View Full Version : Defending Rip Hamilton

05-28-2004, 09:35 AM
First off, I'd like to say that Richard Hamilton is a great player. He should've been an All-Star this year and could be the best SG in the east not named McGrady.

Now as far as this ECF series is concerned, the Pacers have had a lot of trouble guarding him. Yeah, just call me Mr. Obvious. Nevertheless, I've discovered a good solution from watching the last two games - Jonathan Bender!

Does everyone remember the trouble that Pierce had with 5.1 on him in the first round? In the fourth quarter of Game 3 he got the assignment on Rip a couple of times and either forced him to give the ball up or miss a highly contested shot. His length and quickness really seemed to bother Rip.

Rip is quick and works off the screens with precision. He's a step quicker than 5.1 but Bender can play off of him a bit more because at 7' he has the ability to closeout on his shot. Even if Rip gets the step on him, Bender can use his length to recover and Rip has to respect his ability to block shots.

The only problem I could see with this matchup is Bender falls for the pumpfake a lot. If he can stay on his feet and go straight up when Rip shoots, he can really alter his shot.

A lineup of AJ, Bender, Harrington, Croshere, and Foster could be effective in the second quarter/start of the fourth because it'll force the Rip to guard Bender on the other end. Whatever the lineup, the Pacers should bring in Bender and play him exclusively at SG against Detroit.

I wonder if Rick has considered this?

05-28-2004, 09:50 AM
My initial reaction is that Bender will not be able to stay very close to rip through all those screens, and then when Rip gets the ball he will blow by Bender one-on-one.

I don't think it will work.

I have come to the conclusion that AJ defends him better than anyone.

Artest likely defends better than anyone, but then you have Reggie on Prince

05-28-2004, 09:55 AM
Just curious - why is Bender's nick 5.1?

05-28-2004, 10:44 AM
Let's just say Rick goes with a lineup of AJ, Bender, Harrington, Croshere, and Foster then the Pistons would just play a zone defense on defense. Or Larry could also counter with a big line-up but I doubt we'll see Carlisle go super big or Larry go super big.

05-28-2004, 01:28 PM
Buck, now that you mention it, AJ does with Rip better than anyone on our team. I still think that Rip can turn and get his shot off over AJ though. That's the problem with Fred Jones. He can stay with Rip somewhat but he has to get so far down into his stance that Rip can get the shot up over him.

I'd like to see them try Bender on Rip. If Detroit goes to a zone defense, so be it. They'll be out of position for rebounds on missed shots. Plus Bender and Croshere have the height and ability to knock down the open 3 pointers that usually result from the zone.

05-28-2004, 01:31 PM
The problem hasn't been the defense (other than the 1st quarter of game 3). You start focusing too much on Rip and your defense loses its balance and other people hurt you.

05-28-2004, 01:33 PM
Just curious - why is Bender's nick 5.1?

This nickname came from the forum (Hicks maybe?) after reading a quote from JB when asked about his style of play.

From BDASports.com (http://www.bdasports.com/news/02_18_04_additions/1.htm).

Versatility is one of the strengths of the 7-footer with the 39-inch vertical jump and smooth perimeter shot. Bender, an audio buff, refers to it as a "surround sound" game, one that comes from all directions.

05-28-2004, 04:09 PM
Someone on IndyStar came up with it from the quote naptown posted above. I can't recall who.

tora tora
05-28-2004, 07:37 PM
Bender's a terrible defender, he easily goes for pump fakes and he finds himself guarding his man in midair while his man quickly runs around him.