Defense Wins Championships

They say defense wins championships, and I am not one to argue with that. With the Spurs, Grizzlies, Heat and Pacers battling it out in the Conference Finals, we are looking at four teams who live and win with their defense.

The Grizzlies are ranked second in defensive efficiency with a slew of its players making up the All-Defense Team: Tony Allen (First Team), Mike Conley (Second Team), and Marc Gasol (Second Team and also Defensive Player of the Year). No wonder they traded Rudy Gay and brought in Tayshaun Prince, another defensive specialist.

The Spurs are ranked fourth in defensive efficiency and Tim Duncan continues to anchor the team on defense as he is voted into the Second Team All-Defense. Coach Pop's philosophy in defense has been his foundation that made them constant contenders for the past two decades.

The Heat are ranked seventh in defensive efficiency. LeBron James, voted into the First Team All-Defense, knows all too well how important defense is for him to win his rings -- the Spurs schooled him during the 2007 Finals as a Cavalier.

The Pacers are ranked best, with Paul George voted into the Second Team All-Defense. They dismantled the Hawks and the Knicks with their stifling defensive intensity.

These series will be grinding. Expect a lot of low scoring games. If you were hoping for more high PRAs these series, you are not in luck. You'll be happy to even get 30 any given night. The days of your stars scoring 30+ points against offensive-minded teams are gone. Sorry, but there are no showtime and no run-n-gun basketball here.

So, if defense is the key in the playoffs, then why aren't steals and blocks not part of this fantasy game? I'll tell you more in another post.


  1. I've been saying that for a couple of years now - why dont they include blocks and steals in the game like in the ESPN Fantasy Game during the season?
    It would be really great and would give you even more options to choose from and players like Ibaka or Conley would be even more valuable for their defensive contributions.
    When I first heard about the 1-n-Done Game I really hoped they included the defensive stats, cause D2TF has never done it these past years...

    1. I have not played ESPN fantasy in regular season. But I played five years of Yahoo fantasy... Are the mechanics the same? I could draft a shotblocker and two pesky defenders, and I'd own steals and blocks in most head-to-head weeks. Draft the top 2 shotblockers and stealers and I could own those stats for the whole roto season. Especially if FGs are sacrificed.

    2. I've ruled ESPN fantasy the past two years with all 9 of my teams coming in first place in their leagues. But I've never played Yahoo so I don't know if the mechanics are the same.

      Theoretically drafting the top shotblockers and stealers works, but you may take a dent in other areas that offset the gain over the course of a full season. I've found you can do fine with a more balanced approach (guys like Paul George) who give you solid, but not great, production in every category - then you work the waiver wire and pick up specialists in areas you might be laggin in. Injuries are such a factor, and so many people give up early on underperforming stars or sleep on potential waiver wire studs, I find being the most active wins more than having the best draft.

      In ESPN head 2 head unfortunately it's plug and play over the course of a week with each team getting 7 add/drops and with no game limits per you can manipulate any stats by playing more games than your opponent (basically adding guys who play the most games in a week dropping those that play the least). For those reasons I'm not a big fan of H2H and only do it in one league per season (you can have up to 10).

      And I completely agree blocks and assists should count in 1-n-Done.

    3. Seems like the same mechanics. Hook me up in your next fantasy league, be nice to battle with serious fantasy gamers like you.


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