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

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Lebron James

May 15, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) during the second half against the Chicago Bulls in game five of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena. Miami Heat won 94-91. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Nearly-unanimous MVP winner, LeBron James has played the least amount of games out of anyone else on the list, thanks to a 4-0 sweep of the Milwaukee Bucks and a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Bulls Bulls. He has averaged 24 points and seven boards in his last eight games. James has averaged 39 minutes in the playoffs, again the least of any of the other players on this list.

Like Kevin Durant, James is the primary scoring option on his team, but let’s compare his stats with over the last games with Barnes over the last three games, games in which Barnes was the primary scoring option.

Here is where the numbers get interesting, as Barnes is not that far off from Lebron: 24 points to 21 points and seven boards to eight boards. Now, clearly there are imperfections with using such a small sample size, and the fact that the Miami Heat have not had that many close games this postseason means that the actual reliance on James has been much less. But even accepting all those facts, it’s clear that Barnes can compete with the best.