Ranking the Best Defensive Small Forwards in the NBA

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Ranking the Best Defensive Small Forwards in the NBA
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

In the third of a five-part series ranking every rotation player in the NBA who played at least 1,200* minutes last season, here are the small forward** rankings.

The first two articles ranked the point guards and the shooting guards based on two new metrics, Weighted Averaged Metrics (WAM) and WAM with Scouting (WAMS). The method for them is explained in the point guard rankings.

Broadly speaking, over 7,000 pieces of data on 226 players, in 16 different categories, were compiled into a database. Then, over 10,000 video clips were viewed, and players were evaluated based on subjective criteria.

Then, all of that was reduced to a simple number, which projects what a team of like-skilled players would give up in 100 possessions. Therefore, the lower the score, the better it is. The WAMS for the top 10 players is listed next to their name.

The number in parentheses next to the WAM and scouting scores in the slide represents each player's rank in that category.


*There are a small number of players, Derrick Rose, Danny Granger, Kevin Love and Andrew Bynum, who have been selected to at least one All-Star game and are still in their prime, but did not play sufficient minutes to qualify last season. In those cases, the numbers from 2012 were used to rank them.

**Some players, such as Andre Iguodala, play multiple positions. In such cases, they are usually listed by what position they are expected to play more minutes in next season's rotation, although there are exceptions. Overall, don't get too hung up on which position is "right." 

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