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Old 08-16-2007, 09:20 AM   #1
OneWay
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Default The best defender in the league, give credit where it's due...Bruce Bowen.

Bruce Bowen IMO is the best defender in the league and the most underrated player in the league as well.
I think many people underestimate his impact because he's not a stat player and he's labeled as a dirty player which may be true but it doesn't take anything away from Bowen's incredible defense.

Of course, you can put many people in this category of great defenders but here's my reasoning why Bowen's the greatest today.

Remember the Spurs without Bowen? Even with Duncan and Robinson patrolling the paint?
Yeah, great team. But they weren't as good on defense as they are with Bowen.
While post defense is essentially more important than perimeter defense, I think Bowen is an exception and even as a perimeter defender, I consider him the best.

I remember how easy Kobe had it when Bowen wasn't the member of the Spurs.
Even against Duncan and Robinson, he averaged nearly 40 points a game in the playoff series against the Spurs.
He was dunking on both Duncan and Robinson, crossing over Daniels and whoever else guarded him and the Spurs had no solution for him.

It wasn't until they acquired Bowen when they became a serious competiton to the Shaq and Kobe Lakers because with Bowen there Kobe was limited to 25-28 ppg on a lower % than before.
While Kobe still had huge games against the Spurs because he's well, Kobe he never dominated them as he did before they got Bowen.

Needlessly to say, Kobe himselfs considers Bowen the best defender in the league.

The Spurs acquired Bowen to compete with the Lakers because they weren't able to do that without him. And it paid off big time.
You see, Bowen is such an amazing component to the Spurs team and many people don't notice is due to his stats and dirty rep.

Bowen is so great that he can defend multiple positions.

This year the Nuggets at first looked as a team that can beat the Spurs and many people started talking about an upset.
But Bowen won that series for the Spurs.
He contained Iverson to 22 ppg on 36 % shooting.

It's easy to talk how the Cavs were inferior to the Spurs but the reality is that despite the sweep, the Spurs haven't dominated the Cavs.
Who won the series again? Bowen.
He held LeBron to 22 ppg on 36 % shooting.

That's what Bowen does to superstars. Instead of them rising to the occasion and averaging over 30 ppg in the playoffs, Bowen totally takes them out of their contract zone and wins the game for the Spurs.

Shawn Marion for example is historically, Bruce Bowen's byatch.
One year Bowen held him to less than 10 ppg IIRC.
Also, you've seen how well Bowen defends him when Marion started scoring big when Duncan got to guard him.

There are many more examples that I can't think of now but I do know that come playoffs, Bowen defends better than anyone else.

It's a shame he still doesn't have the DPOY award and I hope he wins it because he deserves it. His D wins games.
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Old 08-16-2007, 09:37 AM   #2
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Default Re: The best defender in the league, give credit where it's due...Bruce Bowen.

nice post.

i would love to see bowen get dpoy this year. it's always such a slap in the face when they throw it to a guy like marcus camby who blocked a few shots last season.

shutting down a key offensive scoring machine night in and night out, and winning games because of it > leading the league in blocks and not winning games because of it
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Old 08-16-2007, 09:39 AM   #3
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Default Re: The best defender in the league, give credit where it's due...Bruce Bowen.

yerr i agree with nearly everything you sayd except:

Bowen isnt the most underated player in the L, everyone knows he is a master defensive specialist, he gets his dues...
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Old 08-16-2007, 09:39 AM   #4
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Default Re: The best defender in the league, give credit where it's due...Bruce Bowen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OneWay
Even against Duncan and Robinson, he averaged nearly 40 points a game in the playoff series against the Spurs.

It was actually 33.3 ppg, not "nearly 40." :rollingeyes:
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Old 08-16-2007, 09:41 AM   #5
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Default Re: The best defender in the league, give credit where it's due...Bruce Bowen.

I don't think Bowen is underrated a player, his skills are limited. He gets his respect on defense however.
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Old 08-16-2007, 09:47 AM   #6
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Default Re: The best defender in the league, give credit where it's due...Bruce Bowen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loki
It was actually 33.3 ppg, not "nearly 40." :rollingeyes:

My bad. Thought it was 37 ppg. Still, Kobe easily dominated them until they got Bowen. Easily. I remember those games and the Spurs just had no answer for him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richie2k6
I don't think Bowen is underrated a player, his skills are limited. He gets his respect on defense however.

Oh yes, he's underrated. People acknowledge his defense but they don't realize just how impactful Bowen's defense is.
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Old 08-16-2007, 09:55 AM   #7
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Default Re: The best defender in the league, give credit where it's due...Bruce Bowen.

Could we just make a sticky - and call it the Kobe BJ thread. It would a great place to go to talk about Kobe and how great he is and all his scoring and well-roundedness and how he dominates everyone and how on any other team he'd be winning titles.

