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LakePackYank
08-21-2009, 12:36 AM
http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=13628


Here's the one absolute in comprising a "Top 5" list these days: not everyone is going to leave a winner.

Richard Jefferson and Gerald Wallace will cry do-over. Memphis (Rudy Gay) and Golden State (Corey Maggette) won't like what they read. And even the Shawn Marion loyalists will question the end results. Because not only did those small forwards not make the "Top 5" cut here, but their positions at the "Honorable Mention" table aren't even reserved.

So what's a guy to do?

In this case, it's examine the five best small forwards in the league today – complete with a combination of fact and opinion - while using the upcoming season to engrain them into stardom.

Debate, discuss or disagree, here is HOOPSWORLD's list of "Top 5 Small Forwards":

1. LeBron James, Cleveland: As if there was any doubt whom would be mentioned first in this discussion. At 24-years-old and an MVP candidate, James is the best player at his position and averaged 28.4 points per game, shooting 48 % from the field for the Cavaliers while also being named to the NBA All-Defensive Team for the first time in his six-year career. While confiscating dunk tapes and defending snubbing handshakes dominated James' summer, this coming season – and with the help of Shaquille O'Neal in Cleveland – LeBron will once again be all about chasing a ring. But for now, he's simply the best small forward in the NBA. No question about it.

2. Carmelo Anthony, Denver: Following "King James" is never easy. Yet if there was one guy who is familiar with the role (after he was selected two spots after James in the 2003 NBA Draft) and capable of playing second fiddle at small forward in this league to LeBron, it's Melo. Last season, Carmelo not only led Denver to the second-best record in the Western Conference, but he did so with his most well rounded season as a pro. He showed improvement defensively (even though no one is going to confuse him with Ron Artest) and averaged 22.8 points per game, while putting up his best numbers from beyond the arc at roughly 37%. How the Nuggets fair this coming season though – and towards a playoff push - will once again be a reflection of Anthony and his ability to keep adding to an already impressive resume. Something says Carmelo will be down for raising his game.

3. Paul Pierce, Boston: In this "Top 5" list – and excluding honorable mentions – Pierce is the lone player with a championship ring, not to mention NBA Finals MVP honors. An eight-time all-star and one of Boston's "Big Three, Pierce's numbers are simply impressive throughout his 10-seasons in the league. With a career-average of 22.9 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game, Pierce is one of the more complete players in the game today given his ability to defend, rebound and score. If – and that is the key word here – Kevin Garnett sheds his fragility and Rasheed Wallace adjusts well to the Celtics, it's possible Pierce – who shot 45% from the field and averaged 20.5 points per game last season - could be in-line for another ring fitting. And that's "The Truth."

4. Ron Artest, Los Angeles: You may not like him or the way he plays, but you sure as heck have to respect and appreciate Ron Artest for what he brings to the small forward position. At 6'7 and 260 pounds, he is still the league's best defender. No doubt about it. As for his offense, Artest shot 40% from 3-point land despite his scoring average dipping to 17.1 points per game (which is down from his two previous seasons). Yet Artest's smothering defense remains his calling card and certainly gives the Los Angeles Lakers a leg-up in coming out of the West again next season. Right now, they are the team to beat. And while the Lakers lineup of Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol was outstanding last season, the addition of Artest makes Los Angeles a team poised to repeat.

5. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City: The Portland Trail Blazers will never admit they should have selected Durant with the first overall pick back in 2007. But the way this kid put up numbers in his second year, it's worth arguing someone missed the boat. The 2007-08 NBA Rookie of the Year, Durant averaged over 25 points per game last season and easily made his mark at all-star weekend in Phoenix by taking home the MVP trophy from the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam. It was that February that Durant blew up: for the month, he averaged 30 points per game, shot 54% from the field, 51% on 3-pointers and 88% from the line. Now many will debate Durant's place on this list, likely arguing a number of honorable mentions should be here instead. But after seeing what the 6'10 small forward has done in two years, and knowing he'll only get better with age and experience in Oklahoma City, Durant is worthy of a perfect pick.

Honorable Mentions: Danny Granger, Caron Butler, Tayshaun Prince, Hedo Turkoglu, Shane Battier.

Indiana's Danny Granger was this close to cracking the "Top 5" list. He is coming off a career-year with the Pacers where he averaged 25.8 points per game, leaving one question to be asked: where does last season's Most Improved Player go from here?….Washington's Caron Butler is perhaps one of the most underrated players in the league today, let alone at small forward. Hopefully a return to all-star status will change that perception….With everything Detroit went through last season, Tayshaun Prince stayed an iron man. He appeared in all 82 games for the sixth straight season and started every game for the fifth straight season....Even though Hedo Turkoglu went sideways on the Portland Trail Blazers this summer, finishing last season as Orlando's best offensive threat was no joke. But can he do it again for Toronto?....Shane Battier, Shane Battier, Shane Battier.

