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Tuesday, June 19th, 2012 at 9:00 am  |  161 responses

Serge Ibaka Says LeBron James is ‘Not a Good Defender’


by Marcel Mutoni @marcel_mutoni

To date, the NBA Finals have been a wildly entertaining series, filled with drama, superstar talent, and compelling storylines.

What has been sorely lacking, however, is real friction and bad blood between the Miami Heat and OKC Thunder.

And Serge Ibaka is here to change that, with a bit of trash talk aimed at LeBron James prior to Game 4 tonight.

From the Palm Beach Post:

“LeBron is not a good defender,” Ibaka said about the player who received the most votes for the league’s all-defensive team, which is selected by the coaches. “He can play defense for two to three minutes but not 48 minutes.”

James was switched onto [Kevin] Durant after Game 1 when Durant scored 36 points and shot 12-of-20 with Shane Battier primarily covering him. Since, Durant is averaging 28.5 points on 23-of-41 shooting and Heat have won two games, taking a 2-1 series lead into Tuesday’s Game 4. “LeBron can’t play (Durant) one-on-one,” Ibaka said. “They’re playing good defense like a team.”

Despite not taking home the Defensive Player of the Year award this season, LeBron James established himself as the most versatile defender in the entire NBA. He’s generally recognized as the only player in the League who can defend every position on the floor, and do so all in one game.

Kevin Durant’s talent makes it so that no single defender can keep him under wraps, not even someone as gifted as LeBron. James can and does, however, make it difficult for Durant to dominate offensively.

Serge Ibaka is right about one thing, though: LeBron James is not a good defender. He is a great one.

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  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2012/06/lebron-james-promises-not-let-teammates-down-again-in-nba-finals/ Pinky and the Brain

    Lebron James says feeling is mutual.

  • S Kemp

    Ibaka is doing a DeShawn stephenson, very silly….

  • floe

    riiight. and kobe can’t shoot the ball.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    I mean, this guy is a nothing player. He’s a good shot-blocker who does little else. A guy his size and he barely rebounds….please. This may be a good thing the Heat cause maybe Lebron plays with a bit more fire on the defensive end tonight and pushes the Heat to the commanding lead. He played out of his mind on the defensive end in the Knicks series after Tyson Chandler won DPOY, so we’ll see.

  • Coggie13

    @Eboy I agree with you completely. I also think that Ibaka is a horrible defender his athletic ability allows him to block shots but he can’t even stop bosh 1v1 his blocks are all in help.

  • Coggie13

    Not suggesting that bosh is a bad player, but to say that Lebron is not a good defender. Calling the kettle black there Serge.

  • Nick

    He might not be the best out there but he’s certainly a hell of a defender.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    It is easy to look at KD’s numbers and come up with the conculsion that LeBron is not a great defender but this is the one time where numbers don’t tell the entire story. The majority of KD’s points on LeBron have come off PnR action, LeBron sagging into the paint to help on drives and off-the-ball screens.
    KD is the best scorer in the L (by far), so to expect LeBron to shut him down means you’re underrating KD’s scoring prowess.

  • Fat Lever

    So Serge blocks one of Lebrons vicious dunk attempts and now he’s feeling brolic. Should be a fun game tonight.

  • http://www.nba.com Gman

    He is going to ruin TEAM SUDDEN lol…
    <—-

  • Omar

    “He can play defense for two to three minutes but not 48 minutes.”

    That is true whenever he guards an elite player. He does guard 4 positions but he rarely guards the best player on the team, it may be versatility, or it may be hiding him or resting him, whatever, if that makes him a “great” defender by whatever standards. So be it. I think he’s a good not great defender.

  • Mas

    Serge Ibaka can play defense like the best of them and I would consider his opinion and expert opinion on the subject of defense.

  • Omar

    @Mas – Exactly!!!

  • hoozdakid

    I think he meant it in a different context because english is his 3rd or 4th language…he’s probably implying that kevin durant is almost impossible to guard..hence “he can not play defense on KD…”

  • Eric

    LeBron has guarded all 5 positions this season. Not only does he guard 4 of them on a regular basis, but he guards each position well. Nearly 2 steals and a block every night for his career. Did you not see him lock up D-Rose for entire 4th quarters last season? Locking up Paul Pierce? Carmelo? He might not be completely locking Durant down, but he has been as effective as anybody in the league could be. And as an overall team defender, an off the ball defender, he wreaks havoc. He helps, recovers, and rotates quickly and plays the passing lane better than anybody in the Association. Sure, he has weaknesses on defense, like a few stretches where he gets lackadaisical, and he can be susceptible to the crossover. But, you’re kidding yourself if you think he’s not a GOOD defender, and I think the mass majority of NBA coaches and players would say he is a GREAT defender. And if you consider that he does all of this while averaging nearly 30 a night on offense, it’s simply amazing.

