Press review

Press Review : Cameroon Calling – ESPN THE MAGAZINE

Press Review : Cameroon Calling – ESPN THE MAGAZINE

More than a decade ago, Luc Mbah a Moute created a path, which Joel Embiid took and Pascal Siakam followed. This is the untold story of the rise of Cameroonian ball.
by Jackie MacMullan

On a sticky July afternoon in Cameroon, beads of perspiration dot a young boy’s brow as he paces outside the Yaoundé Sports Palace, plotting his entry. The expansive, asymmetric dome with a sharply pointed roof was a diplomatic gift from the People’s Republic of China, plunked into the city of Yaoundé like a spaceship from another galaxy. The 10-year-old, named Arthur, yells to the guard out front but is told that family and friends are not allowed inside. « But I want to see my brother! » the boy says, his infectious grin creasing his round, sun-kissed face. « You can just let me in, OK? »

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Press review : Basketball Without Borders Holds Special Meaning To Mbah A Moute

Press review : Basketball Without Borders Holds Special Meaning To Mbah A Moute

Basketball without Borders is more than an NBA community outreach program to Clippers forward Luc Mbah a Moute.

It’s, in some ways, where his basketball dreams became tangible.

The Cameroon native was a camper at the inaugural BWB Africa camp in 2003. Given what it meant to him, Mbah a Moute always makes it a point to stay involved in the program, which this summer meant traveling to Angola to help teach at the camp.

“I go back every year and talk to the kids,” Mbah a Moute said. “You know, just kind of keep the dream alive for them, and make sure they understand the dream is true. I’ve done it; I’ve gone through the whole path, being in their shoes, then going to high school here in the U.S., college, and then being in the NBA now.”

BWB’s goal is to promote the NBA while encouraging positive social change in education, health and wellness worldwide. It brings the top youth players from the area together to receive training from current and former NBA players and coaches.

This summer, the top 87 boys and girls from 27 African countries traveled to the first BWB Africa camp in Angola from Aug. 31-Sept. 3 at Pavilhão Multiusos do Kilamba in Luanda.

Mbah a Moute, who still remembers being a teenage camper with NBA aspirations when he attended 13 years ago in South Africa, was among a group of NBA and FIBA players and coaches teaching the kids, which also included Bismack Biyombo, Eric Bledsoe, Salah Mejri, Thabo Sefolosha and Cody Zeller.

They were joined by NBA Global Ambassador Dikembe Mutombo, as well as former NBA players Charlie Bell, Jason Collins and Olumide Oyedeji and former WNBA players Astou Ndiaye-Diatta and Jenn Lacy. In addition, Pelicans general manager Dell Demps and Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri served as camp directors.

Mbah a Moute said he spent about a month and a half in Africa this summer, and every year he tries to make it a point to return, largely to help with camps.

“It’s always great when you see the kids,” Mbah a Moute said. “They identify with you, because you’ve actually been there. You know what they go through on a regular day, whether it’s basketball-wise, lifestyle-wise, you know because you’re from there.”

And that’s not an anomaly.

Mbah a Moute is one of 21 former BWB campers and one of a record 10 African players who were on opening-night NBA rosters last season. The BWB program began in 2001 in Europe and has since staged 46 camps in 23 countries on six continents, hosting more than 2,500 participants.

Rowan Kavner Digital Content Coordinator

source : http://www.nba.com/clippers/news/basketball-without-borders-holds-special-meaning-mbah-moute

The first Jr. NBA League in Cameroon

The first Jr. NBA League in Cameroon

Cameroonian National Basketball Association (NBA) star Luc Richard Mbah A Moute is back home in Cameroon with Sports Envoys NBA and WNBA stars Charlie Bell and Astou Ndiaye, an American who is a native of Senegal. National Basketball Association (NBA) and Women’s NBA stars are visiting Yaounde from September 5 through 9, 2016 for a series of youth sports community outreach programs in partnership with the Ministry of Sports and the Cameroonian Basketball Federation (FECA Basket). Their visit underscores the partnership between the United States of America and the Republic of Cameroon to promote youth empowerment and education through sports.

