Monthly Archives: septembre 2012

Luc vs. LeBron

Luc Moute Defensive Impact Study Begins With LeBron James

Steve von Horn of Milwaukee Bucks blog Brew Hoop has begun a series called « In Defense of Defense » wherein he will analyze Luc’s impact on the defensive end of the court against some of the game’s elite wing players. Over the next few weeks, von Horn will analyze every matchup between Luc and several star players over the past three years. He will post his findings to Brew Hoop and we’ll share them with you here on MbahAMoute.com.

What better way to begin a study into defensive impacy than to measure the traits of a defender against the league’s Most Valuable Player?


LeBron James was the first target of Steve von Horn’s study of Luc’s defensive impact (Getty Images).

Brew Hoop’s Steve von Horn began his research into Luc Richard Mbah a Moute’s defensive prowess by looking at his matchups with LeBron James. According to von Horn, Luc and LeBron have been on the same court for 249 minutes over the last three seasons and over the course of that time, Luc has forced LBJ to change his game:

LRMAM has the length to bother LeBron on jumpshots, but also brings the quickness to cut off premium angles on drives. He typically crowds James on the perimeter to force him into difficult situations once the ball is put on the floor.

Von Horn compiled a wealth of information from watching the Luc/LeBron battles and created a chart demonstrating how Luc’s defense impacted Lebron at different spots on the floor. Perhaps most impressive is that LeBron’s offensive rating dropped over 16 points per 100 possessions against Luc. Quite the sign of a lockdown defender.

Von Horn also noticed that Luc’s defense against Lebron in isolation situations, like the one in the graphic below, led to three successful defensive outcomes.

  • A) LRAMAM cut off the driving angle and forced LeBron into a tough pull-up from mid-range
  • B) LRMAM forced LeBron to give up the ball before he wanted to by cutting off his driving angle
  • C) LeBron fought hard to get the edge on a drive, but to get around LRMAM he had to accelerate going either slightly away from the rim or directly into shot-blocker extraordinaire Andrew Bogut.

So there you have it, Luc’s defense has a very real impact on the best player in the game, LeBron James. Next up, von Horn will look at Luc vs. Kevin Durant. In the meantime, check out Brew Hoop for the latest on Luc and the Milwaukee Bucks.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE:

Under the Microscope

Through his first four seasons in the NBA, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute has gained a reputation as one of the premier perimeter defenders in the league.

Luc has gained the respect of his peers and coaches around the league as a tough matchup for the best players in the game each and every night. No. 12 has accomplished this by working hard on the defensive end of the floor since he learned the game of basketball and carving out a niche.


By successfully defending players like Kobe Bryant, Luc has gained a reputation as a stopper (Getty Images).

But measuring the contributions of a player on defense will always be difficult. There are no statistics to represent defensive impact the way points, assists and field goal percentage, among others, represent offensive impact. Blocked shots and steals only tell part of the story. So one blogger has decided to go deeper.

Steve von Horn of Milwaukee Bucks blog Brew Hoop has begun a series called « In Defense of Defense » wherein he will analyze Luc’s impact on the defensive end of the court. He explains in his introductory piece:

I’ve assembled a list of big-time NBA wing scorers — LeBron JamesKevin DurantCarmelo AnthonyDanny GrangerJoe JohnsonKobe Bryant and Paul Pierce — to stack up against guys known across the league as top-notch perimeter defenders. The reputation of a perimeter stud like Luc Mbah a Moute will be put to the test by measuring on-court defensive impact relative to the normal shooting averages and advanced stat ratings from the scorer group. Sample sizes are small for these individual matchups, so I combined the stats to create three-year averages.

Over the next few weeks, von Horn will analyze post his finding to Brew Hoop and we’ll share them with you here on MbahAMoute.com. Click here for more from Brew Hoop.

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Road to Recovery

It had the makings of his finest season yet, but from the outset things weren’t right for Luc Richard Mbah a Moute in the lockout shortened 2011-2012 season.

As a restricted free agent when the lockout hit, Luc found himself in a unique position, belonging to the Bucks and no one at once. When the lockout was finally lifted, Luc signed an offer sheet with the Denver Nuggets that the Bucks matched almost immediately, locking in Luc for four more years in Milwaukee.

But the delayed resolution to his contract situation — which would have been handled months before training camp if not for the lockout — caused Luc some visa issues that made him late arriving to Bucks camp.


A knee injury bothered Luc all year and forced him to wear a brace when he did play (Getty Images).

Once he was finally allowed to participate in the shortened camp, Luc pressed himself and suffered a knee injury that lingered for the rest of the season. As a result, he played in just 43 of Milwaukee’s 66 games.

« It was hurting me and hurting my game, » Luc said of the injury.

In order to avoid a similar fate in the 2012-2013 season, Luc set out this summer to fix the problem. He visited with Neal ElAttrache, the team doctor for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and after discussing his options decided to undergo arthroscopic surgery in May on his right patella tendon. He recently told Charles Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that the recovery is going well and he’s feeling re-energized.

