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Tag:Wizards
Posted on: January 6, 2009 7:20 am
 

Best Perimeter Defenders in the NBA

When talking about the great defenders in the league, people tend to think of the great post defenders like Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan, or they might even think about the great help defenders that put up good stats like Marcus Camby or Josh Smith. But the one group of defenders that seem to get the least love is the perimeter defenders. They are the ones that have to cover the best and most dangerous perimeter scorers in the league. They don't put up him great stats like some other defenders, but they always make their defense better by reducing scoring from the opposing team. I think it's about time they get some credit and respect, so I've decided to make my list of Top 10 best perimeter defenders in the league.

Top 10 Perimeter Defenders:


1. Shane Battier

One of the most underrated defenders in all of the NBA. Everyone recognizes him as a good defender, but not as a great one. However, his perimeter is definitely tops in the league and makes him of the Top 5 overall defenders in the entire NBA. He doesn't put up good numbers at all, but that doesn't mean he doesn't play good defense. Bruce Bowen does the same thing, but with dirty tactics, however he has gotten far more credit than Battier; there's something wrong with that. If Battier can do the same (or better) as Bowen without the dirty tactics, then how doesn't he get the same respect? Regardless of how underrated he is, that doesn't change the fact he slow down some of the NBA's best players out on the perimeter better than anyone.

2. Tayshaun Prince

The long armed Prince is a monster defender on the perimeter. Like a lot of other perimeter defenders, he doesn't put up a whole lot of good numbers (until this year), so people don't give him as much credit. He is a big part of the tough Pistons defense that has been so successful over the past few years. He usually has to cover the best perimeter scorer on the opposing team, and has done very well. He's played against Kobe, LeBron, Pierce, etc., and has had games where he slowed them down significantly. He uses his long arms and huge wingspan to block his opponents off from getting easy drives to the basket, and using those long arms to always have a hand in the shooter's face so they get no easy shots.

3. Kobe Bryant

Yes, Kobe can play some good defense and this is key for the Lakers. Not only does Kobe have to be the Laker's primary scorer, but he also has to be their best defender. To go along with scoring points for his team, he also has to prevent the opponent's best perimeter scorer from scoring as well. They don't put Kobe on the worst player either, he has to cover guys like Wade, Joe Johnson, etc. who are all good scorers. Kobe's incredible offense tends to overshadow his defense, but whether you notice it or not, Kobe is actually a very good defender (particularly out on the perimeter).

4. Paul Pierce

He is another guy that is more known for his offense than defense, but still has some very good perimeter defense. He has gotten more recognition for this lately because of how well he played on defense against Kobe in last year's NBA Finals. It may have some to do with Kevin Garnett's influence on defense, but Pierce has always been a good perimeter defender. He knows how to keep his man in front of him, and not get beat to the basket very often.

5. Ron Artest

Now Artest is an all around good defender, and if this were based on overall defense, he might be higher. However, this is only perimeter defense and that isn't his specialty (on ball defense is). He can still play very defense well on the perimeter though. He has tons of strength and uses his big body to stay in front his man, making it very difficult to get by from points in the paint. Artest might not been seen that highly because of his bad attitude in the past, but that doesn't change the fact that he is a very good defender. You can hate him all you want, but you can't deny he has great defense.

6. Caron Butler

Butler has always been a good perimeter defender, but no one knew about it until he started to become a better offensive player on the Wizards. He has the size, speed, and quickness which allow him to stay right with his man and make sure they don't get by him too easily. He is probably a better on ball defender than perimeter defender, but he still has some very good perimeter defense as well.

7. Ronnie Brewer

Probably the second most underrated defender (behind Battier). Like Battier and Prince, he doesn't put up high stat numbers that get him recognition. However, he is able to keep his man from doing a lot of scoring damage. He has tons of speed and athleticism which allow him to stay in front of his man. He has become a very important role player for the Jazz, and that role is slow down the opponent's most dangerous perimeter threat. He is still young and improving, so he could very easily rise higher on this list in a few years.

8. Shawn Marion

Marion, like Artest, is an all around good defender and perimeter defense is just part of his game. He is more of an on ball and help defender, but he can still play some very good perimeter defense. He is one of the most athletic players in the league and uses that to his advantage when playing defense. He may not be putting up the huge numbers he use to on the Suns, but he is still playing very good defense along side Wade which has been a big part of the Heat's success.