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Basketball Without Borders, Africa Tips Off In Angola For the First Time

Basketball Without Borders, Africa Tips Off In Angola For the First Time

The 14th edition of Basketball without Borders (BWB) Africa tipped off at Pavilhão Multiusos do Kilamba in Luanda on Wednesday morning. Featuring 87 boys and girls from 26 African countries, the camp is hosted for the first time in Angola, after previously taking place in South Africa (2003-09 and 2011-15) and Senegal (2010).

The four-day camp started off with a life-skills seminar for the young participants. The seminar was moderated by Hoops 4 Hope and led by Amadou Gallo Fall (NBA Vice President & Managing Director for Africa), Masai Ujiri (President of Basketball Operations, Toronto Raptors), Luc Mbah a Moute (Los Angeles Clippers) and Dikembe Mutombo (NBA Global Ambassador) who spoke about all the upcoming activities and shared their individual BWB journeys.

The camp got officially underway at the press conference opened by Amadou Gallo Fall, joined by Dikembe Mutombo, Helmarc Comercio & Industria CEO Helder Cruz and Angolan Minister of Youth and Sports Gonçalves Muandumba. “It is a great honour to be hosting Basketball without Borders here in Angola for the first time. Angola is a great basketball nation and hosting the camp here contributes to our efforts of growing the NBA’s footprint across the continent” said Fall.

Following the press conference the campers headed straight to the basketball courts to take part in scrimmages and positional development sessions. It was the first opportunity for them to compete in front of NBA and WNBA players and coaches. The NBA players’ contingent, including Salah Mejri (Dallas Mavericks, Tunisia), Olumide Oyedeji (former NBA player, Nigeria), Cody Zeller (Charlotte Hornets, USA), Luc Mbah a Moute (Los Angeles Clippers, Cameroon), Eric Bledsoe (Phoenix Suns, USA) and Jenn Lacy (WNBA Legend), was accompanied by Angolan basketball greats such as Carlos Morais, Joaquim Gomes and Yannick Moreira.

Salah Mejri said “It is great to see all these boys and girls at BWB. The talent I have seen here today is great and it is encouraging that Africa has basketball potential which spans the entire continent.” The day concluded with a Jr. NBA clinic hosted in partnership with UNICEF, Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa and Hoops 4 Hope.

 

Great camp so far fellas! Lets finish it off on a high note tomorrow! #bwb #nba #africa #bwbafrica

Une photo publiée par Luc Mbah A Moute (@lucmbahamoute) le

Sources :

http://www.nba.com/bwb/basketball_without_borders_africa_angola_2016_09_01.html

https://twitter.com/NBA_Africa

Press Release: Clippers Re-sign Free Agent Luc Mbah A Moute

Press Release: Clippers Re-sign Free Agent Luc Mbah A Moute

The LA Clippers announced today the team has re-signed free agents Jamal Crawford, Wesley Johnson, Luc Mbah A Moute and Austin Rivers.

Mbah A Moute, 29, returns to the Clippers for his second season in L.A. after averaging 3.1 points, 2.3 rebounds and 0.6 steals in 75 games (61 starts). The Clippers went 42-19 in games that he started at forward, as the former UCLA standout allowed the fewest points per defensive possession in isolation in the NBA last season (.469, 50+ defensive possessions). A Cameroon native, Mbah A Moute holds career averages of 6.3 points and 4.5 rebounds in 541 games (362 starts) with Milwaukee, Sacramento, Minnesota, Philadelphia and the Clippers.

It’s official! Welcome home Jamal, Austin, Luc and Wes!

Une photo publiée par LA Clippers (@laclippers) le

Luc will be back in action providing lockdown defense! 🙌

Une photo publiée par LA Clippers (@laclippers) le

 

Source/pics : http://www.nba.com/clippers/

Press review : Mbah a Moute Redefining Game In Seventh NBA Season

Press review : Mbah a Moute Redefining Game In Seventh NBA Season

Type Luc Mbah a Moute’s name into YouTube and you’ll find videos like “Mbah a Moute monster block on LeBron James,” “Mbah a Moute vs. Kevin Durant,” and “Mbah a Moute Iso Defense.” But this season, videos like “Mbah drops 18 points” or “Mbah a Moute goes for 19” are becoming the norm.

