It’s the reason Bruce Bowen was a starter for three championship teams while never averaging over 8.2 points per game or shooting over 65% from the free throw line. It’s the reason why Trevor Ariza revitalized his career with the Lakers and players such as Matt Barnes, Raja Bell, James Posey, and Tony Allen have gotten so much coverage over the past years when their impact on the box score is minimal. If you’re trying to win a championship, you’ll inevitably run up against some great perimeter scorers.
Whether you’re going up against Kobe Bryant, Ray Allen, or Lebron James, you need someone to guard the explosive swingmen that have populated the NBA since the Michael Jordan era. While it’s impossible to truly shut down a great scorer, you can make things difficult for them by doing your best to contain their penetration, forcing them to take bad shots, and by not giving them unnecessary free throws. Bonus points for being able to score and make them play both ends of the court.
The Lakers signed Ron Artest last year because even at 30 years of age he’s still one of the best defensive bullies in the league. This year they added Matt Barnes who’s a defensive pest, and has the versatility of Ron Artest that allows him to guard multiple positions. Don’t forget we have Kobe Bryant, a 10 time All-NBA Defensive player, (although his defense is often lackadaisical and he spends too much time playing off his guy and straying in the passing lanes than actually guarding his man), who’s also capable of shutting down players at multiple positions.
And we still have Sasha, who’s an underrated defender and capable of being a very annoying pest to the other team. This is one position we’ve got plenty of, in fact contrary to popular belief I thought the Matt Barnes signing was redundant and I thought we should’ve gone with an explosive scorer off the bench, eg: T-Mac.
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