Friday, January 15, 2010

I Believe Mario West Could Be a Good Defensive Player and Here's How

West is quick and has good lateral movement but puts himself in untenable positions* as a defender. He defends too close to his man. In doing so he can't take advantage of his lower-body strength and good balance** because the offensive player can make a strong move at a fairly tight angle to either side and get his hips past West's hips. West's positioning restricts the space he can defend. This is why he uses his hands so much. The geometry of his positioning renders his lateral movement mostly useless. He can't beat the offensive player to a spot nor can he push him in the direction of his defensive help.

Were West to play one step further back from his man on the perimeter, I believe he could keep his man in front of him, and, when called upon in an emergency be a positive contributor defensively as long as he remembers to block out.

*As does Mike Woodson, to be completely fair. When I say Mario West could be a good defensive player I specifically mean against perimeter players: wings that work off the dribble and bigger point guards. I don't think he has the size to guard anyone successfully in the post with he possible exception of Flip Murray when he's backing down. Unfortunately, this is essentially the same class of player that Mo Evans defends best and Evans offers offensive contributions of which West can only dream.

**Said good balance refers only to West when in a defensive stance and not when he's attempting to land after jumping.


Unknown said...

i love it...where's our nick fazekas post of the year too? ;) Actually, I'm still waiting to hear your thoughts on who we should be targeting at the trade deadline or what you think about Blair's 20-20 (the 5th player to do it as a rookie 6-6!) and finally, why we can't send Teague to the D League, so maybe he can do a Sundiata Gaines for us (of course, that would require the coach to have enough confidence in a player not named Mario West to contribute in a pinch).

Bret LaGree said...

1) Fazekas is averaging 12 and 8 in 24 minutes a game for Dijon in the French League.

2) DeJuan Blair was and is a very good basketball player. Could have had him and Teague for the price of a couple 2nd round picks.

3) Teague's probably not good enough to contribute a lot this season but I think he can step into the rotation next year and his development would better be served by one regular stint in the first half every night plus whatever second half playing time score and situation dictate than playing in the D-League.

Bronnt said...

It's a good thing Mario West is back, else Bret's obsession with DeJuan Blair would have shuffled everything else into background noise.

In a lot of ways, we're most delighted with that which makes us miserable.