Would the Suns' defense be even better if it didn't switch?

angelofthesouth

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So I understand that Suns, like most or all other teams, currently use switching defense. Does that mean at times "the Warden" has to stop guarding the opponent's best player and might guard a player who, offensively, is a waste of his skill to guard? Or is the switching smarter than that?

In that regular-season game where the Hawks beat the Suns just because Trae Young exploded, I wondered how Young managed to defeat Bridges' defense. If Bridges just wasn't guarding Young, that explains it but it doesn't make sense. If a player like Trae Young is torching the Suns, why wouldn't they guard him with Bridges?

My lack of understanding is probably because this switching-defense thing seems to have caught on since I left fanhood and I don't know what's so great about it. One page I read claims that teams have to use switching because offenses now stretch all the way to the three-point line, and traditional defenses are no longer effective. I'm skeptical. (For one thing, it's not obvious how switching more effectively negates the stretching of offenses.) Could it really be because just too few players these days are good at man-to-man defense?
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

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Suns do deploy switching defense, but not exclusively. They also are heavy users of having the defender go over picks to remain with their primary assignment. But that’s a difficult defense to play because it requires a defender that is lithe enough to try to squeeze through a pick without fouling the pick guy or their assignment whilst also maintaining close proximity to their assignment without over running him and picking up a foul (bridges gets a lot of his fouls this way - and not because he’s a bad defender but because it’s such a difficult task, I think most defenders would foul doing this a lot more than bridges does).

And switching defenses have caught on league wide. I’d say it’s attributable to two primary items:

1. The prolific expansion of 3 point shooting. Almost everyone on the court can shoot 3s now. So if you don’t switch and you go under the pick they bang the 3 in your face. If you go over the pick and your big doesn’t hedge (slow down) the ballhandler he’s likely walking to the hole uncontested. With an effective switch someone is always covering the ballhandler and the pick setter.

2. The growing interchangeability of the 3-4-5 positions and the expanding mobility of bigs. Yes, some of the switches are going to end up in less than most deserved defensive assignments, but the mismatches aren’t as great as they used to be.
 
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angelofthesouth

angelofthesouth

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Then I don't know how else to explain the Hawks embarrassment unless the Suns just slacked off that game. A team that can't even come close to winning its first round in these playoffs should not have gotten away with stealing a game from a team that is an even better opponent than the Miami Heat. Trae Young should not have been able to torch a team with at least three great defenders starting. Or were Suns players injured and I forgot?
 

Chaplin

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Then I don't know how else to explain the Hawks embarrassment unless the Suns just slacked off that game. A team that can't even come close to winning its first round in these playoffs should not have gotten away with stealing a game from a team that is an even better opponent than the Miami Heat. Trae Young should not have been able to torch a team with at least three great defenders starting. Or were Suns players injured and I forgot?
That's a little bit of nitpicking, don't you think? Every team has bad nights where they lose, doesn't matter to who. The Thunder, Kings and Blazers beat us this year for chrissakes. And the Kings beat us TWICE!
 

AzStevenCal

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Then I don't know how else to explain the Hawks embarrassment unless the Suns just slacked off that game. A team that can't even come close to winning its first round in these playoffs should not have gotten away with stealing a game from a team that is an even better opponent than the Miami Heat. Trae Young should not have been able to torch a team with at least three great defenders starting. Or were Suns players injured and I forgot?
Trae Young can torch any team, when he's on he's basically unguardable. The Hawks aren't as good as they should be because all too often he forgets he has teammates. But he's like Kyrie Irving, he can win a game now and then by himself.
 

cheesebeef

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Then I don't know how else to explain the Hawks embarrassment unless the Suns just slacked off that game. A team that can't even come close to winning its first round in these playoffs should not have gotten away with stealing a game from a team that is an even better opponent than the Miami Heat. Trae Young should not have been able to torch a team with at least three great defenders starting. Or were Suns players injured and I forgot?
Why are you focusing on a nothing game that happened months ago?
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

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Then I don't know how else to explain the Hawks embarrassment unless the Suns just slacked off that game. A team that can't even come close to winning its first round in these playoffs should not have gotten away with stealing a game from a team that is an even better opponent than the Miami Heat. Trae Young should not have been able to torch a team with at least three great defenders starting. Or were Suns players injured and I forgot?
It happens. When you’re talking about a single game it’s easy for a couple players to have an off night and for the other team to be hot and the better team loses. Also the hawks have talent. They were in the ECFs last year for a reason. This year has been curious to everyone. But when they hit in all cylinders they can still look like last year. And frankly, no defensive set is perfect.
 

DJ Tabooh

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Seems a little odd
Yeah Suns won 19/20 and that was their only loss if I remember correctly. Gary Trent Jr. had a big game against us too when we lost at home to Toronto. It happens. Everyone in the NBA can hoop lol. Trae Young averaged 28 and 10 this year and scored 40+ I believe 7 times (don’t quote me on that). Anyone can get got on any given night.
 
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angelofthesouth

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Seems a little odd
:) no, the question is odd. What's particularly strange about being interested in things that happened in the past? Nothingburgers (or not nothingburgers) are in the eye of the beholder.
 
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