When it comes to discussing small forwards in the game today, the names LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony rise to the top of conversations. The star-studded trio finished 1-2-3 in player efficiency rating in 2010-11, and were the only three SFs who finished with a rating better than 20 in John Hollinger's metric.
But who's the best? Thankfully, you helped us sort it out.After breaking down the top point guards and shooting guards earlier in the week, our panel -- including your responses, sent in via Facebook and Twitter -- takes aim at the the frontcourt, starting with the small forwards.
Isaac Ramirez, via Twitter: Carmelo Anthony. He terrible on defense and doesn't play hard all the time. He's not nearly as efficient as Durant, and is much worse on defense, but there are still people who rank him as No. 2 among SFs.
Tim Donahue, Eight Points, Nine Seconds: This is difficult, but it's probably Carmelo Anthony. He's a great scorer, and one of the best late-game options in the league, but too many people reflexively put him top 5-10 in the league, when top 20-25 is more accurate. And, yes, there is that big of a gap between top 5 and top 25.
Patrick Hayes, Piston Powered: I don't want to pile on Carmelo Anthony, a player I generally love to watch work on offense. But the problem is, to this point of his career, 'Melo impacts the game only at one end. That puts him a notch below superstars like James, Wade and Bryant, who all became great defensive players as well as offensive forces.
Brendan Jackson, Celtics Hub: Somewhere between Los Angeles and Houston, Trevor Ariza was made to be a "go-to" small forward. While his contributions on the defensive end are well documented, his offensive numbers are nowhere near good enough to be a third banana on a playoff team.
Kyle Weidie, Truth About It: When George Karl questions your defensive focus, I imagine, despite all the supreme clientele scoring ability (as perhaps the most complete bucket-dropper in the NBA), your DNA for winning basketball is not wired like the Kobes and Jordans of history. Being in N.Y. will only increase Carmelo Anthony's overrated hype.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Posted by James Miller at 11:42 AM