When did Lebron become a elite defender ? I'm assuming it was either this year or the year before. I also would want anyone to answer the same question for MJ and Kobe as well ? Because I'm thinking these guys were elite defenders at a younger age.
I think Kobe might have been an elite defender starting around the age of 24 until the age or 31. I was a very young kid while watching MJ in the late 80's and early 90's, so I can't figure that out.
MJ came into the league as a great defender, but I think he became elite in 1987-1988, which was his 4th season. He won DPOY that season.
I think Kobe became an elite defender in 1999-2000, which would've been his 4th season. He made a commitment to being great at the end at a very young age.
I think LeBron became an elite defender his first season with the Heat, so his 8th season. It took him a minute, but he's one of the most versatile defenders and best team defenders in NBA history. He's also become great on the ball.
Fooled me, Durant was torching him up last time I saw Lebron play.
Maybe you just need to watch Lebron play a little more closely. If you can evaluate basketball, you'll realize Lebron is an elite defender. One of the best and most versatile defenders in the league.
He made the NBA First All-Defensive Team in the '08-'09, '09-'10, '10-'11, and '11-'12 seasons. So do you think his inclusion in four straight All-Defense First teams is a coincidence?
He came 4th in Defensive Player of the Year voting this year, and has a very real chance at winning a DPOY award, IMO.
Just becasue Durant can heat up and hit jumpers with people in his face, doesn't mean that Lebron isn't an elite defender. Guys like Durant, Nowitzki, etc. can heat up and put big numbers on ANY top defensive player. That's just the way it is.
Maybe pay more attention to Lebron's defensive game this year. And try to include his full body of work. Unless you are incredibly bias, you will quickly come to the realization that Lebron James is a top defensive player in the league.
about it. Just don't put him on guys like Kobe, Durant, Nowitski, they will score on him 9 out of 10 times.
you must have not seen when they put lebron on pau. (one of the best low post scorers)
or when he shut down d. rose in the playoffs (one of the quickest/best scorers)
On the ball, Lebron still isn't elite. Off the ball, he is.
lebron is elite!!!!!!!!
can you imagine if lebron was a defensive specialist who didn't waste energy on offense? he would be shutting people down in a nasty(ier) way
Pop quiz. Assign these overall PPP (points per possession) against numbers to the proper player.
Options are: Iguodala, Durant, Lebron, Carmelo, Deng, Gay, Pierce, Marion
.80, .79, .83, .86, .80, .83, .81, .80
Here's a hint, they're in order. If you're not familiar with the stat, less is better.
LeBron is a very good defender, but I wouldn't consider him elite. The argument of "what if he could dedicate more energy to the defensive side" isn't much of an argument at all, because he would also be playing more possessions and expending more energy vs star players as opposed to picking his spots at the end of games, in pressurized situations, after the star player has already been softened up. Again, he's a very good defender, but he also picks his spots very well which magnifies the key 1 on 1 situations in which he does well.
The luxury that LeBron has vs smaller wings or guards is his ability to play off of them, which goads them into long 2's off the dribble which are low % shots. But if LeBron steps up and tries to pressure a guy like Derrick Rose, he gets blown by just like everybody else. Footwork matters on the defensive end of the floor as much as it matters on the other end. LeBron's footwork is not special at all. He can't get low and wide, slide and cut off ball-handlers in a phone booth like a prime MJ or even prime Kobe when he exerted himself on that end. His best option, which he relies heavily on vs quick players, is to play off his man and rely on his recovery ability. You play off your man and you are at risk of getting burned by jumpers. LeBron's PPP vs jumpers (which accounts for over 36% of his defensive possessions) was 1.02, which quite frankly is subpar (reference: Iguodala-.80, R.Gay-.89, Durant-.89).
If you wanna talk about his post defense, which can be good in spots because he has the strength and quickness advantage to front. But that is such a tiring way to defend, especially for a guy who only does it in spots. I doubt he could sustain that type of play for more than a handful of possessions at a time. Looking at the numbers again, his PPP in post up situations was .92, which is average to slightly below average. As a reference point, Iguodala-.69, Durant-.65, Carmelo-.52.
out of everyone you mentioned. Who has the best 'defensive rating'?
Defensive rating is a function of team defense. As an individual defensive metric it is pretty worthless.
Case in point: Carlos Boozer.
except i know carlos boozer is a hole on D and lebron is a beast.
why is d. rose's defensive rating over 100 if he was on the bulls too?
Who knows? Maybe because there are more really good point guards who create offense than PFs. It's a worthless statistic.
Very few guards had below 100, only Rondo and Wade. Defensive rating is an inaccurate statistic.
i knew defensive rating is not accurate but hell, analyst use it.
@ siggy lebron's PPP in post up situations was .92, worst than iggy, durant, and carmelo maybe because he defended more power forwards. i have to go with my eyes on this one, lebron is a better defensive post player than all of them
You can use your eyes all you want. The results say otherwise. Iggy didn't play enough minutes at the 4 to qualify. Melo spent about 20% of the time at the 4 giving up a PER against of 12.8. Durant spent about 23% of the time at the 4, giving up a PER against of 14.4. Lebron spent about 24% of the time at PF, giving up a PER of 14.8.
Lebron's a great defender esp. when he can guard positions 1-4, but Lebron can still work on man to man defense, which he is not as effective as he is as a help defender, as for Kobe and MJ they were great on all phasits of defense whether guarding their man one on one, helping, etc. Lebron could take that step this year.
IMO Lebron is an elite on ball defender... He almost takes the guy he is guarsing completely out of the game. I've never seen him have trouble guarding too many players one-on-one, except maybe Carmelo (a super elite scorer). He did a great job guarding D Rose during that playoff series when Wade was getting torched by him.
IMO Kobe was a very good defender, I never seen viewed him as being elite on defense. I think people got caught up in how much the media always talked about wanting to guard the best player on the other team, which influenced fans' thought on Kobe being sooooo great on defense. Just because he wants to guard the best player doesn't make him elite. After earning that reputation, Kobe just rode the wave to numerous All NBA defensive team selections. For the past few years, I dont think he shouldve been 1st team defense( he was 2nd team last season).. The earlier years, yea. But the last couple have just been a result of his reputation.
As for Jordan lol... He was as Elite as they come
LeBron does rely a lot on his ability to cover ground and recover... That got him burned when he was defending Jason Terry in the Finals vs Dallas.
I think LeBron's defense is a little overrated, but I still think he's an elite defendern overall when you look at his versatility, etc. I'd say he's a better help/team defender than he is a man to man defender.
His versatility is amazing and his help defense is great. You can make an argument that he is the best overall defensive player in the league. However, his on the ball one on one defense is merely good. I don't think it is as good as Jordan's was. But we are splitting hairs here. You don't try to score on Lebron unless, maybe, you are Kevin Durant. Any other team without Durant should try to find a different guy on the Heat to attack.
How did Durant's matchup against LeBron go again?
I think Lebron is a good defender but I wouldn't give him elite. I think defense is almost a popularity thing nowadays. One analyst says it and it picks up steam. Lebron has definitely picked up his defense these last few years but I think people saw that and say now he is elite. I also think he could be elite but he doesn't always try. He guarded Pau great but you don't think he was trying a bit harder knowing more eyes were on him? I think he gambles a bit too much and doesn't always try his best on d.