The NBA: February 2014 Position Battle – The Top 5 Small Forwards Right Now

In this Position Battle post, we will focus on the top five small forwards at this point in the season. We will take into account just the players’ stats for the latest five games of their respective teams. This will, hopefully, give us a more current picture of each player’s production.

The small forward spot, arguably, has the most star power in the NBA, what with Kevin Durant, LeBron James, and Carmelo Anthony among the most followed/loved players on the planet. And then you toss in athletes like Paul George, Josh Smith and Chandler Parsons along with old reliables like Paul Pierce, Andre Iguodala, and Shawn Marion and you have what is easily the most crowded (read: talented) position in all of basketball. But we only have room for five, so here they are…

Note: All of the following stats are based on each player’s stats as computed by HoopsStats.com. They were taken on February 16, 2014 (Manila time).


5. Chandler Parsons (HOU) - 14.4ppg, 5.0rpg, 4.4apg, 1.2spg, .536 FG%, 1.6 triples per game, .444 3pt%, 18.0 EFF
Parsons has been a big reason the Rockets have won their last seven games (Houston is the hottest team right now). He dropped 26 at Dallas last January 29, and has scored a combined 38 in their last two wins – against Minnie and the Wiz respectively. The most noticeable improvement in his game has been his outside shooting, as proven by going 3/3 from long distance against PHX last February 5. Parsons is no All-Star (yet), but he could be the huge third option Houston needs to become a serious title contender.
           
Chandler Parsons could be the third star Houston
needs for a title run.
(image from USA Today)


4. Carmelo Anthony (NYK) - 28.8ppg, 6.8rpg, 2.4apg, 3.2 triples per game, .917 FT%, 22.8 EFF
The most painful thing, if you’re a Knicks fan (yes, they still exist), is that ,no matter how good Melo plays, the original Big Appl quintet just sucks. The Knickerbockers have gone just 1-5 this month, practically negating all the progress they made in January, where they went 9-5. Now New York is sitting at tenth spot in the East two games behind Detroit and half-a-game ahead of the Cavs, who’ve won their last four. If there’s any time for Melo to really up the ante even more and possibly return to the MVP convo, it’s NOW.


3. Josh Smith (DET) - 21.6ppg, 9.2rpg, 4.6apg, 1.6spg, 2.2bpg, .506 FG%, 25.6 EFF
J-Smoove is undoubtedly one of the NBA’s best talents NEVER to have been part of a truly awesome team. Sure, the Hawks had their moments before, but they were never truly great. Now, his Pistons aren’t even in the East’s top eight. He continues to fill the sheet and cash those checks, though, so why does he have to complain, right? It just sucks that such a great two-way player can’t ever get over the hump and be part of something bigger. He’s like the lefty version Rudy Gay, only he blocks shots, too.


2. LeBron James (MIA) - 28.2ppg, 9.0rpg, 8.0apg, 2.4spg, .500 FG%, 2.0 triples per game, 32.0 EFF
I still think LeBron is a bit of an ass for showing off his plethora of dunks in practice but never really stepping up to show the fans the real stuff in a bona fide dunk contest. C’mon, man, be a model pro and give the fans what they have always wanted to see. Anyway, the reigning MVP remains awesome on the court, and the Heat have really benefited, winning 8 of their last 10. Sure, for the most part, Miami and the MVP look like they’re coasting (and they are), but as long as they get to the postseason with either of the conference’s top two seeds, then they should still be on-track for a three-peat. Boo-hoo, though. Would love to see the King in next year’s Sprite Slam Dunk contest.
  
Will LeBron get a third championship ring? I hope not.
(image by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

1. Kevin Durant (OKC) - 35.0ppg, 9.2rpg, 7.4apg, 1.2spg, .496 FG%, 2.6 triples per game, .884 FT%, 34.4 EFF
My MVP if the season ended today and if I had any actual voting power. I mean, the Thunder have finally become the best team on the planet by virtue of their 43-12 slate, and all that pretty much without Russell Westbrook. KD has not scored fewer than 26 points since dropping 21 on Boston on January 5. He is averaging 40 points in his last three games – all wins, too. More importantly, he has really shown polish in almost every other aspect of his game – averaging a near-triple-double in OKC’s last five contests. Needless to say, if he continues to play like this, he’s the undisputed MVP. Get that trophy, big fella, and I would love to see you get that ring, too.


Outside looking in:
Khris Middleton (MIL) - 17.6 EFF
PJ Tucker (PHX) – 16.6 EFF
Nicolas Batum (POR) – 16.4 EFF


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3 Comment
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josh smith over paul george?

Balas
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PG24 is better in terms of season stats, but as far as his last five games go, he’s averaged a pedestrian 17 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 steal. He’s shot just 34% from the field, too. By season’s end, I believe he’ll be in the top five, but, at least based on their last five games, Smith trumps George.

Balas