2009-2010 Lakers Defensive Outlook

2009-2010 Lakers Defensive Outlook

Postby rydjorker121 on Fri Aug 21, 2009 11:38 am

Ron Artest:
Defense: Artest has been chided for having lost a step defensively, and it is true that he doesn’t have quite the lateral quickness to match up with skilled speed wings who can attack the basket; he fares far better against jumpshooters or against strength matchups. He’s still a quality defender, notorious for his strong hands and great interception skills that can strip players on-the-ball or get into passing lanes; however, he lost a chunk of his steal rate last season with Houston. He can get into the grill of his man, although at times he obsesses himself with personal matchups and affects his overall mentality. Houston primarily used him as a SF last year, and he played lockdown defense against opposing SFs—their scoring and free throw rates went down significantly; as a PF, which happened more rarely with Houston, he was still decent against his matchups. The Rockets were 6.8 ppg better with him on the court.

Shannon Brown:

Defense: Brown finally established a niche for himself by acting as the Lakers’ well-needed defensive ace against point guards, especially in the playoffs. He possesses good lateral quickness, reasonable strength and top-notch athleticism, and his cultivated defensive mentality has allowed him to best quite a few opposing point guards; the Lakers used him as SG but crossmatched him against PGs, where he served his role as a contain defender who played to limit his opponent’s shooting percentages—opponents had an eFG of 38.2% against him . He has also made several highlight reel blocks with the Lakers, and ultimately the Lakers were 6.7 ppg better with him on the court.

Kobe Bryant:
Defense: Kobe is notable for conserving his energy on defense, tending to disrespect lesser players and rising up to the challenge against more established players. When he’s motivated, he can be really good—he can hound his man in personal matchups but also aggressively chase him off screens, and he has enough deceptiveness to rank in the upper ten of SGs in steals and blocks as well. Opposing SGs actually shot quite well against him, but Bryant held down their overall efficiency by lowering their rebound and assist totals; all told the Lakers were 11.9 pointers better with him on the court.

Andrew Bynum:
Defense: Defensively Bynum is reasonable—his height and length allow him to contest many shots and accrue blocks at a good rate, but one gets the impression that his defensive activity depends on how many touches he receives on the offensive end. He shows reasonable ability as a team defender as well with his mobility, but tends to lapse into foul trouble by defending aggressive or quicker slashers; this foul trouble is especially most pronounced when he’s facing athletic and skilled big men. The Lakers were 0.7 points better with him off the court, and while he kept most fellow centers in check, one item of note is that big men tended to rebound better against him. Considering that he was excellent on this end of the floor during the 2007-2008 season, and with greater experience and development, he should be better on this end of the court.

Jordan Farmar:
Defense: Farmar’s overall defense this season was abysmal—the Lakers were 9.7 ppg better with him off the court, and opposing point guards routinely torched him, posting superior scoring and assist rates against him. While he does have the lateral quickness, he’s small and lacks the length to contest shots effectively, although he does have good anticipation skills and can intercept passes. Nonetheless, at his best, Farmar’s defense appears to be average, but his effort level on this end is dependent on his offensive success; because he was largely terrible offensively this year, he appeared to be going through the motions on this end.

Derek Fisher:
Defense: Fisher is well renowned for his flopping ability, and once again he drew many offensive fouls. He applies himself on defense and can plays well against strength matchups, plus he’s hard to post because of his base. However, he suffers extremely against speed matchups—a fact Aaron Brooks laid bare in the Houston series—and tends to get lost off screens chasing them, even though his acting skills can convince the referees to call moving picks that way. He also lacks the degree of length to challenge shots truly effectively. In particular he couldn’t hold down the rebound and passing rates of the PGs he matched up against most of the time; nonetheless, his team defense was quite good, and the Lakers were 7.5 ppg better with him on the court.