9. Andre Iguodala

Iggy is another one of those all around good defenders. He not particularly specialized at anything yet, but he can play any kind of defense very well. He uses his speed and athleticism to stay toe-to-toe with his man and never lets them get an easy shots off. He has kind of regressed this year for the 76ers, but he is still young and will improve (probably being higher on this list in a couple years as well).

10. James Posey

One of the best role players in the game knows how to play good defense. It's not luck that Posey has 2 rings now (from the Heat and Celtics) because he played a big part in both his team's success. Not only does he come off the bench for his 3 point shooting, but he comes in for his great perimeter defense. When they need him to, he will come in and cover the best perimeter scoring threat on the opposing team. He does very well at this, and has been huge for his team's defense and their success.

Honorable Mention (or 11th whatever suits you): Dwyane Wade



He has greatly improved his defense this year and he has the numbers (team stats not just individual stats) to prove it. The reason why I didn't put him on this list is because he's more of an on ball defender. He can cover the perimeter well, but he is more of an on ball defender. He is also a good help defender too, getting lots of steals and blocks to prove that.

Posted on: November 10, 2008 7:52 pm
 

Big B's Fav 5 Pistons

After watching 6 games so far, I thought I would talk about a few players that have impressed me so far. This doesn't necessarily mean these are my 5 favorite Pistons players, and certainly doesn't mean these are the 5 best players for the Pistons so far. These are just the 5 players I have been impressed with and I have enjoyed watching the most so far. To give a little catchy ring to it, I'll call it my "Fav 5." And just before anyone says something, no I'm not including Allen Iverson. He will be on this list by the end of the year, but he's only played 2 games so far, and hasn't had enough time to work into the offense very well yet. He's still learning how the offense works, and how he will fit into it. Don't worry haters, he will be great soon enough.

Don't worry, I haven't signed a deal with T-mobile. I would love to work with Dwyane Wade, but I can't work with Charles Barkley. It's just wouldn't work out. I feel for D-Wade, Kenny Smith, and anyone else that has to work with the Round Mound of Rebound.


Fav 5 Pistons players (so far):

1. Tayshaun Prince -

Prince has been the Pistons MVP so far, and there is no question about that. He is averaging 17.0 ppg 7.2 rpg 1.0 bpg 48.6% FG 64.3% 3pt 88.9% FT in 35.2 minutes per game so far this year. He has scored over 20 points twice now (27 against the Raptors and 23 against the Cetlics), and scored 19 twice (against the Pacers and Nets). He has only scored under 10 once so far this season (against the Wizards). He has had one double-double which came against the Nets (19 points and 11 rebounds).

He has shown that when the Pistons need him to, he can put up great numbers. In the past, he has just been their defensive specialist who can have great offensive games from time to time, but inconsistently. However this year (so far), he has maintained his defensive greatness, but is starting to become more consistent on offense. He might be having his break out year this year. Keep on eye on him.

2. Rasheed Wallace -

Even though he disappointed my last game against the Celtics (because he wouldn't play in the paint and only wanted to shoot outside), he has still done very well this season. He has 12.2 ppg 8.8 rpg 2.0 bpg 1.0 spg 40.0% FG 37.0% 3pt in 34.8 minutes per game. He has had 3 double-doubles so far. His best game came against the Wizards when he had 17 points 12 rebounds and 6 blocks.

He has always been good on both sides of the ball. Since he has joined the Pistons, his numbers have declined big time. However, that doesn't mean he was any worse. He has sacrificed his good stats to become a better team player. He is showing his age a little, and that has affected him on the offensive part. He hasn't been scoring well, and is trying to score only outside most of the time. He has had problems with this in the past, but it is even worse so far this season. However, he is playing very well on defense, and is rebounding very well.


3. Amir Johnson -

He has been doing very well in the starting role this year. He has 5.8 ppg 4.8 rpg 1.2 spg 1.0 bpg 59.3% FG in 18.7 minutes per game. He has been really great on defenses, causing lots of turnovers and rebounding well. He has gotten most of his points off of fast breaks, second chance points, and open shots (teams will leave him open thinking he can't hit the jumper). He hasn't been playing huge minutes so his numbers are nothing special, but for the time he has played they are very good. If he continues playing this well (or gets even better), he is doing exactly what the Pistons need him to.

