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Old 03-17-2011, 08:56 PM   #1
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Default Why are there athletic players who can't play D, but unathletic players who can?

i would say more than 50% of players in the league are more athletic overall than ppl like battier, artest, sefalosha, varajoe yet cant keep up with offensive players while they guys can. How is that possible? I would say that being athletic basically guarantees you to be a good defender, the only thing that keeps you from being one is if you dont try. I know a lot of players slack on defense but even during important games those crappy defenders cant turn it on so i know its not that theyre not tryin. Basically i wanna understand how guys like the ones i list above are so good at defense while being much slower or weaker than the players they are guarding while other more athletic players suck on d
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:01 PM   #2
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Default Re: Why are there athletic players who can't play D, but unathletic players who can?

Artest can just punch you in the face.
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: Why are there athletic players who can't play D, but unathletic players who can?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KB2clutch
i would say more than 50% of players in the league are more athletic overall than ppl like battier, artest, sefalosha, varajoe yet cant keep up with offensive players while they guys can. How is that possible? I would say that being athletic basically guarantees you to be a good defender, the only thing that keeps you from being one is if you dont try. I know a lot of players slack on defense but even during important games those crappy defenders cant turn it on so i know its not that theyre not tryin. Basically i wanna understand how guys like the ones i list above are so good at defense while being much slower or weaker than the players they are guarding while other more athletic players suck on d

Defense is a skill.
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:07 PM   #4
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Default Re: Why are there athletic players who can't play D, but unathletic players who can?

Well I see defense as a thinking man's game. Ron Artest has said it before, he knows how to tell where his opponent is going, and beat them to the spot. Plus there's more to defense than just being quick. Being long, like sefolosha(sp) helps a lot, because defenders can't shoot over them as easily, so players that are long can back off their man while still being able to give a good contest. Ron Artest, has some quick ass hands. Ever seen him play in person? Plus he is very strong, and able to anticipate where someone is going, and uses his strength to get them out of their comfort zone. Battier is so committed to defense, he can use his length and defensive quickness and tricks to play lock down defense.

On the other hand, players that are simply athletic may not be all nba defenders because they simply cannot anticipate another players moves. For example, a good defender doesn't fall for a lot of fakes, moves, etc. You can see that when a player goes for a fake, and loses maybe only a quarter of a second on his man, it can be too late. Players in the NBA are so freakishly quick and athletic, that split second a defender goes left for a fake or just barely raises up on his toes falling for a pump fake, a good offensive player will take advantage.

This is also why I think veteran players are better defenders all around. They know more tricks used by offensive players, and can tell the difference between when someone is faking them out and when someone is making an actual move. Now of course there are many other factors that lead up to good/bad defenders, but this is my 2 cents on a couple of them.
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:12 PM   #5
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Default Re: Why are there athletic players who can't play D, but unathletic players who can?

Also Varejao just lives off of hustle.
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:18 PM   #6
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Default Re: Why are there athletic players who can't play D, but unathletic players who can?

Anticipating their opponents moves, forcing them into spots where they don't excel, using their size/strength to restrict mobility, giving effort fighting through screens, good decision making. There are so many mental, and technical things that go into defense.
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:27 PM   #7
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Default Re: Why are there athletic players who can't play D, but unathletic players who can?

shane battier and artest aren't graceful...but you can't say that they aren't athletic.
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:28 PM   #8
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Default Re: Why are there athletic players who can't play D, but unathletic players who can?

Effort
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:47 PM   #9
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Default Re: Why are there athletic players who can't play D, but unathletic players who can?

because as much as athleticism will allow you to be a good defender it doesnt trump effort/instinct/skill. which is once again another stupid idea that kobe fans have to try to put kobe over any player previously- that defense is better now- because players are more athletic and therefore mj/wilt/magic/bird/who ever would struggle to score today.
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:00 PM   #10
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Default Re: Why are there athletic players who can't play D, but unathletic players who can?

Because defense is mostly effort.
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:04 PM   #11
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Default Re: Why are there athletic players who can't play D, but unathletic players who can?

Quote:
Originally Posted by get these NETS
shane battier and artest aren't graceful...but you can't say that they aren't athletic.
Yes you can, especially at that 3 position with guys like Rudy Gay, Travis Outlaw, Andre Iguodala, LeBron James, etc. who can touch their head on the rim AND would lap those 2 in a race.

Short answer, there's more to defense than athleticism.
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:07 PM   #12
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Default Re: Why are there athletic players who can't play D, but unathletic players who can?

Defense is about fundamentals. Some perimeter players don't get low enough. Others don't have the awareness to either rotate properly or keep track of his man. Plus the fact that defense doesn't show up as superficially as offense is another reason. These guys are trying to get paid. Great defense does not reward you bigger salary than great offense unless you are a big man.
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:21 PM   #13
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Default Re: Why are there athletic players who can't play D, but unathletic players who can?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonCorleone
Defense is a skill.

Athleticism is only part of the issue.

Anticipation is a big part of it. Reflexes are another. I was never very fast or a leaper, but I had excellent reflexes and was pretty good at stealing the ball.
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:39 PM   #14
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Default Re: Why are there athletic players who can't play D, but unathletic players who can?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KB2clutch
i would say more than 50% of players in the league are more athletic overall than ppl like battier, artest, sefalosha, varajoe yet cant keep up with offensive players while they guys can. How is that possible? I would say that being athletic basically guarantees you to be a good defender, the only thing that keeps you from being one is if you dont try. I know a lot of players slack on defense but even during important games those crappy defenders cant turn it on so i know its not that theyre not tryin. Basically i wanna understand how guys like the ones i list above are so good at defense while being much slower or weaker than the players they are guarding while other more athletic players suck on d

Effort, fundamentals, basketball iq. Same reason guys like Paul Pierce and Chauncey Billups are good on offense.
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:47 PM   #15
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Default Re: Why are there athletic players who can't play D, but unathletic players who can?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonCorleone
Defense is a skill.

because defense is about technique anticipation and understanding the player your guarding and his comfort zones and taking him out of them.

If defense was all about athleticism then James would be the best defensive player in the league bar none, but he's not and is far from it. I get the luxury of watching slow arse paul pierce lose lebron take him to where he wants to etc and the same with Carmelo Anthony. Because james doesn't study his man, his technique isn't sound so he he's not a top notch defender. he's a good one but he's not really gonna lock any one down
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