The X wrote:What sort of serious journo would say such a thing?
The X wrote:When it rains, it pours I guess.
Back on topic, I don't like Willard's list. I hate how he goes "Following on from my successful ranking of teams..."
What sort of serious journo would say such a thing?
My virtual guy has no issues with him though since I like to keep a good repertoire with my friendly reporters
Lightning Strike wrote:The X wrote:What sort of serious journo would say such a thing?
Thankfully he's just a blogger for Yahoo sports, nothing serious about that.
Just messing, I loved Trey Kerby.
October 3, 2013
Top 10 Small Forwards
By Willard Smith
Following on from my successful ranking of teams, I will try my hand at ranking each NBA position 10 through to 1. Don’t crucify me if you don’t see your favorite player here. I’m sure you will all have your own arguments and justifications for including snubbed players!
The small forward position is the deepest in the NBA. You have small forwards playing small forward. You got small forwards masquerading as shooting guards. And you even might find some starting at power forward. There are just so many of them and they are all talented. To make a list of just 10 was a difficult task but I have done it below!
On the Bubble
Marvin Williams, San Antonio Spurs, 27, Years Pro: 9
2012-13 stats: 16.2 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 2.7 APG, 1.5 SPG, 82 GP, 82 GS
Career stats: 11.4 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 1.5 APG, 638 GP, 335 GS
10. Jason Richardson, Phoenix Suns, 32, Years Pro: 13
2012-13 stats: 21.0 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 1.5 APG, 1.1 SPG, .486 FG%, .470 3PT%, 82 GP, 82 GS
Career stats: 19.2 PPG, 4.9 RPPG, 2.8 APG, 1.2 SPG, .450 FG%, .409 3PT%, 902 GP, 756 GS
J-Rich is the result of the system. The Suns’ run and gun, up-tempo system brings out the best in him. His statistics suggest that he is a better player than he really is. Put him on any other NBA team and he would look fairly average – not to mention that he would not be a surefire starter. With all that said, averaging 20 a game is worthy of recognition and just enough to get J-Rich onto my top 10!
9. Lamar Odom, New York Knicks, 33, Years Pro: 15
2012-13 stats: 13.2 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 5.9 APG, 76 GP, 76 GS
Career stats: 14.3 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 4.3 APG, 988 GP, 896 GS
It was always said that Lamar Odom was an All-Star caliber players and all he needed was a bigger role. It’s a bit of a shame that Odom only got that role after hitting his 30s. With the Knicks, Odom was the facilitator of a three-headed monster that also included Vince Carter and Allen Iverson. The trio didn’t really get anywhere with the Knicks except for score lots of points and have a lot of fun. With both players gone, Odom got his shot at being ‘the man’ and the result are his numbers being solid across the board (including his peaking rebounding and assists numbers). The Knicks finally made their first playoff campaign and even though Travis Ward has a big part in the scoring department, Odom does everything else. So to go back to the start of the paragraph: is Odom an All-Star caliber player now? Not quite but he is probably the closest he will ever be.
8. Danny Granger, Indiana Pacers, 30, Years Pro: 9
2012-13 stats: 20.4 PPG, 3.5 RPG, .491 FG%, .485 3PT%, 82 GP, 82 GS
Career stats: 18.5 PPG, 4.7 RPG, .473 FG%, .440 3PT%, 650 GP, 564 GS
Like manager, like player. Danny Granger has the sweetest stroke in the NBA and he has always attributed it to being tutored by Larry Bird. Granger needs to stretch out his arsenal though if the Pacers are to succeed. They have one of the most talented teams in the league but if Granger isn’t scoring, he isn’t doing much else. If he wants to be part of the elite group of players at his position, he needs to be more of a complete player.
7. Josh Smith, Atlanta Hawks, 27, Years Pro: 10
2012-13 stats: 15.6 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 3.2 APG, 1.4 SPG, 2.0 BPG, 82 GP, 82 GS
Career stats: 14.6 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 2.9 APG, 1.3 SPG, 2.4 BPG, 695 GP, 673 GS
Josh Smith is the heart and soul of the Hawks. (He also starts at power forward) Smith will keep the team competitive for as long as he’s a Hawk. It might not be a sure thing with Smith staying as a Hawk. As the Hawks lose more games, it is wondered whether the 10 year pro would intend to leave the team he has played for his entire career. It’s going to take a lot of convincing to get Smith to stay if the outlook for ATL is grim.