  • alvher

    SERGE IBAKA IS A HELL OF BITTER . HE ONLY KNEW IS TO BLOCK A SHOT . LBJ CAN BLOCK . CAN FIGHT WITH THE SCREENS .CONTEST A SHOT EVERYWHERE ON THE FLOOR CAN STEAL . CAN BOX OUT AND REBOUND MORE THAN IBAKA CAN ?? SO WHAT THE F**K IBAKA SAY THAT ?? GIVE ME SOME REASON ??

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Ask Derrick Rose how it feels to be guarded by him in games that matter.

  • http://www.slamonline.com spit hot fiyah

    ^@mas so if rodman comes out and says that tony allen can’t play defense is that also expert opinion that should be takes into consideration. experts can say crazy things too

  • KaneDaddyBig

    If y’all think Serge is a great defender then you must not watch basketball. One on one he is average at best. He’s a good help defender whose athleticism allows him to get blocks. Take away his athleticism and no one knows who he is. Unlike Ibaka, Lebron has huge responsibilities on BOTH ends of the court. When his team needs him to slow the best player on the other side of the court, he does it.

  • dsleepy

    kd is not going to appreciate serge’s comments when bron comes at him hard on d tonight. whether or not lebron is a good defender is now a moot point. main takeaway is that ibaka just gave lebron extra motivation for tonight. smh. play your position and don’t run your mouth.

  • dsleepy

    “role player gives 3-time mvp extra motivation for pivotal game 4″ heat in 5.

  • http://Slamonline.com 1982

    I’m assuming he was just answering a direct question about the job Lebron’s done on KD so far, but the coverage will blow this out of proportion into some trash talk. But he’s right, Bron can’t shut down KD 1-on-1, but no one expects him to at all. Ibaka on the other hand, has been close to a non-factor for two games. I’d hardly call that an “expert.”

  • KaneDaddyBig

    I definitely think it was a shot at Lebron. No one can shut down KD one on one. Just like no one could shut down prime Kobe or any other elite scorer one on one. If that was Serge’s point he would have said only that. He specifically said Lebron wasn’t a good defender, then referenced KD to solidify his point.

  • SouthK

    ye coz LBJ has to make plays, score, rebound, fast break.
    ibaka with your talent you should try guarding people on premeter. lbjs about your height and weighs more than you and he does pretty damn good job.

    so please iblock sit down with your insight thank you.

  • http://www.twitter.com/hurstysyd Hursty

    LeBron is incredible. The fact he can absolutely dominate the game offensively at times, even without scoring is amazing. The effort he expends offensively whilst then going back defensively to sputter the oppositions best offensive player… maaaan. He really is a freak. He’s got the physical tools to be an excellent defender, but he’s SMART too. He’s like what Shane Battier would be, if Battier were 30 pounds heavier and more athletic.
    You use the gifts you’re born with/develop. If that means Bron bodies guys up physically, overpowering them, & then using agility to step around screens.. so be it. Excellent defender. Top 5 in the NBA. (No order, LeBron, D Howard, T Allen & whoever you like out of Chandler/Josh Smith/Perkins/Jrue Holiday/Kyle Lowry/Iguodala/Marion/Ronnie Brewer/Sefolosha/Battier/Ibaka/Garnett/Rondo/the ghost of Bruce Bowen/the spirit of Scotte Pippen plus a bunch of other guys, who are good defenders, but cannot have a legitimate case for ‘all defense 1st team’.
    It doesn’t really matter HOW you get it done defensively – it’s that you do.

  • LEBRON’S ADVOCATE

    and DURANT can HOLD LEBRON ONE on ONE???

  • http://www.twitter.com/hurstysyd Hursty

    Just realised I listed like 50 guys there. Oh well. My point stands.
    If, defensively, I’m building a defensive team, I take Bron over Ibaka, every day, x2 on Sundays. Can guard multiple positions.

  • The UNDERTAKER

    Ummmmm…. Sound Like Somebody’s JEALOUS To Me.

  • Conor

    James’s defence is above-average. Rated out of 100, it would be an 80. It’s good that he is capable of guarding five positions, but he isn’t lock-down, consistently, at any of them. His defensive standard is as exaggerated in a positive light as his inability to play in the fourth quarter is in a negative one. Comparatively, James’s defence is nowhere near that of Prime Rodman, Pippen, Jordan, Bryant, Bowen, etc.
    -
    Having said that, Ibaka is even more overrated as a defender than James. The man goes for EVERY pump fake. It’s incredibly stupid.

  • SouthK

    Durant is too long i dont know if anyone can guard him as well. IF LBJ did not have to shoulder the whole offense and just play defense, i think he will do much much better.

    and Thats why Airness is GOAT

  • KaneDaddyBig

    Kobe is the most overrated defender of All-Time. Hands down.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    By including Kobe’s name alongside Pip, MJ and Rodman automatically disqualifies you as someone who should be taken seriously when talking basketball.

  • LA Huey

    Says the guy who was outperformed by Bosh on defense in Game 3.

  • Conor

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liIYL7YcePI

    I’ll take Popovich’s opinion over yours.

