NBA / Feb 4, 2009 / 1:40 pm

Is Carmelo Anthony the Best Small Forward in the West?

Carmelo Anthony‘Melo

He thinks so. In fact, there’s no doubt in Carmelo Anthony‘s mind that he’s the best three in the West.

“I’m the only one out here in the West,” Anthony said Tuesday. “Can you name one better?”

To say that he’s the “only one” in the West is a bit of a fallacy. Tracy McGrady, Ron Artest, Josh Howard, Kevin Durant, and Rudy Gay might not be better than ‘Melo, but they’re elite small forwards too.

With ‘Melo pretty much locking up that top spot, the best question is who takes No. 2? I’m not just saying this to make Austin happy, but I think that Kevin Durant could claim that spot. He’s averaging 25 points per night, shooting 48% from the field. He’s made some other big strides since his rookie year, as he’s now wetting close to 42% of his tries from three, and his rebounds are up too to 6.7 per night.

What do you think?

Source: Real GM

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  • akash

    Kevin Durant all day. He’ll be taking melos spot by this time next season if he already hasnt.

  • mavs all the way

    and who isn’t in the all-star again? i pity melo. the only one in the west? really? are you smoking something again?

  • AB_40

    on offense he’s the best out west… on D he’s getting better. but yeah he’s the best small forward in the western confrence.

    and the all star game this year is a shamockery… thanks ben wallace:P

  • Ian

    durant is the best imo melo must be crazy to say hes the only one out there. overall caron pierce bron are better than him also but thats just me.

  • Charles

    I’m not ready to give the title of #1 to Melo, not at all. The last time I checked there are two ends of the court the offensive which he has down pat but the defensive he is still a liability.
    1. KD
    2. Melo
    3. Howard
    4. Gay
    5. Artest
    6. Tmac (only b/c he’s injured all the time, possibly would be 1 or 2 if he wasn’t made of glass)

  • control

    KD is probably better than Melo.
    TMac at 75% is better than Melo.
    Ron Artest is better via retard strength.
    Rudy Gay will be better soon most likely.

    The major problem with Melo is he is exactly the same player he was when he was a rookie. Has he improved even one aspect of his game or gained any additional skills?

    He’s pretty good when he is playing a power forward role against small forwards, but he’s HORRIBLE from the outside and he can be beasted by power forwards if that were his official position. I could see Dirk beasting him down low…kid is a softy.

    With Melo’s poor FG%s and huge ego, he’s quickly approaching AI’s status as a jacker and team killer.

    BTW Dime, you sure about that 48% and 42% for fg and 3pt? nba.com is sayin 44% and 41%.

  • Gerard

    T-Mac is an SG.
    Durant > Melo
    Artest is up there, if only because of his intensity, heart, and defense.
    Gay is approaching.

    If Melo is the cornerstone of your franchise, your goal better be to make money not to win championships.

  • http://allintheeyes.com the rocket cat


    Carmelo Anthony is not the best small forward in the West. He misses too many shots. He turns the ball over too often. He’s not good on D.

  • IG

    What about Corey Maggette? We can’t leave him out of the discussion.

  • kevin k

    LOL @ control’s explanation. 1v1 Melo is the best by far. No way KD can stop Melo. Rudy Gay is the most overrated player who is all athleticism and no skills. IF KD plays the way he is playing now and adds more strength while improving his D, KD will be the best.

  • kevin k

    Also, I always said last year that if the Nuggets had Shane Battier over Carmelo when they had AI, the Nuggets would have been the top 3 team in the West.

  • control


    Yes, we can leave “Bad Porn” out of the discussion…

  • Big North

    I can’t say he’s the best in the west when Ron, if he needs, to could score just as much AND play some d. Carmelo’s matador D has him out of his own argument.

  • Prof. TX

    Durant, McGrady, and Artest could all take that spot away from him on any given night. It’s not nearly as clear as his bruised little ego wants it to be.

  • fallinup

    Melo got passed up by Durant this season. KD is on another level right now. And he’s only getting better.

