Arsenalist: Should we worry about Jason Kapono’s defense?
Old 09-11-2008, 11:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Arsenalist: Should we worry about Jason Kapono’s defense?

As Arsenalist mentions, based on what we saw during last year's post season against Orlando should we re-think just how valuable Jason can be or is to this team? And can his questionable lack of defense be overlooked?

Thoughts?

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Originally Posted by Arsenalist.com
Kapono came off a decent year in Miami and basically conned Bryan Colangelo into giving him a huge contract. It surprised a lot of us and the fact that it happened on the first day of free-agency made some of us question Colangelo’s priorities (remember, defense and rebounding were problems back then too). Since he’s come here there’s been a constant ebb and flow in his game which borders from being anonymous to lighting it up, there’s very little middle ground. Despite all the inconsistency I think I speak for most Raptor fans when I say that we’d rather have him on offense than any one of Jamario Moon, Hassan Adams, Willie Solomon or Joey Graham. We know his shooting is an asset for us but how much are we willing to give up on the other end?

I personally think his problems on defense are highly exaggerated and we can and should be able to do things to increase his floor time while still being able to make a half-decent defensive stand. Listed at 6′ 8″, Kapono has more than enough size to stay in front of a shooting guard and take away the dribble penetration by laying off of him. He doesn’t have the quickness to take away the jumper by playing tight but 1 out of 2 ain’t bad here. The same holds true when defending SFs except they have posted him up with great success. We obviously need to provide him help here just like we did with Jose Calderon or Anthony Parker. Kapono’s case is no different.

Sam Mitchell has generally done a terrible job of hiding player weaknesses on defense and Kapono is Exhibit A. Kapono started 7 out of 81 games last year precisely because Jamario Moon happened to be a better defender. Keep in mind that this is on a team that has trouble getting off to good starts. Instead of allowing Kapono to have an impact on the game Mitchell often became gun-shy and chose to err on the side of caution by not playing him in favor of Moon who proceeded to miss countless jumpers in the fourth quarter costing us games aplenty. There’s no doubt Kapono has defensive issues, he doesn’t have great lateral movement or great speed but we knew that before signing him. There has to be an effort on the part of Mitchell to utilize Kapono and hide his weaknesses by clever double-teaming, cutting off baselines, forcing his man in an uncomfortable direction or even some ball denial. We saw none of this last year, the reaction to Kapono being posted-up was usually always a double-team coming out of nowhere which segued into an open three. C’mon, we need to be smarter and stop using the “bad defender” label to waste his offense. It’s very mid 90’s New York Knickish.
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Old 09-11-2008, 11:58 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Very true and I couldnt agree more, same thing applies to Andrea playing the 3.
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Old 09-11-2008, 12:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I like Kapono being out there when Bosh and JO are on the floor, and Moon out there when Bargnani comes in. If Jermaine and Chris can provide a real good anchor for the defense then Kapono's defense, which isn't horrible technically - he just lacks quickness and will be more than able to make use of that defensive anchor - won't be a huge problem.
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Old 09-11-2008, 12:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Defence is one thing.
I am worried about his offence. He was very cautious picking his shots. And most of his few shots came from feeds by no other than TJ Ford.
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Old 09-11-2008, 12:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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He's never been much of a volume shooter, and probably shouldn't start chucking for the sake of chucking, but hopefully he will find a bit more of a balance towards the side of more shots. With his quick release you just have to think he has more opportunities than he might think.
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Old 09-11-2008, 01:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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We've upgraded our defence around him overall with JO,Adams and AP and Bosh are pretty good defenders as well.So in short his offence is a huge asset among a much improved defensive team.He should be starting and playing 25-30 minutes per game.
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Old 09-12-2008, 11:57 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Of course his D is a worry - anytime you don't have a team of lockdown defenders it's a problem. Nonetheless, as others have said, incorporating Kapono into the first unit and letting Jamario be part of a bench mob is a promising idea...
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Old 09-12-2008, 12:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I still think too much is made of Kap's poor defence. His one on one defence is really bad and as many alluded to earlier it's because of his lack of lateral quickness and speed. However, he is a very good team defender and he compliments that with a general high basketball IQ. Having Jermaine now start on the low blocks gives us a defensive presence that may scare some teams (obviously not perimeter ones) and it could be very beneficial to improving our overall defense.

And Jamario being considered a good defender is pretty overrated in and of itself. He's still out of position far too often and relies upons his atleticism to hide his deficiencies. It's annoying because he does have the quickness and if he ever learned to put the two together he'd be a very good defender. But last season, he had a lot of sizzle but not a lot of steak. If we could merge Kapono and Moon together that would be awesome.

That being said, offensively, it makes more sense to start Kapono right now.
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Old 09-12-2008, 08:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claudius View Post
I still think too much is made of Kap's poor defence. His one on one defence is really bad and as many alluded to earlier it's because of his lack of lateral quickness and speed. However, he is a very good team defender and he compliments that with a general high basketball IQ.
That's exactly the point I'm making, its better if he starts despite his defensive deficiencies.
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Old 09-12-2008, 10:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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is it?

what if Moon spent a long time in the gym this year?

what then

I think we need ten games to see
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Old 09-13-2008, 07:09 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Sam doesn't give anyone anything for granted. Unless a mad 25pt/game scorer wakes up in Kapono, hes got same chances as Moon.
Let me point to that Twin Tomers under hoop, drawing doubles, will result not only open looks to our swingmen, but also open driving lanes. And with Adams, Moon, Parker and even Graham capable of making nice drives for high percentages... I would rather see that than mad 3pt chucking
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Old 09-13-2008, 11:37 AM   #12 (permalink)
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As a coach you have to worry more about Jamario, and Parker, and Jose's defese more than Kapono's. Kapono you expect to put the ball in the basket, you're ready for him to suck on defense and you're team is prepared for that to happen.
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Old 09-13-2008, 10:56 PM   #13 (permalink)
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With JO and Bosh guarding the basket Kapono's defense is not of much concern. Kapono's only job is to sit out on the 3 point line and knock 'em down when Bosh or JO draw a double.
Even if the guy Kapono is matched up with gets hot Sam Mitchell can just send Hassan Adams, Anthony Parker or Jamario Moon to cover him.
It will be more appropriate for Jamario to come off the bench this season for his shot-blocking and D when Bosh and JO have to sit.
Until Bryan Colangelo finally trades Andrea "7 feet tall but couldn't grab a rebound to save his life" Bargnani he should be back in his usual 6th man role.
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