Sunday, July 18, 2010

Scottie Pippen: Ultimate Defender

There are two great videos on the internet showcasing Scottie Pippen and his "ultimate" defense.

They are called Scottie Pippen: Ultimate Defender and Scottie Pippen: Ultimate Defender II.

Watching these videos is a mind-blowing experience. We all know Scottie Pippen was great, but his defensive highlights reveal that he was even greater than first thought.

By the end of the Bulls' second three-peat people were saying that Scottie Pippen might be the second-best player in the NBA. Looking at these videos makes it hard to argue against it.

Pippen literally puts on a defensive clinic from start to finish, and these videos alone could be used to teach basketball players how to play defense.

All you have to do is show the videos and say, "Play like this!"

Pippen displays every characteristic--intelligence, toughness, tenacity, intensity, focus, competitiveness, resilience, versatility, conditioning, footwork, skill, everything!--which a coach would want in a player in any sport.

It is well known that Scottie Pippen was a great defender, but seeing all of these defensive highlights back-to-back on one reel brings a different level of understanding ... WOW!

Scottie Pippen has never gotten his due for how great he actually was.

A lot of it has to do with the offensive bias in judging greatness, but these videos show that great defensive play is just as important as great offensive play when it comes to impacting basketball games.

It is crazy how disruptive he was and how he completely dismantled everything which the opposing team's offense tried to put together, and I mean everything!

Guarding every position on the floor, from point guard to center, he was simply a menace.

While we're at it, lets look at one of Scottie Pippen's finest moments, his performance in Game 6 of the 1993 Eastern Conference finals against the New York Knicks.

And for a real trip down memory lane, here are some Bulls highlights from the Game 5 classic against the Knicks in 1993, including Pippen's multiple rejections against Charles Smith to save the game in the final seconds.

Also of note from Game 5, check out Doc Rivers daydreaming and ball-watching (5:13) as Scottie Pippen sneaks up from behind him and sets a screen on him which gets Rivers' man BJ Armstrong open for the game-winning three-pointer.

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