4. Walter Herrmann -

He has been great coming off the bench for the Pistons. He has 6.3 ppg 3.0 rpg 50.0% FG 41.2% 3pt in 15.0 minutes. He hasn't had lots of minutes, but when he comes in he gives the Pistons good production. He plays hard on defense, rebounds well, and gets open for some shots on offense (love those flashy layups!). Considering his only played 15 min./game, I think his numbers are very good. Go Fabio!


5. Rodney Stuckey -

Stuckey has pickup right where he left off last season. Coming in off the bench and playing well at the point. He has 9.2 ppg 3.3 apg 40.4% FG 84.2% FT in 21.1 minutes. He's scoring well, and distributing the ball. I would like to see him play a little better defense, but he is learning quickly and will get in soon enough. Also, he is 100% from the 3-point line. Okay, so what if he's only 1-1, it's still 100%!

Honorable Mention:


Will Bynum -

He's only played 3 games after being activated, but he has been playing very well in those 3 games. He might not be a guy many people know, but he has been playing great for the Pistons. He has 9.3 ppg 2.7 apg 64.7% FG 50.0% 3pt in 17.0 minutes per game. As you can see, his numbers are very similar to Stuckey's, so he is doing very well as the Pistons 3rd string point guard. He can score very well, and has lots of speed. I'm keeping my eye on this guy because he's showed my some good things so far.
Posted on: October 10, 2008 8:39 pm
 

2008-2009 Southeast Division Preview

I feel that the Southeast Division will be one of the most competitive divisions, if not the most competitive, out of all the divisions this year. They may not be the best division, but all the teams will be fighting each other this year and there will be no team that just dominates the division. I think all teams will be within a few games of each, and they will be battling each other all season long. Most of the teams have improved this off season, and look to do some damage in the playoffs this year.

The Orlando Magic, led by Dwight Howard, look to get into the playoffs again this year and make it even deeper into them this time. The Miami Heat have their star player, Dwyane Wade, back healthy again along with new teammate Shawn Marion and 2nd overall pick Michael Beasley. They look to get back into the playoffs after finishing with the worst record last season. The Wizards are again with out Gilbert "Agent Zero" Arenas until December, but their star players, Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison, look to keep them in the playoff race. Last year's surprise team, Atlanta Hawks, look to prove that taking the defending champion Celtics to 7 games wasn't a fluke. The Charlotte Bobcats, led by new coach Larry Brown, look to finally have a good season in their 5th year as an expansion team.

It should be a good race in the division this year, and here is how I see things turning out:

1. (4) Orlando Magic (50-32)

As long as Dwight Howard continues to anchor this team, they will be a higher seed in the playoffs. Howard is just a monster in the paint on both offense and defense. He is probably the most athletic big man (only rivaled by Amare Stoudemire and Kevin Garnett), and knows how to use it to his advantage. He will definitely be in the running for MVP this year, and should continue to improve his game and solidify himself as the league's best center.

They also have talented forwards Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis to contribute as well as young point guard Jameer Nelson, who I believe will make a big improvement in his game this year and become a reliable and solid PG. Now these guys have to step up on defense for the Magic. They can all be great on offense, but their defense wasn't too great last year. Howard is a great defensive player, but he is only one player and can't stop everyone.

Adding guard/forward Mickael Pietrus this off season to be their possible new starting shooting guard was good for them. He can contribute on offense with his athleticism and quickness to finish in the lane, and is solid defense (good rebounder) as well.

The Magic make it into the playoffs as the 4th seed (behind Philly in record even though they win their division) by getting 50 wins again this season. Their run in the playoffs all depends on who they draw in the first round. If they matchup like I think they will (with the Heat) they could see them selves out early in a first round upset. However if they draw an easier opponent, and make it to the 2nd round again they could go deeper. They will most likely have to play the Pistons or Celtics, but if they can build momentum in the first round, they could pull of an upset themselves in the 2nd round and make it to the ECFs or even farther (NBA Finals).

2. (6) Miami Heat (46-36)

Dwyane Wade is back and healthy again. Yes, I do believe he will stay healthy all season long finally, and get the Heat back to the playoff instead of being at the bottom the whole conference. Wade will have a fantastic year, and must if they Heat want to make the playoffs. I believe he will have a great year, in fact the best year of his career which should win him the MVP this year.

