nate robinson

Originally published in SLAM 117

Box out.

It’s about the simplest defensive concept there is. Not rocket science. Put your body between your man and the basket so he can’t get an easy rebound/layup/dunk. It’s a form of prevent defense, as it prevents your teammates from being posterized. Slamadamonthed.

This is not the first concept to be forgotten by the Miami Heat this season, although failing to put a body on a former Slam Dunk champion is fairly unforgivable. So is being 30 games below .500, of course. It seems like they won their Championship a hundred years ago. Not that the Knicks have been much better. They haven’t had an All-Star since ’01, haven’t been to the Playoffs since ’04. Any memorable moments have been just that—moments. A highlight reel from the past four seasons combined would easily fit on a 30-minute DVD.

Some would be worth watching again and again, though. Like this one. Zach Randolph working in the low blocks, badly missing a shot against noted defensive stalwart Alexander Johnson—a typical ’08 Knicks/Heat moment—only 5-7 Nate Robinson slides through the entire alleged defense for the sneaky putback. On his first try, no less. There’s a whole lot of watching going on, and only Daequan Cook appears to be making any sort of move toward the ball.

Too late.

Russ Bengtson

At 1:57 in the video below…