Pacers Head Coach Says LeBron is the ‘Best Defensive Player in the World’
Fresh off of their 35-point shellacking from the Heat, Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel committed another error – he named LeBron James the ‘Best Defensive Player in the World.’
Vogel was asked about Pacers small forward Danny Granger’s rough night (2-13 shooting) and explained it had to do with James. “LeBron James, the best defensive player in the world, was on him,” said Vogel.
Only looking at the final score, 118-83, you wouldn’t have even noticed the Heat were missing Dwyane Wade. Wade missed the game due to a sore foot. Those that watched the game said James looked like the classic LeBron from his Cavalier days. “It was full-on James swagger mode,” said ESPN. James ended the night on 33 points, 13 assists, and 8 rebounds in 38 minutes.
The Pacers have been predicted by many experts to be the 4, 5 seed in the East this season. The loss put them at 4-2 on the season. The team is allowing 93.8 points per game, good for 13th best in the league.
I’ve fallen off of the ‘Hate LeBron with every fiber in my body’ bandwagon so I will give credit to the kid; he took over the team that was missing one of its key components. However, to say he’s the ‘Best Defensive Player in the World’ is absurd. Apparently Vogel forgot about Dwight Howard, the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year three years running. In fact during last year’s DPOY voting, LeBron finished 9th, receiving no first-place votes.
I’m not taking anything away from LeBron, but you can’t name anyone best defensive player that’s not named Dwight Howard. LeBron is a great defender at his position, if not the best, but Dwight is a game-changing defender. He led the league in double-doubles (66) last season, ranked second in rebounds (14.1), and fourth in blocks (2.38). The Magic last season ranked fourth in points allowed per game and this season rank third.
Vogel needs to wake up and realize what he just said. He just came off a 30+ point loss so he clearly wasn’t thinking straight. It sounds like he wanted to give LeBron more credit than needed, maybe so he’ll ‘take it easy’ on them the next time they play, who knows. My message to Vogel: stick to your team, work on getting better and good luck playing the Heat again.
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