Some things he didn't say stood out, and something else he did say stood out to me.Q. It seems this year we've upgraded a lot on offensive help and good solid, fundamental players that will really help this team, but what about defense? I think the players we have right now are capable of playing a great team defense but I was wondering who you thought the best defender on the team was? Who are you planning to guard Kobe Bryant, Gilbert Arenas, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James? Statistically it would be Jermaine O'Neal who's the best, but is there a really good, one on one shutdown defender on this team that is overlooked, if so who? (From Mathew in Madison, Wis.)
A. I would say on the interior our best defensive player is Jermaine O’Neal. I think on the perimeter, if we were starting Jamaal Tinsley, Danny Granger and Mike Dunleavy, I think the best option to play LeBron James or Kobe Bryant would be Danny Granger. I think guys that could be very, very good defensive players on an interior basis, I think Jeff Foster is very good, I think David Harrison is very good. I think Murph (Troy Murphy) is probably a little better than people give him credit for. I think Ike (Diogu) can be a solid defender. On the perimeter, I think Andre Owens in particular, is a very good defender that can guard both the one and two spots. We’re hoping that basically everybody that is on our team continually improves on their defense. Certainly, we’ll work with the fundamentals to try to dramatically improve people throughout the course of the year, never thinking that somebody is at this level defensively and they’re not going to rise. We’re always trying to make guys better defensive players.
Werid that he didn't mention Shawn. Didn't O'Brien say that Shawn is the second best defender on the team last month? Also, people talk a lot about Marquis being a good defender and he wasn't mentioned either. I guess maybe Jim was just talking about the SG/SF starters, and not the backups.
Also interesting that he said "I think David Harrison is very good." That's defiantly a good thing.
I really like having Diener/Owens as our backups. I think that they complament each other very well. I think that Owens can give us some big, important minutes on defense this year.