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Thread: Defensive Specialist

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    Raptors Republic Veteran ceez's Avatar
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    Default Defensive Specialist

    When you look at the best teams, they always have that 1 guy in the lineup (generally a wing) that's a defensive specialist with the sole purpose of locking down the opposite teams best scorer. Think Thabo Sefolosha, Leonard, Bradley, ETC. I know a lot of people are going to say "but what about JJ?!" but no. Sorry. Demar might be better served either being moved or coming off the bench as a pure scorer?

    Thoughts?
    @jerboat

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    Raptors Republic Veteran Nilanka's Avatar
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    But what about JJ?!?!

    Seriously though, I do think he's our best wing defender. He held his own the few times he was asked to guard PGs too.
    "I don't lie. I willfully participate in a campaign of misinformation." - Fox Mulder

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    Super Moderator CalgaryRapsFan's Avatar
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    I agree wholeheartedly that the Raptors need to add a few. I'm hopeful that JV can become a defensive anchor type of C, but that won't happen overnight. I think that's why so many of us were so high on MKG, as he fits a positional need (SF) and role/skillset need (lockdown defender).

    I also completely agree that anybody mentioning Bayless and/or JJ in the same breath as "lockdown defender" need to be bitch-slapped and then have their mouth washed out with soap. They are average-to-slightly above average defenders on a team with historically bad defenders. However, there is no way either of them are excellent defenders, let alone "lockdown defenders" or "defensive specialists".

    I really like what Memphis does with their SG position, with Mayo (offense) and Allen (defense). I think an ideal lineup would have a defensive anchor at C, with offense/defense pairings at each of the other 4 positions. That would optimize the team's matchup/mismatch potential, while enabling the coach to throw out pure offense or pure defense lineups (almost like Lacrosse), as the situation/score dictates. Throw in a grizzled big-body veteran C, that plays small minutes based totally on matchups, and that's my ideal 10 man rotation.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star slaw's Avatar
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    The Raptors don't have the luxury of a defensive specialist. When you have an elite scorer on the floor like Durant or Ginobli or James or Wade or Pierce or Rose, etc. you can get away with having a wing be primarily focused on defense. Memphis gets away with Allen at the SG because Randolph, Gay and Gasol can carry the scoring load. Toronto needs a top of the food chain scorer first, then it can worry about adding a complimentary specialist.

    Personally, I'd rather just focus on adding guys who have good all-court games. If, in doing so, you wind up with an Allen, Bowen, Battier guy then that's fine. too. If not, you still have good players who can do everything.

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    Raptors Republic Veteran ceez's Avatar
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    Quote CalgaryRapsFan wrote: View Post
    I agree wholeheartedly that the Raptors need to add a few. I'm hopeful that JV can become a defensive anchor type of C, but that won't happen overnight. I think that's why so many of us were so high on MKG, as he fits a positional need (SF) and role/skillset need (lockdown defender).

    I also completely agree that anybody mentioning Bayless and/or JJ in the same breath as "lockdown defender" need to be bitch-slapped and then have their mouth washed out with soap. They are average-to-slightly above average defenders on a team with historically bad defenders. However, there is no way either of them are excellent defenders, let alone "lockdown defenders" or "defensive specialists".
    Not to mention the complete meltdowns they have at times that cripple runs.
    @jerboat

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    Super Moderator CalgaryRapsFan's Avatar
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    Quote slaw wrote: View Post
    The Raptors don't have the luxury of a defensive specialist. When you have an elite scorer on the floor like Durant or Ginobli or James or Wade or Pierce or Rose, etc. you can get away with having a wing be primarily focused on defense. Memphis gets away with Allen at the SG because Randolph, Gay and Gasol can carry the scoring load. Toronto needs a top of the food chain scorer first, then it can worry about adding a complimentary specialist.

    Personally, I'd rather just focus on adding guys who have good all-court games. If, in doing so, you wind up with an Allen, Bowen, Battier guy then that's fine. too. If not, you still have good players who can do everything.
    Agree about your first point. I was speaking more as a goal to strive for, not something they have already. I also agree on continuing to grow the team's overall talent pool, with guys that can contribute on both ends.

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    Raptors Republic Starter pesterm1's Avatar
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    Quote Nilanka wrote: View Post
    But what about JJ?!?!

    Seriously though, I do think he's our best wing defender. He held his own the few times he was asked to guard PGs too.
    I disagree. I liked JJ at first too. But after watching more you cansee that just because he gets steals, rebounds , blocks does not mean he is a good defender. he is average at best.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar planetmars's Avatar
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    We can always try Antoine Wright again

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    Raptors Republic All-Star slaw's Avatar
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    Quote pesterm1 wrote: View Post
    I disagree. I liked JJ at first too. But after watching more you cansee that just because he gets steals, rebounds , blocks does not mean he is a good defender. he is average at best.
    The problem with JJ is that for every steal he makes there is a an overplay that leads to points. For every weakside block, there's a missed rotation. For every stop, there's a missed assignment. He couldn't get on the floor in Chicago in a disciplined defensive system and I'm convinced that it's why, as the year went on, he clearly fell out of favour with our coaching staff. I don't see freelancers doing well in Casey's system.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar Bendit's Avatar
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    Metta, Matt Barnes, Raja Bell, Battier, Stephen Jackson are some others but all also have some offense in their game. I agree with the comment that we should be just concentrating on the best talent we can find and in the next phase either try and develop specialists or acquire them. One can even draft such a player from the later portion of talent in a draft (like Bradley). But this org. has yet to prove it can uncover nuggets in the second round. No question if a team wants to do damage in the playoffs one needs one or two of the type of players mentioned in the thread. If JV turns out to be a good to great defender of the rim the Raps can somewhat postpone the specialist acquisition.