Rookie forward Michael Beasley should be able to produce very well for the Heat as well. His athleticism should come in handy for Heat by using him at both forward spots and being able to have play down in low post or up in the high post as well. I think we will contribute to his team better than any rookie other than Greg Oden this year.

Now let's not forget about Shawn Marion. This guy has not gotten enough credit, which is why he left the Suns. He deserved just as much or even more credit than Steve Nash for making that team so good. He is one of the most athletic players in the league, if not they most athletic. He can cut through the lane in the half court or fast break looking for the alley oop dunk. He can slash the lane and finish at the basket as well. Not to mention, he is a great offensive rebounder getting lots of 2nd chance points for his team. Then comes the biggest part of his game: his defense. He can guard the shooting guard, small forward or even power forward and do a good job at it. He is so versatile of a defender; he can impact a defense so much (was the only thing that kept the Suns from giving up 120 points every game). He be huge for the Heat on defense, and in the fast break on offense.

They have 3 guys that will compete for time at the beginning of the year for point guard. They have Marcus Banks, Chris Quinn, and rookie Mario Chalmers. They also recently signed Shaun Livingston Now Livingston won't get a lot of time off the bat, but once he begins to get back into the flow of things, as long as he can stay healthy (that's the key), he can be great for the Heat. They also have good role players off the bench in Udonis Haslem (good rebound and defender), James Jones, and Dorell Wright.

Their biggest weakness is their center spot. Right now their best center is Mark Blount with Jamaal Magloire backing him up. Now Blount showed last year, after Shaq was traded, that he can contribute a little. He won't be able to compete with top centers like Dwight Howard though, and that's what will keep the Heat from winning their division.

Now they could win their first round matchup depending on who they draw. Wade has shown he is a great player in the clutch, and steps up his game during the playoffs. He could lead the Heat to a first round upset victory, but making it to conference finals don't look to good for them this year. They need to get a better center, and then they will be back to being a contending team in the East.

3. (7) Washington Wizards (44-38)

The Wizards always find their way into the playoffs. They have their star point guard, Gilbert Arenas, out until December again, but that proved not to be a problem for them last year. In fact, they even played a little better for awhile will Agent Zero was out. Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison stepped big time and both had great season. I see them doing that again this, and they must if the Wizards want to make the playoffs. Both guys can contribute on offense. Jamison can help on defense with his rebounding, and Butler has turned into a great defender which is huge for the Wizards.

They guy that has to step up again for them is Antonio Daniels. He is the starting point guard with Arenas hurt. Last year he stepped up very well in Arenas's absence. He showed that he can run the team at the point and keep their team running smoothly. He needs to do this again to keep the Wizards in the playoff hunt.

The other starters, DeShawn Stevenson and Etan Thomas, have to do their jobs and Stevenson needs to learn to keep his temper and attitude under control (the opposite of how he acted in the playoffs against the Cavaliers). Stevenson needs to give them the scoring and outside shooting, and Thomas needs fill in for the injured Brendan Haywood by rebound and play some defense. They have their role players off the bench as well in Andray Blatche, Juan Dixon, and Darius Songaila.

I don't expect the Wizards to go anywhere in the playoffs this year. They will most likely draw a higher seed and face one of the tougher teams like the Celtics, Pistons, 76ers, or Magic. Agent Zero will be back then, and any team he is on doesn't have a very good chance with his selfish play. Even without him though, they just can't beat those top teams.

4. Atlanta Hawks (40-42)

The Hawks were a great surprise last year by making the playoffs at the 8th seed and taking the defending champion Celtics to 7 games. After trading for point guard Mike Bibby, the team seemed finally set for success. Even rookie Al Horford stepped up big for them last year.

Their key players this season will again be Joe Johnson and Josh Smith. Johnson is one of the league's best shooting guards and one of the best scorers. He is one of the team's veteran leaders and has done a very good job in that role. He needs to do just as good or better this season for the Hawks if they want any chance at making the playoffs again.

There best player however this year will be Josh Smith. He is an extremely athletic player and has talent on both offense and defense. However, his attitude has been the only thing holding him back from becoming a start player in the league. He drives too wildly in the lane and doesn't have a good shot (basically is only good for dunks and alley oops). However his great rebounding can get him some 2nd second chance points sometimes. His defensive however, I think we will be huge this year. He not only will be a terrific shot blocker and get steals with his quick hands, but he will learn to stay in front of his man and be a good on ball defender as well. He will be able to guard the opponents’ best scorer, and be a great on help defense. I believe he will be finally become a great defensive player this year and possibly win the Defensive Player of the Year award.