  • http://thahiphopcorner.com Kevin

    I hope LeBron drops 40 on OKC tonight just for Ibaka running his mouth. Ibaka isnt a good defender either, he’s just a great shot blocker. I remember Tim Duncan getting buckets on him constantly in the WCF, Perk is the best low post defender OKC got

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    For real, if you mention Kobe as being a better defender than Bron, you can’t be taken seriously. You really can’t. I don’t care how many All-defensive team nods Kobe has received, he was never as good a defender as LeBron. And I’ve watched both of their careers from the start.

  • R32

    1-on-1, elite players are hard to guard no matter who it is.

    Ibaka shouldn’t be talking although he is a great shot blocker. Scott Brooks plays Perkins down the stretch for his better post defense.

  • bike

    You have to wonder about the wisdom of saying something like that when your team is down 2-1 and facing two more away games. Let’s hear Durant’s opinion about LeBron’s defense.

  • LA Huey

    I don’t think this comment will affect anybody though. Just a fun talking point for us, fans.

  • Riggs

    LeBron’s a good defender yes, but its BS that he doesnt get at least 2/3 fouls per game from defending KD. He gets away with a LOT (that many of you have witnessed recently) he is not THAT good of a defender to get his first foul in the 3rd quarter most of the time.

  • http://www.nba.com Gman

    Kobe? LOL

  • Feez_22

    @Riggs … actually, it’s not. Firstly, lebron doesn’t check durant every game. he is usually playing help defense sagging off a guy to disrupt the thunder’s initial defense. Secondly, durant is a jumpshooter mainly. He really can’t get past lebron every play to drive 2 the basket and when he does, there is usually help. I counted 3 times this series when durant took lebron off the dribble and 2 of them were on fastbreak/semi-fastbreak situations. KD is not aggresive enough to be drawing fouls on lebron like pierce or melo is. now if you were a melo fan you may have a gripe BUT even then, lebron/battier shared duties lessening the opportunity for lebron to get fouls. Same with indy… indy complained about lebron not getting fouls but look who he was guarding… Danny Granger? Granger just shoots. never drives. lebron doesn’t foul jumpshooters. voila… problem solved. besides… so far, lebron is avg 2 fouls per game in this series. He doesn’t ever foul jumpshooters so why would u expect lebron to draw fouls against a primarily catch and shoot or iso & shoot jumpshooter whom will shoot over the guy 80% of the time v. driving it due to his length? thats how i see it.

  • http://Slamonline.com Gab

    Good stuff feez

  • B.C.

    LeBron’s not a GREAT defender, he’s a decent one. LeBron doesn’t play defense for 48 mins every night, he’s a good help defender and can make unbelievable blocks while trailing down the court, that’s why most people get fooled into thinking that he is a great defender because of those blocks, but when it comes down to shutting down his man he doesn’t do it.

  • SiMoney

    I’ve had a debate about this on here already, I agree with Omar 100%…don’t think Lebron is a “great” defender but I do think he is a good one…like Ron Artest in his prime was a “great” defender, I don’t see that in Lebron, just my opinion…

  • tpathi1

    lebron doesnt get away with murder..what do you expect..LBJ is a freak of nature..his athletisicm is too great..he doesn’t need to be fouling anybody on the court.

  • AQWORD

    oh . You mean Loby Tryant?! . Serge made himself look pretty stupid saying that B.S.

  • tpathi1

    lebron and metta world peace are the two best on ball defenders in the game right now

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/tray-5 T-Ray

    I don’t think LeBron is a “great” defender BUT he is much better than Serge. Serge is a terrible one on one defender and he goes for every pump fake that’s given. I don’t really think he has any room to speak on another player’s defensive abilities.

  • http://Slamonline.com Gab

    Derrick Rose would like a word with all of you claiming Lebron can’t shut down his man.

  • AQWORD

    B.C. youre gettiin dumber by the day. When he tried to lock down Rose last year & took Paul Pierce out the game permanently & what hes doing against K.D. now. That says to me he can guard anybody therefore great defender. Ibaka is a good defender because all he can do is block shots & has to rely on Perk for good man to man coverage.

  • http://www.hiphopdx.com/ Ghost of Travon Martin

    Good job Serge. Give LeBron even more motivation to go up 3-1

  • Conor

    Popovich is probably more knowledgeable than JTaylor or Allenp.

  • http://www.nba.com danfields

    i didnt see ibaka making a difference on defense yet. so i wonder how he knows…

  • http://www.hiphopdx.com/ Big Game James

    Its time to take that 3-1 lead. The thunder wont be playin in OKC again until next season

  • Conor

    What James is “doing against K.D. now”… Allowing nearly 20ppg in the second half, alone? That’s defensive greatness to you?

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Let’s be real. Ibaka is really not a very good defender. He really doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

  • http://Slamonline.com Gab

    No one said Durant could be stopped, but Lebron did a good job slowing him down last game. Artest, Bowen, and every great wing defender would have the same difficulty defending Durant. Does that mean they weren’t great defenders?

