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Nicolas Batum, Derrick Rose And Defense

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Last night, I noted some comments made by Portland Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum, in which he said Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose "can't play defense," specifically in the post against Blazers point guard Andre Miller. Zach Harper of Hardwood Paroxysm uses the quote as a jumping off point for a discussion of whether players are able to scout and know their competition better than media analysts. Here's a snippet. ----------------------- The point of this isn’t to argue the merits of what Nicolas Batum is saying. It doesn’t really matter if Rose is actually good on defense or bad. It doesn’t matter if Batum is a "hater" or a prophet. The point is that maybe I/we really don’t know what we’re talking about. Maybe everything we’re doing is just guessing. The players are the ones that have to go out there and play. If they know they can attack a young guy that all of us think has improved, maybe last year’s scouting report is the same as this year’s scouting report. The player’s opinion is definitely more important than our analysis. It’s generally going to be biased and arrogant, but that doesn’t make it wrong if they’re out there physically proving it’s correct. ----------------------- Do you agree? Is a player's opinion necessarily "more important" than yours or mine? Do you think that you, as a basketball fan, are able to scout a player's game as well or better than an NBA player? Do you think all NBA players, because its their professional craft, automatically have a higher level of knowledge and familiarity with their competition? Surely there's a big difference in attention to detail from player to player, right? Update (11:06 PM): On Twitter, Batum has said that he was misquoted. Given the word-for-word transcription provided by multiple reporters, take that how you will. Given the context of his statements, my read is that Batum meant to say that Rose could not guard Miller in the post, rather than that Rose can't play defense at all. Update (11:20 AM): Batum has also blogged on the subject. Someone email me a translation please. Update (11:40 AM): Here's a partial translation of the blog from Gregory on Twitter... ------------------------- "I will speak of tonights game in the second part of the blog but i saw on Basket Session that Oregon Live didn't write what i said! First of all I want to rectify! I never said that Derrick Rose "Can't play defense." "Rose is a better offensive player then defensive. In such a game if you can make him play defense it could be better for us...That's why we attacked a lot on him through Andre Miller because it's the kind of player who can't afford having fouls. "Rose, Kobe or LeBron aren't fouling you. Only at the end of games. He quickly made a foul on Andre and it slowed him down. With this foul he wasn't able to pressure Andre Miller and that's exactely what we wanted to do. Taking him out of the game... If you are able to take Rose out of the game, it definitely is better for us. "That's why i said he is a better offensive player...But i never said he wasn't able to defend! Because he is able to play defense! He can presses you full-court and then... I faced him at the Hoops Summit or with the US. Believe me he can defend! I already saw him played some serious defense." ------------------------- Here's a second translation by Tim Brown at Oregon Live. -- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

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