« I feel good. The knee is getting better, » he said. « I’m right on track to be back for the beginning of the season. I’m just excited to be healthy again. »

Luc’s continued rehab work forced him to cancel his annual camp in Cameroon this summer. Once he was feeling better, Luc did make a trip over to Africa for Basketball Without Borders and a UNICEF mission trip in late August. He then returned to Los Angeles, where he is working toward his goal of being ready for training camp when it begins next month in Milwaukee.

« At this point I’m not sure, » he told the Journal-Sentinel of being ready on the opening day of training camp. « My goal is to be ready for camp, but if not, make sure I’m ready [for the season]. I don’t want to rush that. »

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Africa’s Hoop Dreams

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is always cognizant of his roots.

So when opportunities present themselves for Luc to return to Africa and participate in outreach programs with charitable organizations, he always jumps at the chance.


Luc was a counselor at Basketball Without Borders Africa for the third straight year.

Late last month Luc made the trip over to Africa with several other NBA players as part of Basketball Without Borders, for a camp in Johannesburg, South Africa. It was at the same camp back in 2003 that Luc was discovered by counselors. He still remembers the experience vividly, his first opportunity to meet Dikembe Mutombo and Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje, the NBA’s first Cameroonian player, as he told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel in a recent interview.

« The closest I got to the NBA was getting up at 3 a.m. to watch games on TV. When I came to this camp and met Dikembe Mutombo, it was a dream come true. Not only could you see it, but feel it and live it, » he said.  « They were Africans, just like me. That had a big impact. »

Through his showing at that camp back in 2003, Luc earned a scholarship to play high school basketball in Florida. He went on to UCLA and then the NBA and became one of the faces of the program and the continent’s basketball potential. Since becoming a NBA player, Luc has returned to Africa every year to take part in the camp as a counselor.

Among those who joined him this time around were C.J. Watson of the Brooklyn Nets, Luol Deng of the Chicago Bulls and four members of the Oklahoma City Thunder: Nick Collison, Cole Aldrich, Serge Ibaka and Thabo Sefolosha. Deng, Ibaka and Sefolosha all have ties to Africa and Luc told the Journal-Sentinel that meeting players that come from where they did is important to the campers.

« It means a lot for these kids to see that many African players in the NBA, » Mbah a Moute said. « It raises the level of hope for those kids. »

The 2012 edition of the camp featured 60 African players and while the counselors took the players through plenty of drills and organized games, they also sat them down and talked to each of the campers about life and their options going forward.

« The one question I get asked is what’s up after this camp for them, » Luc said. « The most important thing they learn at this camp is not about basketball. It’s about life skills. »

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Eye-Opening Visit

Since joining the NBA in 2008, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute has used his platform to give back to his native Cameroon and surrounding countries in Africa.


Luc visited refugee camps in Kenya last month with a UNICEF outreach team.

Luc has made several trips over to Africa with outreach programs, many of which involved basketball. But nothing he did prior could prepare Luc for what he saw last week when he participated in a UNICEF outreach mission trip to Kenya.

Along with OKC Thunder forward Nick Collison and NBA legend Dikembe Mutombo, Luc visited a refugee camp in Kakuma where more than 100,000 refugees are living. He told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that the trip gave him a different perspective on the state of things in different parts of the continent.

« Being African, you think you’ve seen it all. The refugee camp was something I’ve never seen before, » he said. « We vaccinated kids for polio and went to the schools. »


Luc administers a Polio vaccine in Turkana with UNICEF.

According to UNICEF, the camp was established back in 1992. At that point it housed 7,000 refugees and has added nearly 100,000 in the last 20 years. Kakuma occupies 12 square kilometres and is above its capacity. It houses refugees from Somalia, South Sudan, Burundi and Ethiopia. Of the 100,000, more than 50 percent are children and one of the main goals of the programs through UNICEF is to provide more places where those children can go and get a proper education.

In addition to learning about the camp and touring the grounds, Luc, Collison and Mutumbo led a basketball camp at Kakuma. They then travelled to Lodwar, where they met rescued girls at St. Monica’s Girls’ School and the Nardikonyen Children Rescue Centre. The group also visited Turkana, where they vaccinated kids for polio.

« It was an amazing experience to go over there and see my brothers, » Luc said. « It was very powerful for me. »

View more pictures of Luc’s journey below, courtesy of UNICEF:


Luc and Dikembe get ready to head to Kenya.


The crew is on its way.


Arrival at the UNICEF Turkana office in Lodwar.


Meeting with the district commissioner in Lodwar before touring the area.


Ready to begin our mission.

Visiting a classroom in Lokitaung Primary School, where the average classroom has to hold 114 students.


The group speaks with rescued girls at St. Monica’s Girls’ school in Lodwar.


Sleeping arrangements at St. Monica’s, where, due to space constraints, girls sleep two to a bed.


The borehole where girls at St. Monica’s fetch water.


The group goes through security check, departing the camp after a life-changing experience.

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