I've been absolutely amazed this year by Arron Afflalo's defense. Specifically against Kobe Bryant. So far this year Arron has won 2 of the 3 contests. And I'm talking about quite a wide margin IMO. And 2/3 (the third wasn't terrible, and the replay made it look like most of Kobe's points came off of transition or against JR) is about the best I can think of anybody doing. Unless I am missing someone.
Below are their season splits (not going to popcorn machine all of the games to see, but Afflalo definitely played most if not all of his minutes on Kobe).
Game 1: Den Win on 11/13
Afflalo: +15, 3/4 (1/1 from range, 1/3fts), 3rbs, 1ast, 1st, 1to
Bryant: -14, 7/17 (1/3, 4/4), 19pts, 3rb, 2ast, 1st, 4to
Game 2: Den Win on 2/5
Afflalo: +5, 4/7 (2/3, 1/2), 11pts, 1rb, 2ast, 2st, 1to
Bryant: +4, 11/22 (4/8, 7/8), 33pts, 9rb, 0ast, 1st, 5to
Game 3: LA Win on 2/28 (disclaimer, JR Smith's +/- for this game was -11)
Afflalo: +1, 5/12 (3/7, 3/3), 16pts, 2rb, 1ast, 2tos, 1bl
Bryant: +11, 3/17!!!! (0/2, 8/8), 14pts, 5rbs, 12ast (impressive), 3st, 5to, 2bl
The interesting thing about this is that Afflalo's defensive metrics really aren't that great. But he really seems to rise to the occassion when defending Kobe. I don't know if he just hates Kobe or what, but he seems to have his number. The game that I actually watched earlier this year is what made me start to really like Afflalo. He really kept Kobe from doing just about everything. It was absolutely fun to watch. But like I said, he doesn't seem to do that well any other time. Maybe I am wrong because I don't get to watch that many games, but I always saw him as a defensive minded player and what he did to Kobe reinforced that. But his efficiency numbers were pretty impressive (.570TS%) while his defensive stats (tough to measure) really weren't. Anyone with a better idea have an explanation?
Anyways moral of this post, I just really like seeing what he did to Kobe and wouldn't mind picking him up when his contract ends (not for a little bit yet, this is his third year of a rookie contract) or for a salary cap trade with Denver next year or this summer if they want to see more of JR. Ideas?
If I've interested you, their next game is on April 8th, keep that in mind!
Arron Afflalo blocks Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol on the same play (via DenverNuggetsVideos)
No idea how I missed this video the first time around. Pure gold.