6. Rudy Gay, Cleveland Cavaliers, 27, Years Pro: 8
2012-13 stats: 22.8 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 2.5 APG, 1.7 SPG, 1.3 BPG, .505 FG%, .448 3PT%, 82 GP, 82 GS
Career stats: 20.5 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 1.7 APG, 1.4 SPG, 1.0 BPG, .477 FG%, .412 3PT%, 570 GP, 533 GS
Yes, if Rudy is here then his famous teammate is further up the list. You see two Cavs on the list because even though Rudy starts as ‘shooting guard’ for the Cavs; he is still a small forward. Since joining the Cavs, Rudy Gay has developed a much more consistent three point shot. He has always been a great scorer with a nice jumper but now has great shot selection to boot. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to play alongside an MVP who demands double teams on a nightly basis – freeing up Gay on the floor for easy shots, when Gay in fact could be an MVP candidate himself if he played for a different team.
5. Brandon Roy, Portland Trailblazers, 29, Years Pro: 8
2012-13 stats: 20.9 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 7.2 APG, 1.4 SPG, .480 FG%, .813 FT%, 82 GP, 82 GS
Career stats: 19.1 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 6.3 APG, 1.4 SPG, .475 FG%, .778 FT%, 533 GP, 531 GS
Out of necessity, Brandon Roy has learnt to utilise his abilities whether he is playing point guard, shooting guard or small forward. Many would argue that he is a guard rather than a forward but the NBA has listed him as a small forward and that is why he appears here on this list. Roy does everything so effortlessly and he is the reason why the Blazers did not fall flat on their faces after the departures of Steve Nash and Jerryd Bayless. Roy is a player who could average 25 points a night if he wanted to and he doesn’t because he puts the team first.
4. Carmelo Anthony, New Jersey Nets, 29, Years Pro: 11
2012-13 stats: 24.1 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 1.8 APG, 1.2 SPG, .515 FG%, .366 3PT%, 82 GP, 82 GS
Career stats: 24.2 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 2.8 APG, 1.2 SPG, .491 FG%, .326 3PT%, 789 GP, 789 GS
The knock against Melo is that he is lazy on defense and too lazy to box out. For someone his size to not be a consistent threat on the boards is not acceptable. However, Melo is the star in New Jersey and if you are a star – you get allowances. Melo is as talented as the best scorer in this league. His step back jumper is absolutely lethal. I am just wondering when the Nets will start winning on a more consistent basis. It probably won’t happen until Melo commits himself on both ends of the basketball court.
3. Kevin Durant, Seattle Stealth, 25, Years Pro: 7
2012-13 stats: 27.7 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 2.7 APG, 1.7 SPG, 1.8 BPG, 80 GP, 80 GS
Career stats: 27.0 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 2.2 APG, 1.5 SPG, 1.5 BPG, 488 GP, 488 GS
Kevin Durant is the best scorer in the NBA. His combination of speed, agility, length and a deadly jump shot make him the toughest player to guard. Even Lebron James has admitted the difficulty in sticking with Durant. When Durant is on fire, no double or triple team can stop him. His circus shots that somehow find its way in the hoop and his multiple buckets with hands in his face always break the backbone of opposition teams. Durant would be an MVP candidate in his own right only if he could prove that he makes his teammates better. Durant is the best scorer but there are questions on whether he is anywhere near the best leader?
2. Lebron James, Cleveland Cavaliers, 28, Years Pro: 11
2012-13 stats: 26.7 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 6.9 APG, 1.8 SPG, 0.9 BPG, .505 FG%, .398 3PT%, .700FT%, 82 GP, 82 GS
Career stats: 26.8 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 6.9 APG, 1.8 SPG, 0.9 BPG, .485 FG%, .366 3PT%, .712 FT%, 802 GP, 801 GS
Although he has the statistics, the MVP titles and the game that is so tough to stop, the knock against the King is that he has failed to win a ring over his 10 year NBA career. James has made the Finals stage a handful of times and on all those occasions, he has come out the loser. There isn’t much between Lebron and the guy at number 1. Their playing styles are completely opposite but they manage to do the same thing. There has been the argument that the Cavs’ supporting cast have not been good enough to stick it for their leader. With multiple notable additions this season, it’s time for Lebron James to prove that he is really the King.
1. Moses Chara, Sacramento Kings, 27, Years Pro: 5
2012-13 stats: 25.6 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 8.7 APG, 1.9 SPG, .496 FG%, .434 3PT%, .912 FT%, 82 GP, 82 GS
Career stats: 25.9 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 7.8 APG, 1.8 SPG, .498 FG%, .438 3PT%, .919 FT%, 328 GP, 328 GS
Moses Chara’s first NBA title came a season after a demoralizing loss to the Atlanta Hawks. Chara is hungry for more. Chara also won his first MVP award last season and is no doubt looking to add another one too, just to rub it into Lebron James’ face. Chara’s slow perimeter-based game might not get seats out of their seats but it is efficient and effective enough to give the Kings a lot of hope in becoming back to back NBA champions.
