Nuggets center Marcus Camby was named the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year today in yet another instance in which an average defender is honored for having gaudy blocked shot numbers.
As if no one learned anything from four-time (mediocre) Defensive Player of the Year Ben Wallace's departure from the Pistons to join the Bulls -- a move that didn't really affect the defense of either team -- Camby is now the latest poster child for highlight defense.
Yes, Camby can block shots and provide weak-side help to make opponents look bad. But when it comes to fundamental principles of defense -- such as, I don't know, defending the pick-and-roll, actually keeping his man from scoring and suitably protecting the paint -- Camby comes up short.
So when you watch the Spurs-Nuggets playoff series and wonder why Denver's team defensive numbers (opponent's PPG, rebounding differential, opponent's FG perc.) are so weak and why Nene -- and not the "league's best defender" -- is guarding Tim Duncan, well, it's because Camby isn't that much of a defensive player.
-- Joe Garza, Mavs Lite
Marcus Camby showcases his average perimeter defense. Could this be a pick-and-roll situation?