Basketball Small Forward

Basketball Small Forwards

Small forwards are similar to shooting guards, but you can think of them as more versatile players. Small forwards can fill a variety of roles on a team, from being dynamic scorers to lockdown defenders and everything in between.

Basketball Small Forward

IMPORTANT: The small forward is known as SF and the number three in our diagrams.

Small forwards are generally bigger than shooting guards and smaller than power forwards. In the NBA, this means a height of about 6'5" to 6'11".

Basketball Wing Players

Small forwards play at the wings of the floor, just like shooting guards.

Basketball Wing

Basketball Swingman

In basketball, a small forward can easily become a shooting guard and vice versa. As a result, you make see players play both positions.

Basketball Shooting Guard

Small Forward Roles

Small forwards can adapt easier than shooting guards because they have more weapons in their arsenal. A typical small forward has a diverse set of skills that helps the team in many aspects of the game-they can get rebounds, score points, handle the ball, assist their teammates, and much more. Like other players on the team, small forwards should be great at playing offense and defense.

Ideally, small forwards should be quick enough to stay in front of shooting guards, but strong enough to defend a power forward in the post. These are players who can help the power forwards and centers defend the rim.

It is important to realize, though, that small forwards do not have to have all these skills. Some small forwards are used to do one specific job, such as defending the opposing team's scorer, even if it means playing a defender who isn't as good at scoring.

Small Forward Statistics

Small forwards should have strong numbers in the following statistics:

Notable Small Forwards

Here are some of the best small forwards of all time to play basketball in the NBA:

  • Larry Bird
  • Julius Erving
  • Elgin Baylor
  • Scottie Pippen
  • Rick Barry

Here are some of the top small forwards in the 2018 NBA season:

  • LeBron James
  • Kawhi Leonard
  • Paul George
  • Khris Middleton
  • Kevin Durant

Basketball LeBron James


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