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Postby DR. P on Sat Dec 21, 2002 4:44 pm

Just saw the Laker game and AI rake in 9 steals. He probably lead the league in this department once again and yet many people will still contend that he has no defense. I just don't see how anyone can not take into account what this guy does defensively and argue that he has no defense. Any comments?


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Postby Andrew on Sat Dec 21, 2002 6:11 pm

I haven't read much criticism towards his defense myself - most of the stuff I see is the usual attitude/commitment questioning, some of which I tend to agree with - but he's always tallied high numbers in the steals column throughout his career, and you don't come up with a lot of steals unless you play good defense, especially when you matchup against guards like Gary Payton and John Stockton.

I think it's the general illusion created by an offensive player - Iverson is known for his scoring, which is more easily measured by statistics than defense (since you have field goal percentage and other statistics aside from point totals). His defensive stats tend to go unnoticed, much the same way Julius Erving was known for his acrobatic moves and offensive abilities, while not much attention is given to the fact he recorded impressive numbers in blocked shots and rebounds.
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Postby streakshooter on Sat Dec 21, 2002 6:20 pm

he may have D tonight but he needs to PRACTICE his FT! nearly cost them the game.........
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Postby Rens on Sat Dec 21, 2002 8:06 pm

I don't think steals is the way of measuring someone's defense. The Lakers' backcourt players shot pretty good percentages, I think that's a better way of measuring it. I haven't seen the game though so I don't know... Shaq's 7 TOs would suggest AI got most of his steals while doubling Shaq and pickpocketing him.
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Postby TheBob on Sun Dec 22, 2002 3:46 am

Ivy may not be the best on the ball defender but he's one hell of a defender in the passing lanes. When you have to know where he is at all times and fear him when YOU'RE on offence then you know he must be a pretty good defender.
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Postby scubilete on Sun Dec 22, 2002 2:21 pm

I consider is a great thing that Iverson caught 9 balls of all those the lakers threw away, however regarding his defense, I don't judge him. He might be pretty good defender, maybe the best, but not just cause he got those steals if you can call it like that, means his defense is over the limit. I might be wrong, but the all time leader in steals is J. Stockton and I don't think he has ever been consider to get the Defensive player of the year. However, I do remember J. Dumars, who always gave M.J. a hard time scoring, he was consider a great defender. Not cause he could stop M.J. below 20's, M.J. would always score more but cause the shooting percentage for M.J. was ridiculous facing Dumars. During the few years, the Centers or PF have been getting the award for Defensive Player of the Year, cause they can block, and when they block a shot, you already shot the ball, that makes your shooting percentage lower. Also, Detroit (late 80's - early 90's), New York (in the 90's), & Miami after they got Pat Riley, were considered the best on defense in those era, not cause they were stealing every ball around but cause they were making the scoring for the opponent difficult. My point is, Iverson might be a pretty good defender but not cause of his steals, that's just a part of it, if he doesn't give the opponent to have a bad time shooting, or to make uncomfortable shots, he's not making the whole (Defense) role.
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Postby boconcio on Sun Dec 22, 2002 9:50 pm

Well... stealing is not the only thing to care. AI thinks he can steal every ball and drive to the basket. He just thinks about scoring, nothing else matters to him...
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Postby Tyus Edney's Agent on Mon Dec 23, 2002 9:58 am

Well... stealing is not the only thing to care. AI thinks he can steal every ball and drive to the basket. He just thinks about scoring, nothing else matters to him...

Something much more important matters to AI, its called winning
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Postby EGarrett on Mon Dec 23, 2002 10:55 am

There's a reason they call it gambling in the passing lanes. If you get the steal good, if you don't your man is wide open. Iverson does it constantly. He's also easily backed down and posted up so he's a defensive liability. He's got heart but not the body to D up big guards and he gambles way too much.
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Postby air gordon on Mon Dec 23, 2002 4:15 pm

good points egarret. imo, iverson is a good team defender, not a good individual defender.

another sign of a good defender is a stat that doesn't even show up on the stat sheet: knocking away passes out of bounds or just tipping the ball enough for it to mess up the flow of the offense.
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