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Is Kawhi Leonard a top 10 NBA player?

Discussion in 'NBA Dish' started by TheresTheDagger, Apr 6, 2015.

  1. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Contributing Member

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    Top 10 easily.

    This thread shows there's a bias for offense.

    He's the best defender in the league.

    The best offensive player would be considered top 10 no matter how bad his offense.

    And Kawhi is a good offensive player
     
  2. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Contributing Member

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    Carmelo, Lillard, Irving, and Aldridge are definitely worse.

    The first 3 score and do little else. Aldridge is more all-around but not efficient.

    And I'd put Griffin below him too since he's decided to become a midrange shooting pansy who can't even get 8 rebounds per game
     
  3. JayZ750

    JayZ750 Contributing Member

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    There is a bias for offense...

    But wing individual defense is overvalued. The Warriors have the top defensive rating with Stephen Curry in the backcourt. He's not a horrible defender, but he isn't a great one on one defender.

    But the Warriors have a 5 man system that defends well.

    Defense is a team sport.

    EXCEPT... to the extent that defense focus on funneling the offense to a great rim protector... which most great defenses do.

    The Warriors are a tad different in the versatility of Green is as important as anything.. BUT they are also meaningfully better defensively with Bogut.

    As I noted, if you are going to judge players individually based on defense, then the big men will lead the way. All defensive teams don't go that way, but I'd take Noah, Gasol, Jordan, Howard (if healthy), Hibbert, Tyson Chandler, Ibaka... etc. You'd put Kawhi up there at the end.

    Look at the Cavs. Lebron is a great individual defender... but the Cavs are 18th in defensive rating. And even with that, they've improved meaningfully in that category since they added Mozgov...
     
  4. roslolian

    roslolian Member

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    There's lot of great defenders in the league, that's why there's a bias for offense. A guy like Ariza is one of the best wing defenders in the league as well, and with his ability to hit 3 pt shots as well athleticism to drive in and dunk the ball you can consider him to have a good offensive game as well, a guy like that is only worth 7M a year so if you tell would I rather have Kawhi or a guy like Ariza who is currently 80% as good as Kawhi at less than half the price then I go with Ariza. If you go even cheaper maybe you can get a guy like Tony Allen, he can match Kawhi on defense but his offense sucks, but then you can get him for 1/4 the price of Kawhi.

    On the other hand, guys like Harden or Curry are hard to replicate, if you replace Harden with someone like, say, Klay Thompson then the Rockets will immediately lose games because Thompson can't carry an offense the way Harden does.

    And I still don't think Kawhi the best defender in the league, big men are the best defenders in the league because they stop everyone, not just the guy they're guarding. Even if you have a guy like Kawhi if your front line is crap then your opponent will just pass to the guy not guarded by Kawhi and drive in for the score. On the other hand we've seen how Dwight made Orlando one of the top defensive teams even if they had a starting 5 which included Hedo, Rashad Lewis and Jameer Nelson.
     
  5. hoopster325

    hoopster325 Member

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    Well, he is now the best player on a team many consider the favorites to win the title right now. He's not at an MVP level yet, but if you're the best player on a championship caliber team, certainly that at least puts you in the MVP hemisphere.
     
  6. hoopster325

    hoopster325 Member

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    Kawhi is arguably a more valuable defensive player than any big man defender. While a guy like Gobert is a defensive monster, he only can defend the interior, he can only defend plays that go at the rim, whereas in a league that is shooting more and more 3's, a guy like Leonard can shut down an opponent's best outside shooter.

    Think of it this way, look at the playoff teams, the best player on 10 of the 16 teams is a guard. A guy like Leonard can, in theory, defend the best player of 10 playoff teams. That is EXTREMELY valuable to have a two-way player who can also shut down an opponent's best option on offense, definitely harder to replicate than a shut down defensive center.
     
  7. oldgunrules

    oldgunrules Member

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    Agreed.

    Not to side track from this thread, but, keep in mind that Danny Green is another great back court defender. Leonard and Green will give everything the Worriers' back court can handle. This is why I really hope GW will end up playing the Spurs in the first round.
     
  8. oldgunrules

    oldgunrules Member

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    First round is nearly impossible. I actually meant second round ;)
     
  9. JHarden713

    JHarden713 Member

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    Hell no

    top 25 maybe
     
  10. JHL85

    JHL85 Member

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    No. Top 10-20.
     
  11. crossover

    crossover Contributing Member

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    Agree with this post wholeheartedly. Kawhi is a top 3 shutdown defender against spots 1-3. He shoots efficiently (albeit in the Popovich system) and I think he makes teammates better; at minimum, he doesn't take away from them. People seem to have short term memory of how effective he was in last years playoffs in generating wins for the Spurs.

    Players like Kyrie, Westbrick, Blake, and Melo do so little in terms of defense or play in a manner that takes away from teammates or efficient shots.

    The one more considerable argument is that it's hard to say how much of it is Pop's system and how well Kawhi would do outside of the system. Unfortunately, that's all hypotheticals and conjectures.
     
  12. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Contributing Member

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    Ariza is a very good defender, but Kawhi is much better. Leonard is elite.

    And Kawhi is much better on offense. More points at better efficiency.

    He's not a creator, I agree. But half the game is played on defense.
     
  13. mr. 13 in 33

    mr. 13 in 33 Member

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    <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Kawai Leonard is not an MVP candidate , but he is one of the top three PLAYERS in the <a href="https://twitter.com/NBA">@nba</a>. Should I explain what I mean?</p>&mdash; MettaWorldPeace.com (@MettaWorldPeace) <a href="https://twitter.com/MettaWorldPeace/status/585579610760470528">April 7, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

    <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>MVPs in <a href="https://twitter.com/NBA">@NBA</a>
    James harden
    Steven curry
    Lebron james
    Russel westbrook

    Best players in <a href="https://twitter.com/NBA">@NBA</a>
    Kawai Leonard
    Anthony Davis
    Lebron james</p>&mdash; MettaWorldPeace.com (@MettaWorldPeace) <a href="https://twitter.com/MettaWorldPeace/status/585579286091927552">April 7, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
     
  14. hoopster325

    hoopster325 Member

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    Kawhi is essentially a more efficient version of young Andre Iguodala.
     
  15. rockbox

    rockbox Around before clutchcity.com

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    He's essentially Iggy that got to play with 3 guys that are better offensively than he is.
     
  16. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Contributing Member

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    I wouldn't say Iggy was this good defensively
     
  17. Fefo

    Fefo Member

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    He is better defensive player than iggy ever was. He is smarter and his lenght helps him more than iggy elite athletism.
    Some peopple havent seen him play and think he is still a spot shooter only, but hes been having some iso plays, some post ups with a decente hook and fadeaway, and he can shoot the three and the mid shoot.
     
  18. rockbox

    rockbox Around before clutchcity.com

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  19. Fefo

    Fefo Member

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  20. WinkFan

    WinkFan Contributing Member

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    An interior defender guards his own guy, PLUS other players who drive to the basket.

    According to NBA.com, Duncan defends way more shots than Leonard does.
     

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