For the better part of his seven-season NBA career, defense has been Mbah a Moute’s calling card. The 6’8” forward from Cameroon entered the league as a tested collegiate athlete, the first player at UCLA since Bill Walton to start in three consecutive Final Fours.

When he decided to forgo his senior season and enter the 2008 NBA Draft, Mbah a Moute had solidified himself as a legitimate defensive stalwart who could suit up at either the three or the four positions on the floor. He was honorable mention All Pac-10 as well as honorable mention Pac-10 All-Defensive Team.

Fast forward to August 23, 2014, and Mbah a Moute found himself a piece in the blockbuster deal that centered around sending Kevin Love from Minnesota to Cleveland to team up with LeBron James and Thaddeus Young from Philadelphia to Minnesota in return for a 2015 first-round pick, Mbah a Moute, and Alexey Shved.

When the veteran forward arrived in Philadelphia, he was immediately an elder statesmen on the NBA’s youngest team. On the court, Mbah a Moute’s main job has been that of defensive Swiss Army knife, going one-on-one against point guards, shooting guards, small forwards, power forwards, and even centers at times and starting 42 of the 41 games in which he’s appeared this season.

« I think he is experiencing growth and giving us help pretty much all over the place,” head coach Brett Brown said earlier this season. “He helps us defensively, with his versatility. He is growing his own game from the perimeter and provides veteran stability in a locker room.”

While Mbah a Moute typically matches up with the opposing team’s most lethal offense threat on a nightly basis, he also has grown into a competent scorer whose 9.8 points per game are a career best.

His offense play of late has been exceptionally noteworthy, as he has scored at least 10 points in eight of his last nine games. This stretch included an 18-point outburst against the Minnesota Timberwolves, a team-high and a major factor in the 103-94 victory.

Along with his career-high points, he is also averaging career highs in field goals made (3.9) and field goals attempted (9.2).

The biggest indicator of Mbah a Moute’s new role is his average shot distance, which has ballooned from 8.3 feet to 13.3. This trend emphasizes the fact that Mbah a Moute is taking more jump shots and is confident in hitting the outside shot, a statistic highlighted by his 42.4% field goal percentage from 16 to 24 feet, which also is a career high. Just take a look at his shot chart this season (below) and hover over it to see what it looked like in his first six seasons.

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If you watch or go to Sixers game you’ll still see Mbah a Moute guarding the likes of LeBron, Carmelo Anthony, James Harden, or even Al Jefferson, but you’ll also see him hitting jumpers, driving the lane, and providing scoring on an offense that needs as much of it as it can get. It seems that he is defying the odds and turning against the idea that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

by Doug Ammon

http://www.nba.com/sixers

Former Teammates Leaning On One Another In New Setting

Former Teammates Leaning On One Another In New Setting

Alexey Shved and Luc Mbah a Moute come from worlds apart.

One grew up in Belgorod, Russia, a small industrial town that sits 25 miles from the Ukrainian border. The other was born a prince in a village near the Cameroonian capitol, Yaoundé. But basketball brought these two to the United States, and eventually to Minnesota, where they fostered a relationship as Timberwolves teammates that was built upon the surprising similarities that they shared.

“Alexey’s actually my guy, so [playing alongside him in Philadelphia] should be really fun,” Mbah a Moute told reporters on Thursday. “Back in Minnesota, we were best buddies, so I really like having him on the team. It makes the transition easier. »

Mbah a Moute arrived in Minnesota after a three-month stint with the Sacramento Kings that was preceded by five seasons with the Bucks. In Milwaukee, he started 233 games, averaging 6.9 points and 5.3 rebounds in just over 25 minutes per game.

