Can he?

  • Yes

    Votes: 24 70.6%
  • No

    Votes: 10 29.4%

  • Total voters
    34

Handlogten's Heros

Well-Known Member
2019 Award Winner
2020-21 Award Winner
Don came into the league billed as a good defender... at times he has mentioned he wants to be a good defender... well can he be one?

Some context... not every player with athleticism can be a good defender. Demar Derozan is a good example of this. It requires IQ, focus, desire, and the physical tools.

Some make excuses for him about energy and saving it for offense. Plenty of guys have had to carry the load offensively and are still top notch on defense. Prime Lebron, CP3, Kawhi... hell Rudy has to cover all our guys asses and he likely expends more energy than anyone on offense between the multiple picks and dives to the rim.
 


TheTrippleThreat

Active Member
Most first options talk about saving their selves for offense. I think that has sunk into The Don. At times when hes engaged we see great defense from him. He has only recently entered Stardom and it may have gone to his head some.
 

LogGrad98

Well-Known Member
Contributor
2020-21 Award Winner
I think he has the tools. Question is does he have the drive and IQ to do it? The first we have seen that he obviously doesn't prioritize it. The second is something I have really been questioning this year in general. I just don't think he is a high b-ball IQ guy in general. He is very talented and skilled which covers it up some but he doesn't always make the best reads and gets himself in trouble, and takes us out of our offense, too often.
 

infection

Well-Known Member
Staff member
2018 Award Winner
2019 Award Winner
CAN he? Yes.
WILL he? I'd look at past history for predictions on future performance.

He played really good D for the first 10 or so games of last season.
 

LoPo

Well-Known Member
Can he be a good defender? Yes
Why hasn't he been? Because our playoffs have shown that he has to be superman on offense

There really aren't that many examples of score first All Star quality small guards who are also really good at defense. Yes we want more from Don on defense, but how many players in the league are really good at both ends? Kawhi? Giannis? Even LeBron, Durant, Harden and others are just average on defense.

We don't need Don to be a "good defender". We just need him to be average especially if he's going to put up 25+ and 6+apg on the other end. Come playoff time, that probably goes to 30+ and 7+. We need for Don to get a teammate that is a really good defender. Look at Steph - amazing on offense, average on defense,.500 record without Klay. Isiah Thomas was at his best when the team around him was stocked with defenders. Iverson's best run was when Eric Snow and Derrick McKey were guarding the perimeter.

Anybody expecting Don to be dominate on both ends needs to slow down expectations. Nobody can be expected to do both.
 

Handlogten's Heros

Well-Known Member
2019 Award Winner
2020-21 Award Winner
Can he be a good defender? Yes
Why hasn't he been? Because our playoffs have shown that he has to be superman on offense

There really aren't that many examples of score first All Star quality small guards who are also really good at defense. Yes we want more from Don on defense, but how many players in the league are really good at both ends? Kawhi? Giannis? Even LeBron, Durant, Harden and others are just average on defense.

We don't need Don to be a "good defender". We just need him to be average especially if he's going to put up 25+ and 6+apg on the other end. Come playoff time, that probably goes to 30+ and 7+. We need for Don to get a teammate that is a really good defender. Look at Steph - amazing on offense, average on defense,.500 record without Klay. Isiah Thomas was at his best when the team around him was stocked with defenders. Iverson's best run was when Eric Snow and Derrick McKey were guarding the perimeter.

Anybody expecting Don to be dominate on both ends needs to slow down expectations. Nobody can be expected to do both.
CP is another elite defender... Lebron and Durant have been very good at defense and elite when locked in. Miami Lebron was one of the best defenders in the league. KD's commitment would waiver but he was one of the most versatile defenders out there.

Plenty of guys play both sides of the court... hell Tatum was playing great defense for a while there... still very good.

If he doesn't have the mental focus or the understanding then that is one thing. If he doesn't want to give the effort or doesn't have the energy thats another.
 

LoPo

Well-Known Member
CP is another elite defender... Lebron and Durant have been very good at defense and elite when locked in. Miami Lebron was one of the best defenders in the league. KD's commitment would waiver but he was one of the most versatile defenders out there.

Plenty of guys play both sides of the court... hell Tatum was playing great defense for a while there... still very good.

If he doesn't have the mental focus or the understanding then that is one thing. If he doesn't want to give the effort or doesn't have the energy thats another.

CP3 is a valid point. The guy can't win big playoff games, but he's a good example of a small guy who is great on both ends. CP3, Stockton, and I can't think of many others who are top notch defenders while also being very important on the offensive end.

LeBron is a top 3 player of all time. Back in the day, he was a phenomenal defender. Should have been DPOY. I was talking about current LeBron though. He's average on D. Durant looked good on GS playing defense, but he had Klay and Draymond there for cover on defense while Curry helped tire people out on offense. He's still just an average defender.

I think Don wants to show the effort, but we also can't expect him to be an All Star on both ends. Those guys are so incredibly rare. MJ was a good defender, but he got to watch Pippen to do the heavy lifting on defense. MJ won 1 playoff game in 11 tries when he played without Pippen. Don doesn't have the luxury of a Pippen, Klay, Joe Dumars, etc.. We don't have a player on the roster who can stop the bleeding. None. Expecting Don to do it is as ridiculous as expecting Clarkson to do it.

We need an elite perimeter defender.
 

Jingled

Well-Known Member
2019 Award Winner
I don't see any reason why he can't. When the Jazz drafted him they were very high on his defense and talked about what a good defender he was in college. He's quick, athletic, has a long wingspsan...he has the tools to be able to defend. I also really hate the excuse that he shouldn't be expected to be a good defender because he's asked to do so much offensively. There are plenty of guys throughout the history of the league that have carried just as much of the burden offensively as Donovan does and still managed to be really good defenders.
 

Handlogten's Heros

Well-Known Member
2019 Award Winner
2020-21 Award Winner
CP3 is a valid point. The guy can't win big playoff games, but he's a good example of a small guy who is great on both ends. CP3, Stockton, and I can't think of many others who are top notch defenders while also being very important on the offensive end.

LeBron is a top 3 player of all time. Back in the day, he was a phenomenal defender. Should have been DPOY. I was talking about current LeBron though. He's average on D. Durant looked good on GS playing defense, but he had Klay and Draymond there for cover on defense while Curry helped tire people out on offense. He's still just an average defender.

I think Don wants to show the effort, but we also can't expect him to be an All Star on both ends. Those guys are so incredibly rare. MJ was a good defender, but he got to watch Pippen to do the heavy lifting on defense. MJ won 1 playoff game in 11 tries when he played without Pippen. Don doesn't have the luxury of a Pippen, Klay, Joe Dumars, etc.. We don't have a player on the roster who can stop the bleeding. None. Expecting Don to do it is as ridiculous as expecting Clarkson to do it.

We need an elite perimeter defender.
Fair... I guess to win a title I think he needs to be a good defender. Those guys are rare but so are championships.
 

Jazzmix

Well-Known Member
Main question is does he really want to be. I would also love to know if the coaching staff sees it as the priority or do they concentrate more on developping his offensive game and playmaking skills.
 

Hekate

Well-Known Member
I voted yes and I think he has the athletic tools to become near elite defender but I am not sure he will ever be a plus defender for a full game after that egregious mistake losing Lowry for the 3. Dude looked everywhere but at Lowry, he was totally lost.
 

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