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Old 09-19-2010, 01:44 PM   #30
3-time NBA All-Star
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 10,528
Default Re: All-Defensiev teams 1955-1968

Originally Posted by G.O.A.T
The Thurman choice was based on a few things. #1 His tole that season was exclusively defense. He had developed a reputation prior to the start of his pro career as "the next Russell". Sport Magazine wrote a feature early in the season about he Thurmond's presence had re-energized Wilt and the Warriors who missed the playoffs the year prior.

San Fransisco had the worst defensive in the league in 1963, in 1964 they brought in Thurmond and they had the best defense in the league and were back in the Finals.

Thurmond also ranked higher than Wilt in defensive win shares than the rest of the Warriors except Wilt and exceeded all non-centers in Win Shares per 48.

So while I certainly see your point, a part time playing rookie would never qualify for an all-defense team today. But today we have 30 teams and 60-75 forwards in competition for those two spots. Then their were only 18-20 forwards in the running and Thurmond had comparable stats to most, a better defensive reputation already and I have the luxury of knowing how everything would play out which made him an obvious choice for me.

Remember too that the Warriors were so enamored with Thurmond during his rookie season that they decided Wilt could become expendable a year later.

As for West, the Lakers were one of the leagues worst defensive teams through much of the 1960's. A lot of this can be attributed to their lack of a true quality center but I also think that it might suggest that defense wasn't a huge focus for West until later in his career.

At first I had him on the first team all the way. But I really can't find anything written about his defense or the steals he may have been averaging prior to 1966. Even in his biography he acknowledges that playing defense was something became more important to him the older he got and the more his hunt for a title frustrated him.

Some very good points you raise, I hope my response shines a light on my line of thinking for you.

According to Hannum, it was WILT who was the defensive anchor of that 63-64 Warrior team.

Interesting, too, in that article, about the roster that Wilt had in 62-63 (and much of it the same in 63-64)...

So are the Warriors, a team that lists on its roster some of the slowest players and worst shooters ever to play in the NBA. With just 14 games remaining in the regular season, San Francisco—in next-to-last place this time last year and until recently the obvious choice to finish there again—is in first place, ahead of the St. Louis Hawks and the defending Western Division champions, the Los Angeles Lakers. There is a related phenomenon: the curious fans of early last year are back, along with quite a few brand-new ones. When they press the horn now they get a sturdy, melodious toot for their money.


Hannum's next task, then, was to convince Wilt Chamberlain—the greatest scorer in history, the man who once scored 100 points in a single game, the man who holds eight of the 10 major scoring records—to let someone else shoot once in a while and to play defense with as much enthusiasm as he did offense. "For us to win," said Hannum, "Wilt has to play like Bill Russell at one end of the court and like Wilt Chamberlain at the other end of the court."

For those who insist that all this is just so much talk, there was a game in Philadelphia last month in which the Warriors came on the floor at half time trailing the 76ers by 15 points. In the next three minutes Chamberlain blocked four shots, picked up seven defensive and three offensive rebounds and was the playmaker, controlling the ball in one gigantic hand until a teammate was clear for a shot. Finally Hannum had to call a time-out so that his big center could stop laughing. The Warriors had outscored the 76ers 20-3, and Wilt's contribution was four points. Said Hannum, "He didn't exactly look like a man who was disappointed."

Baltimore's Terry Dischinger has a recurring nightmare. It was born the recent night the Warriors beat the Bullets 120-118. Dischinger got away from his man and went in for the last—tying—shot of the game. "I don't know whether the shot would have gone in," he said, "and I never found out. Wilt jumped up and grabbed it with both hands, and that was the game." To San Francisco's way of thinking, that is the game.

Last edited by jlauber : 09-19-2010 at 01:52 PM.
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