The other day, Pierce was rated 3rd on a list of Small Forwards... Today, RealGM ranks him second on their list. Only LeBron James is ranked higher.
Small forward is perhaps the most difficult position to play due to the workload that the spot carries. The attributes that set the great small forwards from the good ones are scoring from inside and out, defending perimeter and post, guarding big and small guys, rebounding on both ends, blocking shots, stealing the ball – basically any attribute possessed from point guard to center must be visible in the game of a great small forward.
2) Paul Pierce
At age 28, Paul Pierce had a career year in Boston. Aside from his rookie year, Pierce has been an iron man in the NBA and has overcome the odds as he predicted when he was selected with the tenth pick in the 1998 NBA Draft.
Last year, Pierce decided that he would not allow the lack of a supporting cast affect him and took the team on his back. Pierce may not have the support now, but as players like Al Jefferson, Gerald Green and Sebastian Telfair mature, the team will only get better.
In order for Pierce to excel, Danny Ainge will have to yield some results in the near future or risk lowering his superstar player’s morale.
In the meantime, Pierce continues to be a top-10 scorer and a true franchise player. He’s had five straight all-star game appearances and has lead the Celtics to the Eastern Conference finals.
I'm not sure if they consider Vince Carter a SF, but at one point, he was listed higher than Pierce. But what has set Pierce apart from Carter is his durability. Not only is Pierce a stronger player, but he also takes the ball to the rim more often and makes more trips to the line.
I have grown to appreciate Pierce, ever since last year when his game started changing for the better.
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#2 may seem high, considering that Shawn Marion and Andre Kirilenko are also deserving of the honor. But Pierce has been climbing up the charts since his big year last season.
Imagine how strong our team will be when guys like Jefferson, Green, Perkins, Gomes, Telair (or Rondo), Delonte, Powe, and Tony start becoming consistent contributors. Pierce will have more teammates helping him win games.