Disagree?... make your case below.

:confused: I think Ron Artest is awesome and all but artest over durant!? That's a little much.

asandhu23
08-21-2009, 12:38 AM
Paul Pierce is not top 3...

Catfish1314
08-21-2009, 12:40 AM
Artest is a top 5 talent at small forward but he's not a top 5 small forward.

LeBron and Anthony are clearly top two. Durant, Pierce, and Granger are pretty interchangeable IMO.

RocketsRule
08-21-2009, 12:43 AM
Artest is a top 5 talent at small forward but he's not a top 5 small forward.

LeBron and Anthony are clearly top two. Durant, Pierce, and Granger are pretty interchangeable IMO.

I don't even think he's a top five talent at SF. He's too much of a black hole on offense to be considered one of the elite at his position. Here's my list:

1) Lebron James
2) Carmelo Anthony
3) Kevin Durant
4) Danny Granger
5) Paul Pierce

Trouble87
08-21-2009, 12:57 AM
Artest is not a top 5 small forward

Granger or Battier should be on that list in place of RonRon

Chronz
08-21-2009, 01:48 AM
I don't even think he's a top five talent at SF. He's too much of a black hole on offense to be considered one of the elite at his position. Here's my list:

1) Lebron James
2) Carmelo Anthony
3) Kevin Durant
4) Danny Granger
5) Paul Pierce

I dont like the order but you got it closer to the truth than hw does.

goku
08-21-2009, 01:51 AM
Paul Pierce is not top 3...

yes he should he is a complete player and he is clutch

ron ron is more in the 6-8 range imo granger,hedo and maybe butler r ahead of ron

Raph12
08-21-2009, 02:05 AM
Ron and Pierce make me squirm a bit, this is my Top 5:

1. Lebron James
2. Carmelo Anthony
3. Danny Granger
4. Kevin Durant
5. Paul Pierce

NYKnickFanatic
08-21-2009, 02:06 AM
Im sleepy, so I am going to bed now. :sleep:

LakePackYank
08-21-2009, 02:09 AM
Im sleepy, so I am going to bed now. :sleep:

ummm yea u do that.

My top ten SFs are:
1. LBJ
2. Melo
3. Durant
4. Pierce
5. Granger
6. Artest
7. Butler
8. Hedo Turkoglu
9. Rudy Gay
10. Shane Battier

i think im forgetting someone...oh well.

bogdanrom
08-21-2009, 02:45 AM
Hoopsworld is ********. Their lists are horrible. They had the Wizards at tenth in the East.

DetroitRipCity
08-21-2009, 02:45 AM
ummm yea u do that.

My top ten SFs are:
1. LBJ
2. Melo
3. Durant
4. Pierce
5. Granger
6. Artest
7. Butler
8. Hedo Turkoglu
9. Rudy Gay
10. Shane Battier

i think im forgetting someone...oh well.

disagee Tay is in the top 10

BigEric
08-21-2009, 02:56 AM
Would Artest be on this list if he were still on the Kings?....

Boston Faithful
08-21-2009, 03:54 AM
It's pretty obvious right now. 1. LBJ 2. Melo 3. Pierce 4. Durant 5. Granger - in coming years Durant will be no. 2...

No way Granger or Durant is on Pierce's level. They haven't done **** in their careers. Everyone is just Boston hating right now.

-Kobe24-TJ19-
08-21-2009, 04:05 AM
ummm yea u do that.

My top ten SFs are:
1. LBJ
2. Melo
3. Durant
4. Pierce
5. Granger
6. Artest
7. Butler
8. Hedo Turkoglu
9. Rudy Gay
10. Shane Battier

i think im forgetting someone...oh well.

Wheres Iggy???

NYKnickFanatic
08-21-2009, 09:57 AM
ummm yea u do that.

My top ten SFs are:
1. LBJ
2. Melo
3. Durant
4. Pierce
5. Granger
6. Artest
7. Butler
8. Hedo Turkoglu
9. Rudy Gay
10. Shane Battier

i think im forgetting someone...oh well.

No disrespect, but your list is bad.

Legitimate
08-21-2009, 10:04 AM
Even Hedo got a mention, so why NBA fans not respect him, but sports analysts do?? Fans are just being prejudice to the raps, ROFL.

bostncelts34
08-21-2009, 10:11 AM
1.lebron
2.Melo
3.Pierce
4.Durant
5.Granger

Carey
08-21-2009, 10:23 AM
Lebron
Carmelo
Granger
Pierce
Durant

DLeeicious
08-21-2009, 10:24 AM
disagee Tay is in the top 10

Hmmmmm, maybe that's because you're a Piston's fan? Come to think of it I think Deng is probably number 1 on that list. :rolleyes:

Anyways, I reallllly think Pierce is so overrated in so many ways. I mean number 3 on that list? No chance. He has this reputation that surrounds him as a top player in the league (Or the world according to him) and to me it's just totally unwarranted. He has won a championship, but it was with a loaded team.

