When the hell did Leonard become a defensive bad-ass?

Discussion in 'Portland Trail Blazers' started by chris_in_pdx, Feb 11, 2016.

  1. chris_in_pdx

    chris_in_pdx OLD SCHOOL

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    The last few games I have seen a side of Legend that has been completely unexpected: a hard-nosed worker on the defensive end with a mean streak and a death stare. He has really stepped up his effort on guarding and switching, and isn't afraid to scrap it up with opposing players. Yes, he still makes silly mistakes that a young player will make, but a lanky 7-footer being a pest on defense is a HUGE addition to the team.
     
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  2. blue9

    blue9 Well-Known Member

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    I think he's had it in him since his rookie year - he's never been shy about contact like some ball sack we had on the team last season. But he's finally learning the art of positioning. He'll never be able to guard PFs, or anyone with quick feet - but he can be a decent defensive C. Heck - he's even playing some fairly decent help defense! Far better than previously mentioned ball sack every played.
     
  3. PtldPlatypus

    PtldPlatypus Global Moderator Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

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    It's all about WHO he's playing. Big, strong centers bring out the be(a)st in Meyers.
     
  4. B-Roy

    B-Roy Blazer Fan

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    I love how he gets in the head of other players. I don't even know what he's doing, might just be that goofy face but it's hilarious.
     
  5. blue9

    blue9 Well-Known Member

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    He's kinda like a non-dirty, non-bitchmode version of Beverly! He irritates people, but it's just because he's not going to be bullied or intimidated by contact, and he's gonna give that contact right back to you.
    Even though I expected a lot more from him this season, I still really like him. His development seems to be taking longer than expected, but it might just be our own impatience. If I were more inclined I'd take a look at other Cs (Pryz, etc) to see how many years it took for them to become competent. But I do think Meyers will eventually come into his own - and I want him to be a Blazer when that happens.
     
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  6. HomerLovesKoolAid

    HomerLovesKoolAid I have a well-known member.

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    Meyers' post defense has really improved. He may always be a bit slow of foot and mind to be a great P & R/help defender but I like that his personality seems to irritate some of the mentally weak 'stars'. He's like a cross between Bill Laimbeer and Beaver Cleaver.
     
  7. Blazinaway

    Blazinaway Well-Known Member

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    LMAO, that is one of the weirdest "crosses" I have seen!
     
  8. Natebishop3

    Natebishop3 Don't tread on me!

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    He's so frustrating though...... he'll do something great, and then he'll do something like pass it in under our own hoop to Ed Davis who has a guy draped all over him. That play led to a bucket for Houston and a foul shot.
     
  9. SlyPokerDog

    SlyPokerDog Woof! Staff Member Administrator

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    Kaman has been threatening to kill his pets if he didn't play tougher defense.
     
  10. Chris Craig

    Chris Craig (Blazersland) I'm Your Huckleberry Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

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    And he's actually bringing the ball inside and pulling down boards...there may be hope for Legend after all
     
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  11. EL PRESIDENTE

    EL PRESIDENTE Coronavirus is a chinese bioweapon.

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  12. PtldPlatypus

    PtldPlatypus Global Moderator Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

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    Also, on a completely unrelated note--has anybody noticed how crisply he passes? I swear the ball leaves his hand at a higher average speed than any player I've ever seen. Someone must have impressed upon him the absolute unacceptability of "lazy passing". Honestly, I'm surprised teammates don't have more trouble catching balls he throws.
     
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  13. Scalma

    Scalma Well-Known Member

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    He's a really good passer, I sometimes wish he would loosen up a little more. He tends to make very safe passes for the most part.
     
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  14. Pinwheel1

    Pinwheel1 Well-Known Member

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    I think it is more than just personality. He does not get the respect other players get because of the way he looks. Not saying it is a race issue, just that he seems to get a lot of cheap elbows from vets that I do not see occurring with other young centers. He gets elbowed from players who just come into the game that he has no prior history with. They just like hitting him. Eventually he will earn their respect, but right now he could use a Maurice Lucas type enforcer to have his back.
     
  15. Rastapopoulos

    Rastapopoulos Viva Busta!

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    Is it that he's being put exclusively on Centers now, and we've given up entirely having him "guard" PFs?
     
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  16. Pinwheel1

    Pinwheel1 Well-Known Member

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    I have always viewed him as a "stretch 5" in the mold of Mehmet Okur. He can step outside and shoot but at 7'1" he can not stay with stretch 4's on D
     
  17. BoBoBREWSKI

    BoBoBREWSKI BURP!

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    Kawhi Leonard has always been defensive bad ass.
     
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  18. PtldPlatypus

    PtldPlatypus Global Moderator Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

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    I saw a lot of looooooong cross court passes last night. Like, from above the key to the opposite corner. That's the kind of pass I would normally discourage, but from him, they're sailing through without a problem. I've really become impressed with how well he facilitates the offense when he's engaged.
     
  19. Schilly

    Schilly Well-Known Member

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    Meyers is coming around. What really impresses me is yes his interior defense, but also he is almost automatic from 18 feet and in.
     
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  20. blue9

    blue9 Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely - even during his rookie season (maybe it was 2nd season) he showed that he's a terrific passer. I still recall the first time I saw him rip down a rebound a throw a perfect 3/4 court outlet pass - Baby Sabonis was my first thought! Once he stops overthinking, that passing ability (coupled with his shooting) is what will make him a special player.
     
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