Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A defensive basketball writing challenge

We at JPO love a challenge. And TrueHoop’s recent defensive writing challenge was a good one. Lamenting the scoring-centricity of the mainstream sports media’s coverage of the NBA playoffs, TrueHoop’s Henry Abbott challenged the blogosphere to “tell the story of an NBA playoff game without talking about scoring.”

At first blush, there are at least three first-round match-ups that lend themselves nicely to the Defensive Writing Challenge. Lakers vs. Thunder features a marvelous one-on-one match-up — pitting the league's second-most-potent offensive player, Kevin Durant, against one of the league’s man-on-man defenders. Also, in an interesting (and surprising) development, Durant’s defense on Kobe in the fourth quarter of Game 3 was arguably the series’ turning point thus far. Spurs vs. Mavs, which features a great defense beating a talented offense (so far), is another compelling defense-oriented storyline. Finally, Magic vs. Bobcats is another interesting candidate, featuring Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard against a defensive-oriented team and coach, which made the playoffs despite Stephen Jackson being their go-to guy!

As these playoffs continue to unfold, JPO will periodically post entries for Abbott’s challenge. Check back here soon for our first installment….

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