NBA Playoffs: Where Does Harrison Barnes Rank Among the Best Small Forwards?

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Kevin Durant

May 15, 2013; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant (35) reacts after missing a shot against the Memphis Grizzlies during the second half of game five of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The Grizzlies defeated the Thunder 88-84. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Durant has arguably been playing the best out of any of the other small forwards on the list in the postseason, averaging 32 points and nine rebounds per game. He has also played the most minutes per game of anyone on this last, playing nearly 44 minutes during the playoffs.

Now on paper, Durant is outscoring and out rebounding Barnes, but there are a few key important things to consider. One, he is the primary scoring option on his team, which is made more clear when we consider the average field goals attempted by both, as Durant is, on average, attempting nine more shots per game than Barnes, and he is making nearly five more shots than him.

When we consider that Durant is the go-to scoring option on the Thunder, and Barnes is the third option behind Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry, the scoring discrepancy means a little bit less. Over his last three games, in which he has been arguably the go-to scoring option with Thompson and Curry struggling, the discrepancy becomes less noticeable, as Barnes has been scoring 21 points and grabbing eight boards. Obviously, it’s a shorter sampler size.

In terms of the other small forwards on this least, Durant is the only small forward to be taller than Barnes, albeit only be one inch.


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Tags: Carmelo Anthony Golden State Warriors Harrison Barnes Indiana Pacers Kevin Durant LeBron James Miami Heat NBA NBA Playoffs New York Knicks Oklahoma City Thunder Paul George