  • mavs all the way

    but here’s what he actually said – “I’m the only one out here in the West,” ONLY ONE.
    here’s the list melo:
    lakers – trevor
    spurs – bowen
    blazers – outlaw, batum
    hornets – peja
    rockets – artest, tmac, shane
    mavs – JHo
    suns – ghill, barnes
    jazz – kirilenko
    wolves – mike miller
    gs – Flirty SJack, Bad Porn
    grizz – gay
    okc – durant
    sac – jsalmons
    clips – al thornton

    he may be the best out of this list but not the only one.

  • IG

    Maggette isn’t good enough? Who is Bad Porn?

  • Sheedfan87

    Got to be Durant…Would Stephen Jackson be considered a three? I know he’s running a lot of point this season, but dude is 6’6″. I’d probably throw Jackson above McGrady and Gay if we were talking about this season.

  • control


    Maggette is “Bad Porn”. Dubbed so by GS fans who say that even though there’s scoring and penetration, you aren’t entirely sure you like what you are watching…

  • G

    The number one argument against Melo Ive heard is that he plays no D. But to those people that want to put Durant above him, how much D is Durant really playing?

  • Sallo

    I wonder if people watch games or just decide to give there opinions based on what they see on sports center. KD is a horrible defender. Melo is just starting to play defence. Artest?? One dimensional play that can’t create his own shot. At best a third option. I didn’t expect Durant to be playing this well, but talk about a gunner. The kid is clutch tho. Don’t sleep on him. Melo shots alot(way down now), but he hasn’t missed the playoffs yet. Skills wise he is the best SF. If you watch more than two games on any of these guys then you should comment. I can’t stand pretend fans.

  • Chaos

    T-Mac is an SG. Carmelo is the best SF in the west right now. Durant is second followed by artest and Gay. Gay isnt a good defender either, and hasnt developed an outsiode shot. Ron-Ron has the D, the heart and the effort but he shoots jus as low a percentage as melo, especially when he really gets going. Durant is not yet a great defender either. anyone who sees melos game can see how his game has gotten better.

  • Banga

    Melo over Durant

    You can’t deny the fact that since Durant has moved back to his natural SF position that he has been killing it!

    They’re both Elite scorers, Decent Rebounders. Although Durant has better percentages, He wasn’t playign injured a the beginning of the year like melo. Who has brought up his FG% this year.

    For me it comes down to this…
    When all is else relatively equal who do you give the ball to with 3 seconds left???

    Carmelo Anthony

  • http://www.myspace.com/beenobrown BROGDEN

    Carmelo gets the nod only because of time-in, accomplishments, and stuff like that…

    But trust me, the Oklahoma bol, skill-wise, is BETTER.

    Kevin IS the Best 3 in the West.

    NO DOUBT IN MIND about that!

    And he plays consistent D to go along with his plethora of moves.

    Carmelo’s got a whole lotta RAZZLE but only a lil’ “D”azzle.

    Carmelo’s team is currently 3rd in the West. Chauncy, Martin, Nene, etc are VERY solid…ALL STAR even, so they have a better team.

    OKC SUCKS TAINT…but that aint Durant’s fault.

    There goes my two pennies.

  • JH

    And don’t forget about AK47 (when healthy)…he’s the all around type of player I wouldn’t mind playing with.

    Might even pass the ball back to you if your’e open.

  • Ric Hardwood

    post #6 was right on… He has the same skill set as when he was a rookie… and I don’t think he’s working to improve so KD will be passing him…soon… He only looks slightly better this year because he’s actually playing with a real PG… He will never be the best player on a Championship contender team… NEVER. lol

  • http://www.myspace.com/beenobrown BROGDEN

    Chaos – both KD and Melo have been steadily continuing…that’s why the argument, for sure, will only be about these 2 for a long time.

    Sallo — KD is horrible though??????????????

    NO. He’s not. He’s TRIES. That’s all you can ask.

    These guys in the NBA are big and fast and strong. You’re going to get beat…sometimes.

