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  • The center, colloquially known as the five or the post, is one of the standard positions in a regulation basketball game and is commonly abbreviated "C". The center is normally the tallest player on the team, and often has a great deal of strength and body mass as well. A typical NBA center is usually 6'9" or taller. In many cases, the center's primary role is to use his or her size to score and defend from a position close to the basket. A center who possesses size along with athleticism and skill constitutes an unparalleled asset for a team. The centers are also generally the players who are chosen to take jump balls. There has been occasional controversy over what constitutes a "true center". For example, some would say that Tim Duncan, although listed throughout his career as a power forward, is actually a center, because of his size and style of play. Nonetheless, the judgment of whether a given player is a center or power forward is often highly subjective. Because there are currently so few people who meet the ideal size requirements of an NBA center, teams will sometimes find it necessary to play an individual at that position who would be more effective as a power forward.

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