If you’re a fan of high-scoring games, the '22/'23 NBA is a joy to watch. But for ex-NBA player Andrew Bogut, watching NBA games brings one question to mind -“ Where’s the defense?”
Like most NBA players, Bogut still has his tabs on today’s game. The first thing the Australian has noticed is the abundance of scoring in the first few games of the season. Together with Mike Procopio of Hoop Consultants, they tried to pin down why there’s so much offense and not enough defense in today’s game.
“Where’s the defense gone this season bro? I know it’s the start of the year but some of these scores.. As we speak right now, there’s five minutes left in the third quarter between Golden State and Sacramento. Golden State have 101, Sac have 81,” Bogut said, per the Rogue Bogues podcast.
“The pace of the game is extraordinary... It seems like defense is not an emphasis. I mean you could probably put it down to the way the game is officiated, too, right?” Bogut added.
Bogut is perhaps referring to how fouls are being called in the past few seasons. Superstars get superstar calls. If a defender breathes too closely to someone like James Harden or LeBron James, it will be called a foul. This treatment seems to have extended to all the players on the hard court. Even role players get their fair share of calls.
Procopio agreed with Bogut’s observation. He also pointed out that the players’ training routines have also affected how regular season games are being played.
“Yeah exactly. I think it’s all being catered towards offense. I think the way players play and train and prepare in the offseason. Like, there’s no defensive role players anymore,” Procopio said.
It’s not surprising that such observation and analysis would come from someone like Bogut. The man led the league in blocked shots in 2011 and was selected into the NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 2015. In the NBL, he was crowned Best Defensive Player in 2019.
Bogut’s comments aren’t just your typical childish rant. The Australian prioritized defense during his playing days. He wants today’s players to do the same. It’s as simple as that.
Besides, one of the oldest sayings in the game is “defense wins championships.” Bogut wants to remind everyone that while seeing the ball swish the net is entertaining, there’s nothing sweeter than winning a championship. And it all begins and ends on defense.