This thread is kind of weird Kobe BJ way of discrediting Duncan to give Kobe a nice BJ.

Maybe, when making a Kobe BJ thread, sort of like when we label a thread "OT", we can we just label it "KBJ" so that we'll know there is sucking going on in the thread and those with weak stomachs need not enter.
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Old 08-16-2007, 09:55 AM   #8
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Default Re: The best defender in the league, give credit where it's due...Bruce Bowen.

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Oh yes, he's underrated. People acknowledge his defense but they don't realize just how impactful Bowen's defense is.
I'm talking about other than defense, him as an overall player.
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Old 08-16-2007, 10:00 AM   #9
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Default Re: The best defender in the league, give credit where it's due...Bruce Bowen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Starks
Could we just make a sticky - and call it the Kobe BJ thread. It would a great place to go to talk about Kobe and how great he is and all his scoring and well-roundedness and how he dominates everyone and how on any other team he'd be winning titles.

This thread is kind of weird Kobe BJ way of discrediting Duncan to give Kobe a nice BJ.

Maybe, when making a Kobe BJ thread, sort of like when we label a thread "OT", we can we just label it "KBJ" so that we'll know there is sucking going on in the thread and those with weak stomachs need not enter.

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Old 08-16-2007, 10:14 AM   #10
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Default Re: The best defender in the league, give credit where it's due...Bruce Bowen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OneWay
My bad. Thought it was 37 ppg. Still, Kobe easily dominated them until they got Bowen. Easily. I remember those games and the Spurs just had no answer for him.



Oh yes, he's underrated. People acknowledge his defense but they don't realize just how impactful Bowen's defense is.
the other problem they had that year was that shandon anderson, their only athletic perimeter defender, was hurt for that series. there was literally no one on the team that could stay with kobe.

nonetheless bowen is a great defender. personally i think duncan is the best defender in the league (just feel like he's also a shut down man to man defender and adds a little more to team d / rebounding), but i wouldn't really argue against calling bowen the best perimeter defender in the league.
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Old 08-16-2007, 10:18 AM   #11
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Default Re: The best defender in the league, give credit where it's due...Bruce Bowen.

Bruce Bowen isn't even the best defender on his own team.
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Old 08-16-2007, 10:25 AM   #12
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Default Re: The best defender in the league, give credit where it's due...Bruce Bowen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OneWay
My bad. Thought it was 37 ppg. Still, Kobe easily dominated them until they got Bowen. Easily. I remember those games and the Spurs just had no answer for him.



Oh yes, he's underrated. People acknowledge his defense but they don't realize just how impactful Bowen's defense is.

Thats BS, Bowen is NOT underrated. I can't turn on my TV and watch a Spurs game without hearing about Bowen's D, or how it impacts the game and allows the Spurs to take away the other teams best scorer.

I mean what do people have to do, blow bowen and tell him how great he is?

Bruce Bowen is NOT underrated.

BTW on a side note Bruce Bowen is also one dirty MFer, so while I respect him as a defender, I'm also not going to claim him the DPOY and sing his praises.
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Old 08-16-2007, 04:28 PM   #13
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Default Re: The best defender in the league, give credit where it's due...Bruce Bowen.

Great post OneWay. Bruce Bowen is a great defensive player.

It's difficult to assert that any player in the NBA is the best at anything, though, especially with defense, as the statistics on it are very limited.

Quote:
It's a shame he still doesn't have the DPOY award and I hope he wins it because he deserves it. His D wins games.
The media vote for Defensive Player of the Year, and the media have always relied heavily upon statistics. They do the same for the All-NBA Teams. This is a problem for a defensive award, however, as the limited defensive statistics that are widely acknowledged (steals, blocks and rebounds) are misleading.

That's why a player like Marcus Camby won the award. Shawn Marion came in 4th in voting last time but has never even been on an All-Defensive Team, which is selected by the coaches. These are very good defensive players and they have a good reputation for their defense, which when the stats are added to the equation place them higher than they deserve. Players like Bowen or Tim Duncan are easily better defensive players than Camby has ever been, yet they haven't won this award. Bowen's traditional defensive statistics are unimpressive and there's always someone who has somewhat better traditional defensive stats than Duncan. This is why Scottie Pippen never won Defensive Player of the Year, which is an embarassment and discredit to this award, as well.

Few non-centers with impressive traditional defensive stats even win this award and the exceptions tend to be players with lots of steals. It's becomng an increasingly predictable and undesirable state.

