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JasonJohnHorn
01-21-2016, 10:47 AM
Somebody had posted a threat about Shaq's FT shooting and if it would have made him much better.

I always found that what really held him back was his defence, which isn't to say it was bad, but it had notable limits and wasn't as dominant as some.


The other great centers, Wilt, Russell, were known for their defense, and the top ranking centers since the introduction of the DPOY have all won the award (Hakeem, D-Rob and Mourning), as have some of the most respected C's (Mutumbo and Wallace). Likewise, so to have some of the best PFs (Garnett), and those who haven't have been on the All-Defensive team almost every year (Duncan).


I always thought the thing that separated Ewing from Hakeem and D-Rob was defense first and foremost (among other things), and I think the same could be said of Shaq.


Again, Shaq was a good defender generally speaking. I mean, he's got 3 All-D 2nd team awards. But I remember in his rookie year, when he was leaner and more athletic/agile, he was putting up 3.5 blocks a game, and I thought: This guy is going to be an amazing shot blocker. And he was pretty great at blocking shots, but he never averaged more than 3 a game after that: his rookie year was his highest bpg average!


Later, when watching him play, he seemed like more of a lane-clogger, with his frame, and he was effective at that, but he didn't have the hops to contest so many shots like Mourning did, or Hakeem, or Dwight. And when he played against guys that could step out and shoot, like Sabonis, he just let them do it and switched off. Garnett and Duncan, though, could always step out and follow their man.


Keep in mind, that when Shaq was in his prime, he was being easily outpaced defensively by other C's, like Wallace and even Camby.


Had Shaq been, perhaps not a DPOY, but at least a consist 1st or 2nd All-D team, do you think there would be a stronger case for him being #1 over all? Or if he were he a more dominant rebounder? Either on the All-Time C list, or just the All-Time list?

Or would have maintained a slightly more athletic frame have impacted his offensive game too much?


Keep in mind, Shaq was a GREAT GREAT rebounder. But he was dominant the way Wallace, Rodman, DaJ and Drummond are. And he was a good, or even great defender, and certainly a great shot blocker, but he didn't dominate at that. So please don't take this to be undermining what he did do VERY well.


Thoughts? Was this a missed opportunity?

ewing
01-21-2016, 11:47 AM
Ewing was the best defensive player of his era. :shrug:

YOUGOTAGETUP
01-21-2016, 11:53 AM
Shaq was actually one of the best defensive players ever. Some feel that he got help from the refs. He'd miss about 10-15 games most of his seasons. That's why he's not 2 and instead is usually ranked by many 5-9.

valade16
01-21-2016, 12:06 PM
Off Topic: I think Ewing is probably underrated defensively as opposed to being a step below those other guys.

Ewing anchored a Top 5 defense from 1992-1999. That's pretty remarkable.

Hawkeye15
01-21-2016, 12:43 PM
Ewing was the best defensive player of his era. :shrug:

for big men? I think Zo, and Mutumbo were there with him.

Tony_Starks
01-21-2016, 12:51 PM
Shaq himself has said he didn't really give the effort on D. Phil has spoke on it as well, trying to keep him motivated on that end.

At times he was also a flat out liability on D. Utah and the Spurs in particular used to absolutely murder us on pick and rolls targeting Shaq.

Part of the reason I never get too carried away with his alltime ranking. ( got him 6)

Chronz
01-21-2016, 12:53 PM
I don't agree with many of your theories (Camby? Lmfao) and don't see the relevance of his decline in shot blocking when it led to better defense..

Shaq was historically elite defensively when he tried ( much like Wilt actually) but he had weaknesses. I thought he deserved dpoy when zo won it

Vince70
01-21-2016, 12:56 PM
If there ever were a defensive stat that was based on "getting a player to change his shot" then Shaq would've been the runaway winner in that category.

He wasn't challenged as much as his peers, so he didn't have the blocks they did. There were tons of times when a player had an easy layup/dunk but then Shaq would get back into position and they would pull it back out.

LOb0
01-21-2016, 01:13 PM
I don't ever recall Shaq being dunked on. That's very rare for a big.

JasonJohnHorn
01-21-2016, 03:54 PM
Off Topic: I think Ewing is probably underrated defensively as opposed to being a step below those other guys.

Ewing anchored a Top 5 defense from 1992-1999. That's pretty remarkable.

I wouldn't sa Ewing was a bad defender, but he wasn't a shot blocker the way Hakeem and Robinson, and Mutumbo, and Mourning were.... and that team became good defensively when Riley came on board. Their ranking was as much because of the stellar coaching, as well as the defensive players they had, like Oakley and Mason, and later Kurt Thomas, as well as defensive minded guards like Starks and Jackson and later Sprewell. And Harper. I mean, Harper made the All-Defensive team before he even got to the Knicks. Oakley's got 2 All-D teams and Mason has one. And those guys struggled to get on over inferior (but still good) defenders like Malone who got on based on name recognition as much for his actual defense (a la Kobe). Starks and Sprewell both had All-D team selections as well. And in some instances, Oak and Mason made it on the team AHEAD of Ewing, who never made the first team and only made the second team thrice.


With a COY, and a defensively stacked roster, I think it's unfair to give Ewing too much credit for how that team performed defensively.


Was he bad a D? No. He was great. Was he as good as Hakeem, Ewing, or Mourning? No even close. The were each clearly on a level above and beyond what Ewing could do.

JasonJohnHorn
01-21-2016, 03:58 PM
Ewing was the best defensive player of his era. :shrug:

Obvious bias aside... really? I will heartily agree that Ewing was a good, even great defender, but his teammates made the team ahead of him more than once (Mason Oakley Starks Sprewell).

Do you really think he could be the best of his generation when he and Hakeem came in at around the same time and Hakeem routinely finished on the first team and won DPOY while Ewing never received those kinds of accolades? The same of Mutumbo and Mourning.

If you want to make a case that Robinson was strictly a shot blocker, and that Ewing was a better man-to-man defender, I can get that. I've seen Robinson let a guy through and them make up for his mistake with his athleticism to block the shot from behind, where Ewing wouldn't have let the guy get through to start with (though that might be an unfair characterization of D-Rob).

But suggesting that Ewing was the best defender of his generation? I'm not trolling when I say this, or meaning to attack you, but that sounds like a homer claim.

valade16
01-21-2016, 03:58 PM
I don't ever recall Shaq being dunked on. That's very rare for a big.

http://youtu.be/Y1myF3dqnWo

ewing
01-21-2016, 04:10 PM
Obvious bias aside... really? I will heartily agree that Ewing was a good, even great defender, but his teammates made the team ahead of him more than once (Mason Oakley Starks Sprewell).

Do you really think he could be the best of his generation when he and Hakeem came in at around the same time and Hakeem routinely finished on the first team and won DPOY while Ewing never received those kinds of accolades? The same of Mutumbo and Mourning.

If you want to make a case that Robinson was strictly a shot blocker, and that Ewing was a better man-to-man defender, I can get that. I've seen Robinson let a guy through and them make up for his mistake with his athleticism to block the shot from behind, where Ewing wouldn't have let the guy get through to start with (though that might be an unfair characterization of D-Rob).

But suggesting that Ewing was the best defender of his generation? I'm not trolling when I say this, or meaning to attack you, but that sounds like a homer claim.