Before being dealt to Philadelphia, Shved had spent the entirety of his two-year NBA career with the Timberwolves. Like many European products, he began playing professionally as a teenager before jumping the pond to the United States in 2012. Since then, the 6’6” combo guard has appeared in 140 NBA games, averaging 6.5 points and 2.5 assists per game.

Fast-forward to August 23, 2014, and both players found themselves on the outgoing end of a trade that sent forward Thaddeus Young from Philadelphia to Minnesota.

“Everybody on the [Sixers] has been great to us, not just to me, but to Alexey as well,” said Mbah a Moute. “We’ve had time to connect with everyone, and we’re starting to make relationships with everyone. They’ve embraced us and made us feel at home.”

It’s all part of the “we” mentality that seems to permeate every level of this Sixers team.

Shved and Mbah a Moute figure to play important roles both on and off the court for the Sixers this season. Shved has experience playing both guard positions and has flashed the ability to space the floor, something head coach Brett Brown said he’ll need more of this season. Mbah a Moute is a defensive-minded forward who, at 28 years old, will be leaned upon as a veteran leader.

Although they began their NBA journeys 6,000 miles apart, Alexy Shved and Luc Mbah a Moute are now closer then ever.

by Doug Ammon

http://www.nba.com/sixers/news/141004-shved-mbah-a-moute

 

NBA Insider : Mbah a Moute changing lives.

NBA Insider : Mbah a Moute changing lives.

Inspired at a camp at age 16, Luc Mbah a Moute seeks to help players back home.

While whiling away the hours in his new cold and foreign home recently, Timberwolves rookie Shabazz Muhammad came upon an old movie filmed before he was born, one he hadn’t seen for quite some time.

Later, he innocently asked teammate Luc Mbah a Moute if he leads the same kind of life back home in Africa as the main character in “Coming to America.”

“I wouldn’t be here if I had it like that,” Mbah a Moute replied.

Like that, as depicted in the 1988 film starring Eddie Murphy, is a world where an African prince is awakened by a string orchestra every morning, where gorgeous women bathe and dress him and scatter rose petals in his path wherever he goes in a country whose money bears his likeness.

Life apparently was different for Mbah a Moute, a prince in a Cameroonian village because he is the son of an elected village chief. He grew up in what he once called regular middle class, a ceremonial family member respected in his village along with his seven other siblings because of his father’s status. He came to America as a teenager pursuing an education and basketball and ultimately achieved a better way of life following other Africans such as Hakeem Olajuwon and Dikembe Mutombo, who led the way to the NBA ahead of him.

Now he is giving back by sponsoring a three-day basketball camp back home every summer for the past four years that invites the country’s top 50 teenage prospects, five of whom now are playing Division I college ball in the United States. Another plays at an American high school.

Most famous of that group: Kansas freshman Joel Embiid, a possible No. 1 overall pick in this summer’s NBA draft who was but a raw, fleet and gangly 7-footer with gifted feet from playing soccer all his life when he participated in Mbah a Moute’s camp in July 2011.

“I didn’t have anything like that when I was young, so I just felt like it’d be cool for kids to have something like that,” Mbah a Moute said, explaining his camp’s genesis. “I just wanted to do a camp to help the kids down there. There was not anything like that being done, so I just felt like I had to do it.”

Mbah a Moute was invited to the NBA’s first African Basketball Without Borders camp back in 2003, when he was 16 even though he was just learning the game.

Back then, the NBA was this faraway place — the closest he got to it was waking at 3 a.m. to watch games on television — that became much more real when he met Mutombo there that year.

His play in that camp helped trigger a journey that sent him to a Florida prep school — the same one in which he later helped place Embiid — and then UCLA on scholarship before Milwaukee chose him in the 2008 draft’s second round.

“It was important, just being around NBA coaches and being around the NBA,” he said. “The life-changing factor for me was that, within two years of starting to play, I was one of the top players in Africa. That’s what made me want to keep playing and see how far I could go with it.”

He went all the way to the NBA and a pro career, a path he hopes he can help other young men in his country follow. Embiid — out for at least the opening weekend of the NCAA tournament because of a back stress fracture — is foremost among the list of developing players Mbah a Moute has helped bring to such American colleges as Clemson, Rutgers, Coastal Carolina and California-Berkeley.

