Meet Gilbert Arenas, Defensive Stopper?
Arenas has impressed his new coach on the defensive end so much that he’s earning extra playing time as a result. The Sentinel reports: “Orlando Magic guard Gilbert Arenas played the entire fourth quarter Monday night against the Golden State Warriors, as Jameer Nelson logged just 8 minutes, 41 seconds in the second half. Arenas’ increased playing time had nothing to do with his points (11) or assists (2), however. It was all about Arenas’ exceptional play on the defensive end of the floor. ‘I thought he played very, very hard defensively and I wanted to reward that,’ Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. It’s a sign of the defensive improvement Arenas has shown in Orlando in just two weeks. When Arenas arrived in Orlando, he was a mess on defense. He’ll admit that. He played too far off his man, he went underneath screens and he had lazy habits from his days in Washington. Now he’s more motivated on that end of the floor, realizing that his defensive play will dictate his playing time. ‘I think he’s capable of playing good defense,’ Van Gundy said. ‘I think he had been playing guys too soft and giving them too much. And tonight I think he made a great effort defensively.’”