DPOY and all defensive teams have never meant anything. You can make the case for Dream being a better defender and when he was locked in he was. I also don't think he committed as much to defense in the regular season. The notion that Robinson was near as impactful a defender as Ewing is laughable. He had bad instincts and was pushed around. As for Pat's G-Town mates Mourning was amazing but he came into the league a little light for the era and in need of seasoning. Entering his prime he was great and then after 3 or 4 years he was sick. The Zo that returned was a warrior but he wasn't the Zo that left. The Mount on the other hand was a pure rim protector. If you were OK with your center not leaving the paint he was as good as it got but Ewing and Zo did more then protect the rim and play one on one D in the paint

valade16
01-21-2016, 04:13 PM
I wouldn't sa Ewing was a bad defender, but he wasn't a shot blocker the way Hakeem and Robinson, and Mutumbo, and Mourning were.... and that team became good defensively when Riley came on board. Their ranking was as much because of the stellar coaching, as well as the defensive players they had, like Oakley and Mason, and later Kurt Thomas, as well as defensive minded guards like Starks and Jackson and later Sprewell. And Harper. I mean, Harper made the All-Defensive team before he even got to the Knicks. Oakley's got 2 All-D teams and Mason has one. And those guys struggled to get on over inferior (but still good) defenders like Malone who got on based on name recognition as much for his actual defense (a la Kobe). Starks and Sprewell both had All-D team selections as well. And in some instances, Oak and Mason made it on the team AHEAD of Ewing, who never made the first team and only made the second team thrice.

With a COY, and a defensively stacked roster, I think it's unfair to give Ewing too much credit for how that team performed defensively.

Was he bad a D? No. He was great. Was he as good as Hakeem, Ewing, or Mourning? No even close. The were each clearly on a level above and beyond what Ewing could do.

I'm assuming you meant Robinson?

I'll agree all 3 of them (as well as Mutombo) were better defenders, I just don't think the gap is that big. It is unfortunate for him he played in an era with so many other great Centers.

ewing
01-21-2016, 04:18 PM
I wouldn't sa Ewing was a bad defender, but he wasn't a shot blocker the way Hakeem and Robinson, and Mutumbo, and Mourning were.... and that team became good defensively when Riley came on board. Their ranking was as much because of the stellar coaching, as well as the defensive players they had, like Oakley and Mason, and later Kurt Thomas, as well as defensive minded guards like Starks and Jackson and later Sprewell. And Harper. I mean, Harper made the All-Defensive team before he even got to the Knicks. Oakley's got 2 All-D teams and Mason has one. And those guys struggled to get on over inferior (but still good) defenders like Malone who got on based on name recognition as much for his actual defense (a la Kobe). Starks and Sprewell both had All-D team selections as well. And in some instances, Oak and Mason made it on the team AHEAD of Ewing, who never made the first team and only made the second team thrice.


With a COY, and a defensively stacked roster, I think it's unfair to give Ewing too much credit for how that team performed defensively.


Was he bad a D? No. He was great. Was he as good as Hakeem, Ewing, or Mourning? No even close. The were each clearly on a level above and beyond what Ewing could do.


you think Mark Jackson was defensive minded. Sorry, you lost. That guy was ripped constantly in NY for his defense. You are clearly to young too have seen any of this and are guessing based on what you have read and award resumes. This coming from a guy that proudly wore 13. Btw they were good before Riles, they became great after Riles who at the time was taught of as an offensive coach. Somehow that changed when Zo and Pat Ewing were his best players.

ewing
01-21-2016, 04:19 PM
I'm assuming you meant Robinson?

I'll agree all 3 of them (as well as Mutombo) were better defenders, I just don't think the gap is that big. It is unfortunate for him he played in an era with so many other great Centers.

if there is a guy that doesn't belong its David Robinson. Btw Ewing blocks went down as he played more on the perimeter and played better position D after Riles took over. Prior to Riles he was a 3 or 4 a night guy

JasonJohnHorn
01-21-2016, 04:46 PM
I don't agree with many of your theories (Camby? Lmfao) and don't see the relevance of his decline in shot blocking when it led to better defense..

Shaq was historically elite defensively when he tried ( much like Wilt actually) but he had weaknesses. I thought he deserved dpoy when zo won it

Camby was a little too lean to be an anchor like Shaq was, but he had more mobility and athleticism, and I would argue, and I think this is reasonably quantifiable, that he was certainly a much better shot blocker. He did lead the league in blocks 4 times, after all, DURING Shaq's prime. When Shaq average 3.5 blocks as a rookie, he also average 4 fouls. When Camby averaged 3.7 blocks in his second year, he averaged 3.2 fouls (that was at the age of 23; at the age of 23 Shaq posted 2.1 blocks with 3.6 fouls).

I remember Shaq in his rookie season. He was chasing guys down, was fast, had impressive hops, could get up there and block shots, was fantastic on help defense. I though, defensively, that he was going to be as impressive as Hakeem. But when he bulked up, he lost that athleticism and that made him a great help defender and made it possible for him to pick up those wing players coming in. I don't remember him chasing guys down defensively in LA. Somebody gets on the fast break, rookie Shaq hussels and chasing them down; 2000-2004 Shaq watches them.

Like I said, this is not an argument that Shaq was a bad defender. He was great at what he did in terms of clogging the lane and man-to-man defense in the post (in large part because he was so hard to move), but when you had a C that could face up and create off the dribble (like Hakeem or Amare), Shaq was not effective. If you have a C that could step out and hit a jumper or a god forbid a 3, Shaq had to switch off and couldn't be bother to step out and guard them.

Like I said, you put him in the lane, and the guy he's guarding won't be as effective in the post, and he's going to make it hard for wing players to attack the basket, but historically elite? We must not have watched the same games. He didn't have the agility past the age of probably 25 or 26 to be considered historically elite.

If he were, especially given his popularity, wouldn't he have made more than 3 All-D teams? And wouldn't he have certainly been on at least one All-D first team? I don't mean that the awards get it right all the time, but when voters were so quick to vote guys like K. Malone and Bryant on based on popularity and recognition, wouldn't it make sense that Shaq would have gotten a few spots like that if he was historically elite as you suggest?

Check out this link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUifPfjXXXM

@ 1:03, 1:17, 2:08 (Shaq had a bad pass heading up, as you can hear the commentator mention; doesn't even get down to the other end to play D). That that is a bad night from Sabonis.

Check this one out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwUIWhYOqVs

The first play is typical of Shaq guarding a guy that can shoot. He literally just stands still, watch the guy step out, watches him shoot, and then turns around to watch the ball go in. @ 3:28 you also see Sabonis go out, Shaq just ignores him and moves over to guard Kenny Anderson (who already has a man on him), then he doesn't watch Sabonis who comes back into the paint for an easy lay up. If Shaq guarded te guy when he stepped out, instead of ignoring him, that wouldn't have happened. He's lucky that play was a lay-up instead of a 3. At 4:28 we see why Shaq doesn't typically follow Sabonis out, because when he does, he can't switch off and get back on D. He ends up guarding nobody and lets Robinson get to the basket. @5:55, Sabonis steps out again, Shaq stays in the paint, nobody is guarding him, Shaq takes his eyes of his man and AGAIN lets him come back into the paint for an easy lay up.

@6:59. Sabonis is downtown; Shaq in the paint seemingly guarding one of his own players. Leaves Sabnis wide open. And at the end, Sabonis is out again, Shaq lets him go out, doesn't follow him, and then allows him to pick up an offensive rebound because when the shot goes up, he's not watching his man and can't box him out.


Now these are only a couple of games, but the second one is a PLAYOFF game.


There's other plays I didn't mention. Sabonis has a sweet hook he drops on Shaq a few times, but Shaq's man-to-man D is good. He makes Sabonis earn that shot, and the hook is just a hard shot to defend. I don't fault him for that. You got a post player, Shaq WILL slow them down and make them less efficient. He'll also pick up a guy coming in and make it harder for them to score, but that WILL leave somebody open, and Shaq never had the defensive awareness to cut off those passing lanes to the open man or to rotate back onto them.