  • Wixurrs

    Kobe’s a good defender but not in the MJ or Pippen or Payton category. He took too many plays off on defense and he didn’t have the discipline those guys did.

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/tray-5 T-Ray

    This is a lost cause to argue Gab. Your logical statements are against the laws of the internet.

  • Conor

    He didn’t average 30ppg against Artest. Defensive proficiency is holding your opposing offensive player to a distinct discrepancy, which Artest has done.
    -
    James is not on Artest’s level, man-on-man. His help defense is the best in the League, though.

  • Conor

    *points/rebounds/assists=discrepancy

  • http://Slamonline.com Gab

    So your logic is that if you cannot shut down the greatest offensive player in the league, you cannot be a great defender? Ok. You do realize Durant still shot over 50% fg and 39% 3pt against the Lakers? Keep in mind that Artest guarded Durant more in that series than Lebron has guarded him one on one.

  • lakeshow

    he must be getting mixed up with kobe

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    We know Battier was the primary defender on Durant in game 1 & 2 don’t we? No? Carry on.

  • Kadavour

    LeBron is GREAT off ball. I can’t rate him as one of the best on ball defenders though. He has the agility to stay with his man and influence them to shoot than drive because of his body, but to say he influences his man to protect the ball a certain way or has the ability to steal the ball straight up (off the dribble) from his man would be false. Artest, Thabo and Gucci are the best on ball defenders in the league now.

  • Kadavour

    KD’s numbers are a bit misleading when considering them in terms of matchups though. Most of his buckets come off the screen action. And dude has a quick trigger, so much like Ray Allen, his offensive possession begins in tandem with his screener (Perk, Ibaka, Collison et al). Once KD catches the ball with space, you’re at his mercy. I love watching him play off ball. I thought Artest did a GREAT job on him in one one one triple threat possessions, but dude kills teams with his off ball movement and quick trigger.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Artest is not in the conversation. Stealing the ball sometimes doesn’t make him a. Top 3 on-ball defender. What made him great in the past (strength + lateral quickness) has been cut in half by age. He just doesn’t slide his feet quick enough anymore. LeBron on the other hand, held his match up to the lowest production & efficiency in the NBA. That is a fact. And I think it’s proof enough to squash Ibaka’s dumbass opinion.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    People still think that Artest is an elite defender at this stage in his career?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    Lebron didnt locked down Rose, that was a team effort. Ibaka statement has some validity to it, Lebron is definitely an overrated defender but to say he’s not good is a stretch… Ibaka cant talk though because I still remember Dirk absolutely abusing that man last year in the Playoffs.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    LeBron averages 30 ppg against Artest. Going by the logic that great defenders don’t give up large ppgs to players, how do we explain this fact?
    Durant is a great scorer. He’s much better now than he was when they played the Lakers in the first round a few years back. It’s not even close to be honest.
    I’m surprised at how many people don’t think LeBron is an excellent defender. Yes, he has some issues, but he’s still excellent. You can be an excellent defender and still have weak areas, and it’s even more impressive when you consider what he does in every other area of the game.

  • http://Slamonline.com Gab

    Slick, Rose himself said that Lebron was primarily responsible for his struggles in the fourth. You may not agree, but Rose cited Lebron as the main problem.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Derrick Rose shot 6% against LeBron. To say someone shooting 6% has nothing to do with the guy on him, when the guy shooting 6% just won MVP against all teams and team defenses is, at the very very very least, flat out ridiculous.

  • Kadavour

    i didn’t co-sign Ibaka’s opinion, i was commenting on what is a key facet overall defensive ability. hands on on-ball defense and ability to influence your man’s preferences and offensive strengths are hallmarks of great defenders. Defensive ability/production are tough to quantify statistically, there are too many intangibles that aren’t accounted for and criteria that require a possession by possession context to be properly represented by our existing statistical standards. Hollinger (LOL) aint make a stat for this sh*t yet homie.

  • Feez_22

    according to ibaka, he himself is not a good defender as tim duncan and dirk nowitzki didn’t really have a problem at all scoring on him in the playoffs… right? Ibaka is one of the most overrated defenders… I’d say kevin garnett is a far better defender than ibaka. Ibaka is good at blocks (AKA HELP DEFENSE) but when it comes to 1 on 1 and positioning? PFFT he gets destroyed by the best PF’s. Lucky for him the lakers were so dysfunctional this yr that pau lost all confidence… I harp back to last yr when dirk nowitzki absolutely OBLITERATED him 1 on 1. Garnett is a far better 1 on 1 defender right now and he is 36 years old. V. the celtics, it was hard for lebron and especially wade to get to the paint and finish. Look at this series… they are going at ibaka and perkins ALL DAY and are succeeding every single game. what does that tell you about ibaka? Pump fake his ass or fake him and you have the inside bucket. its that easy. if people want to debate tyson chandler’s D, look at how hard it was for theh heat to score inside v. chandler versus ibaka… its not even close.

