Here’s an interesting thing: The Bulls, the Heat, and the Magic are all top-5 teams in defensive efficiency. All five of those teams start power forwards who were considered defensive liabilities in the recent past. The Bulls are particularly weird — going into this season, I thought the Noah-Thibodeau combination would produce a top-10 defense no matter who else was on that team, but I was worried that Boozer would kill their chances of becoming a top-5 defense. Well, the Chicago is #2 in defensive efficiency, adjusted +/- says Noah is the worst defender on the team, and the defense has only gotten better since Noah got injured and Boozer got healthy.
At this point, we have to say that Tom Thibodeau is the best defensive human in basketball, right? Look at the players on that Chicago roster. Would anyone have batted an eye if they were an average/below-average defensive squad? No. But Thibs has them at #2. Honestly, I don’t know if Dwight Howard or Thibodeau is a more valuable defensive entity. Thibs’ track record is simply too freaky. Although nobody scores in the paint against Howard.
So the moral of the story is that just like every quarterback, every defender is a system defender to some extent. This is why Chris Bosh is good at defense now, and why Byron Scott probably shouldn’t get a free pass for letting the Cavs’ defense go to [poop]. LeBron’s one of the three best defensive players in the league, Shaq and Z defended the rim, and Delonte is hell in sneakers, but come on. Shaq and Z were inconsistent defensively, Delonte was flat-out inconsistent, all three of them were out of the lineup for extended stretches, and LeBron was going at about 80% on defense.
Is laughing at Laker misfortune still kosher in Cavsland? Legitimate question: does the Cav fanbase still hate its former rivals (Kobe, DeShawn, et cetera), or are we now of the opinion that they were right all along? I’m confused. Anyways, the Lakers are going to be fine. I’m not positive of that, but I’m still far from convinced that they’re not going to win title #3. Blame it on last year’s Celtics and the “never, ever count out Kobe” factor. Also, Pau’s stuff isn’t right and they’re still working Bynum back into things.
Dear God yes, the season is already over for the Cavaliers.
That’s all for me tonight. Until later, campers.