DLeeicious
08-21-2009, 10:26 AM
Even Hedo got a mention, so why NBA fans not respect him, but sports analysts do?? Fans are just being prejudice to the raps, ROFL.

Why would anyone be prejudice against the Raptors? They have like no rivals in this league. They are the friendly Canadians who never really threaten any team. They will be formidable this yeah though for sure.

goose15
08-21-2009, 10:47 AM
1 James
2 Melo
3 Pierce
4 Durant
5 Hedo

balla4life22
08-21-2009, 10:49 AM
Hmmmmm, maybe that's because you're a Piston's fan? Come to think of it I think Deng is probably number 1 on that list. :rolleyes:

Anyways, I reallllly think Pierce is so overrated in so many ways. I mean number 3 on that list? No chance. He has this reputation that surrounds him as a top player in the league (Or the world according to him) and to me it's just totally unwarranted. He has won a championship, but it was with a loaded team.

Any team that wins a championship is loaded nowadays. Pierce has done everything before that to prove he is a top player. He comes in in the clutch and thats when it matters. I think he was a little tired last year, especially when garnett went down. But i think we're gunna see the old Pierce again this year

bigsams50
08-21-2009, 11:24 AM
http://www.nba.com/playerfile/paul_pierce/index.html

its not like pierces numbers suck, kg got hurt and tht put alot of the load on his shoulders.

AIMelo=KillaDUO
08-21-2009, 11:30 AM
lol Artest isn't top 5

Unruly Fan
08-21-2009, 11:30 AM
Artest is not a top 5 small forward

Granger or Battier should be on that list in place of RonRonReally?

mavwar53
08-21-2009, 11:36 AM
granger may be number 2 just cause of his ability to play both sides of court, Melo doesn't have the D granger does, but granger also doesn't have melos skills on offense. I'd just rather have a guy that can do it all not just score.

Gibby23
08-21-2009, 11:39 AM
granger may be number 2 just cause of his ability to play both sides of court, Melo doesn't have the D granger does, but granger also doesn't have melos skills on offense. I'd just rather have a guy that can do it all not just score.
did you see how Mello played D in the playoffs? He did a really good job when he matched up with Kobe.

DCSportsIsPain
08-21-2009, 11:41 AM
Really?

Artest was 29th in P/A/R and 85th in Efficiency Per 48 Minutes only among forwards.

He doesn't belong in this conversation at all. :facepalm:

Raph12
08-21-2009, 12:10 PM
Lebron
Carmelo
Granger
Pierce
Durant

Lol that's my exact same list

unwantedplayer
08-21-2009, 12:39 PM
No way should Granger or Durant be put over Paul Pierce. Granger had one good year and people go crazy over him. Durant is still improving, but not that PP's level yet. Saying Kevin Durant or Granger is better than Paul Pierce is ridiculous.

thatmediadude
08-21-2009, 12:48 PM
It's pretty obvious right now. 1. LBJ 2. Melo 3. Pierce 4. Durant 5. Granger - in coming years Durant will be no. 2...

No way Granger or Durant is on Pierce's level. They haven't done **** in their careers. Everyone is just Boston hating right now.


This is an individual poll man.. Not how many 'ships have been won. Durant/Granger would be taken before Paul Pierce about 50 spots. Paul is winding down. Believe it.

tbone2171
08-21-2009, 01:06 PM
There's actually someone here w/ the name LakePackYank? Congratulations, you managed to put all three of my most hated franchises in your name.


ummm yea u do that.

My top ten SFs are:
1. LBJ
2. Melo
3. Durant
4. Pierce
5. Granger
6. Artest
7. Butler
8. Hedo Turkoglu
9. Rudy Gay
10. Shane Battier

i think im forgetting someone...oh well.

BOSSKOJIE
08-21-2009, 01:12 PM
Top 5 =) 1.yao ming 2. Shaq 3.oden 4.al jperson 5.oberto

asandhu23
08-21-2009, 01:27 PM
yes he should he is a complete player and he is clutch

ron ron is more in the 6-8 range imo granger,hedo and maybe butler r ahead of ron

NO NO NO. He is definitely not in the top 5 spot. i bet you are blinded by the media who puts him as one of the best...because he was on the championship team...:facepalm:

DLeeicious
08-21-2009, 02:39 PM
No way should Granger or Durant be put over Paul Pierce. Granger had one good year and people go crazy over him. Durant is still improving, but not that PP's level yet. Saying Kevin Durant or Granger is better than Paul Pierce is ridiculous.

They have not had better careers but right now I DO say Durant and Granger are better than Paul Pierce. Pierce is on the decline and they are both on the incline.