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    Ibaka can sense that the title is slipping away. He’s saying anything.
    A few of the guys on the Thunder are in over their heads.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    It is not a coincidence that MIA’s offense and defense goes into the tank whenever LeBron is on the bench. LeBron’s defense is even more impressive given the fact that he carries such a large burden on the offensive end.

  • Feez_22

    In terms of lebron’s D, i think he helps too much but he is still a fantastic defender. when he was on melo, melo shot an absurdly low percentage (somewhere around 32-35%) and held pierce to a pretty low % as well. Durant is a diff animal but lebron has done a better job on him game by game. I think lebron can do better in the future by not being so flat footed & defending the primary more versus helping with his guy 1 pass a way but he is still a premier defender in this league. Ibaka on the other hand has been a nothing in this series. he has blocked guys but overall, battier is truly cancelling him out. he can’t grab rebounds either which is a HUGE negative. that tells me that he is so concerned with the block that if the player shoots over the block it is EASY to get the off rebound as he is always out of position. he’s a gambler. its like a guy that gets a lot of steals but cant’ stay in front of their man (Iverson anyone?) all i know is the heat are destroying the thunder in the paint and ibaka is their paint enforcer… what does that tell u?

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    It’s actually not that hard to look at statistically. You look at the production of a match up on every possessions coupled with a teams production while that defender is on the court, compared to what they do on average. It’s how we know Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, and Miami were the best defensive teams in the league, who were most effective when (Iguodala, & Brand), (Joakim, Deng, & Gibson), (Garnett, Bradley, & Rondo), and (LeBron) were on the court. Those are irrefutable facts. What is also important are (obviously) the coaches and their system. Which in my opinion is the most important factor in all of this.
    .
    Nobody was talkin about Hollinger and his single statistic that he has become famous for. But you can use his PER in reverse if you want to simplify the effects of a player defensively (the PER of their opponent). But a lot of times, that number reflects team defense as much as individual acumen.

  • T-Money

    can’t believe that no one mentioned that durant went off in games 1 and 2 on SHANE BATTIER.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    KD is shooting 43% while guarded by LeBron and 57% while being guarded by Wade/Battier.
    I came, I saw, I conquered.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    I did T

  • Omar

    Durant going off on Shane Battier is an indictment of either Spo or LBJ, pick one. And him locking up Derrick Rose is irrelevant because he’s not in this series or in the same class with KD.

  • Matisse

    No, Rose isn’t in the same class as Durant. Winning an MVP and being the best scoring player at your position means nothing. Also, the defensive match ups are made with the coach, not the players.

  • tpathi1

    JTaylor where’d u find that stat? i went on nba.com and tried to use their stat thing to see how many times KD actually scored on LBJ vs battier/wade…i too also noticed this T-Money, and i mentioned it too..in previous discussions numerous times

  • http://www.fb.com Reedo

    Bron is one the best Defensive players in the League, ECF I seen the man put straps to Drose during crucial times.. Serg sure couldnt stop Dirk from getting his numbers

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    It’s not an indictment of anyone. It was a strategic decision. LeBron is the HEat’s most important offensive and defensive player. But he’s also human.
    He can’t go all out on both ends all game. So, his coach let him rest by not having to guard Durant for part of the game. That’s solid basketball. Phil Jackson did the same thing with Jordan and Kobe. Coaches have done it for years.
    LeBron guarded Durant in spurts to conserve energy and fouls. He guarded him more last night because he felt like it was crucial to limit him more. Plus, you can’t give a great scorer like Durant the same look over and over again. That’s suicide.
    People who say LeBron is all chase down blocks and steals haven’t been watching him the last two years. Dude has really worked on his game, particularly this year. He rarely fouls because he doesn’t reach in and he doesn’t jump to block shots that often. He doesn’t take charges as the primary defender. All the risky gambling plays most defensive players make to gain an advantage he avoids because he’d rather give up a shot and conserve a foul.
    It’s the same point Jeff Van Gundy has made throughout the playoffs. We undervalue and overvalue fouls depending on the situation.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Elite scorers will get their numbers against elite defenders. Jordan versus Dumars/Rodman/Drexler, Kobe versus Bowen. People for forget that a young Shaq averaged 28ppg in his finals matchup with Dream in the finals. Does that mean they’re not great defenders?! It’s not how many points you can average against an elite defender, it’s the energy you exert and number/quality of your shots that are effected.

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/tray-5 T-Ray

    DMH speaking that truth!

  • Omar

    @ AllenP – I think he is a good defender, just not the best defender in the league for reasons you just gave. He can’t guard the best guy for an extended period of time, he doesn’t block shots, or protect the rim, which D-Wade does a lot and I always laugh when I see it. I think his defensive rep is based off of the chase downs though, he got the MJ treatment with his defense where he is a good defender but he always has help. The only difference is LBJ is the best defender on his team MJ never was.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    MJ was never the est defender on his team. So when he won defensive player of the year who was better on his team? Enlighten the world please..

