Hinrich, Tim Thomas, Salmons and Miller are all better defenders than Rose, Ty
Thomas and Noah and as we've seen from competitive teams the ability to trade
offense for defense is huge in the NBA today. -Extremo
My question is that after one game are we really convinced of this?
There's no doubt that Kirk has been the top defender on this team for the past couple seasons, but is he that much better than Derrick? I would say against bigger stronger guards (Chanuncy, D-Wade types) yes. He is much more polished than anyone else we have. Against smaller quicker guards, however, we've seen that Kirk has a tendancy to get worked (TJ Ford, Rafer Austin to name the most recent). To me it's a wash between him and Derrick against quick PG's.
Are we really ready to annoint Tim Thomas a better defender than Tyrus Thomas? I'm certainly not. Tim had a solid night against the Magic, and was actually a decent matchup with Lewis playing the hybrid 4, but in no way does he have a bigger impact on the defensive end than Tyrus' rebounding/shot blocking.
While no one would go out of their way to call Brad Miller a defensive stud, he has certainly proved over his NBA career that he can body up with the best in the league and use his size to fill up the lane. On the other hand Jokim Noah has gotten better and better on the defensive end as the year has progressed, and while he has a tendancy to lose focus when playing off the ball, he still does a very good job guarding opposing big men (the buzzer beater block on Bosh comes to mind).
Personally, I think that while he has certainly been MIA on many of the offensive possessions this season, perhaps the Bull's best defensive player this year has been Luol Deng. Often responsible for guarding opposing superstars, Luol's D has looked very similar to Tashaun Prince's the last few seasons. Yet still Vinny has him on the end of the pine in the fourth quarter.
I suppose the point that Matt from Blog-a-Bull was trying to make is that in crucial parts of a game you need to have your best players on the court and Vinny has more than proven over his young NBA career that most of the time he has no idea what players to have on the court and simply goes by "feel" or "his gut."
My biggest fear is that VDN will come up with some sort of expirimental "defensive" line-up at the absolute worst time. I picture it being something along the lines of Kirk, Gordon, Salmons, Tim Thomas, and Miller in for the last 5-6 minutes of the 3rd quarter of game 3 of the playoffs (assuming we make them). At that time I picture the Celtics extending a 4 point lead to 16 and going on to move to 3-0 in the series.