Historically elite? I'll say he was good in many situations, and great specifically for post-up scorers, but there is not way that movement like that can be fairly considered to be historically elite. You wouldn't see Hakeem, or Mourning, or certainly not Duncan drop the ball like that.

Chronz
01-21-2016, 07:10 PM
Camby was a little too lean to be an anchor like Shaq was, but he had more mobility and athleticism, and I would argue, and I think this is reasonably quantifiable, that he was certainly a much better shot blocker. He did lead the league in blocks 4 times, after all, DURING Shaq's prime. When Shaq average 3.5 blocks as a rookie, he also average 4 fouls. When Camby averaged 3.7 blocks in his second year, he averaged 3.2 fouls (that was at the age of 23; at the age of 23 Shaq posted 2.1 blocks with 3.6 fouls).
Definitely quantifiable, just like some of the best shotblockers were some of the worst defenders, so Im not going to care much for raw stats like that. Camby was too lean to be an anchor and too lean to be a primary post defender, what he was, was specifically a help deterrent. He was more a shot blocker than a shot preventer (prolly not a word).

Camby wasn't a bad defender, well above average, but its pretty telling that his teams rarely improved (dramatically) with/without him. Matter of fact, when the Nuggets jettisoned the alleged DPOY (this before analysts looked at stats beyond the rudimentary Reb-Blks-Stls-Fouls that you focus on)they improved without him (at worst stagnated). Now this can happen but what I've personally noticed with Camby was that he could make a **** defense closer to average, like he did with my Clippers, but when tasked with turning a solid defense into an elite one, he was much less influential. He simply lacked the girth and discipline to do so as a C. Its why the Nuggs/Knicks were at their best with other guys trying to check the best bigs. Shaq could anchor an ELITE defense, Camby never did. Thats much more important to me (given the stats) than winning a subjective award during a time in which defensive analysis was in the stone age.



I remember Shaq in his rookie season. He was chasing guys down, was fast, had impressive hops, could get up there and block shots, was fantastic on help defense. I though, defensively, that he was going to be as impressive as Hakeem. But when he bulked up, he lost that athleticism and that made him a great help defender and made it possible for him to pick up those wing players coming in. I don't remember him chasing guys down defensively in LA. Somebody gets on the fast break, rookie Shaq hussels and chasing them down; 2000-2004 Shaq watches them.
Rookie Shaq was uneducated, what you call fantastic I call over-eager. He was good 1v1 but he really took it to the next level in LA. He became immovable on the blocks and had this paint presence about him. He stopped chasing blocks and focused on actually making the team better defensively. Phil says Shaq was as good as anyone defensively when motivated, which I agree with, but I've yet to hear anyone praise Orlando Shaq that way. Young Shaq could have never anchored the best defense in the league, he may have had a greater motor but thats true with all youngsters. Since Shaq was usually lazy defensively, his enhanced IQ mattered more.


Like I said, this is not an argument that Shaq was a bad defender. He was great at what he did in terms of clogging the lane and man-to-man defense in the post (in large part because he was so hard to move), but when you had a C that could face up and create off the dribble (like Hakeem or Amare), Shaq was not effective. If you have a C that could step out and hit a jumper or a god forbid a 3, Shaq had to switch off and couldn't be bother to step out and guard them.
Not effective? LMFAO, you do know that Hakeem required more help to guard a YOUNG Shaq than vice versa.... right? Maybe it was the gameplan but I remember coaches suggesting Hakeem wasn't that good 1v1 (because he was undersized) but was the best help defender ever. Look, every defender has weaknesses, even the GOATS. Matchups matter more than anything but in the overall sense, Shaq wasn't just "not bad" defensively, he was elite and at his absolute apex, was as good as anyone, its just hard to be the best at both ends as a center so Shaq wasn't always up for it on D.


Like I said, you put him in the lane, and the guy he's guarding won't be as effective in the post, and he's going to make it hard for wing players to attack the basket, but historically elite? We must not have watched the same games. He didn't have the agility past the age of probably 25 or 26 to be considered historically elite.
25(injury plagued)? You definitely weren't watching Shaq if you think that year matters more than his peak defensive seasons. Why would I care about a singular trait (Perceived Agility) over him having his greatest defensive seasons, peaking during his MVP season? He lost some agility but he gained so much more in mass and intelligence. Wilt lost alot more agility during his best defensive seasons, its because he got smarter (stopped throwing blocked shots into the 3rd row) and stronger. Thats usually the case with bigmen, they are at their peak athletically in their youth, but grow stronger as they age. Shaq was at his so called "Phental" state (Peak mental+physical maturity) during the 99-


If he were, especially given his popularity, wouldn't he have made more than 3 All-D teams?
I dont see why, given we have a DPOY like Camby winning over guys like Duncan. You yourself have criticized the undue defensive praise of someone like Kobe Bryant, now imagine someone who only gets 2 spots to make the team and usually saves his best for the playoffs (because of his greater offensive load).


And wouldn't he have certainly been on at least one All-D first team? I don't mean that the awards get it right all the time, but when voters were so quick to vote guys like K. Malone and Bryant on based on popularity and recognition, wouldn't it make sense that Shaq would have gotten a few spots like that if he was historically elite as you suggest?
No. He mailed it in during a few regular seasons (mostly in his youth) that when he finally tried hard all year, they only gave him 2nd team. He was the best defender in the league when Zo won the DPOY but reputations are hard to build. Put it this way, when Kobe was winning 1st team selections, his own coach thought he was overrated. When Shaq was getting 2nd team, his own coach felt he was underrated.

Look its this simple, if you're the type to put forth more importance on the regular season, then yes, Shaq underachieved a few years (not as much as you claim tho, since he had many spectacular defensive seasons), but come playoffs, you would be a fool to doubt his abilities.


Check out this link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUifPfjXXXM

@ 1:03, 1:17, 2:08 (Shaq had a bad pass heading up, as you can hear the commentator mention; doesn't even get down to the other end to play D). That that is a bad night from Sabonis.

Check this one out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwUIWhYOqVs

The first play is typical of Shaq guarding a guy that can shoot. He literally just stands still, watch the guy step out, watches him shoot, and then turns around to watch the ball go in. @ 3:28 you also see Sabonis go out, Shaq just ignores him and moves over to guard Kenny Anderson (who already has a man on him), then he doesn't watch Sabonis who comes back into the paint for an easy lay up. If Shaq guarded te guy when he stepped out, instead of ignoring him, that wouldn't have happened. He's lucky that play was a lay-up instead of a 3. At 4:28 we see why Shaq doesn't typically follow Sabonis out, because when he does, he can't switch off and get back on D. He ends up guarding nobody and lets Robinson get to the basket. @5:55, Sabonis steps out again, Shaq stays in the paint, nobody is guarding him, Shaq takes his eyes of his man and AGAIN lets him come back into the paint for an easy lay up.

@6:59. Sabonis is downtown; Shaq in the paint seemingly guarding one of his own players. Leaves Sabnis wide open. And at the end, Sabonis is out again, Shaq lets him go out, doesn't follow him, and then allows him to pick up an offensive rebound because when the shot goes up, he's not watching his man and can't box him out.


Now these are only a couple of games, but the second one is a PLAYOFF game.
Dude I can show game clips of Shaq locking down Tim Duncan or walling off the entire paint vs Detroit when he was in Miami, even a few where he gets some clutch steals to seal games, doesn't make him an elite steals guy. Even poor Sabonis (who I think gave Shaq fits) looks bad on the highlight real you gave as I see Shaq scoring over doubles/triples and just dunking it..... bad defense? Nah, just supreme offensive talent.