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    @Gab, he was being mr. humble, lets not act like Rose was killing the other guys…….what did he shoot against chalmers, wade & bibby. If you give lebron all that damn credit, give it to everybody else too. Again, Lebron didn’t shut him down it was a team effort.
    Lebron didn’t even guard him until the end of the game, so he had enough energy to guard him. miss me with the whole 6% bs, They didn’t even guard the other guys on the court, just focused on Rose so Lebron had plenty help and Lebron wont be able to do that with KD because of Westbrook and Harden, so we’ll so how many time the great lebron will have KD shooting 1-5.

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/tray-5 T-Ray

    Omar was Pippen really that much of a better defender than MJ? I agree that LBJ has always been the best defender on his team. The thing with Bron is that he’s so damn big and he just bodies his opponent and that’s how he stays in front.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    It was on ESPN (true hoop).

  • http://www.fullc0urtpress.com KHOLIDAY05

    If you think Lebron isn’t a great defender, you’re bugging! He guards everyone from Durant to the popcorn and cotton candy dudes in the stands. Stop trying to find ways to downplay his ability. He’s good… offensively and defensively… Point blank, period!

  • Omar

    @NBK – That’s easy. Pippen was.

    @T-Ray – I think Pippen was the best perimeter defender I’ve ever seen so I would say yes but that’s certainly debatable.

  • Jono

    IBAKA! WHY ARE YOU ANTAGONIZING THE MAN LIKE THAT?!

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Pippen was still in college genius.

  • rand33p

    Bron is playing good deny defense but once Durant gets the ball he gets past lebron very easily off the dribble … thats a fact all u lebron stans that think hes some combo of jordan-kobe-mutambo

  • rand33p

    if you don’t think Artest is still elite defender your a damn fool and thus it’s pointless to hear ur opinion on defense at all

  • LA Huey

    The fact that LeBron doesn’t D up the best player all game doesn’t diminish his ability as a defender. You can only argue the impact he has defensively because he doesn’t guard Durant all game. That’d be like saying Ray Allen isn’t a great 3 pt shooter these days because he can’t creat his own shot.

  • Feez_22

    @rand33p there someone goes again putting Kobe’s defense along MJ’s and why the hell did u put mutumbo there? whenever i see “Defense” and kobe beside MJ’s name i automatically disqualify that person’s viewpoint. its your opinion but is far from the truth. Kobe is 1 tier below MJ in terms of D… some might say 1.5 tiers below.

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/tray-5 T-Ray

    I see you Omar I was trying to figure out if you just gave the nod to Pippen every single time over MJ.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Jordan was the NBA’s version of a shut-down corner. I don’t know if you are really young and just don’t know, or never followed the NBA very closely. But Jordan had a bigger impact on a game defensively then any other wing player in history during the late 80s. Do some research before you come boasting an opinion that is rooted in fiction.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    rand33 is right though despite overrating Kobe’s defense……

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/tray-5 T-Ray

    Artest is an elite defender but most don’t think so because he doesn’t do the same things he used to. But his methods are effective. His lateral quickness has dropped but now he’s smarter. He holds your shorts, bumps the sh*t out of you, bumps you from the post etc.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    The real nbk’s comment @ 3:45p kind of sticks a fork in all of you ignoramasaurs.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I have a $hit fetish and I am homosexual as well. Also, I get turned on by james harden’s beard

  • http://Slamonline.com Gab

    Slick, I’m stating what Rose said. You are assuming you know what is in his head with all the “humble” talk. And for the record, he fared MUCH MUCH better against Bibby and better against Chalmers than he did against Lebron, though still below his usual. Again, you can interpret facts to fit whatever narrative of Rose you want, but Lebron was THE MOST EFFECTIVE defender he faced all post season. One on one, Lebron shut him down.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Co-Sign Slick and T-Ray.

  • Omar

    @Eboy – No, it just shows homie needs to grow up, lol. He wants to be like AllenP when he grows up. Respect to AllenP.

  • http://Slamonline.com Gab

    Omar, how is Durant going off on Battier and indictment against Lebron and Spo? Are you implying that the Heat’s most important and talented offensive (and defensive) player was somehow scared to guard Durant? I’m beginning to think you cats don’t have a clue about what it takes to play lockdown d and be the number one offensive threat for the whole game.

  • Omar

    @Gab- Who said he was scared, lol?

  • http://www.thenation.com/blog/168311/do-you-know-your-enemy-why-we-should-all-root-miami-heat-beat-oklahoma-city-thunder# albie1kenobi

    the year Jordan won DPOY (87-88), Pippen was just a rookie, and he didn’t even start ONE GAME in the regular season. just saying.
    speaking of which, Jordan was averaging 35 ppg on 53% that same year and won MVP, and here we are, talking about how lebron can’t do everything on both ends of the floor. that’s insane.

  • http://Slamonline.com Gab

    I never said you said it. I asked if you were implying with the ‘indictment’ comment.