Nevertheless, Bowen has receieved the most votes by the coaches for the All-Defensive Teams the last 2 seasons and has come in 2nd in Defensive Player of the Year voting the last 3 seasons. Moreover, Bowen has placed prominently among other players in experimental defensive statistics such as plus/minus opponent PPG. He led the league by a wide margin in that stat last season.

Quote:
Bruce Bowen IMO is the best defender in the league and the most underrated player in the league as well.
I think many people underestimate his impact because he's not a stat player and he's labeled as a dirty player which may be true but it doesn't take anything away from Bowen's incredible defense.

I think defense is underrated. Statistics are often overly relied upon because they're the most objective and undisputable form of analysis, plus it's easy. The reliance upon statistics, however, largely neglects defense.

Why is a limited offensive player considered more highly than a limited defensive player? Why aren't the great defensive players considered as highly as the great offensive players? Generally, a player plays defense and offense about an equal amount of time. It seems a logical conclusion that defense is just as important as offense. Defense is largely unappreciated, though. Limited players who are great offensively are selected to All-NBA Teams and to All-Star games much more regularly than limited players who are great defensively. While Steve Nash wins MVPs, is selected to All-NBA Teams and as a starter in All-Star games, pundits considered during the playoffs whether Michael Finley should be added to the "Big 4" of the Spurs with Duncan, Parker and Ginobili.

The few defensive standouts with limited offensive games who get some of this appreciation tend to be centers, like Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace.

Anyhow, great post.
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Old 08-16-2007, 04:46 PM   #14
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Default Re: The best defender in the league, give credit where it's due...Bruce Bowen.

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Why is a limited offensive player considered more highly than a limited defensive player? Why aren't the great defensive players considered as highly as the great offensive players? Generally, a player plays defense and offense about an equal amount of time. It seems a logical conclusion that defense is just as important as offense. Defense is largely unappreciated, though. Limited players who are great offensively are selected to All-NBA Teams and to All-Star games much more regularly than limited players who are great defensively. While Steve Nash wins MVPs, is selected to All-NBA Teams and as a starter in All-Star games, pundits considered during the playoffs whether Michael Finley should be added to the "Big 4" of the Spurs with Duncan, Parker and Ginobili.

It's simple. Who do you think is better of the following:

A team led by Steve Nash or a team led by Earl Watson?

A team led by Kobe Bryant or a team led Bruce Bowen?

A team led by Carmelo Anthony or a team led by Trenton Hassel?

What it comes down to is that defense is largely team oriented, and individual defense is effort. Offense takes more natural talent, and is harder to come by (despite the fact that we see so many offense only players these days).

In addition, a team that plays great defense, but can't score, will lose every game. Great offense will always beat great defense. And in the end, great balance will beat either.
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Old 08-16-2007, 07:00 PM   #15
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Default Re: The best defender in the league, give credit where it's due...Bruce Bowen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldNugg21
It's simple. Who do you think is better of the following:

A team led by Steve Nash or a team led by Earl Watson?

A team led by Kobe Bryant or a team led Bruce Bowen?

A team led by Carmelo Anthony or a team led by Trenton Hassel?
I don't think those are fair comparisons. Bryant is good at both ends. Nash is one of the best offensive players and while Watson may be a good defender, he's not one of the best. Same thing with Anthony and Hassel.

Moreover, primarily defensive players generally aren't considered team leaders, unless they're a center who can "anchor" the team defense, like Bill Russell, Nate Thurmond, Dikembe Mutombo, Ben Wallace, etc. Jerry Sloan is a notable exception historically.

But that doesn't mean they're not better players. Players who play complementary roles on successful teams, I think, are often better than leaders--star players and primarily offensive players--on weaker teams.

Is Bruce Bowen better than, say, Michael Redd (a pretty bad defender)?

Quote:
What it comes down to is that defense is largely team oriented, and individual defense is effort. Offense takes more natural talent, and is harder to come by (despite the fact that we see so many offense only players these days).

In addition, a team that plays great defense, but can't score, will lose every game. Great offense will always beat great defense. And in the end, great balance will beat either.

I think that's underrating defense. I would say that team effort is somewhat more instrumental on defense whereas individual effort can be more effective on offense because on offense you can improvise and on defense you react, but that's a rather small point.

And, on winning, NBA championship teams tend to be one of the best defensive teams in the league. They tend to be one of the best offensive teams, too, of course.

When the Pistons won their latest championship, they were far superior defensively than offensively. The last few seasons, they've been better offensively than they were when they won the title.

The Spurs are one of the best teams offensively, but they've been the best defensive team.

Isiah Thomas' Pistons were a great defensive team.

Jerry Sloan's Chicago Bulls, who made it to a few Confernce Finals (like today's Suns), were a defensive team and a rather sluggish, ball-control offensive team.

You don't find hardly any NBA team that's bad on either end winning much.
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