FanPost

Name that forward


This list includes 9 of the best NBA forwards ordered by points per 40 minutes. In addition to scoring totals, I have also included scoring efficiency (TS%), the percentage of team possessions that player uses when on the court (USG), and the percentage of their shot attempts that are assisted. See if you can match names to numbers before jumping below the fold: (Aldridge, Anthony, Bosh, Durant, Griffin, James, Love, Nowitzki, Stoudemire)

Name Pnts TS% USG %Ast
? 30.9 62.6 32.22 37.7
? 29.7 54.9 34.78 37.7
? 28.3 59.4 32.12 48.1
? 24.9 55.2 29.86 72.4
? 24.1 53.5 27.04 72.5
? 24.1 55.9 27.04 45.2
? 23.6 55.7 27.01 73
? 23 51.6 28.04 61
? 21.3 56.2 24.49 75

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Let's remove the curtain.

Name Pnts TS% USG %Ast
James 30.9 62.6 32.22 37.7
Anthony 29.7 54.9 34.78 37.7
Durant 28.3 59.4 32.12 48.1
Griffin 24.9 55.2 29.86 72.4
Aldridge 24.1 53.5 27.04 72.5
Love 24.1 55.9 27.04 45.2
Nowitzki 23.6 55.7 27.01 73
Stoudemire 23 51.6 28.04 61
Bosh 21.3 56.2 24.49 75

Now take another look at these numbers. In particular pay attention to where Kevin Love ranks in terms of USG and %Ast. Pretty much every attempt to peg Love as "below superstar quality" or "undeserving of a max contract" focuses on his inability to "create shots" or "put the team on his back".

These claims seem pretty silly when you look at his numbers up against forwards who almost never receive that brand of criticism. Sure his usage is towards the bottom of this list, but he is still tied with Aldridge and above Dirk and Bosh. I think the most telling statistic here is how little Love relies on assists to get his points. Each of the other "big" forwards rely considerably more on being setup by someone else to score points. Love actually fits in much better with guys like LeBron, Carmelo, and Durant in terms of creating offensive opportunities on his own.

Keep this comparison in mind the next time someone tells you Kevin Love isn't a "Banana Sandwich."

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