BASKETBALL ALL STARS—DOES DEFENSE MATTER? I posted here five years ago asking how important defense is in basketball; one would think that it is equally as important as offense. Kevin Clark has an article in the Wall Street Journal (December 13) about the defense of the New York Knicks. In it, he gives defensive statistics for last year for some of the Knicks. So little are defensive statistics part of basketball coverage that I had not previously seen the statistic Clark uses: points per shot by the player the defensive player is guarding. Carmelo Anthony is one of the Knick stars, an all star for four of the last five years because of his scoring abilities. Anthony is often described as being a below average defensive player. Clark says that Anthony was ranked 306th in the NBA in the statistic (points per shot for player Anthony was guarding) out of players who had been in over 100 plays. For perspective, if you take the ten players who play the most on a team, you get 300 players. Of course, team defense matters and any one defensive statistic taken alone can be misleading, but still….

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  1. Nick says:

    It seems as though Donny Walsh is aware of this team’s weakness, as they have just signed Tyson Chandler – a defensive specialist at Center who’s very athletic. I think he’ll fit beautifully in D’Antoni’s system if he can stay healthy.

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