Now that I finally have some time to sit down and think, I'll post a bit of defensive analysis so I don't forget.
I tried to keep in mind you don't need the greatest individual defenders as long as you have a few smart players and the right scheme. I love to use the 2011 Mavericks as an example of a team that had decent 1 on 1 defenders in some positions, but when they came together as a whole they could take out the offensive firepower of the Miami Heat.
1) Really the anchor here is Hakeem Olajuwon, and I'm happy to have him on the team because of his skills on both ends of the floor, meaning I can run my offense through him and have him lead the defense. As I noted earlier, Hakeem could easily average 10-14 rebounds per game in his prime, and of course is the NBA all time leader in blocked shots. The famous Michael Jordan quote also points out he was top 7 in steals, so he has that all around defensive game. His quickness gives him the same ability you see in Dwight Howard today to help and recover in time to stay on his own man.
2) When it comes to Charles Barkley, I liked to view him as a rich man's Chuck Hayes. He has the strength to guard most power forwards and the tenacity to battle on the boards, remember he once averaged 14.6 rebounds per game in a season, which is beyond impressive for someone of his size. Additionally, people tend to forget how quick he was, and in his earlier years he was renowned for his chasedown blocking ability. With that in mind, stretch PFs shouldn't give him too much trouble, but if there's a player who's size is just too much, Hakeem is always there for the weakside help.
1) For Paul Pierce, I had to look at the 2008 Celtics and how Tom Thibodeau ran that amazing defensive scheme. Pierce actually wasn't the best defender on that team, as Garnett, Posey, Perkins, and Rondo were all very tough players who played hard nose defense. However, the advantage from Pierce is that he has a high basketball IQ. For example, he was smart enough to know when he could leave his man to double Kobe, and if he was ever guarding Kobe, he knew how to play the passing lanes and funnel him into Garnett/Perkins on the baseline to make things more difficult. With Hakeem being one of the best defensive players in NBA history, Pierce has the luxury of knowing that help his behind him and can react accordingly.
2) Hornacek's defense wasn't as clear from my memory, so I had to go back to some of the old Jazz tape and watch how they played. The Jazz obviously had strong anchors in Malone and Ostertag, but while Hornacek wasn't the greatest individual defender, he was a smart enough player to lead the player he was guarding into the right help, and that's all that I need from him on that end of the floor.
1) This is a big reason why I picked Rondo as opposed to other PGs, even though Rondo's range is limited. He is one of the best defenders at the 1 in the league, so I get the luxury of having a player that can handle all sorts of various attacks coming from that position, whether its one in the post or a speedier pointguard. Obviously great offense beats great defense most times, but if Rondo can hold his own most of the time, he has the right help behind him to make up for any lapses. Many of us Laker fans didn't get to see the true extent of Rondo's abilities since he was handling Fisher, a non issue most of the time on offense, but if you look at other series (especially in 2010) you'll see that he along with Garnett played a huge role on that end of the floor to lead the Celtics to the finals. He's adept at playing the passing lanes, is up there every years in steals per game, and is also a very solid rebounder. Having someone who puts in that type of effort every time on the defensive end is definitely a plus.
Ultimately, I feel I have a very strong defensive unit on the floor, with one outstanding perimeter and post defender, along with other tougher players that know how to play in a scheme. I'm not worried about being unable to stop any sort of offensive firepower in this league.
I'll post some thoughts on the bench soon.
Edited by bfc1125roy, May 15, 2013 - 01:28 PM.