When the discussion revolves around combo forwards, the superstars just have to come out and play.
LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony aren't even the only elite players at this position, which is populated by the guys who were thrown onto the court as both small forwards and power forwards for significant portions of the year. Paul Pierce is another example, even if he spent his career with the Boston Celtics lining up almost exclusively at the 3.
Is LeBron's perch atop the position safe? Did the futility of the New York Knicks allow a more unheralded player to surpass Melo?
The NBA 200 metric identifies the players who performed best during the 2013-14 season. Potential doesn't matter, and neither does reputation. It's all about what happened this season, and this season only. All positions are graded using the same criteria (though rim protection was added into the equation for bigger positions), but the categories are weighted differently to reflect changing roles, with max scores in parentheses:
- Scoring (20)
- Non-Scoring Offense: Facilitating (7) and Off-Ball Offense (10)
- Defense: On-Ball (18), Off-Ball (17) and Rim Protection (5)
- Rebounding (13)
- Intangibles: Conduct (5) and Durability (5)
For a full explanation of how these scores were determined, go here. And do note these aren't your father's classification schemes for each position. Players' spots were determined not by playing style but by how much time they spent at each position throughout the season, largely based on data from 82games.com, and we're expanding the traditional five to include four combo positions.
In the case of ties, the order is determined in subjective fashion by ranking the more coveted player in the higher spot. That was done by a voting committee comprised of myself, NBA Featured Columnist D.J. Foster, National NBA Featured Columnist Grant Hughes, NBA Lead Writer Josh Martin and Associate NBA Editor Ethan Norof.