschmitz@tribune.com. Read his blog at OrlandoSentinel.com/magicblog.

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SportsBasketballNBAAtlanta HawksAl HorfordHollinger IncorporatedDwight Howard
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