Melo, Durant, and Rethinking the Value of SF

Last night, I watched Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant go at it in a battle of the pure scorers. Actually, let's make that "pure small forwards," but I don't know if that will be met with any less disdain. ↵
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↵Forwards like Anthony and Durant are the second-class citizens of the NBA star system. No matter how efficient Melo becomes, or how much Durant realizes his awesome potential, they'll always be penalized for their "limitations." They'll make the All-Star team, and garner fan attention, but at the end of the day, experts will tell you that the season turned on point guards, big men and multi-tooled guards—the latter shoehorned in by the bullying legacy of Michael Jordan. And the stark way in which Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade or Brandon Roy can take over all facets of a game. ↵
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↵Small forwards, no matter how excellent, have to stand on and watch, or be subject to all sorts of second-guessing. They can put up points, rebound a little and improve as defenders, all non-essential, or token, contributions. So why do they matter? Without them, their teams would be nothing. But they come under scrutiny that, for reasons that stem from the most narrow-minded basketball thinking, other stars avoid. Centers and power forwards? Big men and defense win championships. Point guards? Quarterbacks controlling the action. Kobe, Wade, or Roy? You try and argue against that one.
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↵Read the rest of this entry >>↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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