The Top 10 NBA Small Forwards for 2009-2010
The small forward is usually the most versatile player on the team. He should be able to shoot threes, have a mid-range game, handle the ball, make plays for teammates, have a post up game, post up, rebound and other tasks to be able to be the best small forward he can be.
Here is a list of the 10 guys that are expected to do it the best in the upcoming 09-10 NBA season.
10. Gerald Wallace -- Charlotte Bobcats
Gerald Wallace is irrefutably one of the most underrated players in the game. This can mainly be attributed to the small market that is in Charlotte.
Let me tell you a little about him. He averaged 16.6 ppg and an outstanding 7.8 rpg as a small forward. Wallace's game is hustle and energy. He plays all-out all the time, even if it endangers his health. This is shown by his 4 concussions throughout his career. Wallace is also a great shot-blocker and highflyer which combines into a highlight play every night.
Look for G-Force to lead the revamped and Larry Brown-led Bobcats to their first ever playoff seed.
9. Ron Artest -- Los Angeles Lakers
Ron Arest is perhaps the best defender in the game today. He may also be the biggest trouble-maker in the game. He gets to now provide his services to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Artest had a valuable 08-09 year, finishing with averages of 17.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg, and 3.2 apg. His numbers may not stand out but he proved himself capable of many things last year. He behaved, dealt with the usual Rockets' injuries, and most impressively he led a T-Macless and Yao-less Rockets team to a Game 7 against the future world champions.
Now Artest gets to play for these world champions as he has joined a loaded team in Los Angeles. It is almost unfair.
8. Hedo Turkoglu -- Toronto Raptors
Hedo Turkoglu is one of the most complete small forwards and players in the game today. He represents Turkish and international players well.
Turkoglu averaged 16.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg, and 4.9 apg in his 08-09 campaign. He is an excellent playmaker and has great court vision. Along with that, he is a great shooter and can hit clutch shots.
The Turkish Michael Jordan will help the Toronto Raptors bid for a playoff spot in the 09-10 season.
7. Andre Iguodala -- Philadelphia 76ers
Andre Iguodala is the young superstar in Philly. Philly had to settle for this new "AI" when Allen Iverson left town and they were not disappointed.
The 25-year old has not made the all-star team yet and is somewhat underrated in my opinion. His averages of 18.8 ppg, 5.7 rpg, and 5.3 apg backup my claim. He can get to the rim and finish strong and has an improving jumper.
Iggy will once again lead the young Philadelphia 76ers to try to again capture a playoff seed. Hopefully, Elton Brand can make a strong comeback and gel well with the running team.
6. Caron Butler -- Washington Wizards
Caron Bulter is now-a-days the man for the Washington WIzards. Although Gilbert Arenas' injury has devastated the Wizards over these past couple years, Butler has really shined.
Averaging 20.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg, and 4.3 apg in the 08-09 season shows he did a lot for the young Wizards squad last year. He has polished all parts of his game and perfected his ball-handling skills. He has a nasty crossover and can shoot it in your face as well.
If the Wizards can have a strong 09-10 season, expect "Tough Juice" to be a main factor in it and perhaps get another all-star appearance.
5. Kevin Durant -- Oklahoma City Thunder
Kevin Durant is an extremely young and offensively blessed 20-year old. Despite being the league only two years, I can confidently put him 5th on this list.
In his 2nd year in the league he put up jaw-dropping averages of 25.3 ppg, 6.5 rpg, and 2.8 apg. Not only that, but he shot 47.6% from the field, 42.2% from the three-point line, and 86.3% from the free-throw line. Despite his small frame he was still able to rack up that many rebounds, can throw down strong, and is a great shot-blocker thanks to his lengthy arms.
KD is a young emerging superstar and everyone should be scared of Oklahoma City's potential in a couple of years.
4. Danny Granger -- Indiana Pacers
Danny Granger is the new superstar in the league. He has made a name for himself after taking the Most Improved Player Award and getting an all-star appearance.
Granger averaged 25.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg, and 2.7 apg for the 08-09 NBA season. He established himself as an elite scorer and hit some clutch shots for the Indiana Pacers.
DG33 will no doubt try lead the Indiana Pacers to a playoff berth in the 09-10 season. He will need some help though.
3. Paul Pierce -- Boston Celtics
Paul Pierce is the self-acclaimed "best player in the world". I believed him for a while too, especially after he torched LeBron and Kobe en route to a Finals MVP.
Last year, it looked like he lost a step or two after finishing the longest postseason for a team. He needed to step up and carry the Garnett-less Celtics but couldn't at times. He still managed to put together an impressive season of 20.5 ppg, 5.6 rpg, and 3.6 apg.
"The Truth" will once again be in the hunt for his second ring. The hunt will be made easier after the great offseason pickups for the Celtics.
2. Carmelo Anthony -- Denver Nuggets
Carmelo Anthony finally got out of the first-round last year in the 08-09 campaign. He showed everyone he was not just a selfish scorer but a team player that was committed to winning.
He finished the season with averages of 22.8 ppg, 6.8 rpg, and 3.4 apg. They are a slight drop from his 07-08 year but he was committed to taking better shots and sharing the rock more. 'Melo also had a more behaved year than previous years.
You better know that 'Melo will continue his impressive play in the 09-10 season so he can prove himself to be in the Kobe/LeBron/Wade conversation.
1. LeBron James -- Cleveland Cavaliers
LeBron James is half the face of the NBA right now. You know who the other half is.
James averaged an incredible 28.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg, and 7.2 apg while averaging a career-low 37.7 minutes per game. He pretty much single-handedly led an over-acheiving Cleveland Cavaliers' team to a 66-16 record. He deserved the MVP.
King James will once again treat the NBA as his kingdom and rule over it in the 09-10 NBA season.
Rudy Gay -- Memphis Grizzlies:
Rudy Gay is improving evey year and may be on this list in a couple of years. He just needs to improve his overall play next year and claim the Memphis Grizzlies as his team. If not, OJ Mayo may take it from him.
John Salmons -- Chicago Bulls:
The new Chicago Bull replenished Chicago towards the end of last season. With Ben Gordon leaving Salmons should benefit, but Rose will benefit more. Also, Luol Deng will be back to claim his SF spot and Tyrus Thomas will play at both forward spots at times.
Richard Jefferson -- San Antonio Spurs:
The new Spur had inflated stats when Redd and Bogut were done for the year in Milwaukee. In San Antonio he will return to his average stats and be a slightly above average player.
Josh Howard -- Dallas Mavericks:
The Maverick had a tough 08-09 season as he had to clear his image and fight off injuries. He is capable of being a top 10 SF as he was during the Mavericks' Finals run and the year after that's league-leading 67-15 record.
Stephen Jackson -- Golden State Warriors:
A talented small forward that does not receive any attention because of the team he plays for. The Warriors are irrelevant because of their coach and play style.