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Is Kawhi Leonard a top 10 NBA player?

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

  1. sew

    sew Member

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    <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Pop keeps it real on Kawhi Leonard’s steal and dunk <a href="http://t.co/o3NYC636o6">pic.twitter.com/o3NYC636o6</a></p>&mdash; Steve Noah (@Steve_OS) <a href="https://twitter.com/Steve_OS/status/585594170095566849">April 8, 2015</a></blockquote>
    <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
     
  2. JayZ750

    JayZ750 Contributing Member

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    Exactly. The narrative that a wing defender is more important than a post defender has never been true and it certainly isn't today.

    Post defenders guard... Well everyone. From shooters (on pick and rolls), to wing and backcourt players on drives, to other post players.

    Moreover, in today's NBA, a decent backcourt player can create offense regardless of who's guarding him. For one, there's the NBAs most common play... The pick and roll. For two, with the way the game is called and how good the guard of today are, getting past your defender is baked in to the game.

    It doesn't mean Kawhi isn't a valuable defender. He clearly is the best Wing defender in the league. And oh btw he can guard anything 1-4 on occasion. And he's not just a great individual defender, he's as smart as they come team defender. And he rebounds. Great, great defender.

    But I'd take a great interior defender over him ANY day of the week.

    The issue with Kawhi... While he's clearly a max player and thus best wing defender, there's also definitely the argument to be made to have other, better max players and a fill in great defender - eg Ariza or Iggy.

    Anyone think the Warriors would trade Klay for Kawhi? No way. For one Klays not a bad defender himself. More to the point the Steph/Klay combo in the backcourt with Barnes, Iggy and others at SF is the more valuable combo from a cap perspective.

    It works with the Spurs (or will) because if the hometown discounts.
     
  3. Easy

    Easy Boban Only Fan
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    He is Iggy with a better shot and less passing skills.

    Iggy used to be in the conversation of being a top 10 player. But he never improved on his shooting and never really was a legit top 10. Leonard doesn't have Iggy's playmaking skills. But he can score in many ways Iggy can't.

    Compared to Ariza, they are probably about equal on defense. But Leonard is lightyears better than Ariza on offense. Ariza is one dimensional, pretty much a spot up 3pt shooter with a bit of slashing, can't handle the ball, can't create, can't pull up off the dribble. Leonard can do all that.
     
  4. Cold Hard

    Cold Hard Member

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    I'd rank Leonard around #30. He's a top-tier role player, but that's about it. Once Popovich retires, Kawhi will regress significantly, especially on offense.
     
  5. hoopster325

    hoopster325 Member

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    That is looking at the surface stats, kind of like saying Richard Sherman only grabbed 5 interceptions this season, thus player Y is better, except that nobody throws to Sherman's side in football. His defensive impact is far greater than the raw stats.

    With Kawhi, his off-ball defense is sensational. He also has the ability because of his freakish hand size to disrupt how a player attacks or shoots before his shot is off, its something you have to watch to understand and cannot be described on a statsheet. This is a rather weak way to evaluate how a player impacts the defensive end of the floor.
     
  6. hoopster325

    hoopster325 Member

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    Well Iggy is getting paid $12 million a year to basically only play one end of the floor, so not the best example.

    Truth is, there are very few truly elite perimeter defenders right now. So your theory doesn't really hold up, its such a rare find to have a guy who can just be a lockdown defender throughout the game and can defend an opponents top player all while being a great player on the offensive end too.

    Whereas there are a LOT of great defensive centers and big men. Its all about scarcity, Kawhi will get the max because he is one of a handful of truly elite perimeter defenders in the league today.
     
  7. hoopster325

    hoopster325 Member

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    More to the point, Kawhi stops shots from being taken, thus its not the best stat to evaluate two players against.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. hoopster325

    hoopster325 Member

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    More to the point, Kawhi stops shots from being taken, thus its not the best stat to evaluate two players against.

    [​IMG]

    http://grantland.com/features/department-of-defense/
     
  9. hoopster325

    hoopster325 Member

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  10. MacYao223

    MacYao223 Member

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    I have to say I wasn't a believer in him when the season started. Thought he was overrated. But it really looks like he wasn't healthy to start the season with all the injuries he had.

    He's looking like Pippen 2.0 right now. I've honestly not seen perimeter defense like this since Pippen. I mean even comparing him to Bowen, he's 10 x the player and defender Bowen ever was. He's incredible, certainly the best consistent two way player in the game. Love his no nonsense attitude, doesn't talk trash, doesn't taunt other players, doesn't trash talk. Really respect this kid, and as much as I hate ever other member of the Spurs, this kid is one of the future superstars of the NBA.
     
  11. Rocket2008

    Rocket2008 Member

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    Always loved him, too bad we didn't pick him. Can you imagine his production next to Harden instead of Parsons the last few years? I have no problem with Ariza and doubt Kawhi would've developed as well under McHale, but still, nice to think about :)

    Top 10 is pushing it, definitely top 25.
     
  12. Alvin Choo

    Alvin Choo Member

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    He is not even top 3 SF..

    Lebron, Durant and Melo. Then there is Paul George, Hayward and Leonard.
     
  13. wfeebs

    wfeebs Member

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    Top 20 and climbing. Are we sure he's only 23 years old??
     
  14. omgTHEpotential

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    LeBron, Durant - yeah.
    Melo? MAYYYYYYYYBE... But Melo only plays offense. So that might be a tossup.
    George... It's hard to evaluate Paul right now.

    Hayward?! LMAO.
     
  15. dianelo

    dianelo Member

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    The Spurs don't care **** about stats. That's why when Leonard got 23 in the to get 3 more pts and sat the rest of the way. He got his 26 in 25 minutes!
    And btw, h's career high is 29 last year in the finals. He'll get his when it counts.
     
  16. Snow Villiers

    Snow Villiers Member

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    Leonard is a nice player. Top 25 for sure.
     
  17. dianelo

    dianelo Member

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  18. YOLO

    YOLO Member

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    anyone who keeps thinking leonard is still only scoring bc of the system can start to put that to a stop now. he can get buckets on his own and he's become so much more effective on offense without having to score off others.
     
  19. WinkFan

    WinkFan Contributing Member

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    Kirk Goldsberry, whose shot chart you used, has a name for this. He calls it the Dwight Howard effect, due to teams(not individual players) reluctance to attempt shot inside when Dwight is near the basket.
     
  20. NBAandNFLFan

    NBAandNFLFan Member

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    Harden is gonna bust his ass tonight, and seal the mvp... espn did good by not broadcasting this game.... they thought harden would choke againist westbrook but he hit the dagger...

    they are praying kawhi and spurs beat the rockets
     

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