The real key to their success however will be Al Horford and Mike Bibby, or there point guard and center. Bibby can bring that veteran leadership and lead the team. He should be even better this year now that he has been with them longer and gotten some chemistry with his teammates. Horford needs to have an even better season than his rookie season. He can't have a sophomore slump, and needs to keep improving so he can anchor the Hawks' down low on offense and defense.

Unfortunately for the Hawks, I don't think they can make the playoffs. Even though they will technically have more wins than last year (I believe), they will miss the playoffs due to the other teams in the East improving a lot more than they have. However, they could surprise me and barely make it again at the 8th seed, but I just don't think it will happen.

5. Charlotte Bobcats (38-44)

The Bobcats should improve a lot this year with new coach Larry Brown. This team has had lots of talent, but couldn't figure out how to play as a team. Now, one of the NBA's best coaches will be able to get them to do that. Seeing as how this team has some young talented defenders, and that's Brown's specialty, it should work out well for them.

Raymond Felton, Gerald Wallace, and Emeka Okafor are all great defenders and that's music to Brown's ears. If he can get all those good defenders to play good team defense, he can have success with the Bobcats. However, they key will be getting them to play together.

They also have their veteran leader in Jason Richardson. Richardson has proved to be a great scorer them, and their biggest contributor on offense. Wallace has also turned into a good offensively player as well, but he tends to be too reckless and gets himself injured. He needs to keep himself healthy if he wants to help the Bobcats be a competitive team in the division and conference.

Their biggest weaknesses are at center and point guard. Felton is a good defensive point guard, but hasn't done a good job of leading the team at the point and distributing the ball. He also needs to improve his shooting percentages as well (41.3% field goal shooting and 28.0% 3pt field goal shooting last year). Nazr Mohammed is a solid center, but shouldn't be a starter. He can be a good role player off the bench, but wouldn't be good enough to start on most other teams. This is the biggest problem for the Bobcats; their biggest weaknesses are two important positions for team's to have success. That will be what holds them back this year.

Brown will improve them this year, but not enough to make the playoffs yet. They still need a better point guard and center, and I don't think Brown will be able to get them to play as team as much as they need to right off the bat. Now as long as he stays there and works with them, they could be a playoff team in a year or two.
Posted on: February 21, 2008 10:22 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2008 9:51 am
 

2008 Playoff Outlook

Well, now that the trade deadline is over, and there can be no more suprises (or can there be?), I will give my layout for this year's playoffs:

East:

(1) Boston Celtics
(8) Chicago Bulls       

(4) Cleveland Cavaliers
(5) Toronto Raptors

(3) Orlando Magic
(6) Washington Wizards

(2) Detroit Pistons
(7) Atlanta Hawks

Boston advances (in 5 games)
Cleveland advances (in 6 games)
Washington advances (in 7 games)
Detroit advances (in 4 games)

Boston Celtics vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (Conference semifinals)
Detroit Pistons vs. Washington Wizards (Conference semifinals)

Boston advances (in 6 games)
Detroit advances (in 5 games)

Boston Celtics vs. Detroit Pistons (ECFs)

Detroit advances (in 7 games)


West:

(1) Dallas Mavericks
(8) Denver Nuggets

(4) Phoenix Suns
(5) San Antonio Spurs

(3) Utah Jazz
(6) New Orleans Hornets

(2) Los Angeles Lakers
(7) Golden State Warriors

Dallas advances (in 5 games)
San Antonio advances (in 6 games)
Utah advances (in 6 games)
Los Angeles advances (in 5 games)

Dallas Mavericks vs. San Antonio Spurs (Conference semifinals)
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Utah Jazz  (Conference semifinals)

Dallas advances (in 7 games)
Los Angeles advances (in 6 games)

Dallas Mavericks vs. Los Angeles Lakers (ECFs)

Los Angeles advances (in 6 games)

2008 NBA Finals:

Detroit Pistons vs. Los Angeles Lakers

Detroit wins in 6

So there you have it. A rematch of the '04 Finals, and the Pistons triumph again. Should be another year of exciting playoffs because I'm sure I won't get half of these right.

 

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com