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/tray-5 T-Ray

    Put it this way. LeBron could take the initiative to guard KD for the entire game but how smart would that be? I’d rather have my hound dog Battier wear him down for 3Qs and then put my monster on him when it’s winning time. It’s great strategy and despite his numbers it’s been a very great plan. By the 4th this kid is tired as hell.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    While what MJ did on defense during the late 80s was impressive, Pip’s D during the 90s (especially 94) was probably the greatest stretch defensively for a perimeter player in the history of the NBA.

  • tpathi1

    KD gets tired, because as talented as he is, he is not in no way shape or form at the level Lebron is at physically..if LBJ does guard KD for the first three quarters and leans on him and wear him down then the game might be over in 3 quarters..KD can get a half step to a full step over lebron but its still gonna be hard for him to go up strong cause of Bosh down low and the fact that I don’t think its going to feel good to get fouled by lebron in the air like that

  • Omar

    @Gab – No sir.

  • rand33p

    Kobe has been an elite defender during his career… not saying at Jordans/Pippens level but elite nonetheless … as for lebron.. amazing team defender/off ball defender but on ball he can be taken advantage of sometimes off the dribble the way KD has done countless times.. as for ARTEST, dude is still a beast.. whether u agree or not Galignari is a good offensive player, and Artest completely SHUT him down game 7.. showed he still has it defensively

  • http://Slamonline.com Gab

    I stopped reading after “Kobe has been an elite defender during his career”. A couple of good years that built an overblown rep doesn’t qualify as being elite.

  • tpathi1

    in the long run the heat need a traditional center who they can go to for buckets, or atleast somoene who is not undersized..lebron is doing way too much for the team right now..he guarding the hardest players on the opposing team..notice players is plural..and he is responsible to run the offense for the most part and or be the focal point of the offense. To be quite honest, with as many good players around him..he is doing more for his team now then anyone in the history of the NBA..maybe Wilt Chamberlain did more, but idk about that

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I want to be clear. LeBron cannot lock up Durant. Only God and the refs can lock up Durant at this point in his offensive career.
    LeBron can limit clean drives and dunks. He can contest jumpers. He can continue to play active defense even on blow bys so that Durant has to make a more difficult pass when the Heat’s help comes over. This is what James does. He thinks the game on defense very well.
    Watch how he plays even when Durant blows by him. He’s not going to get a bad foul. He’s going to contest cleanly. He’s going to play Durant for the easy drop off pass. That is important. Committing silly fouls or fouls to prevent layups may seem like good strategy but it’s really not. It hurts your team in the long run.
    Serge Ibaka is entitled to his opinion as are all of you. I just disagree with many of you.

  • O

    LeBron is an elite f*cking defender in this league. I hate the man but he’s the best player in the world on both sides of the ball, hands down! KD is toooo fragile to really put any pressure on LeBron and LeBron stay bullying him on D. Not to mention LeBron gets to actually make contact on defensive plays and not get called for fouls. KD doesn’t get that privilege cause he doesn’t have a defensive reputation which is why he’s almost fouled out on every game in the Finals.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Lol I’m pretty sure I have already grown up. And Allen is only a couple years older than I am. But yea, my knowledge of the NBA and expression of it is none-other than a reflection of my desire to grow up to become Allen. That makes perfect sense.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Honestly, if you say Kobe has been an elite defender and then turn around and say LeBron is not, it’s hard to take you seriously.
    I remember what Mike Bibby, Gilbert Arenas, Allen Iverson, Paul Pierce and many, many others did to Kobe off the bounce and in general. I watched this dude’s entire career. I remember what T-Mac and Vince did in their primes. At their bests, LeBron has much better than Kobe has ever been defensively from what I’ve seen. It’s clear and undeniable.

  • tpathi1

    AlllenP i was just about to remind eveyrone that Gilbert Arenas dropped 60 pts in LA on the Lakers!

  • http://Slamonline.com Gab

    Don’t forget Antoine Jamison. He put 50 on Kobe.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    So your reply to those who say that Artest is no longer an elite defender is to point to him locking down Danilo Gallinari? The same cat that shot 41% from the field the past 2 seasons, that guy? Oh lawdy….

  • tpathi1

    If Lebron and Artest aren’t the two best perimeter defenders in the NBA right now..then someone please tell me who is better than them two right now?

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    I love brick.

  • http://Slamonline.com Gab

    Tony Allen>>Artest right now. Iggy might be too.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Iggy, Deng, T-Allen, George Hill maybe > Artest IMO.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Ahh, don’t forget Avery Bradley also.

  • Gary E

    Thunder +135 tonight is an early Christmas gift. Easy Money.

  • tpathi1

    im not saying you guys are wrong..but i still look at artest as an elite defender because he gets away with the most contact..and for a guy with his reputation in the league to get away with anything to me is a sign of respect by the refs..i remember this one play in the thunder series he smashed harden and ibaka into one another then took the ball and went down the court and then the refs called a block on westbrook..they showed the whole sequence on replay i was rolling!

