Kevin Durant's incredible season has captured the world's attention, as the Oklahoma City Thunder small forward not only led the league in scoring, but he also became an all-around superstar capable of challenging for ultimate supremacy throughout the Association.
But he's not the only big name at small forward.
Paul George joins him at the position, as do a number of other standouts and household names. Plus, there's a large group of underrated players whose play merited more attention than their seasons actually received.
There's a lot to be excited about in this positional ranking. As a caveat, though, don't go into it expecting to receive the answer to the Durant vs. LeBron James question. The Miami Heat standout was a combo forward this season, so he will not be appearing in this particular segment of the series.
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 (10) and Off-Ball Offense (10)
- Defense: On-Ball (20) and Off-Ball (20)
- Rebounding (10)
- 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 Lead Writer D.J. Foster, National NBA Featured Columnist Grant Hughes, NBA Lead Writer Josh Martin and Associate NBA Editor Ethan Norof.