I mean, Sabonis had his WORST playoff showing offensively when going against Shaq. And its by no small amount, his efficiency dropped TONS more than Shaqs did (who actually raised his game BTW). Thats LITERALLY the worst series Sabonis ever performed in and you want to focus on a few isolated plays? The thing about defense is that most fans cant notice when players get pushed off their sweet spots and are forced into taking solely low% shots, sure when they go in you might have something to criticize, but when the larger scheme is to stunt the opposing TEAMS efficiency, then you wont notice when Sabonis is relying solely on those low% shots nor why his team was crushed 3-1. Dude, your video just reinforced how underrated Shaq's D was.



There's other plays I didn't mention.
A **** TON of plays you didn't mention bro, thats the folly of showing a highlight reel of a 48 minute game in which the player you are lauding underperforms. Thats literally one of the worst vids you could have posted because Shaq eliminated his post game almost entirely and forced him into inconsistent spots on the floor.


Sabonis has a sweet hook he drops on Shaq a few times, but Shaq's man-to-man D is good. He makes Sabonis earn that shot, and the hook is just a hard shot to defend. I don't fault him for that. You got a post player, Shaq WILL slow them down and make them less efficient. He'll also pick up a guy coming in and make it harder for them to score, but that WILL leave somebody open, and Shaq never had the defensive awareness to cut off those passing lanes to the open man or to rotate back onto them.
False, he just makes the right read and knows if the biggest weakness you have is giving up the lowest% shot in basketball, then thats a GREAT tradeoff if it prevents the opposition from winning. Shaq isn't the GOAT defender but hes no where near hurting historically because of it.


Historically elite? I'll say he was good in many situations, and great specifically for post-up scorers, but there is not way that movement like that can be fairly considered to be historically elite. You wouldn't see Hakeem, or Mourning, or certainly not Duncan drop the ball like that.

Well they all have different defensive weaknesses so Im not sure what you are talking about here. I wouldn't expect anyone to clog the lane the way Shaq does defensively and Duncans peak defensive impact came when he became more of a rim protector so what does that say about the importance of what you stress?

It really is this simple, Shaq was lazy during certain regular season stretches and never as dominant as guys who were less capable offensively and handled MUCH less of a load on that end, but come playoffs, IDGAF who you choose, Im taking Shaq and sweeping the conference.

JasonJohnHorn
01-21-2016, 08:25 PM
Definitely quantifiable, just like some of the best shotblockers were some of the worst defenders, so Im not going to care much for raw stats like that. Camby was too lean to be an anchor and too lean to be a primary post defender, what he was, was specifically a help deterrent. He was more a shot blocker than a shot preventer (prolly not a word).

Camby wasn't a bad defender, well above average, but its pretty telling that his teams rarely improved (dramatically) with/without him. Matter of fact, when the Nuggets jettisoned the alleged DPOY (this before analysts looked at stats beyond the rudimentary Reb-Blks-Stls-Fouls that you focus on)they improved without him (at worst stagnated). Now this can happen but what I've personally noticed with Camby was that he could make a **** defense closer to average, like he did with my Clippers, but when tasked with turning a solid defense into an elite one, he was much less influential. He simply lacked the girth and discipline to do so as a C. Its why the Nuggs/Knicks were at their best with other guys trying to check the best bigs. Shaq could anchor an ELITE defense, Camby never did. Thats much more important to me (given the stats) than winning a subjective award during a time in which defensive analysis was in the stone age.



Rookie Shaq was uneducated, what you call fantastic I call over-eager. He was good 1v1 but he really took it to the next level in LA. He became immovable on the blocks and had this paint presence about him. He stopped chasing blocks and focused on actually making the team better defensively. Phil says Shaq was as good as anyone defensively when motivated, which I agree with, but I've yet to hear anyone praise Orlando Shaq that way. Young Shaq could have never anchored the best defense in the league, he may have had a greater motor but thats true with all youngsters. Since Shaq was usually lazy defensively, his enhanced IQ mattered more.


Not effective? LMFAO, you do know that Hakeem required more help to guard a YOUNG Shaq than vice versa.... right? Maybe it was the gameplan but I remember coaches suggesting Hakeem wasn't that good 1v1 (because he was undersized) but was the best help defender ever. Look, every defender has weaknesses, even the GOATS. Matchups matter more than anything but in the overall sense, Shaq wasn't just "not bad" defensively, he was elite and at his absolute apex, was as good as anyone, its just hard to be the best at both ends as a center so Shaq wasn't always up for it on D.


25(injury plagued)? You definitely weren't watching Shaq if you think that year matters more than his peak defensive seasons. Why would I care about a singular trait (Perceived Agility) over him having his greatest defensive seasons, peaking during his MVP season? He lost some agility but he gained so much more in mass and intelligence. Wilt lost alot more agility during his best defensive seasons, its because he got smarter (stopped throwing blocked shots into the 3rd row) and stronger. Thats usually the case with bigmen, they are at their peak athletically in their youth, but grow stronger as they age. Shaq was at his so called "Phental" state (Peak mental+physical maturity) during the 99-


I dont see why, given we have a DPOY like Camby winning over guys like Duncan. You yourself have criticized the undue defensive praise of someone like Kobe Bryant, now imagine someone who only gets 2 spots to make the team and usually saves his best for the playoffs (because of his greater offensive load).


No. He mailed it in during a few regular seasons (mostly in his youth) that when he finally tried hard all year, they only gave him 2nd team. He was the best defender in the league when Zo won the DPOY but reputations are hard to build. Put it this way, when Kobe was winning 1st team selections, his own coach thought he was overrated. When Shaq was getting 2nd team, his own coach felt he was underrated.

Look its this simple, if you're the type to put forth more importance on the regular season, then yes, Shaq underachieved a few years (not as much as you claim tho, since he had many spectacular defensive seasons), but come playoffs, you would be a fool to doubt his abilities.


Dude I can show game clips of Shaq locking down Tim Duncan or walling off the entire paint vs Detroit when he was in Miami, even a few where he gets some clutch steals to seal games, doesn't make him an elite steals guy. Even poor Sabonis (who I think gave Shaq fits) looks bad on the highlight real you gave as I see Shaq scoring over doubles/triples and just dunking it..... bad defense? Nah, just supreme offensive talent.

I mean, Sabonis had his WORST playoff showing offensively when going against Shaq. And its by no small amount, his efficiency dropped TONS more than Shaqs did (who actually raised his game BTW). Thats LITERALLY the worst series Sabonis ever performed in and you want to focus on a few isolated plays? The thing about defense is that most fans cant notice when players get pushed off their sweet spots and are forced into taking solely low% shots, sure when they go in you might have something to criticize, but when the larger scheme is to stunt the opposing TEAMS efficiency, then you wont notice when Sabonis is relying solely on those low% shots nor why his team was crushed 3-1. Dude, your video just reinforced how underrated Shaq's D was.



A **** TON of plays you didn't mention bro, thats the folly of showing a highlight reel of a 48 minute game in which the player you are lauding underperforms. Thats literally one of the worst vids you could have posted because Shaq eliminated his post game almost entirely and forced him into inconsistent spots on the floor.


False, he just makes the right read and knows if the biggest weakness you have is giving up the lowest% shot in basketball, then thats a GREAT tradeoff if it prevents the opposition from winning. Shaq isn't the GOAT defender but hes no where near hurting historically because of it.