Pau Gasol:
Defense: Gasol is a slightly above average defender—the Lakers were 5.2 ppg better with him on the court. He possesses a good combination of height, length and mobility; the Lakers matched him up against both frontcourt positions, and he played reasonable defense against both types of players. However, in both cases the opposition outrebounded him, and shot reasonably well against him. Gasol’s basketball IQ enhances his defense—he knows how to prevent angles of entry to post players, and when posted up against he can read and react well to the moves of the opposition. Notably he developed a stronger base from the past year, and held his own more, although he can still get overpowered at times. Gasol is also a good rotation defender with his mobility, and can switch off to smaller players if necessary. Interestingly he cut his rate of blocks sharply from last season, and started a transition to playing more fundamental defense—he's reasonable at drawing charges and boxes out to draw some loose ball fouls, and although his rebound rate leaves something to be desired, he plays relatively foul-free defense, a plus for a big man.

D.J. Mbenga:
Defense: Mbenga is athletic and long, and attempts to swat anything around him, so he accrued an extremely high rate of blocks in his limited playing time. However, in his attempt to do so, he was also a foul maniac, explaining why he couldn’t stay on the court for long periods of time. That also came with an absence of meat-and-potatoes defensive plays; Mbenga lacks the basketball IQ, even at age 29, to read and react to defenders appropriately, and opponents shot extremely well when matched up against him. More importantly, opponents rebounded extremely well against him—nearly double of Mbenga’s rebound rate, an embarrassment for an athletic 7-footer. The Lakers were ultimately 9.3 ppg better with him off the court.

Adam Morrison:
Defense: Morrison didn’t really play enough to make any sort of impact defensively with the Lakers, but with the Bobcats he’s shown himself to be a real liability on this end; both SFs and PFs have shot and scored well against him with superior rebound rates. He lacks the mentality, footspeed and athleticism to make a difference on this end, and to boot he can’t get into passing lanes either. He’s not the best team defender either--his teams have always been worse with him on the court.

Lamar Odom
Defense: Odom’s defense is extremely underrated—he was not only in the top 10 of PFs in steals and blocks per game, and the Lakers were an impressive 17.8 ppg better with him on the court. In between that, amongst all Lakers, he was also first in loose ball fouls drawn and second in offensive fouls drawn, although he himself was first in shooting fouls, loose ball fouls and illegal defense violations among Lakers--so he was actively involved in the defense and subsequent rebounding of the play, which he often completed with a rebound rate in the upper half of PFs. His swiss-knife game also extends to defense—although the Lakers exclusively used him as a PF, he has the length and lateral quickness to match up against some SFs and more mobile PFs, and his height and base allow him to play good position defense against some post players; he’s also a good team defender, generally outplaying his matchup all across the board.

Josh Powell:
Defense: Powell often appears overmatched defensively—the Lakers were a whopping 21.8 ppg better with him off the court, and opposing PFs shot a scintillating 55.1% eFG against him, with high scoring and free throw rates. While Powell is mobile and possesses good length and athleticism, he’s not a shotblocker, he’s a bit undersized as a PF (and definitely at center when the Lakers chose to play him there), and he lacks the basketball IQ to tackle more skilled players and the strength and height against power players. In particular, he has a bad habit in jumping at pump fakes, allowing opponents to get him out of position or draw the foul against him. However, he does give good effort and is in the thick of it after missed shots; he can box out and draw loose ball fouls on the opposition, but due to the aforementioned limitations he's only an ordinary rebounder.

Sasha Vujacic
Defense: Vujacic exerts a lot of effort on the defensive side of the court, and his pesky mentality and in-your-face approach can get into the heads of some opposing players. His overaggressive approach allowed him to impressively rank in the top of SGs in steals per 48 minutes, but it also led to some bad fouls, particularly in the backcourt far away from the basket. He can move his feet, but lacks the athleticism and strength to defend more dynamic wings and the quickness to defend PGs—he defended PGs much worse than wings, a reason why the Lakers rarely crossmatch him with PGs. His attempts at defense didn’t translate to team results either—the Lakers were 8.3 ppg better with him off the court.