Lamrock wrote:Dripping with spite.
newc wrote:Lamrock, did you really think, that you'll get into top 10 best small forwards in the League, when the best player of your draft class didn't even get into top 10 centers?
newc wrote:You're gonna regret those words next time we meet on the court
Sit wrote:newc wrote:You're gonna regret those words next time we meet on the court
Nice. I will need to recap Heat-Bucks and Wolves-Bucks now.
The X wrote:I would like to see some Donnell Lawrence & Barney Steele coverage, provided it doesn't include any mention of that traitor Melo. That's why I don't like Heat, J.R. Smith bolted to join the Cheat.
Cleveland Pip Stealth At Last Moment
Cleveland Cavaliers at Seattle Stealth: 94-93
Preview | Boxscore | Recap | Highlights
November 30, SEATTLE (AP) – Kevin Durant tried his best to deliver a win but it was Lebron James who spoiled the party. Durant put on a show with 11 third quarter points and 17 fourth quarter points but it was not enough as the Cavs squeezed out a hard-fought win on the Stealth home floor.
Durant started slowly with 2 early fouls and, as a result, sitting out most of the first quarter. Thanks to Jason Kidd finding Andrew Bogut and David Lee for easy buckets; the Stealth stayed in the game despite the Cavs cleaning up the glass with ease. Kidd had 10 first half assists while Bogut scored 12 points and Lee added 8.
In the second half, the Cavs frontcourt shut down their Stealth opponents. Free agent signing Byron Brock (14 points, 10 rebounds, 4 blocks, 3 assists, 2 steals) proved yet again that he could be the X-factor to the Cavs’ campaign for a championship this season as he played brilliantly on both the offensive and defensive ends of the court. His starting partner in the Cavs front court Joakim Noah was just as strong with 18 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 blocks, 2 assists. Stealth Head Coach George Karl stated that the performance of the Cavs’ big man duo was the main reason for his team’s loss, “The Cavs didn’t look like they were dangerous until the big fellas started to play.”
Despite the strength of the Cavs play, Durant helped to keep his team in the game during the third quarter. The Stealth then went on a 10-0 run in the fourth quarter to grab a 10 point lead with 4 minutes to play, the largest of the night. James’ thunderous dunk at 2:07 cut the Seattle lead to 5 points at 82-87.
Further costly turnovers and poor defence saw the Cavs close the gap with 3 easy buckets. Noah’s second chance bucket was good with 1:45 remaining and the score was then 88-87 in the Cavs’ favor. Durant scored a layup with 1:39 on the clock before adding two free throws with 55 seconds to get Seattle in the lead 88-91.
With Seattle looking in control, Rudy Gay didn’t need to do try hard to walk right into the paint and score an uncontested layup. “This was a terrible defensive effort tonight,” Coach Karl said, “Actually, there was no defensive effort at all. Just terrible.”
Kidd had two big chances to put the Stealth ahead in the final seconds with Durant under duress from the Cavs’ double teaming. His first was a layup that rolled off the rim and resulted in a Brock layup on the other end with 24 seconds left in the game. Brock’s bucket gave the Cavs a 1 point lead at 92-91.
A Stealth timeout led to a Kidd three pointer that was luckily cleaned up by Bogut and converted for a put back. Bogut’s offensive grab and bucket put Seattle ahead 92-93 with 14.5 second remaining. After a Cavs timeout, James dunked the ball with 7.9 seconds left put his team up for the final time: 94-93. With no timeouts to call, Durant rushed the ball up the floor. Durant, unable to find a good look, was forced to pass to Kidd who had a third chance to redeem himself. He watched on as his wide open shot attempt from the top of the key fell short.
