Take a crash course in perimeter defense from Andre Iguodala
By Rob Mahoney
Defense in basketball is so often characterized by the end result of a possession, be it make or miss, steal or block. But the finest in the defensive trade will all speak to the value of process: the thoughts and actions that extend beyond the confines of a single possession or even a single game.
A consistent and sensible approach is far more valuable than a mounting collection of spectacular individual plays, as those highlight-reel rips and swats represent only the final step in a far lengthier defensive sequence. Elite defenders such as Denver’s Andre Iguodala stand testament to the value of that extended process, and contribute to their teams through endeavors of positioning and technique that most casual fans will unfortunately never see.
But for those truly interested in learning the fine art of perimeter defense, a lot can be gleaned from taking the time to watch Iguodala work. And, as Matt Moore of CBS Sports showcased with his must-read piece on Iguodala, entire graduate-level courses could be structured around the verbalized teachings of the man himself. Iguodala broke down a series of his defensive greatest hits for Moore on video, making for a perfect multimedia presentation of specific and thoughtful commentary. Here’s one such clip, of Iguodala discussing the way he defended Kobe Bryant on a play at the end of a quarter:
Iguodala guides Moore through his defense of other stars around the league, from LeBron James to Russell Westbrook to Carmelo Anthony, and you’re unlikely to get better defensive insight from an NBA player in any form. If you’re at all interested in the way the game’s best defenders navigate particular scenarios, then you owe it to yourself to tag along with Iguodala and Moore for the piece in its entirety.