Luke Walton:
Defense: Walton is a middling defender at best; although he spends most of his time at SF, he matches up against both forward positions, where he did struggle somewhat in keeping the scoring rates of opponents down. While Walton has the strength to play certain PFs, he’s giving up quite a bit of height and athleticism; likewise, against SFs, he can move his feet but lacks the lateral quickness to really play SFs well. He’s a reasonable team defender and can get into passing lanes, and all told the Lakers were 1.5 ppg better with him on the court.
Last edited by rydjorker121 on Sat Aug 22, 2009 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2009-2010 Lakers Defensive Outlook

Postby Punk-101 on Fri Aug 21, 2009 2:05 pm

Brown
Bryant
Artest
Odom
Gasol

is our best defensive unit then....

I like the looks of that.

I can't wait until Bynum puts forth consistently the flashes of brilliance we've seen from him as an ELITE man-up post defender and ELITE weakside shotblocker. Search for his games against JO and Kaman if you dont believe me. Hopefully the guy can bring it more often. He should if he can stay healthy.
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Re: 2009-2010 Lakers Defensive Outlook

Postby therealdeal on Fri Aug 21, 2009 2:25 pm

^ He has also had success against Tim Duncan as well. I think he has all the right tools, now he just has to stay healthy for a season so that he can get into his season groove and stay there.
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Re: 2009-2010 Lakers Defensive Outlook

Postby rydjorker121 on Fri Aug 21, 2009 3:04 pm

Yeah, Bynum has the most potential to develop defensively. From the games I saw this season I didn't think he was that impressive at all--he was just reasonable. But during the '07-'08 season he was GREAT--he really held down opposing center's eFG%, outrebounded them handily, and basically was a two-way force. So he's done it before, even if for half a season. I think he'll bounce back quite well.
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Re: 2009-2010 Lakers Defensive Outlook

Postby Blahdeh Deebatz on Fri Aug 21, 2009 3:13 pm

"Wow" stat for me:
Lakers are 17.8 ppg better with Odom on the court
Lakers are 8.3 ppg worse with Vujacic on the court
Lakers are 21.8 ppg worse with Powell on the court

Only PG that the has negative "ppg" stat is Farmar.
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Re: 2009-2010 Lakers Defensive Outlook

Postby rydjorker121 on Fri Aug 21, 2009 3:24 pm

^^^
Yeah, that's why I'm not a huge fan of Powell. Sure he's semi-young, but he's very replaceable. We could do better with a 2nd-3rd string PF.
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Re: 2009-2010 Lakers Defensive Outlook

Postby Alcindor on Fri Aug 21, 2009 3:58 pm

Blahdeh Deebatz wrote:"Wow" stat for me:
Lakers are 17.8 ppg better with Odom on the court
Lakers are 8.3 ppg worse with Vujacic on the court
Lakers are 21.8 ppg worse with Powell on the court

Only PG that the has negative "ppg" stat is Farmar.



That "ppg worse" stat doesn't mean much when you only come out in garbage time with a bunch of scrubs playing with you while the other team is desperately scoring in droves to save face which is a lot of what Josh puts up with. Even if Josh plays decent there isn't a lot of PT available at the 4 other than garbage time.
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Re: 2009-2010 Lakers Defensive Outlook

Postby crazylakerfanforlife on Fri Aug 21, 2009 4:29 pm

i love shannon brown's defense. he is not afraid to body up on anyone and love how he signals his teamates to talk to him to tell him where the help or screen is coming from. i remember in one of the playoff games against denver it was the last possesion of the half and shannon brown was guarding billups. shannon brown put gave the signal and kobe started clapping as to say this is where the help is coming from. shannon brown then quickly shifted his body and made billups go away from the help and caused him to miss the buzzer beater.
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Re: 2009-2010 Lakers Defensive Outlook

Postby trodgers on Sat Aug 22, 2009 6:17 am

One thing I noticed about Morrison during the SPL...even when his shot was falling (and it did a lot early), he was shambling around the court and never looked fluid in the least. I don't know whether he just doesn't trust his leg or what. He was a decent enough defender in college, I thought.
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Re: 2009-2010 Lakers Defensive Outlook

Postby noobiew on Sat Aug 22, 2009 10:18 am

rydjorker121 wrote:^^^
Yeah, that's why I'm not a huge fan of Powell. Sure he's semi-young, but he's very replaceable. We could do better with a 2nd-3rd string PF.