  • http://www.thenation.com/blog/168311/do-you-know-your-enemy-why-we-should-all-root-miami-heat-beat-oklahoma-city-thunder# albie1kenobi

    Andre Iguodala and Tony Allen are the top two perimeter defenders in the L (imo) – followed by some combination of LeBron, Thabo, Bradley, and arguably Marion being the next tier. At least in my opinion

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Perimeter defenders better than Artest
    Bron, Avery Bradley, Tony Allen, Igoudala, Jrue Holiday,
    Random thought.
    Isn’t it interesting how little blame Paul George got for folding a little big against Miami. Just randomly thought about that

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    That was me as Albie. The real me.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    That’s not to say that Artest would not be more effective than those guys at guarding certain people. I would take Artest guarding Paul Pierce over Deng, Allen, Bradley and Hill. But I would take all those guys guarding D-Rose over Artest guarding him.
    He’s good at certain things defensively now. He obviously has strength and a big body on his side so he can guard guys like Melo effectively. He isn’t good with fast cats like Russ Westbrook and such anymore though.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Huh. Real nbk is a troll like me now. Interesting

  • http://www.slamonline.com Redd

    Rose isn’t in the same class as KD?…LOL okkkk. Rose was shut down effectively because it was predictable that Rose would be carrying the load & not his teammates. So it’s more so predictability than great D on Rose.

  • http://blackamericaweb.com Caboose

    Nothing has been more predictable than Scott Brooks’ offense. Nice try but no, Redd. Lebron’s D is what killed Rose late in those games. Spin it how you want but you gotta face facts.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Redd

    Really wasn’t, to think that Rose isn’t fast enough to get around James’ big self

  • http://Slamonline.com Gab

    ^^He wasn’t. I don’t know why cats insist they know what stopped Rose better than Rose himself. I’m taking the word of the ball player.

  • TJ

    Lebron is a good defender, his on ball defense isn’t great but he is the total package as a defender he blocks shots, plays the passing lanes, and he is a excellent rebounder which is apart of defense.. But i also think the refs are letting him get away with more on defense then they are allowing KD to!!!

  • Phil da Windmill

    Rogaine James

  • http://slamonline.com Datkid

    Serge ibaka has no idea what he’s talking about. W/o those screens Durant is getting he’d be basically stifled.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    Caboose please, So you telling me The Thunder offense is as predictable as the Bulls were with Rose being the only ball-handler basically and accounting for more of his teams points scoring and assist wise than any player last season? Redd’s statement probably has more validity to it than anyone’s.

  • Conoro

    They’re both overrated as defenders & the majority of the people who write here are unfamiliar with the game.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Have y’all seen droses ass? Hot as hell

  • http://Slamonline.com Gab

    Notice all the DRose/Bulls fans don’t see what happened last year. Rose shoots 6.3% with James guarding him, but it wasn’t James who was responsible even though Rose’s fg% was higher with other Miami defenders. Rose OPENLY STATES that James’ length and quickness bothered him, but Rose fans know him better than Rose himself. That’s crazy. Ibaka may be highly overrated, but Lebron is up there with the best perimeter defenders today.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Redd

    Lol, what was he gonna say? ‘my teammates sucked’ or ‘I’m not a good player’? You can’t have that bad a FG% without taking a lot of shots. He did that because his teammates weren’t helping. THEREFORE it’s predictable that Rose is the only one doing anything. Therefore it’s easier on the D. Shut up.

  • http://Slamonline.com Gab

    He could have said the usual “My shots weren’t falling”. He told the truth. What are you his personal shrink? You have ESP? lmao . FOH

  • abu bisdak

    i think serge ibaka shows his great disappointment against the heat since thunder has no way against miami.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Redd

    That’s still added criticism. Funny how you’re also dissecting same as I am moron lol. In the end, Rose can do what Lebron can’t, win without needing a superstar & allstar via trade. Nothing you can say to that LOL.

  • SouthK

    not in the post season

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2012/06/serge-ibaka-says-lebron-james-is-not-a-good-defender/ thePhoenix

    …Except that Rose hasn’t won anything more than Lebron did in his time at the Cavs.

  • AQWORD

    ^^^^ Win what? ^^^^^ a playoff series? X U ret X get too the finals? Xx win a title? X Redd go back to sleep + Ur r3t@rded.

  • K.a.

    I think a lot of ppl associate kobes rep on d from when shaq was around. When he was sidekick he could spend more effort on d. Jordans later years, he conserved energy on d, but having pip around was a great enabler. In spots it was downright scary to watch those 2 chase down a trapped ball handler. I dunno if bron is a great defender but hes gotten pretty good since his cavs days, somebody like pierce would just get off on him. The thing abt the heat is they have a lot of good to great individual defenders. Bron, wade, udonis, battier, they all play D. Even bosh has great footwork if not weight to be as elite as howard or chandler.

  • Payton The SneakerAddict

    I Would Love To See Serge Ibaka Shoot 100% From The Field Against LeBron James Instead Of The Spurs Since LeBron Isn’t A Good Defender

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