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Defense-Only vs Offense-Only Player

Discussion in 'NBA Dish' started by celebrevida, Mar 19, 2018.

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Which type of player would you choose if starting a new team?

  1. Defense-Only Player

    3 vote(s)
    10.3%
  2. Offense-Only Player

    26 vote(s)
    89.7%
  1. celebrevida

    celebrevida Member

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    Andre Roberson is perhaps the greatest example of a "defense-only" player. Huge impact defensively but pretty much zero offense. Can't shoot, can't make FTs, etc. But his defensive impact cannot be overstated. Without Roberson on the floor, the Thunder give up 11.9 points per 100 possessions more than when he’s on the court. Their 96.4 defensive rating with him to 108.3 without is the difference between the best defense in the NBA to the 14th-best. That’s drastic!

    Imagine, though, a opposite player. Someone that is as great offensively as Roberson is defensively. But someone whose defense is as bad as Roberson's offense. I don't mean average or below average. I mean someone that is so bad that he is at the bottom of the league defensively. The best example I can think of is someone like Isaiah Thomas.

    Imagine you were starting from scratch and had to pick one player to start your roster. Would you pick a defense-only or an offense-only player, assuming both of same age, health, and similar longevity in the league, etc.?

    (Note that Roberson and Thomas are only examples. Do NOT consider the poll to be about choosing Roberson vs Thomas!)
     
  2. da_juice

    da_juice Member

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    You can't win with all offense only guys but offense only guys are easier to hide on defense than a only defense guy is easier to hide on offense
     
  3. celebrevida

    celebrevida Member

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    I know Carmelo Anthony isn't a great example of the anti-Roberson. But had Carmelo gone down instead of Roberson, I think the Thunder are a better team today. That's doesn't necessarily mean your point is invalid of course. But if you agree with my premise, it is a data point to ponder.

    Or consider Cavaliers. If Thomas was more or less playing at Celtics level offense but had Roberson-level defense with the Cavs, Cavs would rather have Roberson than Thomas I bet.

    LeBron, Love and others can do most of the scoring and Roberson could lock down the other team's top player. Cavs are probably better off because even if Thomas is shooting well, likely he just takes away shots from LeBron or Love. But Roberson doesn't "take away" defensive plays from his teammates!
     
    #3 celebrevida, Mar 19, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018
    da_juice likes this.
  4. Invisible Fan

    Invisible Fan Insider Newsletter™ 2X Diamond Member
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    Seems like the minimum reqs to play in this league are to be able to sink 3s or fts ala 3nD.

    A guy like Jamal Crawford will always have a home, but I don't think they stick around the same team for long. Not if the team wants to go anywhere.
     
    da_juice likes this.
  5. durvasa

    durvasa Contributing Member

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    How do we measure the extent to which a player is “offensive” rather than “defensive”? Because the reality is that pro players aren’t purely one or the other.
     
  6. heypartner

    heypartner Contributing Member

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    Ironically, both types of players played for the same team last year, but one eventually couldn't play in the playoffs...whereas Roberson was key.



    Does that answer your question?
     
  7. celebrevida

    celebrevida Member

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    The defense-only or offense-only type player is rare. Still they exist.

    Roberson is clearly a defense-only player. Top defender but one of the worst offensive players in the NBA by any measure.

    Thomas is pretty much the opposite. He might not be the best example of an anti-Roberson player but he's the best example I can think of.

    Of course most players aren't that extreme. A lot of great offensive players might be bad on defense but not Roberson-level bottom of the league bad on defense. And there aren't players as extreme as Roberson either.

    The question I am asking is if you had to pick one extreme player or the other, which would you prefer?
     
  8. da_juice

    da_juice Member

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    I think a bad defensive big is harder to hide than a bad offensive guard or wing. So maybe it depends on the position?
     
  9. Ziggy

    Ziggy Tastemaker
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    Defense only guys seem to fit on winning teams all of the time. Offense only guys usually build a reputation for losing.
     
