The NBA’s Five Worst Forwards in 2011-2012 Feature Bricklayers Galore - Fan’s Analysis

With PER as Our Guide, the Worst Forwards in 2011-2012 Includes Struggling Young Players and Past-their-prime Veterans

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Determining the worst player, team, or coach is an inexact science full of opinion and guesswork and often ends in barroom brawls.

In the NBA the best advanced metric to use to determine the best (or worst) players is Player Efficiency Rating (PER). The best apples-to-apples comparison is to look at PER by position - guard, forward, center. Based on PER, here are the five worst forwards from 2011-2012.

As a Lakers fan I was saddened to see Lamar Odom make this list after his fall from grace. However, I was somewhat heartened to see Metta World Peace's PER was "only" 11th worst among forwards.

Worst PER 2011-2012 Forwards, Minimum 40 G's and 20 MPG

8.0 PER - Wesley Johnson, Minnesota Timberwolves: 22.6 MPG, 6.0 PTS, 2.7 REB, 0.9 AST, 39.8% FG

Wesley Johnson entered the NBA two years ago with high expectations after being drafted fourth overall by the Timberwolves. His rookie season in 2011 was decent as he posted a 10.2 PER and made the NBA's All-Rookie 2nd Team. But last year Johnson played miserably as his scoring, rebounding, assists, and steals all dropped from his rookie year and he finished the season with the worst PER among all NBA forwards.

8.3 PER - Chris Singleton, Washington Wizards: 21.7 MPG, 4.6 PTS, 3.5 REB, 0.7 AST, 37.2% FG

Last year was Singleton's rookie season after being drafted 18th overall by the Washington Wizards. On a positive note, he earned time as a rookie and played in all 66 Wizards' game. The downside was Singleton's anemic scoring (7.7 points per-36 minutes) and terrible shooting - 37% field goals and 68% free throws. But at just 22 years old, Singleton can still turn things around.

9.2 PER - Lamar Odom, Dallas Mavericks: 20.5 MPG, 6.6 PTS, 4.2 REB, 1.7 AST, 35.2% FG

In one of the most bizarre seasons in NBA history, Lamar Odom was traded from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Dallas Mavericks and fell apart faster than a Happy Meal toy. Odom was a key member of the Lakers' 2009 and 2010 titles and was named the 2011 NBA Sixth Man of the Year. His feelings appeared to be hurt by the Lakers trading him and his Kardashian-wife reality show distracted him in Dallas, as a result his PER tumbled from 19.4 in 2011 to just 9.2 in 2012, third worst among NBA forwards.

9.7 PER - Shane Battier, Miami Heat: 23.1 MPG, 4.8 PTS, 2.4 REB, 1.3 AST, 38.7% FG

Shane Battier is a great example of how stats need to be kept in perspective. Despite the poor PER, I would take Battier on my team, the Lakers, any day. Despite not stuffing the stat sheet, he is a smart, team-first leader who rarely makes mistakes. Battier was a key piece in Miami's 2011 title run by scoring 17 points in both Game 1 and Game 2 of the NBA Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Battier went 15-26 from the 3-point line in the Finals and is much better than his PER indicates.

9.9 PER - Kenyon Martin, Los Angeles Clippers: 22.4 MPG, 5.2 PTS, 4.3 REB, 0.4 AST, 44.1% FG

The 34-year-old Martin signed with the Clippers in February 2012 after playing part of the season in China. The former All-Star struggled to find his game in Los Angeles. In ten previous full seasons Martin's lowest PER had been 13.4, making him a surprising member of the worst forwards from the 2011-2012 season.

Andrew Sweat is a die-hard Lakers fan. For more from this author, or check these out articles:

The Five Worst NBA Guards in 2011-2012 Includes Some Surprising Veterans

Why the Lakers are the Smartest Team in the NBA

Lakers' Forgotten Studs: Eddie Jones, the Silky Assassin

Lakers' Forgotten Studs: Nick Van Exel and His Killer Swagger
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