    That’s why it’s all about the EFFORT, good ol’ fashion PERSISTENCE.

    Persistent D + Consistent D = Good D

    They’re both getting there…

  • jones

    Why did Melo say the West?
    Isn’t he better than LeBron going by some of the arguments here as to why he is better than KD?

    The best in the West is KD.

  • Sallo

    Brogden your right. My bad. I should’t ever use the word horrible as long as they try. Unlike Lebron’s J there is no other way to describe it.

  • doc (i like kobe AND bron)

    Melo improved every year.Some of yall just cant afford league pass.U goddamn right he the best SF in the West.And Durant is second.All the rest cant hold up to them 2.

  • nick

    i’d give the nod to melo now. but durant is catching up quick. melo’s d is getting better as well as his rebs, but he needs to do more then that.

  • LakeShow84

    we should all stop the hatin..

    Unfortunately Melo is the best SF in the west.. and that doesnt say to much good about the west.. I give Durant one more year (if he continues to progress the way he has).. KD is getting better and his rebounds are rising but his problem is his width.. Hes too small so if he works hard this year on bulking up he will be the hardest SF in the west PERIORD.. Now Melo in the L?? not even top 5 IMO..

    G. Wallace
    J Smoove

    Now while the last three are debatable i think they are better WELL ROUNDED players.. Play D, hustle all day AND score when needed.. Well Jsmoove got an ugly J but he still fills it up..

  • jeremy

    Tmac and KD are 2s and you’re insane if you think artest, gay or howard are better than melo. Durant is by far the worst defender of the group. FYI, 50% of the group is from MD.

  • control


    What has Melo improved year to year? Other than losing a little bit of the baby fat on his face, and tanking his public image, he is the same person he was in the NCAA…a good low post scorer who can’t quite bang with power low post players, instead relying on his horrible outside shooting way too often.

  • Bron42 aka Downtown Funky Stuff Malone

    some of ya’ll are really funny..control saying he didn’t improve? considering most of his stats and % are up, its a pretty easy argument. Meanwhile KD guns for one of the worst teams in the league AND plays no defense but your saying hes better? Melo posts up more than bron does.

  • http://jerseyspot.blogspot.com Vince

    did we almost have a daily fantasy today? :)

  • control


    Of course Melo posts up more than LeBron does, what does that have to do with anything?

    Didn’t you read my earlier post? Melo plays like a power forward who doesn’t have any power unless he is taking smaller guys into the post. He’s got some good footwork, is very crafty 5-10ft from the rim and he can over power most SFs. He’s soft though, he ain’t posting anyone equal or bigger than him up, instead he relies on his outside jumpshot (which isn’t as good as LBJ’s…which you keep pointing out is HORRIBLE!!!).

    As for his stats going up, this year they are almost exact as his rookie year. His ppg has went up and down a little bit, as have his %s. His turn overs remain steady at pretty high, his assists remain steady at pretty low. His steals and blocks remain steady at non-existent.

    Melo is a weaker and softer version of Elton Brand who doesn’t play very motivating defense.

  • jeremy

    “he relies on his outside jumpshot (which isn’t as good as LBJ’s…”


    There’s a reason melo is in the better basketball DVDs and lebron isn’t (and it’s not because lebron turned down the offer).

  • the cynic

    if I was building a team and had to pick one SF from the western conference it would be Durant, Ak-47, and then Melo

  • Sallo

    Whoever says that Melo can’t shoot should not be allowed to make any more comments on dime. Look at his feild goal percentage the last 2 yrs. This yr its down because of the elbow injury and he’s bringing it up slowly. Again if you don’t watch the games don’t comment please.