Well they all have different defensive weaknesses so Im not sure what you are talking about here. I wouldn't expect anyone to clog the lane the way Shaq does defensively and Duncans peak defensive impact came when he became more of a rim protector so what does that say about the importance of what you stress?

It really is this simple, Shaq was lazy during certain regular season stretches and never as dominant as guys who were less capable offensively and handled MUCH less of a load on that end, but come playoffs, IDGAF who you choose, Im taking Shaq and sweeping the conference.

I get the feeling like you think me saying Shaq is not historically elite is the same as saying he was bad.

I'm not at all saying he was a bad defender. I have CLEARLY AND REPEATEDLY stated that in the post, he was essentially a wall and praised his post-D.

You seem dismissive of the video evidence and say I selected a only a few plays and respond as if I'm categorically saying Shaq is bad. I said I didn't mention plays in the post where Sabonis hit hook shots, because Shaq played great D there, even though he got scored on, but the plays I did mention is Shaq dropping the ball, which he did A LOT against guys that can shoot. You can dismiss it and say "I can show you videos where he walled off Detroit" (not hard to wall Ben in the paint to be frank, and he wasn't stepping out to guard Sheed on the arc, so I'm not even sure where the boast is about there, especially since they got killed that series), but I'm not even suggesting he wasn't good in the paint. Sure, in a series against a strictly post score, he will excel. And yes, Sabonis was less efficient, but that doesn't mean that he didn't expose Shaq's weaknesses and short comings and give his team a huge advantage. I mean, that was a 7-game series that could have been over in 6 had the officials called game three as thought they were impartial, and would have ended differently in game 7 had it not been for a miracle 4th quarter where the officials were again extremely friendly to LA. That Sabonis match-up was the key match-up of the series and was the one that hurt LAL the most. You can try to dismiss the video evidence, but IT IS VIDEO EVIDENCE. It isn't hard to find, and it is indicative of his defense, not an exception. Why do you think it was so easy for me to find it?

Again, I AM NOT SAYING HE WAS BAD!!! HE WAS A GREAT DEFENDER!!!! But he was NOT an elite defender, and certainly not a historically elite defender.


I'm not sure you are even listening to yourself here. I mean, you say his is historically elite, but then you say he mailed it in during the regular season? Historically elite players don't mail $#!T in. The deliver every night. That is what makes them historically elite. Kevin Garnett was on a losing team in Minny on the trading block, and he still busted his @$$ off every night and lead the league in rebounding.

If your argument is "He could have been dominant on a given night, but he was lazy during the regular season", ok, sure... but how you do anything is how you do everything, and given that he would just watch guys like Sabonis (in the playoffs) step out to the arc and then not follow him and let him get lay-ups and 3's and offensive rebounds is pretty clear that the 'mailing it in' occurred it the playoffs too. Yeah, he did a great job of making Sabonis work block, THAT IS WHAT I AGREE SHAQ WAS GOOD AT. But it is clear as day that Shaq, when he was IN THE PLAYOFFs, trying to get his first title, that he still couldn't be bothered to step out to defend a shooter and slacked off in KEY points (despite how effective he was in the post in the very same game).

Now... if you think Hakeem needed more help.. I don't even know what to say to that. I've seen Kenny Smith let guy in and Hakeem pick them up and block a pass and knock it out of bounds, or contest the wing guy while cutting off the passing lane and forcing them to take a bad shot. Hakeem was an amazing help defender, and an amazing one-on-one defender (look what he did to young Shaq and Robinson and Ewing in the playoffs).

And yeah... I'm not saying that All-D teams and awards are everything, but they are something, and voters are eager to give recognition to guys who have popular names, so if Shaq couldn't cash in on that, it's because he was lacking something. And if that lacking something was because he mailed it in during the regular season, as YOU say, then no, Shaq was not an historically great defender if he couldn't even work up the effort to try.


As for young Shaq, I never said he was great, I said I saw him and thought he could be like Hakeem, not that he was as good as Hakeem. He made great pays, and rookie mistakes. Suggesting I claimed otherwise and arguing against that is not addressing what I put forward.

As for Camby, I think you underrate him as a defender, but that's beside the point. I do think it's a shame that TD never got a DPOY, but at the same time, Ben was doing a great job most of the seasons he was in line to get it, as was MWP.

But yeah... I get the feeling like you aren't even listening to what you are writing, or what I am writing, which I am surprised by because you are usually very thorough and self-reflective.

If you want to dismiss the fact he never rank high with defensive awards, and give him a pass on mailing it in in the regular season, and the dismiss playoff footage as isolate, and instead praise him for walling off Detroit in the paint (ie, a series he lost in which he was guarding a single digit scorer), then fine... but I just don't see an argument there, and I certainly don't see the quality argument there that I've come to expect from you and that match the kind of quality arguments you typically post here. If you want to say he walled off Duncan, ok... he also got swept by him in 99, and lost to him in 03, and he also struggled against Divac and Webber (and don't even get me started on the officials with the Kings' series in 01).

You seem more interested in dismissing evidence than making a case. If that's the case, I don't know what else to say. You aren't seeing the common ground that we share in praising Shaq's man-to-man post D, and clogging the lane, and you are dismissing his short comings.

Good. Sure. Great. Ok. Historically elite? That is simply not the case.

TheMightyHumph
01-21-2016, 08:25 PM
Shaq was actually one of the best defensive players ever. Some feel that he got help from the refs. He'd miss about 10-15 games most of his seasons. That's why he's not 2 and instead is usually ranked by many 5-9.

Shaq's best defensive weapon was his weight and strength. Many players just didn't want to go to the hole and take a hard foul from Shaq.

D-Leethal
01-21-2016, 08:54 PM
Gotta love Chronz and JJH back and forth PSD novels :yawn:

Kevj77
01-21-2016, 08:58 PM
Shaq often picked up a couple offensive fouls limiting his defense. When he was in LA Phil would let him play in foul trouble.

JasonJohnHorn
01-21-2016, 09:29 PM
gotta love chronz and jjh back and forth psd novels :yawn:

lmao

flea
01-21-2016, 09:59 PM
Damn the Camby had has spread here. What did that guy do to Chronz? It's not like Eric Gordon and fat Baron Davis were going to win anything for the Clips anyway, whether Camby played well in his mid-30s or not.

MTar786
01-22-2016, 12:33 AM
I'm assuming you meant Robinson?

I'll agree all 3 of them (as well as Mutombo) were better defenders, I just don't think the gap is that big. It is unfortunate for him he played in an era with so many other great Centers.

I agree with you, well besides ewing... id rather have prime shaq in playoffs. but dekembe and mourning were better on d for sure.. so was robsinson.. but in a different way. Shaqs presence alone altered shots.. ive never seen it like that with any other player. people were legit afraid to drive the lane taking a hard bump from him.

shaq was amazing on defense. He was incredibly smart on D too. I dont know what everyone i going on about. He was lazy during the season, yeah.. but he could have been in the convo for DPOY if he needed to. Teams were built around him for him to focus on offense primarily.. thats why we had horace grant come in. We could not afford for shaq to get into foul trouble.. we had like d leaguers backing him up. When shaq went out the lakers stank. You guys have to understand first of all he carried a huge load on offense (first option). it makes you tired banging in the post on every possesion.. 2, he was very lazy during the regular season. Watch shaq in the playoffs. his rebounding numbers would sky rocket (all his numbers infact lol).. not only that.. but i SAW how well he played defense. I watched every laker game from 1999 onwards. Shaq has become so under rated it's sad.
BTW mutombo is one of thebest defenders to ever play.. so to say shaq wasnt as great on d as him is to be expected.

shaqs only weak defensive point came from pick and roll defense. Point guards would get career numbers versus us. Im not kidding... I saw it on a night to night basis.. look it up.. The lakers biggest weakness IMO was a team with a great scoring pg.

valade16
01-22-2016, 12:41 AM
Shaq has said if you were a little guy and you came in to the paint he was going to "touch you".

