Dwyer: The 10 Best Small Forwards of the Last Decade
Old 09-29-2009, 02:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Dwyer: The 10 Best Small Forwards of the Last Decade

Cant Say I disagree....but they kinds messed up the SF/SG IMO....

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OK, we know the first decade of the 21st century doesn't really end until 2011. We think. But we also know there have been 10 full NBA seasons played since the phrase "Y2K" was on all of our lips (1999-2000), and here at Ball Don't Lie we've decided to use this as an offseason excuse to rank some of the best and not-so-brightest of the 10 campaigns in question. The result? Why, top 10 lists!

No, Scottie Pippen wasn't the best small forward of all time. Far from it.

But he helped define the position. And that position? You're in a position where you're expected to do just about everything well. Score, board, pass, dribble, defend, shoot, play, hard, play.

We think the following players have held up quite well to Pippen's on-court challenge. After the jump, you'll find the top 10 small forwards of the last decade.

10. Jamal Mashburn

He may not have changed the game much, but Mash was an all-around forward who basically made life hellish for any coach who underestimated his "nah, he's no game-changer"-abilities.

Scores in the post, scored off of hard dribbles, scored on the perimeter, and got to the line. Also made the right pass, played a bit of point forward, and rebounded well enough. His career was more or less over by the mid-point of the decade, but Mash could play. Remember that.


9. Andre Iguodala

In a pinch, his shot selection can be a bit crap. His handles aren't there, his perimeter touch isn't much to write home about, and he can gamble defensively.

Everything else? He's just fine. Scores, passes, uses his athleticism, contributes. Sure, he isn't what we'd hope for, considering the athletic package presented, but that hardly matters in the face of what he's given the 76ers since 2004. He may frustrate, but the ends help argue away the means.

8. Rashard Lewis

The Magic list him at power forward, which is quaint, but the man is a small forward. He stays on the perimeter, he worked the position in Seattle, he's a small forward.

Lewis' game hasn't exactly been the sort of stuff chilling docudramas have been made of, but he can shoot, he scores in double figures, and he can shoot. Shoots well, also.


7. Richard Jefferson

Because of his appearance on several nationally televised games per season, Jefferson tends to come off as a superduperstar. He isn't. But he's been pretty good, solid in all areas, since the 2001-02 season.

6. Joe Johnson

Johnson isn't the franchise player the Atlanta Hawks pegged him as, but as a do-it-all wing, he's damn good.

If Joe's legs are there, few are better at breaking down defenses and making a solid decision with the ball. He's a passable defender, a very good passer, a fine finisher in the paint, and someone worth defending behind the three-point line.


5. Peja Stojakovic

Peja's more or less finished, but he was a knockout scorer for years with the Sacramento Kings, on very good teams.

Though Predrag was drafted in 1996, Stojakovic didn't come over to the States until 1999, working as a backup wing during the lockout year. And his blend of quick and accurate shooting alongside post scoring made him a consistent All-Star during the decade.


4. Carmelo Anthony

As it is with just about every small forward on this list, 'Melo's game has holes. Doesn't defend well enough, could stand to pass better, take better, shots, and rebound better.

But he's adequate in most areas, and fantastic at putting the ball in the hole. And after a 2008-09 season that was a bit of a letdown individually, we see Anthony bouncing back.


3. Tracy McGrady

McGrady's been grimacing and in pain for most of the decade, but he's also been a standout wing. At his best, and at his healthiest, he has no limitations. No holes, nothing to work on, nothing to worry about.

Pity that he's had so, so much to worry about.


2. Paul Pierce

One year, 2003-04, didn't work out all that well. Pierce slept through the entire season.

Actually, 2006-07 was kind of a drag, Pierce was hurt and the Celtics stunk it up, but other than that? He's been all you can ask for as a small forward. Kind of annoying, pretty potent, sound in all areas.


1. LeBron James

Nobody on this list has come close to be considered the best player in the game. McGrady may have been there for a spell, but it was fleeting. Peja was thought of as an MVP candidate one year, but that was nuts. Anthony had promise, and while he hasn't let anyone down, he still isn't thought of as an MVP-type.

James? He's been at the top of the heap for a while. One of a few players who fighting for the top spot in the NBA in 2005-06, took a step back in 2006-07, and the game's best ever since. Fully worth the hype, the attention, while nearly making the idea of a position useless.

Small forward? Feh. Classifying things with LeBron, by position? It makes no sense.


LINK: The top 10 small forwards of the last decade - Ball Don't Lie - NBA - Yahoo! Sports

Last edited by VanCity; 09-29-2009 at 02:07 PM.
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Old 09-29-2009, 02:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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the SF position this past decade is very week

does Glenn Rice or Grant Hill fit into this
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Old 09-29-2009, 02:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Iggy, T-Mac, and JJ are all shooting guards. But maybe I'm splitting hairs here...
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Old 09-29-2009, 02:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zachus View Post
Iggy, T-Mac, and JJ are all shooting guards. But maybe I'm splitting hairs here...
i agree with you....
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Old 09-29-2009, 02:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Windex View Post
the SF position this past decade is very week

does Glenn Rice or Grant Hill fit into this
Ya they missed Grant Hill forsure...he should be on that list....
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Old 09-29-2009, 02:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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come to think of it if you name the 20 best SF's of all time only LeBron would be on the list

when I think SF its Bird, Nique, Dr. J, Worthy, Pippen, English, Moses
all 80's-90's
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Old 09-29-2009, 02:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Iggy doesnt deserve to be there... if Mashburn is on there (and deservedly so, then how do you look past Grant Hill)?
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Old 09-29-2009, 02:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hill's glory years were with the Pistons, and he was only there until 2000. It's not a huge omission IMO.
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Old 09-29-2009, 02:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hill shouldn't be there.

His injury problems started a decade ago...
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Old 09-29-2009, 03:53 PM   #10 (permalink)
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shawn marion should be on this list.
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Old 09-29-2009, 03:58 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Where the fuck is Jamario Moon?
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Old 09-29-2009, 04:05 PM   #12 (permalink)
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shawn marion should be on this list.
Damn right! Should be there before Iggy and possibly Mashburn!
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Old 09-29-2009, 05:54 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I agree w/ others. Tmac/Iggy/JJ are SG's. I also agree that the Matrix should be listed around 7 - 10 IMHO.
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Old 09-29-2009, 05:56 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Hill's glory years were with the Pistons, and he was only there until 2000. It's not a huge omission IMO.
ughhh i feel old
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Old 09-29-2009, 06:09 PM   #15 (permalink)
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How the fuck is Iggy on that list. He doesn't deserve to be, atleast not at this point
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:07 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Why isn't Michael Finley on this list? The guy carried the Mavs teams in the early part of the decade.
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:19 PM   #17 (permalink)
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^I voted him for him on the SG list
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Old 09-29-2009, 11:07 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Mcgrady in his prime was one of the funnest players to watch ever. Some of the shots he made were just amazing. And he was maybe the funnest player to watch in NBA history when he got hot because he literally made EVERYTHING from ANYWHERE. Too bad injuries destroyed him.
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Old 09-30-2009, 08:02 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Hedo must be on this list instead of Lewis,he's a better SF than Lewis.And I agree about Iguadala and T-Mac,they're not SF.
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Old 10-03-2009, 05:25 PM   #20 (permalink)
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What about Kevin Durant? he's only been in the league a few years, but I would put him put there with those guys
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