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    Specialist is not what the Raptors need right now. We are starved for talent as it is. I'd hate to think we are looking for a "specialist" so we can compensate for Calderon and Derozan's lack of D. What we need, and have needed for quite some time now, are two-dimensional players. Casey's system will take care of the defensive end, since I believe there are really only a handful of defensive "specialists" out there, and even they couldn't defend elite scorers without the right TEAM defense in play.

    So yeah, when you look at the best teams, first thing you realize is damn they got really good players -and perhaps a defensive specialist as a luxury. Raps don't have that luxury as we don't have really good players.

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    I think JJ is an above average defender, but no one is a defensive specialist on their own. Its a team / system thing, a team continually changing players, coaches etc. never has a chance to become a cohesive unit and develope their system. JJ has the athletism and attitude to be an above average defender in a good system. But to play good defensively your teamates need to know how and where your defending your man too, the raptors are along way but getting closer to this. Watch JJ defend his position against the Lebrons etc. hes got the size and ability he just needs teamates on the same page.

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    Raptors Republic Starter SuperRaptor's Avatar
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    Default No Respect for JJ.

    I cannot believe the hate that I am hearing for James Johnson on this forum. Are people here raptors fans or haters? This is the first time in the history of our franchise that the same player has led the team in blocks and steals... and all we have to say about that guy is: "He is slightly above average at best ... "

    No.

    JJ is a gifted defensive player, who has the ability to become even better with maturity, he has incredible athleticism and a nose for blocking shots. He IS a lock down defender.

    We all have hard on's for guys like sefolosha because they are on teams that win, I remember similar hard on's for guys like courtney lee, Michael Pietrus, and Trevor Ariza.

    The neighbours grass is always greener isn't it.

    JJ can be a lock down defender on my team any day. I'm sure Dwayne Casey feels the same way too.

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    Raptors Republic Rookie japetas's Avatar
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    Yeah, JJ is the best wing defender in Raptors team, he could guard the best scorers if they are PG, SG or SF, but on the other hand, if JJ starts to guard PG, what Jose are going to do? He can't guard PGs and if he slides to SG..?
    (Sorry for poor English )

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    Raptors Republic All-Star e2thed's Avatar
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    Quote SuperRaptor wrote: View Post
    I cannot believe the hate that I am hearing for James Johnson on this forum. Are people here raptors fans or haters? This is the first time in the history of our franchise that the same player has led the team in blocks and steals... and all we have to say about that guy is: "He is slightly above average at best ... "

    No.

    JJ is a gifted defensive player, who has the ability to become even better with maturity, he has incredible athleticism and a nose for blocking shots. He IS a lock down defender.

    We all have hard on's for guys like sefolosha because they are on teams that win, I remember similar hard on's for guys like courtney lee, Michael Pietrus, and Trevor Ariza.

    The neighbours grass is always greener isn't it.

    JJ can be a lock down defender on my team any day. I'm sure Dwayne Casey feels the same way too.
    Thank you, for that little rant, James Johnson.

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    Raptors Republic Veteran Nilanka's Avatar
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    Quote pesterm1 wrote: View Post
    I disagree. I liked JJ at first too. But after watching more you cansee that just because he gets steals, rebounds , blocks does not mean he is a good defender. he is average at best.
    I didn't say JJ was an above average wing defender. I said he was our best

    He's certainly more reliable than DeRozan, Forbes or Kleiza.
    Last edited by Nilanka; Wed Jun 6th, 2012 at 09:15 AM.
    "I don't lie. I willfully participate in a campaign of misinformation." - Fox Mulder

  17. #17
    Raptors Republic Veteran Nilanka's Avatar
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    Quote SuperRaptor wrote: View Post
    I cannot believe the hate that I am hearing for James Johnson on this forum. Are people here raptors fans or haters? This is the first time in the history of our franchise that the same player has led the team in blocks and steals... and all we have to say about that guy is: "He is slightly above average at best ... "

    No.

    JJ is a gifted defensive player, who has the ability to become even better with maturity, he has incredible athleticism and a nose for blocking shots. He IS a lock down defender.

    We all have hard on's for guys like sefolosha because they are on teams that win, I remember similar hard on's for guys like courtney lee, Michael Pietrus, and Trevor Ariza.

    The neighbours grass is always greener isn't it.

    JJ can be a lock down defender on my team any day. I'm sure Dwayne Casey feels the same way too.
    Steals and blocks don't necessarily equate to stopping your man on a consistent basis. Just saying.
    "I don't lie. I willfully participate in a campaign of misinformation." - Fox Mulder

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    Raptors Republic Starter SuperRaptor's Avatar
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    Quote Nilanka wrote: View Post
    Steals and blocks don't necessarily equate to stopping your man on a consistent basis. Just saying.
    Show me some evidence that he doesn't stop his man on a regular basis, and I will believe that steals and blocks don't equate good defense.

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    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer Matt52's Avatar
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    Quote SuperRaptor wrote: View Post
    Show me some evidence that he doesn't stop his man on a regular basis, and I will believe that steals and blocks don't equate good defense.
    I start this post saying stats do not tell the whole story so here goes:

    Net on/off court:

    JJ: on -4.6/ off -2.1, net -2.5
    Kleiza: on -0.1/ off -4.8, net +4.7

    oppPER:

    JJ: 14.2
    Kleiza: 12.4

    To show what you are asking would require watching a lot of game film. I can't think of another way to give an absolute answer.

  20. #20
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    I hate when people say that a guy's a good 1on1 defender just because he gets blocks/steals or rebounds. Yeah that is good team defense, but that doesnt mean a guy is a shutdown one on one defender, Bruce Bowen didnt acumulate any major stats, but he was one of the greatest one on one defenders alltime

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