It's obvious he altered a ton of shots at the rim, but JJH is absolutely right in that he rarely ventured outside the paint to contest midrange shots.

Definitely a weakness however it's not like you could put a stretch 5 in the game or go small since Shaq would pretty much murder them on the other end.

SportsFanatic10
01-22-2016, 12:47 AM
I'd think it's quite big, but not sure where he'd rank all-time...

lakerfan85
01-22-2016, 12:50 AM
I'd think it's quite big, but not sure where he'd rank all-time...

Lol!!

TheMightyHumph
01-22-2016, 01:45 AM
Shaq often picked up a couple offensive fouls limiting his defense. When he was in LA Phil would let him play in foul trouble.

Sure. The refs were hesitant to foul Shaq out of the game, like they are with almost every superstar except Iverson, who seemed to irritate the refs about things that had nothing to do with what was happening on the court.

In the '70s, during the Celtics two Title period, there was no player on the court more dangerous than Dave Cowens when he had 5 personal fouls on him.

LA_Raiders
01-22-2016, 02:01 AM
Shaq was a hell of a Defensive player; he was elite at D. People around here have short term memory... Maybe because he got fat, but he is definitely on the Top 5 C all time on D.

Pfeifer
01-22-2016, 02:16 AM
When motivated Shaq was the most dominant player ever on both ends IMO. He effected game plans like no other. Literally changed the way teams played and they were afraid of him.

Nikeman
01-22-2016, 02:17 AM
If you actually watch the Lakers, Shaq was very effective at protecting the paint, he would often alter and contest shots when people drove into the lane causing them to miss.

My one knock on him was that he was very prone at picking up fouls.

IKnowHoops
01-22-2016, 02:41 AM
Shaq was a hell of a Defensive player; he was elite at D. People around here have short term memory... Maybe because he got fat, but he is definitely on the Top 5 C all time on D.

I'm going to agree with this.

IKnowHoops
01-22-2016, 02:44 AM
Ewing was not a better defender than Shaq. You don't even come down the middle if Shaq is there. How many times did Jordan and Pippen hang there nuts on Ewings face. They could not do that to Shaq. They wouldn't even try Shaq like that. Drob and Dream would pat that stuff too. Ewing was good defender...probably a great defender. But Drob, Dream, and Shaq are easily greater defenders than Patrick. Patrick lacked the hops and explosion that these guys had.

IKnowHoops
01-22-2016, 02:53 AM
When motivated Shaq was the most dominant player ever on both ends IMO. He effected game plans like no other. Literally changed the way teams played and they were afraid of him.

I probably agree with this two. He was immovable...you had to go around him, and in his prime, only Dream and Drob could do that. Shaq could go through you around you or over you. Shaq was just such a dominant force. If you saw his whole career you would know this. He came into the league as Drob and Dreams equal. 2 years later he had surpassed them. Sure they could get him in a one on one battle from time to time. But what he did to the rest of the league was harder to stop and game plan for than what either Drob or Dream brought to the table.

Chronz
01-22-2016, 03:07 AM
So you're saying he's bad

PhillyFaninLA
01-22-2016, 07:06 AM
for big men? I think Zo, and Mutumbo were there with him.

and Hakeem

Vince70
01-22-2016, 08:31 AM
Well, if there is any doubt on Shaq being a great defensive player who could shutdown his own man when asked, then find the video footage of the 4th quarter of Game 5 of the 02 West Semis.

Duncan was at his peak as an offensive player and was scoring at will on Horry, Walker, Medvedenko. The game was tied heading into the 4th and Phil asked Shaq to guard Duncan straight up and that turned out to be the deciding factor in the series clincher. Shaq blocked Duncan's shot at least 3 or 4 times in that final quarter but nobody in the press talked about it after the game. It was the only time that I can remember Duncan really going at Shaq and it didn't end well for him at all. The win allowed the Lakers to move on to the Kings, who had already wrapped their series vs Mavs, and avoid going to back to San Antonio for a Game 6.

JesusNYY_Savior
01-22-2016, 08:42 AM
Shaqs D? I don't know from experience but I would say historically great. I mean look at the size of that man it has to be approaching horse size.

KnicksorBust
01-22-2016, 08:50 AM
I'm going to try and avoid going stat/accolade based here and just go from memory. A dangerous idea I know. :laugh: My memory of the 90s is Hakeem and D-Rob. I always wanted to put Ewing with them but he was never as good even though we were an elite defensive TEAM (Hi Oakley). Then Shaq started peaking and took the mantle from them and I saw him as the best defensive player in the league. I am almost positive he has no DPOY awards (again not trying to cheat here going off my gut from watching the league for the last 30 years), but his strength on the low block was just too difficult for most bigs to handle and guards did not challenge him like they did other centers. He had a nice few year stretch where I would rank him as the best and a historically elite defensive player.

My rough breakdown:

60s - Wilt and Russ
70s - KAJ and Walton
80s - Moses and Eaton
90s - Hakeem and D-Rob
00s - Shaq and Big Ben

Dwight Howard took over toward the tail end of the 00s and it's been an open fight since for best big man defender.

ewing
01-22-2016, 09:38 AM
I'm going to try and avoid going stat/accolade based here and just go from memory. A dangerous idea I know. :laugh: My memory of the 90s is Hakeem and D-Rob. I always wanted to put Ewing with them but he was never as good even though we were an elite defensive TEAM (Hi Oakley). Then Shaq started peaking and took the mantle from them and I saw him as the best defensive player in the league. I am almost positive he has no DPOY awards (again not trying to cheat here going off my gut from watching the league for the last 30 years), but his strength on the low block was just too difficult for most bigs to handle and guards did not challenge him like they did other centers. He had a nice few year stretch where I would rank him as the best and a historically elite defensive player.

My rough breakdown:

60s - Wilt and Russ
70s - KAJ and Walton
80s - Moses and Eaton
90s - Hakeem and D-Rob
00s - Shaq and Big Ben

Dwight Howard took over toward the tail end of the 00s and it's been an open fight since for best big man defender.


were you allowed walk home from school by yourself when during the prime Ewing/Robinson years? :)

valade16
01-22-2016, 10:19 AM
While Shaq was a good defender, let's not get carried away. Top 5 ever? There were a lot of good defensive centers

Russell
Wilt
Kareem
Hakeem
Mutombo
Big Ben

He has to be better than at least 2 of them to be Top 5. I'd be willing to consider Top 10 but IDK if he's top 5...

JasonJohnHorn
01-22-2016, 10:25 AM
When motivated Shaq was the most dominant player ever on both ends IMO. He effected game plans like no other. Literally changed the way teams played and they were afraid of him.

I think the key phrase for me here is 'when motivated'.

Truly great players don't conditional comments like that. Now Shaq was always motivated to do well on the offensive end, and generally on the glass as well, but the real issue is that he wasn't always motivated on the defensive end.

D-Leethal
01-22-2016, 11:11 AM
Ewing was nothing but a "good" defender. Gimme a break. Pat Riley would slap you upside the head for that comment.

