NBA Positional Power Rankings: Mr. 4th Quarter And James Harden’s MVP Push

Jan 11, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas (4) drives past Washington Wizards point guard John Wall (2) during the fourth quarter at TD Garden. The Boston Celtics won 117-108. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 11, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas (4) drives past Washington Wizards point guard John Wall (2) during the fourth quarter at TD Garden. The Boston Celtics won 117-108. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports /
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Feb 24, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) looks on as he prepares for a free throw against the LA Clippers during the fourth quarter at Staples Center. The San Antonio Spurs won 105-97. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 24, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) looks on as he prepares for a free throw against the LA Clippers during the fourth quarter at Staples Center. The San Antonio Spurs won 105-97. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports /

Small Forwards

1. Kawhi Leonard: Ranking the small forward position is virtually a toss-up at this point, with both LeBron and Durant each deserving their share of recognition at the top. My loyalty for KD has been well-documented thus far, as I’ve stuck with Durant at No. 1 at his position all season. However, this time I’ll change it up a bit and put Kawhi at the top-spot.

After all, Kawhi is averaging 28.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game over the course of the past two months. In addition, Leonard is heating up from the field, displaying a 51 FG% and 38.2 3P% in February. And oh by the way, he’s still a lockdown defender night in and night out.

2. LeBron James: Oh boy, was this was a hard choice to make. Do I reward one of the small forward spots to Giannis  for being sound virtually everywhere on the court? Or, do I finally recognize Jimmy Butler’s efforts and the impact he’s made in Chicago? Decisions, decisions.

Well, maybe I should stick with what’s worked for months and roll with LeBron (again)? Since the start of January, Bron is logging the most minutes (38.2 per game) than what he’s done in five seasons. In his recent stretch, James is averaging 25.1 points, 9.3 assists, 7.9 rebounds per game while maintaining a 58 FG% and 41.1 3P% – that such average is the best at his position currently.

3. Kevin Durant: Don’t freak out, Durant will likely regain his No. 1 spot again at some point this season. Today just isn’t that day. Still, in terms of production, Durant is making it happen – 25.5 PPG, 7.7 RBG and 5.4 APG – despite averaging five fewer minutes per game the past two months than LeBron. KD’s shooting numbers have dipped to some extent, dropping below 55 percent from the field and 40 percent from behind the arc.

However, Durant is making up for it by sporting +13.4 on-court rating, which is by far the best at his position.