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Old 11-17-2006, 05:00 PM   #1
Bobcat4Ever
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Default Okafor becoming defensive authority

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BOBCATS NOTEBOOK
Okafor becoming defensive authority
His 4.1 blocked shots per game lead the NBA
RICK BONNELL
rbonnell@charlotteobserver.com
Emeka Okafor, NBA defensive player of the year?

That would have been a reach not so long ago, but based on his start this season, he belongs in the discussion.

He leads the NBA in blocked shots (4.1 per game). He is third in rebounding (12.3 per game). And his five steals against the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday showed he's about as disruptive as a defender gets in this league.

His quick hands, long reach and anticipation have some in the league comparing him to a young Alonzo Mourning.

"He's a big kid. He can jump, he's athletic. He's always there to contest, to bother the shots," Spurs guard Manu Ginobili told the San Antonio Express-News. "I don't know if all the misses I had in the layups were because of him, but he's a good presence down there."

That's what coach Bernie Bickerstaff hoped for when he told Okafor to focus on shot-blocking this season -- a presence that would leave shooters worrying where he was. The goal is to change as many shots as he actually blocks.

If Okafor has a signature block so far this season, it's rejecting a dunk by Tim Duncan on Wednesday. Duncan is so quick, so precise, that shot is an automatic -- and probably draws a foul -- unless Okafor has perfect timing.

http://www.charlotte.com/mld/charlot...s/16033881.htm
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Old 11-19-2006, 10:38 PM   #2
2LeTTeRS KD
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Okafor was always a good defensive player but now he's just becoming scary. He protects our rim and bothers layups even when he's not in position just b/c of the threat that he might be there, and he's blocking almost 4 shots a game. Meka for DPOY.
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Old 11-20-2006, 01:33 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by 2LeTTeRS KD
Okafor was always a good defensive player but now he's just becoming scary. He protects our rim and bothers layups even when he's not in position just b/c of the threat that he might be there, and he's blocking almost 4 shots a game. Meka for DPOY.

Agreed. What concerns me, though, is that as Emeka improves he leaves the rest of the squad behind. Eventually he may resent being the most consistent player on the team because the poor reputation of the team will have a negative effect on his own production. And then what if another team (one with playoff potential) makes him an offer that's too good to pass up????????????
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Old 11-20-2006, 03:54 PM   #4
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He'll then most likely take it unless 1) The Cats make him the franchise player or 2) they bring him a superstar talent to help him. Right now I wouldn't mind the team trading a couple of their big name players to get a superstar-caliber player.
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Old 11-21-2006, 07:34 AM   #5
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Franchise record 8 blocks. Me oh my
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Old 11-22-2006, 01:26 AM   #6
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Franchise record 8 blocks. Me oh my

Are you being sarcastic??
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Old 11-22-2006, 09:07 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by onewickedlady
Are you being sarcastic??

I doubt he/she is. 8 blocks is crazy good.
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