KnicksorBust
01-22-2016, 06:39 PM
I'm going to try and avoid going stat/accolade based here and just go from memory. A dangerous idea I know. :laugh: My memory of the 90s is Hakeem and D-Rob. I always wanted to put Ewing with them but he was never as good even though we were an elite defensive TEAM (Hi Oakley). Then Shaq started peaking and took the mantle from them and I saw him as the best defensive player in the league. I am almost positive he has no DPOY awards (again not trying to cheat here going off my gut from watching the league for the last 30 years), but his strength on the low block was just too difficult for most bigs to handle and guards did not challenge him like they did other centers. He had a nice few year stretch where I would rank him as the best and a historically elite defensive player.

My rough breakdown:

60s - Wilt and Russ
70s - KAJ and Walton
80s - Moses and Eaton
90s - Hakeem and D-Rob
00s - Shaq and Big Ben

Dwight Howard took over toward the tail end of the 00s and it's been an open fight since for best big man defender.


were you allowed walk home from school by yourself when during the prime Ewing/Robinson years? :)

LOL. I am 32. So yes.

ewing
01-23-2016, 06:54 AM
LOL. I am 32. So yes.

no you weren't Riley signed with the Knicks in 91. that was 25 years ago.

slashsnake
01-23-2016, 02:27 PM
Not elite defender, but very good defending big man. Moved well, helped well, didn't get a lot of dumb fouls. As others have said, his motivation was a big part of how good at different times.

As for all time ranking, that's tough. Depends where you like guys. I lean a bit heavier to bigs as I think especially on D they impact more of the game.

KnicksorBust
01-23-2016, 03:36 PM
LOL. I am 32. So yes.

no you weren't Riley signed with the Knicks in 91. that was 25 years ago.

How old are you bud?

ewing
01-23-2016, 04:00 PM
How old are you bud?



39 i was teen through that era. maybe i am clouded by the fact that i was obsessed with the team but i saw every game. if went out or had practice it was knick's rewind but you, even though you said you are going from memory, probably don't remember knick's rewind on MSG. Ewing was a better defender then David Robinson. David was an incredible athlete but he was rover and help side blocker, he did get pushed around some, and didn't have great instincts. He wasn't an anchor like Pat, Hakeem, Zo etc. No offense but your memories of Pat are based on narrative and old man with bad knees.

Chronz
01-23-2016, 07:25 PM
were you allowed walk home from school by yourself when during the prime Ewing/Robinson years? :)

I've always wondered, what do you consider their prime years and which were their peak seasons (as in more than 1, a peak run)?

All I know is that Shaq outplayed Ewing consistently more than he did D-Rob, he was outplaying him as a rookie and IIRC, he said Ewing was the easiest to slay, but he does seem to have some bias against those "Georgetown boys" and their predictability offensively.

Chronz
01-23-2016, 07:34 PM
I'm going to try and avoid going stat/accolade based here and just go from memory. A dangerous idea I know. :laugh: My memory of the 90s is Hakeem and D-Rob. I always wanted to put Ewing with them but he was never as good even though we were an elite defensive TEAM (Hi Oakley). Then Shaq started peaking and took the mantle from them and I saw him as the best defensive player in the league. I am almost positive he has no DPOY awards (again not trying to cheat here going off my gut from watching the league for the last 30 years), but his strength on the low block was just too difficult for most bigs to handle and guards did not challenge him like they did other centers. He had a nice few year stretch where I would rank him as the best and a historically elite defensive player.

My rough breakdown:

60s - Wilt and Russ
70s - KAJ and Walton
80s - Moses and Eaton
90s - Hakeem and D-Rob
00s - Shaq and Big Ben

Dwight Howard took over toward the tail end of the 00s and it's been an open fight since for best big man defender.
Wilt doesn't belong on that list, Thurmond was easily better. You could put Wilt in the 70's when he was at his peak defensively tho.

valade16
01-23-2016, 07:38 PM
Thurmond is a forgotten great defender for sure.

ewing
01-23-2016, 07:41 PM
I've always wondered, what do you consider their prime years and which were their peak seasons (as in more than 1, a peak run)?

All I know is that Shaq outplayed Ewing consistently more than he did D-Rob, he was outplaying him as a rookie and IIRC, he said Ewing was the easiest to slay, but he does seem to have some bias against those "Georgetown boys" and their predictability offensively.

i don't have much insight on that but it is true. Young Shaq did dominate Pat. I remember it frustrating me b/c i think young Shaq was really more a raw athlete then a anything. Pat was could hit a jump shot but was still a back to the basket player. Shaq was so strong that he could get under him and actually move him and that wasn't something other players could do. Plus i think Pat was so alpha that he intimidated people more then he gets credit for. Shaq didn't give a ****. D-Rob was so fast that he got #s. without looking i assume that D Rob had good #s vs Pat but overall i still don't feel he was as impactful a player. Like i've said before i just don't think D Rob was the defensive anchor he get credit for being and he wasn't a guy that set a tone.

valade16
01-23-2016, 07:48 PM
i don't have much insight on that but it is true. Young Shaq did dominate Pat. I remember it frustrating me b/c i think young Shaq was really more a raw athlete then a anything. Pat was could hit a jump shot but was still a back to the basket player. Shaq was so strong that he could get under him and actually move him and that wasn't something other players could do. Plus i think Pat was so alpha that he intimidated people more then he gets credit for. Shaq didn't give a ****. D-Rob was so fast that he got #s. without looking i assume that D Rob had good #s vs Pat but overall i still don't feel he was as impactful a player. Like i've said before i just don't think D Rob was the defensive anchor he get credit for being and he wasn't a guy that set a tone.

He anchored a Top 10 defense (by defensive efficiency) every year he played before Duncan including 2 seasons with the top ranked D and the year he got hurt SA was dead last in defensive efficiency (29/29).

I'd say that's pretty impactful :shrug:

ewing
01-23-2016, 08:15 PM
He anchored a Top 10 defense (by defensive efficiency) every year he played before Duncan including 2 seasons with the top ranked D and the year he got hurt SA was dead last in defensive efficiency (29/29).

I'd say that's pretty impactful :shrug:


point taken

slashsnake
01-23-2016, 08:30 PM
i don't have much insight on that but it is true. Young Shaq did dominate Pat. I remember it frustrating me b/c i think young Shaq was really more a raw athlete then a anything. Pat was could hit a jump shot but was still a back to the basket player. Shaq was so strong that he could get under him and actually move him and that wasn't something other players could do. Plus i think Pat was so alpha that he intimidated people more then he gets credit for. Shaq didn't give a ****. D-Rob was so fast that he got #s. without looking i assume that D Rob had good #s vs Pat but overall i still don't feel he was as impactful a player. Like i've said before i just don't think D Rob was the defensive anchor he get credit for being and he wasn't a guy that set a tone.

It was polished too with Shaq. Sure the shot was (is, always will be) raw. But the footwork and agility that man had was scary. The times he'd grab the board, run the break with the ball and be the first one down dunking.. It's sad fat shaq overshadows that stuff.

Good point on the intimidation too (that whole front line outside of Smith).

slashsnake
01-23-2016, 08:33 PM
He anchored a Top 10 defense (by defensive efficiency) every year he played before Duncan including 2 seasons with the top ranked D and the year he got hurt SA was dead last in defensive efficiency (29/29).

I'd say that's pretty impactful :shrug:

Wow... that is impressive. I never was a huge fan of him, liked Olajuwon better, the Knicks with Ewing (starks was one of my faves). Dikembe had me a fan with his battle vs. the Sonics. Shaq of course in Orlando up the road. Nothing at all to do with his greatness though.

