What Happened to Defense In The NBA?

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What Happened to Defense In The NBA?
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Never has that title been more true to me than it is right now.

Maybe I have some bias—as a Knicks fan—watching Mike D'Antoni coach offense, offense, offense, and forget that defense exists.

But it's not just him. Many other coaches are following in that lead.

Just a couple days ago, the Atlanta Hawks beat the Toronto Raptors 146-115. The Hawks scored 75 by halftime and passed the 100 mark with 3:40 left to go...in the THIRD QUARTER!

Nine players finished in double figures scoring for the Hawks as they went on to shoot 59 percent from the field and 52 percent from beyond the arc.

This can't be a fluke.

Teams are coaching their players to save their energy on defense in the hopes that it will help them execute better on offense and lead to outscoring their opponent and winning the game.

What happened to defense winning championships?

Why aren't teams copying the Spurs, Lakers, and Celtics, who all play excellent defense?

Those teams are contending for NBA titles year after year while other are losing when it matters.

It is true that the NBA is a flashier league than NCAA, yet I am finding myself more attracted to college ball because of the style of basketball played, among other things.

NBA games are no fun without defense. If a team just lets you run down the court and then dribble right by you, only to either kick it out to a wide open teammate or lay it in over and over again, wouldn't that get a bit boring?

In my opinion, College Basketball is much more focused on team play, as well as team defense, and this makes it much more enjoyable to watch.

Yes, defensive games that end 93-78 aren't the prettiest, but I think it's a lot better than winning 129-112. In that game, the team proved they can score some, but they also showed that they don't care much about defending and are content with giving up as many points as the other team wants, as long as it's less than their score.

When I was younger, I remember that only a few teams every night broke the 100-point barrier.

Now it's common place, and if you don't get 100 points, it's almost an embarrassment, as though you had a bad night.

Hopefully some teams will realize that the way to win basketball games is by hustling and playing sound defense, so that the games will go back to being intense and fun.

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