The small forward, or, colloquially, "the three", is one of the five positions in a regulation basketball game. Small forwards are typically somewhat shorter, quicker, and leaner than power forwards and centers, but on occasion are just as tall. The small forward position is considered to be perhaps the most versatile of the main five basketball positions, due to the nature of its role. Most current NBA small forwards are between 6'5" and 6'11" in height.
Small forwards are primarily responsible for scoring points and also often as secondary or tertiary rebounders behind the Power forwards and Centers, although a few who play as point forwards have considerable passing responsibilities. Many small forwards in professional basketball however are prolific scorers. The styles with which small forwards amass their points vary widely, as some players at the position like Indiana's Peja Stojakovic are very accurate straight up shooters, while others like former stars Larry Johnson and Anthony Mason preferred to "bang inside", initiate and/or not shy away from physical contact with opposing players, to get their points, while others are primarily slashers such as Tracy McGrady. One common thread between all kinds of small forwards is an ability to "get to the line", that is have opposing players called for committing shooting fouls against them, as fouls are frequently called on the defense when offensive players "take the ball hard" to the basket, that is, aggressively attempt post-up plays, lay-ups, or slam dunks. Therefore, accurate foul shooting is an imperative skill for small forwards, many of whom record a large portion of their points from the foul line.
小前鋒一開始主要的任務是在得分方面，和第二或是第三籃板手，只有少數的小前鋒必須負擔傳導的責任。在職業籃球中，大多數的小前鋒都是個多才多藝的得分手。這些小前鋒累積得分的方式非常多元，像是 Indiana 的 Peja Stojakovic 是個非常準確的射手，其他的像是 Larry Johnson and Anthony Mason 則比較傾向在籃下活動，並不害怕利用身體的碰撞來取得分數，其他還有殺手級的小前鋒，像是 Tracy McGrady。所有類型的小前鋒都有一項共通的能力「製造犯規的能力」，在小前鋒進攻的時候會嘗試低位攻擊、上籃或是灌籃，這些都會造成防守者的犯規。所以準確地罰球能力對於小前鋒來說是及其必要的，許多的小前鋒從罰球線上拿到大量的分數。
Defense is often a major priority for small forwards, who are often counted on using their athleticism and size as defensive advantages. Many small forwards are excellent defensive players including current NBA player Ron Artest, who is generally regarded as one of the best defensive players in the league today. Bruce Bowen of the San Antonio Spurs, while not a star offensive player, is a masterful and tenacious defender, both on the perimeter and closer to the hoop. Former small forwards known for their defensive abilities include Larry Bird, an extremely smart team defender despite a lack of speed and Scottie Pippen, one of the best one-on-one defenders in the NBA for most of his career.
防守對小前鋒來說也相當重要，小前鋒都常會善用他們的體能和身材當作防守上的優勢。許多當前 NBA 的小前鋒都是絕佳的防守者，像是馬刺隊的 Bruce Bowen 並不是一位明星級的進攻球員，而是一位熟練、堅韌的防守者，無論是在外圍還是籃下。之前以防守能力著稱的小前鋒包括 Larry Bird，儘管缺乏速度但仍然是一位頂級而聰明的團隊防守者，Scottie Pippen，在他的 NBA 生涯中都是一位絕佳的一對一防守者。
Many small forwards can also play shooting guard; those who switch between the two positions are called "swingmen" or "wings". Among the most dominant small forwards of the past were Scottie Pippen, Larry Bird, Dominique Wilkins, Julius Erving, and James Worthy. Notable NBA small forwards who are currently playing include Artest, Lewis, Anthony, Grant Hill, Morris Peterson (who also plays shooting guard at times), Lamar Odom, Peja Stojakovic, Bobby Simmons, Tayshaun Prince, Shawn Marion, Andrei Kirilenko, Carmelo Anthony, and LeBron James. Dirk Nowitzki is another notable player with excellent small forward skills; however, because he is 7 feet tall, he has spent most of his time at power forward over the course of his NBA career.
許多小前鋒都可以兼任得分後衛的位置。可以兼任這兩個位置的球員我們稱作搖擺人 或是 "wings"。過去著名的小前鋒有 Scottie Pippen、Larry Bird、Dominique Wilkins、Julius Erving 和 James Worthy 等。目前 NBA 中著名的小前鋒有 Ron Artest、Rashard Lewis、Carmelo Anthony、Grant Hill、Morris Peterson（他有時會打得分後衛的位置）、Lamar Odom、Peja Stojakovic、Bobby Simmons、Tayshaun Prince、Shawn Marion、Andrei Kirilenko、Carmelo Anthony 和 LeBron James...等。Dirk Nowitzki 是另一位值得注意的球員，他有著絕佳的小前鋒技巧，但是他有 7'0 高，在他的 NBA 生涯中，他大多時候都擔任強力前鋒的位置。
Wikipedia contributors, "Small forward," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Small_forward&oldid=56025643 (accessed June 4, 2006).