If you value defence in basketball there are a select few players in the NBA who you should really hone in on in order to learn how to tighten your clamps. Of course defence varies based on your size, position, system, etc. Of course you have the Antetokounmpos and Goberts of the world roaming the paint, blocking shots, and hedging or switching high screen and rolls, but you also have the elite defensive guards of the association like Avery Bradley, Dejounte Murray, or Marcus Smarts getting their mitts on loose balls and causing mayhem for ball carriers. However, if you’re really looking to improve your technique at the defensive end of the floor, feast your eyes on the Montreal-native Luguentz Dort of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Dort is a suffocating defensive guard who consistently checks the best perimeter player on the other team whether they have a size mismatch or not. Dort’s defensive numbers as of now don’t really jump off the page in terms of being outliers, however watching him work at the defensive end will give you a totally different idea of just how good this guy is.
The biggest takeaway from watching Dort lock up opposing guards is the way he moves his feet. For a guy who is built like a refrigerator the way he is able to move laterally is unbelievable. His ability to cut off his check and chest them up without committing fouls is amazing. Just look at what Lu was able to do against James Harden, (who is arguably the greatest volume scorer of all time) last year in the playoffs. Dort harassed Harden all series long during their time in the bubble earning high praise from everyone who watched him. It also should not be forgotten that Dort was an undrafted rookie that season who played on a 2-way contract for the majority of the season.
One thing to truly admire about Luguentz is how he is fully willing to pick up star guards full court. He does his best to disrupt the rhythm and flow of his check all night long. Dort’s effort is really something to be admired as he busts his butt up and down the court all game long. If you want to mirror anything from the Canadian, mimic his effort and you’ll be one step closer to being an excellent defender.
It probably should feel like a crazy statement saying that Lu Dort has Defensive Player of The Year level defence in just his second season, but it is not unreasonable at all cause he’s just that good at that end of the floor. He can truly do it all at that end of the floor and is a huge piece for the Thunder going forward. For the final time, WATCH LU DORT!