Notes: Rocky Akonnor was impressive in his short stint on the court as he had 2 blocks and provided energy to help team stay close to Cavs… Kidd finished with 13 assists. He had 3 of his 4 missed shots in the final moments of the match… Reshawn Tyson scored 8 points in a quiet night…
Box Score wrote:Cleveland Cavaliers 12-5 (25 – 25 – 22 – 22 – 94)
Rudy Gay: 28 pts, 4 reb, 2 ast, 12-23 FG, 1-7 3PT, 3-3 FT
Lebron James: 23 pts, 7 ast, 2 stl, 1 blk, 9-19 FG, 0-5 3PT, 5-7 FT
Joakim Noah: 18 pts, 12 reb, 5 ast, 3 blk, 3 stl, 9-13 FG
Seattle Stealth 9-8 (27 – 23 – 20 – 23 – 93)
Kevin Durant: 32 pts, 5 reb, 3 ast, 1 blk, 1 stl, 12-17 FG, 1-1 3PT, 7-8 FT
Andrew Bogut: 20 pts, 10 reb, 2 blk, 10-18 FG
David Lee: 12 pts, 6 reb, 2 ast, 1 stl, 6-9 FG
Houndy wrote:9-8. Not playoff material. Hard loss, but hey, you should have let Kevin take a shit shot and pray for it to go in
Thierry • wrote:9-8 man, struggle... and man, that train logo sucks
shadowgrin wrote:L-Train! Loser Train
Updated: December 1, 2013
Sometimes You Can Only Work With What You Got
The number 2 pick of the 2009 NBA Draft has developed his own niche in Utah as a defensive machine.
Donnell Lawrence and his coaches are happy with the player he has become in Utah
By Woody Hannes
When Donnell Lawrence was selected by the Jazz in the 2009 NBA Draft, he was touted as the ‘second best player behind Moses Chara’ and a player with ‘tremendous upside, an already solid post game and a tough defender’. Some even called him ‘a future all-time great’. Five years down the track, the projections have not really panned out but for the Utah Jazz and the newly re-signed 27 year old; they are happy with the progress made.
The 27 year old out of Northwestern believes he now has the perfect role. “I am passionate about my team and I am passionate about doing what I do,” the 6’9”, 260 lbs power forward stated, “I am proud to be a player for the Jazz and I love playing defense.”
Lawrence reflected on the past offseason where he was rewarded with a meaty new contract with the Jazz, “It’s a blessing for me to be able to stay here. I love the fans and I love my teammates.” Lawrence seems genuinely happy with everything and doesn’t let any of the critics get to his head. Before this season, a lot of people called him a bust (and many still do call him a bust) because he does not score in double digits on a nightly basis. However, he claims that he never let it get to him and he just focused on what he could do on the court.
“I know that many people were probably expecting me to become a 20 point scorer and really lead this team,” Lawrence said, “I replaced Carlos Boozer who is a great player. I know that in my first two years in the league, I wasn’t getting the results I wanted either. I can understand all of the negative talk but after a while, I knew that my real calling was on the defensive end.”
As he keeps talking to me, I realize how passionate he is about hustling and working hard on defense. It is a refreshing change from contemporary basketball values that are all about scoring and all about making the highlight reel. “I never thought I would be this kind of player,” Lawrence admits, “When I was young, I was trying to be the next scoring machine.”
Lawrence was a solid scoring forward at the college level but received a rude awakening when he made it to the pros. His lack of post moves and lack of a dependable jump shot have meant low shooting percentages not preferable for a first or second offensive option. For a power forward and to shoot at a career clip of .452 FG%, he was never going to be a favorite of the retired Jerry Sloan’s when he was around as the Jazz coach. The Jazz have always supported him but they did eventually realize that he was not going to be a factor on the offensive end and that that is why the team signed Joe Johnson from Atlanta. “Coach Sloan always tried to make sure I didn’t get the rock unless I was wide wide open,” Lawrence laughs, “I wasn’t happy at the time obviously but looking back, Coach made me a better player.” This season, he is averaging 9.2 ppg at a career best accuracy of .485 FG%.
Despite the knocks against Lawrence’s scoring game, no one can deny that he has grown into a force off the ball. Lawrence is averaging career highs across the board this season with 11.9 rebounds, a league leading 3.2 offensive rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.8 blocks. “He is one of the most underrated players in this league,” Johnson praised his younger teammate.
Last season, Lawrence was called up by David Stern to the Western Conference All-Star bench and there was a lot of public outcry. At the time, Stern defended his decision to call up the Jazz man, “I think that people forget about the great NBA players who have served this league simply by being defensive stalwarts. Donnell’s selection to represent the West was to recognise his outstanding effort on that end of the floor.”
Lawrence is motivated to prove that he is an All-Star worthy player in the Western Conference and he has done a good job so far. He has scored in double figures in 8 of 16 games played including a season high of 20. Even more impressive is the fact that he has failed to grab double digit rebounds in just 3 games. Some may balk at his lack of scoring prowess but do the Jazz really need him scoring when Deron Williams (25 ppg, 8.4 apg), Joe Johnson (24 ppg), and Sidney Hooper (14 ppg) do most of that? And don’t forget the most important statistic, which is the Jazz 10-6 record.