IversonIsKrazy
08-21-2009, 02:59 PM
1. LBJ
2. Melo
3. PP
4. Durrant
5. Granger

fredv
08-21-2009, 03:14 PM
Artest's defense isn't what it used to be. When the writer said:"He is clearly still the best defender in the league", I giggled.

D Roses Bulls
08-21-2009, 03:18 PM
to all you guys that wanna ***** and complain about artest being a top 5 small forward just look at last season in the playoffs. no yao, no mcgrady and he took the lakers to 7 games. durrant hasnt even been to the playoffs and whoever thinks granger i a top 5 should be shot in the head. he average 20 something on a bad team. its not always about numbers.

DCSportsIsPain
08-21-2009, 03:26 PM
to all you guys that wanna ***** and complain about artest being a top 5 small forward just look at last season in the playoffs. no yao, no mcgrady and he took the lakers to 7 games. durrant hasnt even been to the playoffs and whoever thinks granger i a top 5 should be shot in the head. he average 20 something on a bad team. its not always about numbers.

By that logic, LeBron isn't any good either since his team got knocked out.

MagicBucsSox
08-21-2009, 03:29 PM
i guess durant is better than iggy,butler,shard,deng

the top5 shoould be
bron
pierce
melo
artest
Rashard

*top 10
butler
deng
iggy
turk
odom

dwadefan03
08-21-2009, 03:36 PM
1. Dorell Wright

2. Quentin Richardson

3. James Jones

4.Yakhouba Diawara(hes really good we just like to keep it a secret)

5. LeBron James

blah-blah
08-21-2009, 05:33 PM
artest hahahahha

DetroitRipCity
08-21-2009, 05:40 PM
Hmmmmm, maybe that's because you're a Piston's fan? Come to think of it I think Deng is probably number 1 on that list. :rolleyes:

Anyways, I reallllly think Pierce is so overrated in so many ways. I mean number 3 on that list? No chance. He has this reputation that surrounds him as a top player in the league (Or the world according to him) and to me it's just totally unwarranted. He has won a championship, but it was with a loaded team.

No tay belongs in the 10 ten at SF he defends the best players in the league from 1 to 4... he is top 3 in Def... he can score (sometimes) He is way better than Turkey-glu

Lakerfan In NY
08-21-2009, 05:52 PM
I don't think you can say Granger. Yet. He is a great player but he needs more yrs under his belt like last yrs to be considered top five. His body of work is still low.
1.LBJ
2.Pierce
3.Melo
4.Durant-soon to be #1
5.Artest- Still on the list until the day when he can't lockdown the other top 4.

LakePackYank
08-21-2009, 05:57 PM
There's actually someone here w/ the name LakePackYank? Congratulations, you managed to put all three of my most hated franchises in your name.

1. actually cowboys take that spot in football :rolleyes:

2. Or maybe u hate just hate them?

3. stick to the topic lol

goku
08-21-2009, 11:08 PM
to all you guys that wanna ***** and complain about artest being a top 5 small forward just look at last season in the playoffs. no yao, no mcgrady and he took the lakers to 7 games. durrant hasnt even been to the playoffs and whoever thinks granger i a top 5 should be shot in the head. he average 20 something on a bad team. its not always about numbers.

aaron brooks was the main reason why it went to game 7 ron shot a horrible percent after the first 2 games

alexander_37
08-21-2009, 11:47 PM
Artest went from barely top 7-8 to number 4 just cause he's a faker.

NYMetros
08-22-2009, 12:10 AM
1. LeBron
2. Pierce
3. Carmelo
4. Granger
5. Durant

zambo4president
08-22-2009, 12:15 AM
PP is not in the top 5.
1.LeBong
2.Melo
3.Granger
4.Durant
5.Artest/Battier/Iggy are all very close.

PBG
08-22-2009, 12:17 AM
whats up with this "honorable mention" ********? whats the point if youre not going to list them?

Chicagofaithful
08-22-2009, 12:36 AM
GRANGER is ahead of Artest

Chicagofaithful
08-22-2009, 12:36 AM
caron butler? Josh howard? come on...

IDB Josh M
08-22-2009, 03:31 AM
Alot of people are complaining about Ron being on the list, and I think its because he's on the lakers. But, I never actually seen Ron's "lock down defense" because I've only seen him play against the lakers, and Kobe lights him up everytime. The list should be:

1) LBJ
2) Carmelo Anthony
3) Everyone else.

No offense to the Granger and Durant fanboys, but those guys still have alot to prove. But if Granger plays one more good season like last's, then Indiana has a bright future.

bogdanrom
08-24-2009, 10:53 AM
caron butler? Josh howard? come on...

Caron is easily top 10 SF, and you can debate Top 5. He can do it all, he can score, rebound, pass, play defense, be a leader.