Chronz
01-23-2016, 09:23 PM
i don't have much insight on that but it is true. Young Shaq did dominate Pat. I remember it frustrating me b/c i think young Shaq was really more a raw athlete then a anything. Pat was could hit a jump shot but was still a back to the basket player. Shaq was so strong that he could get under him and actually move him and that wasn't something other players could do. Plus i think Pat was so alpha that he intimidated people more then he gets credit for. Shaq didn't give a ****. D-Rob was so fast that he got #s. without looking i assume that D Rob had good #s vs Pat but overall i still don't feel he was as impactful a player. Like i've said before i just don't think D Rob was the defensive anchor he get credit for being and he wasn't a guy that set a tone.

So how you feel about D-Rob and his insane defensive numbers with high team influence (by +/- or before and after analysis) and elite team defenses is how I feel about Camby and his great defensive numbers with relatively mediocre team influence and mediocre defensive teams.

What do you make of the fact that the Spurs were the one team that could stifle Shaq the most and that D-Rob was the primary defender on him?

slashsnake
01-23-2016, 10:05 PM
So how you feel about D-Rob and his insane defensive numbers with high team influence (by +/- or before and after analysis) and elite team defenses is how I feel about Camby and his great defensive numbers with relatively mediocre team influence and mediocre defensive teams.

What do you make of the fact that the Spurs were the one team that could stifle Shaq the most and that D-Rob was the primary defender on him?

They did defend Shaq well, but I always thought that was more about them being able to close out on him from multiple directions with good defenders with length and rotate well enough that they could live and die if someone popped off Kobe (and I thought Kobe at times really did well and took advantage of that). Just my thoughts from what I remember.

Agree on that disaster season where Robinson and Elliott went down and all of a sudden Antique Dominique is getting huge minutes. That was an old team he was holding together at that point. His offense too. All of a sudden opponents aren't taking the ball out of bounds nearly as often and it was just run these old guys into the ground.

I remember Ben Wallace, Olajuwon, and Dikembe being more the playoff teams that would 1-1 him and everyone try to stick to their man.




Looking up those on Camby... 4, 6, 3 with him in NY, then he gets hurt and misses most of the year, 18th that year, then 23rd when he's left.

Denver goes 26th to 6th when he shows up. He's 34 when he leaves, less impactful, they do go from 10th to 8th without him, but also give up Iverson who I would call a pretty big liability on D and picked up Birdman who his first couple years was a real positive for uptempo D.

I probably watched 90% of his games in Denver, and he was a presence for sure. As he got older and couldn't be down there when Denver would just give up fast breaks I thought he was a bit less of a "fit" for their D. Robinson no doubt a better defender in my book overall.

KnicksorBust
01-23-2016, 10:18 PM
How old are you bud?



39 i was teen through that era. maybe i am clouded by the fact that i was obsessed with the team but i saw every game. if went out or had practice it was knick's rewind but you, even though you said you are going from memory, probably don't remember knick's rewind on MSG. Ewing was a better defender then David Robinson. David was an incredible athlete but he was rover and help side blocker, he did get pushed around some, and didn't have great instincts. He wasn't an anchor like Pat, Hakeem, Zo etc. No offense but your memories of Pat are based on narrative and old man with bad knees.

Lol I will keep this in mind if you ever try and talk about Magic or Larry on here.

I have no problem admitting that I can't talk about Georgetown Ewing. Didn't watch him. Never went back and watched him. Knicks Ewing however was my favorite player. I watched as much Knicks games as possible growing up and vividly remember all those playoff battles with the Bulls-Heat-Pacers. I remember being devastated when they lost to the Rockets and hating Hakeem and irrationally hating Vernon Maxwell. You are just more clouded in bias then I am. There were years Ewing looked as good as those other centers but never better. And in the end he was just a notch below.

Chronz
01-23-2016, 11:03 PM
They did defend Shaq well, but I always thought that was more about them being able to close out on him from multiple directions with good defenders with length and rotate well enough that they could live and die if someone popped off Kobe (and I thought Kobe at times really did well and took advantage of that). Just my thoughts from what I remember.
Would agree, prolly more of a twin towers effect and their help tag teaming Shaq. And yes I remember how Kobe abused them for the attention Shaq received, that and before Bruce Bowen came and once Derek Anderson got hurt, Kobe was usually defended by midgets or midgets with old legs.


Agree on that disaster season where Robinson and Elliott went down and all of a sudden Antique Dominique is getting huge minutes. That was an old team he was holding together at that point. His offense too. All of a sudden opponents aren't taking the ball out of bounds nearly as often and it was just run these old guys into the ground.


I remember Ben Wallace, Olajuwon, and Dikembe being more the playoff teams that would 1-1 him and everyone try to stick to their man.
Agreed on Ben and Deke, but Im not so sure about Dream. Dude was undersized and some of his coaches noted he wasn't an elite 1v1 defender. I remember doing a touches count on a few games that series, they didn't really guard each other much (their PF's took on the job) but when they did, Shaq was definitely doubled more often, its why his assist numbers were so absurd. Will look for the complete numbers someone posted on the internet.





Looking up those on Camby... 4, 6, 3 with him in NY, then he gets hurt and misses most of the year, 18th that year, then 23rd when he's left.
Yeah but they were elite before he ever got there (Thnks to JVG and even Thibs IIRC) and a bunch of strong defenders abound. I mean the guy was coming off the bench when he got there and was constantly in foul trouble in the Finals. I would say he contributed to that elite defense but he definitely didn't anchor it.


Denver goes 26th to 6th when he shows up.
Thats alil disingenuous tho, I remember he was always injured his first year there and the team improved defensively in most part due to Nene's girth in the lane from my memory. When Camby had a healthy year, they actually slid but that had more to do with Melo (tho losing Juwan Howard should have offset that from a talent perspective).


He's 34 when he leaves, less impactful, they do go from 10th to 8th without him, but also give up Iverson who I would call a pretty big liability on D and picked up Birdman who his first couple years was a real positive for uptempo D.
Yeah a big liability at this point cuz he would gamble non-stop but Billups was past his prime defensively but I suppose its still an upgrade because they didn't have to go small as much.


I probably watched 90% of his games in Denver, and he was a presence for sure. As he got older and couldn't be down there when Denver would just give up fast breaks I thought he was a bit less of a "fit" for their D. Robinson no doubt a better defender in my book overall.

I saw every game in LAC, he was a HUGE difference maker for our ****** defense even at that stage, definitely a great defender, but elite? His DPOY was a farce IMO, he just always struck me as a guy who can contribute to elite defenses but he could only anchor decent ones. He could turn ******* talent into mediocre efficiency on defense (Clips SUCKED without him) but on every other team, his +/- wasn't that strong defensively. And because he was injured so often, we have a hefty sample size of his teams not missing him all that much on defense. Typically the true elites, their teams suffer without them. I never got that impression with Camby, simply not enough of a presence in the paint. He blocked alot of shots, but teams weren't exactly afraid of him the way they were with Shaq, Deke to name 2.

ewing
01-23-2016, 11:33 PM
Lol I will keep this in mind if you ever try and talk about Magic or Larry on here.

I have no problem admitting that I can't talk about Georgetown Ewing. Didn't watch him. Never went back and watched him. Knicks Ewing however was my favorite player. I watched as much Knicks games as possible growing up and vividly remember all those playoff battles with the Bulls-Heat-Pacers. I remember being devastated when they lost to the Rockets and hating Hakeem and irrationally hating Vernon Maxwell. You are just more clouded in bias then I am. There were years Ewing looked as good as those other centers but never better. And in the end he was just a notch below.

i generally don't and i make point of it on this site. unless you are genius you don't vividly remember those series. Ewing was a great player. He was Andy Roddick to Roger Federer. A great player that was out classed by best ever.