Tag Archives: Hakeem Olajuwon

The Mavericks Secret Defensive Weapon

The Dallas Mavericks defense is just league average this season.  Rick Carlisle‘s team tends to commit a lot of fouls (DeJuan Blair averages 5 PF/36 minutes) in addition to allowing an abundance of offensive rebounds (their starting guards combine for less than 6 rebs/game).

The one area that Dallas does excel on “D” is forcing turnovers (third best in NBA).  Forcing turns is a total team effort as five Mavs average more than one steal per game.  DeJuan Blair in particular is great at intercepting the ball from opposing bigs.  

Here is the complete list of “Possession Abolishers” (20% Defensive Rebound rate and 3% Steal rate).

Totals

Advanced

Player

Season

Tm

G

MP

DRB

STL

DRB%

STL%

DeJuan Blair

2013-14

DAL

34

687

146

41

24.3

3.0

DeMarcus Cousins

2013-14

SAC

32

1034

264

60

29.8

2.9

Paul Millsap

2011-12

UTA

64

2100

383

118

21.2

2.9

Jerome Williams

2003-04

TOT

68

1637

298

90

20.6

2.9

Hakeem Olajuwon*

2001-02

TOR

61

1378

268

74

23.1

2.9

Jerome Williams

1998-99

DET

50

1154

191

63

20.4

3.0

Tom Gugliotta

1993-94

WSB

78

2795

539

172

23.0

3.1

David Robinson*

1991-92

SAS

68

2564

568

158

24.0

3.1

Hakeem Olajuwon*

1988-89

HOU

82

3024

767

213

27.2

3.3

Chris McNealy

1985-86

NYK

30

627

141

38

26.7

3.0

George McGinnis

1981-82

IND

76

1341

305

96

25.2

3.5

George Johnson

1978-79

MIL

67

1157

254

75

24.3

2.9

Bobby Jones

1976-77

DEN

82

2419

504

186

20.8

3.3

George McGinnis

1975-76

PHI

77

2946

707

198

23.1

3.0

Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/9/2014.

Considering Dallas is paying Blair less than $1,000,000 this season I would argue that his unique defensive talents and average offensive production make him a steal for Mark Cuban and Co.

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The Two-Way Threat of Anthony Davis

New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis had a crazy awesome game Saturday night. Isolating only his offensive performance proves he had a great night.  Davis scored 25 points on 13 shot attempts during the Pelicans blowout of the Charlotte Bobcats.

As good as he was shooting, the number one pick in the 2012 NBA draft was even better on defense.  In 37 minutes Davis compiled 6 steals and 6 blocks.  As you can guess this is a very rare feat.  The Basketball-Reference.com database includes all NBA games since Karl Malone entered The Association.  It claims this was only the fourth time any player went for six steals and six blocks.

Davis being a few months shy of his twenty-first birthday is by far the youngest player to go 6/6.  The second youngest is Hakeem Olajuwon who was 24 back in March of 1987.  Hakeem went for an outrageous 38 points, 17 rebounds, 12 blocks and 7 steals in a Rockets loss to the Tom Chambers led SuperSonics that night.

Besides Anthony Davis and Olajuwon the only other two guys to go 6/6 are David Robinson and Andrei Kirilenko.  All four players accomplished the feat just one time.  What are the odds Davis goes crazy on defense again before his career is through?

Dennis Rodman’s Off The Charts Rebounding

The 1995 San Antonio Spurs advanced to the Western Conference Finals before losing to Hakeem Olajuwon and the Houston Rockets.  The story for San Antonio that playoff season was “The Worm” aka Dennis Rodman.

In 14 playoff games against Denver, LA and Houston the Spurs power forward averaged 33 minutes/night. Dennis Rodman averaged 5 Offensive Rebounds and 10 Defensive Rebounds per game during the playoffs.

Overall, Rodman grabbed 26% of the rebounds that were available during his time on the floor over these 14 games.  For comparison, teammate and all-time great center David Robinson pulled down 17% of his available rebounds.

Dikembe Mutombo pulled 14% of the rebounds available to him in the ’95 playoffs.  Lakers big man Vlade Divac procured 13% of his potential rebounds.  Finally, Hakeem Olajuwon himself pulled 14% of rebounds during the Rockets 1995 NBA championship run.

Dennis Rodman was essentially twice as good a rebounder as Divac, Mutombo and Olajuwon in the ’95 playoffs.