Originally Posted by cloudnine
I'm actually way more impressed with his defensive acumen this year. His DRTG was always horrible and he always gave up more points than he scored; this year, he was able to right the ship, make better defensive decisions, keep his man in front of him, foul less at crucial times, everything.
In my mind, stars are not stars unless they can at least do an above-average job on the defensive end, which is why Harden does not pass the test for me. DeMar is obviously doing wonderful things on the offensive side of things, but it's his defense that has really taken the next step.
His facilitating abilities, vision, and willingness to pass have also gone to the next-level, which is obviously helped by better talent around him. Yes, he'll still occasionally take a bad shot, but it keeps defenses honest.
It's the little things that have me excited for his future - that, and he's 24 years old. He ain't done yet.
Great post. He takes his man to man and help defense to another level in the last 5 minutes of games once foul trouble is taken out of the equation.
Sometimes he is missing the right pass, which he definitely was last night in the third and fourth where he wasn't hitting the big in the middle. Once it happens twice in a row though I blame Demar and the coaching staff. They need to step in and micromanage a few possessions to make that pass happen. However, the one time that pass was made, JV turned and got the ball stolen by Kirilenko when he tried swinging it to the corner, and neither he or Hayes looked excited to get the basketball.