    IvanLCPM and heypartner like this.
  10. kevC

    kevC H-Town Bowen
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    Defense is more team-based. Offense is more individual based. Give me the offensive player 100% of the time.
     
    Nook likes this.
  11. YOLO

    YOLO Member

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    There isn't a GM out there that would start with a defensive player first to start building franchise. The hardest thing to find is a capable player who is able to carry the load offensively on a nightly basis and impact the game by winning. You can find defensive guys to fill in holes any time.

    we're talking about starting a team. you can't start a team with a defense only player. those guys are the ones you need to compliment a winning team built around your offensive players first.
     
  12. daywalker02

    daywalker02 Easter Egg Hunter - Tell me why? نحن عائلة
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    I doubt there are only 1 trick ponies, usually the Offense player can at least seal off their man, or do something average at Defense.

    I still go for Balanced players on balanced teams.

    You need both.
     
  13. kevC

    kevC H-Town Bowen
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    Well yeah obviously that would be ideal, but that's not what the OP was asking.
     
    Jayzers_100 likes this.
  14. daywalker02

    daywalker02 Easter Egg Hunter - Tell me why? نحن عائلة
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    Ok. Well, I'd still go for the invisible option C. That always works for me.

    Imagine how lopsided the league had to be with only Offense minded teams and Defense minded ones.

    As a fan I'd go for Offense but imagine me working in a FO which will never happen but I'd strongly consider defensive players at 3 spots.
     
  15. kevC

    kevC H-Town Bowen
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    I mean, I don't think that's what the OP was proposing either. Just in a vacuum, what type of player would you choose to start a team if they were the only choices. It's an interesting thought exercise. I will say this though, I'd reconsider depending on positions. For big men, I might lean all-defense because the way the league is now, offense is played by the smaller guys. But then again, you still want bigs to be able to set good picks and roll well and finish at the rim, which are all offensive skills.
     
  16. daywalker02

    daywalker02 Easter Egg Hunter - Tell me why? نحن عائلة
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    He is basing it upon the very player type I really hate and that can produce. Latter is an outlier.

    Roberson is a role player, I doubt the team corner stones can be this dramatically bad at one end and good at the other one.

    I'd draft a healthy Embiid (offensively gifted and defensively good C) over Russell WB, Lillard, Derozan, even Curry any day.
     
    #16 daywalker02, Mar 20, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2018
  17. TheRealAllpro

    TheRealAllpro Member
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    Lou Williams

    ORPM: 4.41
    DRPM: -3.76
     
  18. pahiyas

    pahiyas Member

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    Offense is the best defense.
     
  19. Swiss Roll

    Swiss Roll Member

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    Stephen Curry is statistically a defensive liability, So were guys like Dantley, Barkley, and Harden. I'd take them all above Ben Wallace tho, despite putting up the most dominant 4 year defensive stretch ever, still produced less wins in his prime than the aforementioned elite offensive players whom were defensive liabilities.
     
  20. chenjy9

    chenjy9 Numbers Don't Lie
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    Honestly, this is a question that is difficult to answer, because while it sounds simple, it leads to a ton of other questions:

    - When we say offensive-only player, does that mean he is a generational talent on offense like Harden, Curry, KD, etc?
    - On the flip side, is the defensive-only player a generational talent on defense, like say Hakeem, Mutombo, or Leonard?
    - Do we have a choice as to what position either one of these types of players will play?
    - When you say offensive-only player, does that include playmaking?
    - On the flip side, does defense include rim protection and defensive rebounding?
    - If we pick a pick a defensive-only player, does that mean there are not any good or great offensive talents left to build the team with and vice versa?

    If we are talking about generational talents or at least top 3 talents, I will ALWAYS pick offense over defense. At the end of the day, you have to score points to win and an offensively great player allows for consistent points. Given that defense is MUCH MORE team oriented than offense, it also means it is easier to hide a defensively weak scoring ace on defense. Finally, having a great defender doesn't mean a good defense and you can easily make a good to great defense with multiple good defenders. A great offensive player can make any offense great.
     
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