Kobe Bryant & Kevin Durant vs Kryptonite
The way everyone has been discussing the "slump" of KD's performance in this series, leads me to ask how do you stack these 2 matchups against 1 another?
- Kobe Bryant vs Bruce Bowen
- Kevin Durant vs Tony Allen
but the Kobe vs Bowen matchup had a lot more bad blood between the two.
Tony Allen is accomplishing a much more impressive feat locking up Durant. The guy's 6'4, and he's making the league's 6'10 MVP look like an average player in this series.
Always had a hard time deciding which player annoyed him the most. It was definitely Bowen or Raja Bell, but I think you have to give the nod to Bowen.
You can throw Ruben Patterson in there too. The self proclaimed "Kobe Stopper".
I'v noticed when someone is playing Durant really hard and physical they he just starts looking passive out there. Allen is a great defensive player, but Durant is one of the best scorers of all time. I just don't understand it.
Tony Allen always was great vs. Kobe. Allen didn't get enough minutes for the match-up to receive attention, but he absolutely dominated Kobe in the 2010 Finals. Kobe just torched Ray Allen in those Finals.
I like the Tony Allen matchups because I think Allen is an even better defender than Bowen was and Allen isn't as dirty. He is the one defensive specialist who always seems like such a nice guy on the court and doesn't cultivate some "bad boy" image or ever really play dirty. He is physical, but he always makes basketball plays.
This doesn't compare because Bowen was 6'7 and Kobe is 6'6... Comparing Allen shutting down Durant would be saying someone like CP3 shutting Kobe down and we all know that would never happen. At 6'4 Allen should never be able to guard a 6'10 with 7'5 wingspan Durant he is just playing weak. And nobody stopped Kobe one on one in that finals they used great team defense against him credit coach Thibs for that
I don't know, but Kobe had some horrible shooting numbers with Tony defending him and was clearly much better with Ray. I forget the exact numbers, but Kobe was something like 6-28 with Tony defending him or something ridiculous like that, despite not taking nearly as many shots while Tony was in the game. I don't have the numbers, though, and I don't feel like going through all the series play-by-play, so I can't really argue much.
Allen may be 6-7 inches shorter than Durant, but Durant is usually defended by shorter players, even though they aren't usually that much shorter. Allen clearly had done a fantastic job denying Durant the ball and forcing him to catch it away from the basket and his sweet spots. Obviously the Grizzlies team defense and aggressive helping in the lane has helped keep Durant in check, but Durant really has not got into the lane as much as usual these past few games and a lot of that is on Tony. Plus, Tony, despite his height or lack thereof, has done a fantastic job contesting Durant's shots.
Tony Allen isn't just somebody who looks good on the eye test either. His defensive stats are the best in the league. Despite being a defensive specialist who matches up with the opponents most dangerous perimeter scorer, he consistently posts elite defensive ratings and steal rates. This season he had a defensive rating of 101 and last season he had a rating of 98. He didn't play enough to qualify for B-ball references leaderboards this season, but last year he was 4th in the league in D-rating (behind Tim Duncan, Roy Hibbert and Paul George) while being 6th in the league in steal rate. Allen isn't just a product of the Grizzlies' system, he is the best individual defender in the NBA. Some big men may be more important to their team's overall defense due to their rim protection, but nobody is as good a defender as Allen in the league.
I don't doubt anything you're saying but Durant has to use common sense and stop trying to beat him off the dribble and go to the high post an get easier shots. Durant really may be 7 ft with a Yao Ming type wingspan he has to use what he has better. Allen specializes in guarding point guards so he is use to all the ball handling tricks yet Durant wants to try to beat him off the dribble
Anybody watch Michael Cooper back in the day? He was another long, wiry, active defender who gave players fits. He defended both Michael Jordan and Larry Bird. MJ says that Cooper guarded him the best.
Neither Cooper or TA were known as scorers, but Cooper did have a 3 point shot.
What TA is doing against a Kevin Durant that put up monster offensive numbers, is something else.
If they ever have a No Stats Hall of Fame, Tony Allen is on the first ballot along with Michael Cooper and Robert Horry.
I think the best small forward defensive player based on all-around skills, size, athleticism, and power was Scottie Pippen. Pippen would have defended Durant well too. But Pippen was 3 inches taller, bigger, and more athletic than today's version of Tony Allen.