“It’s very encouraging,” he said. “In four years, if you can have that kind of impact on kids — not just bringing them here, but making a difference and giving them hope — it shows a lot about what can be done.”

Read more on http://www.startribune.com/sports/251737521.html

Photo: Matt York • Associated Press,

 

Mbah a Moute pays way for his French fan club

Mbah a Moute pays way for his French fan club

Tuesday night, Luc Mbah a Moute’s biggest fans, after a year of trying, finally got to see him live.

A friend of Mbah a Moute used to play for Basket Club Nyonsais, a club located near Avignon in the south of France. After he told them about Mbah a Moute, many at the club began following his career. They decided to hold fundraisers with the idea of traveling to the United States to watch him play.

They originally bought tickets to watch him play for Milwaukee (coincidentally the Timberwolves’ opponent Tuesday at Target Center). But he got traded to Sacramento before they could get there.

So they changed their tickets, deciding to come over for a two-game trip, to watch Mbah a Moute play for Sacramento in Brooklyn and Philadelphia this week. But, of course, Mbah a Moute got traded to the Wolves. Ultimately the fans decided to stick with the trip. But when Mbah a Moute heard about it, he paid for tickets to bring the fans from New York to the Twin Cities after Sunday’s game, get them into Tuesday’s game, then get them to Philadelphia in time to watch the Kings play there Wednesday.

 

“They weren’t going to come to Minnesota,” he said. “They already had the flights set up. When I found that out, I had to make it happen so they could come here. We worked it out.”

As a result, 12 players between ages 15 and 18 got here, had dinner Monday night with Mbah a Moute and Ronny Turiaf, and were at Tuesday’s game.

Unfortunately, they didn’t get to see him play. Mbah a Moute was the only Wolves player in uniform not to see action in their 112-101 victory.

Welcome home

Rookie Nate Wolters made his 26th start of the season for the Bucks, and there were a whole lot of friends and family on hand to watch.

Wolters played high school ball at St. Cloud Tech before starring at South Dakota State. A second-round pick by Washington on draft day, he was involved in two trades that day, eventually landing with the Bucks.

Good thing, too. Because, on opening night in New York, veteran Brandon Knight hurt his hamstring. With Luke Ridnour also hurt, Wolters entered the game and became the first Bucks second-round pick to play more than 30 minutes in his first NBA game.

So, after making his debut in Madison Square Garden, coming home for his first pro game in Minnesota wasn’t a big deal.

“I looked like a week ago and realized we were playing ’em,” he said. “It will be just another game. But it will be fun playing the team I grew up watching.”

Said Wolters: “Not too many second-round picks get this kind of opportunity. I’m still learning, but I’m getting more comfortable.”

Wolters is averaging 7.1 points and 3.3 assists per game. His assist-to-turnover ratio (3.55) is fifth best in the league.

“He’s been nothing but a real pro,” Milwaukee coach Larry Drew said. “He’s going to have a very, very long career in the NBA.”

http://www.startribune.com/sports/wolves/249677161.html

 

My Playoff Scouting Report

This article was featured on ESPN’s TrueHoop.

6-8 Bucks forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is seen as one of the NBA’s best defenders. Virtually every night of the Bucks’ season, Mbah a Moute was asked to defend the opposing team’s star, whether that was a lightning-fast point guard or a seven-footer with unlimited range. He has been watching the playoffs, and offers this report on stopping the conference finals’ biggest stars:


LeBron is a lot like a point guard playing around with the ball and making decisions (Getty Images).

When you go in against a scorer, you have to know they’re going to get points. But what you have to try to do is making them have a tough night, make them get uncomfortable so they don’t get in a rhythm. When I go into a game, I’m trying to take them out of that comfort zone. I don’t want them to ever feel like they can take over the game at any point.

Every player is different. What might bother a guy like LeBron might not bother Derrick Rose or Kevin Durant. It depends on the player and the situation they’re in.

