Small Forward: Paul Pierce vs. Carmelo Anthony
Two future Hall of Famers, one state. I hate to choose one of these guys because they are both great players, but at this point, Carmelo has the unfair advantage.
Paul Pierce is clearly on the decline at this stage in his career and his body is starting to break down. He’s already missed five games this season and the conservative nature of the Nets dictates that he will probably be missing plenty more. Pierce still produces a well-rounded line that includes just enough three-pointers, rebounds and assists to give him low-end fantasy value. We all know, though, that Carmelo is far from low end.
When in the lineup, Melo is the exact opposite. After leading the NBA in scoring last year, Melo currently sits at 3rd behind Durant and LeBron. Surprisingly, Melo has stepped up his rebounding to the tune of 9.7 per game (his career AVG is 6.5). I expect that number to regree when Tyson Chandler returns, but still, Melo is clearly playing at an All-Star level.
I mislead you in the opening sentences: this one isn’t even close. I’ll take Carmelo in a landslide.