Friday, January 27, 2023

Defense, increasingly complex, but essential in the NBA

DENVER ( Associated Press) – Contrary to what the high-point game might indicate, players still play defense in the NBA,

really.

It’s just that the task of stopping players like Serbian Nikola Jokic, Slovenian Luka Doncic, Cameroonian Joel Embiid or many others has become more complicated than ever.

Rick Carlisle, coach of the Indiana Pacers, described the role of a defense against an elite — or reserve — player.

“Crazy and disastrous to try to defend that now in the NBA,” he said.

A combination of rule changes, changes in playing style, the continued addiction to 3-pointers and more turned the game towards offense.

Someone will get the “Defensive Defender of the Year” award even when it seems like no one can stop the ball. It looks like more players than ever will be averaging 20 points per game.

Only a dozen players made it a decade ago. This season, it cannot be ruled out that at least 50 players will achieve it (there were 27 last season and 31 in the 2020-21 season).

The NBA will analyze all variables after the season. But because fans love shooting and there is nothing to refute this position, it seems unlikely that there will be a rule change in favor of defenders.

“For me as a fan, the level of talent is off the charts and it’s something we are seeing,” Commissioner Adam Silver said in Paris last week. “Obviously, the increase in 3-pointers is going to generate more points, especially from guys like centers who shoot 3-pointers as well.”

From defensive zones to constant rotation, teams have tried a little of everything to stop offensive stars. Yet they have managed to shine. Donovan Mitchell scored 71 points on January 2 with Cleveland; Chicago’s Zach LaVine made 11 3-pointers in the 6th, and Miami’s Jimmy Butler made 23 of 23 free throws in the 10th.

Playing defense is getting more and more difficult, but not impossible.

“It just required a great defensive connection,” Carlisle explained.

In this campaign, the number of points was increased again. Teams are averaging more points (114.1) than at any other time in the league in the last 50 years. Sacramento leads with 120 points per game and six players are averaging 12 or more points.

But the NBA knows that any rule changes or changes are always made by smart players who find another way to get what they want.

“I remember people saying, ‘It’s all about the dunk, not the shots.’ Now it’s, “They pitch very well. It should be an inside game,” Silver said. “We’ll see what happens”.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Deskhttps://nationworldnews.com
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