As Lawrence enters the prime of his career, it is clear that he may never play to the level that people had predicted he would on the offensive end. Lawrence has accepted this and fully embraced what he believes he is capable of. “I love playing defense because that is the only part of the game you can control. You can’t control whether your shot will drop but you can control how many points your opponent scores on you,” Lawrence says. Wise words indeed.
shadowgrin wrote:Donnell Lawrence!
Always been a fan of defensive bigs.
This season has seen Reshawn Tyson close the gap between him and Durant as he is averaging 25.4 ppg. The success has been attributed to Tyson’s aggressiveness on offence that has not been seen since his North Carolina days. There are reports that it has caused disharmony in the locker room and the Stealth contemplating on whether to finally trade Tyson and get him out of his misery (Tyson asked to be signed and traded to the New York Knicks in the Summer but Seattle are staying firm). Tyson’s attitude and subsequent play has certainly not helped Seattle as they look medicore at best with a 9-8 record to close November.
Kevin Durant leads the team in scoring with 26.7 ppg and Bogut is their third best at 13.8 ppg. The team’s 9-8 record is the 7th best in the conference and 3rd in their division. Seattle have had to counter injuries to Iverson and Bogut and that is another reason for the team’s poor performance. As proof of the difficulty to win without their main players; since Bogut’s return to health, the team has been 5-2.
A positive of the season has been Bogut’s all-around numbers that prove he is the most important player so far. He’s had 9 points, 14 rebounds, 9 assists against Phoniex; 13 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists against Orlando; and 11 points, 12 rebounds, 8 assists against the Knicks over a 3-game stretch – all the games were wins for Seattle.
Durant was in hot form to start the season with 26 points in the team’s opener against Philadelphia. He then scored 38 against the Celtics in the second game of season. The Stealth then ran into three straight losses, including a 1 point heartbreaker against their rival Sacramento Kings, and bad news ensued in the third loss with Andrew Bogut dislocating his finger in a Stealth 97-106 loss to Atlanta. After a win against injury ravened Orlando, Stealth suffered another 3 game losing streak ending with a demoralizing 139-115 loss to Indiana. In that game, Durant had just 17 points and it was official that the Stealth do not look the same as the last season. Tyson helped snap the losing streak in a 132-93 win against Toronto Raptors. Tyson finished with 44 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists and Durant added 21 points and 7 rebounds.
The highlight of the month came later as Tyson and Seattle beat former UNC teammate Martti Must and the resurgent Phoenix Suns. 140-113. It was a total team effort led by Tyson who finished with 34 points, 8 rebounds, 9 assists, 3 steals in the 140-113 win. Kevin Durant was playing at a high level again with 30 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Andrew Bogut added 22 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, Jason Kidd with 18 points, 9 assists, Adam Morrison chipping in with 12 off the bench and David Lee putting up 12 points and 14 rebounds.
Although the Stealth fell in a thriller to Cleveland to end the month, players around the league still call them a championship caliber squad. MVP candidate Must had 18 points, 8 rebounds, 9 assists, 8 blocks in his team’s loss and described Seattle as a credible threat come playoff time, “I know that their record is not great but tonight they proved that they are a very strong team. They are contenders and I would be stupid to say they are not.”
New Jersey 10-6
New York 7-12
New Orleans 10-7
Golden State 9-7
LA Lakers 7-8
LA Clippers 7-11
San Antonio 5-11
B Roy, Blazers 26.9
K Durant, Stealth 26.7
B Gordon, Blazers 26.2
R Tyson, Stealth 25.4
C Anthony, Nets 25.3
D Wade, Heat 25.2
D Lawrence, Jazz 11.9
D Howard, Magic 11.7
M Must, Suns 11.6
G Oden, Blazers 10.2
A Horford, Hawks 10.1
E Okafor, Bobcats 10.0
B Steele, Nets 10.0
J Kidd, Stealth 9.2
R Rubio, Pacers 9.1
B Roy, Blazers 8.7
D Williams, Jazz 8.4
C Paul, Hornets 7.7
A Iguodala, Sixers 2.7
C Paul, Hornets 2.5
R Westbrook, Kings 2.4
K Dela Cruz, Mavs 2.4
D Wade, Heat 2.4
M Must, Suns 3.3
D Howard, Magic 3.3
K Dela Cruz, Mavs 2.8
J Kalnins, Wolves 2.7
C Andrews, Spurs 2.5
M Must, Suns 31.3
B Roy, Blazers 28.8
R Tyson, Stealth 28.6
M Chara, Kings 27.9
J Gray, Bucks 27.2
K Durant, Stealth 26.2
try to do tables for the standings but that is a lot of work
Houndy wrote:Look fine to me
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