Discussion came up some time ago as to how good Jordan Hill would be defensively for our team, well here's an article highlighting just how useful he could be. Enjoy. Especially with Rambis' strong side zone. Enjoy
Why Jordan Hill is best frontcourt defender on Lakers roster
Jordan Hill is far and away the best frontcourt defender on the Los Angeles Lakers. With the individual defensive weaknesses of Pau Gasol and Chris Kaman, the Lakers will need to use Hill to balance out the frontcourt. If the hiring of Kurt Rambis to join Mike D'Antoni's coaching staff indicates one thing it's a nod that the Lakers will be doing something different on defense in 2013-2014. It might be terrible, might work out, but there's going to be some shift in what they did on defense last season, which was __________.
Hill is at least five years younger than both Kaman and Gasol and is the most mobile defender of the three. Hill's injury problems serve as a barrier to his productivity. He has now become the most important frontcourt defender on the Lakers' roster.
His individual athleticism and foot speed is solid for a 6'10 frontcourt player. While he isn't in the elite category of hybrid small forwards who slide up, he's still very good.
Here, Hill rotates onto Manu Ginobili as he moves off-ball. Hill is pulled out to the perimeter because of the switch and deflects Ginobili's shot:
Hill being able to chase a player onto the perimeter in that scenario is something that Gasol and Kaman cannot do. Obviously he isn't defending LeBron James or Kevin Durant, but his mobility is a utility the Lakers can use in their defensive schemes.
In fact, the Lakers even gave a glimpse of what a strong side zone defense could work.
Here the Lakers are actually in a strong side zone formation. Gasol has floated to the elbow to cover over the top on dribble penetration, his man on the perimeter and to be the player that Chris Duhon funnels him into. Applying pressure to ball-handlers is a principle of the strong side zone, which Duhon is doing here. Metta World Peace is the third defender on the strong side in the corner.
That leaves Hill to be the mobile big who helps at the rim as the last line of defense or has to slide back out to defend the weak side corner three.
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The Blazers pass to Sasha Pavlovic in the corner and Hill immediately rotates from the paint.
Hill picks up Pavolovic on the perimeter and deflects the shot.
Here's the sequence in action:
The strong side zone is a great way to hide the stone pillar legs of Kaman and Gasol and could be used depending on lineups and match-ups. The Lakers will also need the perimeter defender -- in the example above Kobe Bryant -- to be able to close out and play passing lanes. The Lakers will have options in that area with Wesley Johnson, Nick Young, Marcus Landry and Elias Harris to kick the tires of as of now.
Where Hill really outshines Kaman and Gasol is in defending the ball-handler out of high-screen sets.
Here, he'll cut off dribble penetration twice on the perimeter, then blocks the shot after sliding with the ball-handler to the rim:
Schemes aside, having a player who can defend the ball-handler is necessary in the NBA. Hill should see floor time for this reason alone. A structured defense could help Hill grow as a team defender and is one of the keys to Rambis discussed with Los Angeles Daily News' Mark Medina :
Even if you take wing screen-and-roll, there's a lot of things offensively that can happen. How to defend all those different options. A wing screen-and-roll involving Dwight Howard and a wing screen-and-roll involving Dirk Nowitzki makes you defend it differently. We have to go through that process to make sure we're all on the same page to look at those situations and defend him. That's a simplistic example, but it's clear the difference between the two.
Here's another example of Hill's individual efforts serving as the glue to the Lakers' team defense.
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Hill rotates and shifts with Augustin as he cuts to the elbow. Augustin passes back to West who has stepped up to the free throw line. Hill rotates back onto West.
West faces Hill up, who does a good job of staying in front of West who drives straight into him. Hill doesn't foul and forces West to put up a tough shot.
Video of the possession:
Enjoy. Hope we get to see more of this out of him this year and with a defensive mind like Rambis and his strong size zone nature as well as pick and roll defense being his specialities of teaching in a team defensive philosophy, Hill can cover some of Pau and Kaman's mistakes on defense when they aren't rim protecting.
Really want him to start because of this and he can mesh with Kaman or Gasol at the 5 with him as the 4 either way.
Anyway hope you enjoyed
Edited by Majesty, August 09, 2013 - 03:16 PM.