Composite Score Ranks the NBA: Small Forwards

For an explanation of Composite Score and numbers for every player in the league, go to

1. Name: LeBron James. Composite Score Percentile: 100.0%

This was an easy one. James is the best player in the league. The argument is generally Kobe vs. LeBron (although I think Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, and Dwight Howard should also be in there), but to me it’s pretty clear. Kobe’s game may be prettier to watch and he may in fact have more skills than LeBron, but in terms of overall production James is the winner. He is more efficient on offense and racks up rebounds and assists to go along with his high scoring totals. Not only that, but the King has improved considerably with his defense, something Bryant always had the edge in.

2. Name: Andrei Kirilenko. Composite Score Percentile: 96.28%

After LeBron there’s a decent-sized drop-off until you find the second best small forward. Putting Kirilenko this high may surprise people, but it doesn’t surprise me. Composite Score has been a huge fan of AK47 since he came into the league, particularly of his defense. Playing as the sixth man in Utah has been great for Kirilenko and has made Jazz fans a little less concerned about the large contract he received a few years ago. His offense lags behind his D, but he’s efficient enough to not be terrible in that area either.

3. Name: Andre Iguodala. Composite Score Percentile: 94.12%

Iguodala could also qualify as a shooting guard, but my numbers put him at this position (what’s the difference anyway?). Not to doubt his abilities, but part of the reason Iguodala is ranked third is because of the relative lack of talent at this position. People often say that center and point guard are the most important and hardest positions to find, but the NBA is loaded with talent at those two spots right now. As for Iguodala, Sixers fans may be surprised to see him this high. His offense has clearly not been up to his normal standards. But his defense is among the very best in the NBA, regardless of position. I can’t see that lasting though, so Iggy may slip a bit as the season wears on.

4. Name: Paul Piece. Composite Score Percentile: 93.81%

The explanation for Pierce is pretty similar to the one for Iguodala. His offense has slipped a bit (although not as much), but his strong defense has kept him in consideration for one of the best at this position. Unlike Iguodala, I expect Pierce’s numbers to improve as the season moves along. Thanks to Boston’s great team defense, his Defensive Composite Score will not drop much, if at all. You also expect Pierce to find his rhythm, so his Offensive Composite Score should increase.

5. Name: Shane Batter. Composite Score Percentile: 93.19%

A favorite of mine and others who take an in-depth look at basketball statistics. There are two reasons why Battier ranks well in Composite Score. First, as I’ve said many times, a player’s defense is literally 50% of this statistic, and Battier’s been famous for his defense for quite some time. Secondly, offensive efficiency goes a long way towards having a good OCS. Battier only attempts the shots he knows he can make, including a lot of three-pointers. This leads to a high Offensive Rating.

Honorable Mentions: Danny Granger, Ron Artest, Peja Stojakovic, Shawn Marion

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