  • http://dimemag.com Melo2TDot

    Claerly Melo.to all the people sayin Melo don’t play D, does Kevin Durant play D??? NO
    and Melo is actually improving

  • bookkwormmaster

    As of right now Melo prob is the best SF in the West. However, I think alot of people are sleeping on Josh Howard though. Before the National Anthem issue and his blunders in the playoffs (the infamous “timeout”, having his b-day party after a playoff loss I think it was) Howard was considered the best SF in the West. And at one point in time he was considered the best player on the Mavs as well. He’s a better defender than Melo, a better rebounder (especially offensively), has a better mid-range shot, and is also a better slaher than Melo too.

  • je708

    melo is a little lady
    al thornton is growing into a man
    and what about odom? sure he plays more PF for lakers but he has the skills of a SF, and can pass better than melo’s wildest dreams.

  • control


    I don’t watch all games the Nuggets play, but I HAVE seen more than a few. It isn’t so much that Melo is a bad shooter, as much as it’s his shot selection. The guy is a black hole, and most of his shots are forced shots that aren’t very good. You can say a guy is a bad shooter when he ALWAYS throws up shit shots. Maybe he’s a great shooter standing alone in a gym, but we talking in the game son.

    BTW, I also have first hand testimonials from NBA rims that will testify regarding the paint they have lost due to Melo’s shots.

  • webbie352

    yea its def. Durant.

  • Sallo

    Control that’s funny. Yeah he can take bad shots sometimes, but he has always been considered as having the best mid-range game in the game. And before the knicks fight they were saying he had the best inside outside game in the leauge. Hard not to say thats not true. Did you see the game tonight? Well like i said I am a true fan and I watched it. You’ll see a game winner on ” Sportscenter” tonight. I wonder who?

  • Luigi

    Uhh….Carmelo Anthony IS the best in the west im sorry

    ima die hard Wiz fan n this year ive been subject to watch n follow other teams more closely since my wiz have a lost season..

    i have league pass on my comp so i watch games on it n i compare Melo n Durant.

    Melo – Nice Jumpshot. Questionable shot selection. Improving Defense. but is kinda lazy on D. on O. hes the main option n is been a solid rebounder…but i dont think he could out rebound Thorton or Amare. or someone like that beacause most of his rebs are off misses that bounce long. Hes also improved his passing quite a bit. so yeah

    Durant – Clutch player. another questionable shot selecton player. his D needs work. i see him play off ball D alot n about 60% of the time it either gets a backdoor cut or him chasing a player on D. His long arms have improved his rebounding by alot. he knows how to box out. His passing is fine. By next year he’ll finally make the ASG

    so i guess Melo’s better now. but next year its Durant

  • kulas

    Kevin Durant’s getting better, give him a year to add more bulk and he’ll be an even tougher cover than he is right now. Melo’s advantage is his frame.

    In my opinion, i think KD’s a better passer than Melo.

  • Nug4life

    I don’t see how Melo is not the best small forward in the west. Not only has he led his team to make now 6 straight playoff apperiences.. he has all the skills to make him an elite player which he is….KD is a very solid player but he is not a better all around player….if Melo wouldn’t have gotten hurt he would have been a sure lock in the all-star game hands down…untill KD can score 33 points in one quarter this question is over with…

  • Voice of Reason

    Finally someone, with some sense has left a comment. Now before i start the argument i want it to be known that i am a fan of both players. But to attempt to rank any small forward in the western conference ahead of Carmelo is asinine. He’s the most clutch player in the NBA, and if you don’t believe me look up the gaming winning/tying shot percentages of the league. Melo more than doubles Kobe. He’s also the most dominant score in the nba. He simply can’t be stopped by one man. Put a smaller player on him and he puts the body on him and put a bigger player on him and he faces him up knocks down the mid range J. While his defense is quite lazy but when he actually decides he wants to D-up he’s not bad. His D is physical and his 7-foot wing span makes it hard for defenders. Durant is a high volume score like Melo and has many skills to go along with his silky smooth J, but doesn’t seem to have what it takes to carry a team on his back. Two years in the league and nothing to show for it. I love how people seem to rag on Melo, when the seem to forget that before he landed on the Nuggets team they had the worst record in the NBA the previous year, and he lead that team straight into the playoff. Not even the beloved JAMES did that.