I like Powell, he is cheap and is a decent 3rd string PF for us, this is not a issue as he won't get more than 5 mins PT per game.
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Re: 2009-2010 Lakers Defensive Outlook

Postby therealdeal on Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:37 am

noobiew wrote:
rydjorker121 wrote:^^^
Yeah, that's why I'm not a huge fan of Powell. Sure he's semi-young, but he's very replaceable. We could do better with a 2nd-3rd string PF.


I like Powell, he is cheap and is a decent 3rd string PF for us, this is not a issue as he won't get more than 5 mins PT per game.


Exactly.
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Re: 2009-2010 Lakers Defensive Outlook

Postby thkthebest on Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:53 am

We could also go giant mode:

PG: Kobe
SG: Artest
SF: Odom
PF: Pau
C: Bynum

But Phil would never do that...

Blahdeh Deebatz wrote:"Wow" stat for me:
Lakers are 17.8 ppg better with Odom on the court
Lakers are 8.3 ppg worse with Vujacic on the court
Lakers are 21.8 ppg worse with Powell on the court

Only PG that the has negative "ppg" stat is Farmar.


Where did you find this stat (to rydjorker121)?
Last edited by thkthebest on Sat Aug 22, 2009 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2009-2010 Lakers Defensive Outlook

Postby DarthRekal on Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:59 am

always love your write up jorker.. thanks :bow:
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Re: 2009-2010 Lakers Defensive Outlook

Postby dj vitus on Sat Aug 22, 2009 9:23 pm

Like what Alcindor said, Powell comes in when we're up by 20 with 5 minutes left, and then we proceed to give up 10 points so the other team can save face. Powell's got some game and can hit the mid-range after sitting on the bench all day. He's good for what he's worth.
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Re: 2009-2010 Lakers Defensive Outlook

Postby MadMax on Sat Aug 22, 2009 9:28 pm

Nice write up, man. :jam2:

That Powell stat is shocking, but it's not like we need him to play huge minutes. He's a good fit for what we need him for.
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Re: 2009-2010 Lakers Defensive Outlook

Postby GNC on Thu Aug 27, 2009 10:44 am

17.8 ppg better with him on the court


that number for odom is shocking :man4:
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Re: 2009-2010 Lakers Defensive Outlook

Postby LakersN4 on Thu Aug 27, 2009 6:30 pm

Disagree on the Artest breakdown.. He doesn't do well defending jumpshooters.. That's why out of all of those key defensive matchups stats that were posted (bron, wade, melo, pp, kobe etc) pierce had the smallest fall off in stats against Artest, while Kobe actually had better numbers against Artest than his averages.. Artest uses his bulk, strength & great footwork to keep people out of the lane & forces them to become jumpshooters.. he is NOT great at defending natural jumpshooters..
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Re: 2009-2010 Lakers Defensive Outlook

Postby Stearnfxr on Tue Sep 22, 2009 1:16 pm

GNC wrote:
17.8 ppg better with him on the court


that number for odom is shocking :man4:


Not to me. Here's the thing, Pau is not a good fit at PF with Bynum at C, that's a huge reason why you see that large point differential. Put a healthy and on a roll Bynum in with LO, and the stats for both players look great. Put in Pau and LO, the stats look great for both. what hurt Bynum's stat and to some extent, Pau's(his could have looked better), was the two players haven't figured out how to fit together yet, and Bynum didn't make a full recovery to game shape until January last year, road the wave for a mere 1-2 weeks at best, missed a couple of months, came back too early working the entire rest of the year at getting heathy and in shape again. he never hit his stride again because his knee wasn't ready yet.
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