Here are a few tricks to handling each of them:

LeBron James
Strengths: Athleticism, power, versatility, handle
Preferred moves: Dribble-drive, dribble and shoot.
Best defense: Crowd him. Face guard. Don’t allow him space to dribble. Force decisions.

A common misconception about LeBron is that he’s so physical, he must be a drive-first player. Guys tend to play off of him. Players want to avoid contact and not get in a physical battle with him.

But I think being physical is the best way to defend him. When you give LeBron space and let him play around with the ball, he’s such a good ball-handler that it gives him more options. Space also allows him to get a head of steam on his drive.

So what I try to do is play physical, get in his face, don’t let him mess around with the ball. LeBron is a lot like a point guard playing around with the ball and making decisions. If you get into his face, you make him do what you want instead of having him play you. A lot of guys still back off him a little bit because they don’t want to get in that physical battle. That’s a mistake. The best way to play him is to crowd him, get in his face, make sure he doesn’t get to the basket and contest his jump shots.

You can force him to go to his left hand so he takes a jump shot instead of going right and getting all the way to the basket. You can make him pass the ball or use a screen and have help there for you. The key is to take him out of that dribbling rhythm and give him less time to figure out your defense.

Dwyane Wade
Strengths: Quickness, penetration
Preferred moves: Drive to the basket
Best defense: Contest. Deny his spots. Take away the drive. Mix and match looks.

Dwyane’s ability to drive is incredible. He can get wherever he wants to go on the court. That’s what makes him special.

I try to make him take contested jump shots, because when he drives, he’s tough to guard. If he can get to the basket, it’s at least a foul on you or he’s going to get an explosive dunk, sometimes both.

What you want to do is give him a little space sometimes, but a lot of what I do with Wade is mix and match. If you play tight on him, he’ll figure it out so now you have to switch up and play off him a little bit. I try to give him a few different looks so he won’t ever get comfortable with the way I’m guarding him.

When you go into it, you have to have a game plan, but at some point in the game you have to change it up just to mess around with him. He’s a great player and he’s going to adapt.


The toughest thing about Dirk is that he’s a seven-footer who can shoot (Getty Images). 

Dirk Nowitzki
Strengths: Length, size, touch, stopping ability, confidence
Preferred move: 
Post-up fade-away jumper
Best defense: 
Play physical. Force the drive. Contest jump shots. Don’t let him get comfortable.

The toughest thing about Dirk is that he’s a seven-footer who can shoot. You rarely see that. Kevin Durant has it to some degree, but Dirk also has that post-up game and that fade-away that always seems to go in. So if you’re 6-8, or even 6-10, that’s a matchup problem.

But Dirk is a shooter, that’s what he does. That’s his game. So when you have a guy who shoots, you can contest his shots, you can body him up and you can take him out of his shots making it tough for him to get in a rhythm. I try to be physical with him at all times because most of these guys you come to find out that they don’t like contact. So you get in his face and if he can’t get his shot off the way he wants to, he’s going to be uncomfortable.

You want a player like Dirk to drive all night. You want to give him the drive and make sure the help comes or try to take a charge. Sometimes when he drives, he’s going to stop on a dime and pull up for a jump shot. But if he’s also making some contested shots, which he usually does, you live with that.

He made a buzzer-beater on me where I knew he was going to drive, spin and shoot the ball. You can see in the replay, I’m right there, I’m looking for the spin. But when he spun, he still got me. I was so mad, but he’s a seven-footer, so I tried to contest the ball.

I just remember watching the ball saying, “Please don’t go in!” and next thing you know it goes and I was so mad at myself. But when I went back and looked at it again, I couldn’t have played that play better. I played him for the spin, he did it, I was right there to contest and he just made it. You can’t get discouraged by a play like that as a defender. You just have to go back and do it again.

But if he’s making open shots or he’s on the block and you don’t body him up, he’s feeling like everything is coming easy and it’s going to be a tough night.

Derrick Rose
Strengths: 
Body control, ability to finish, explosiveness, athleticism
Preferred moves: Driving layup, pump fake, reverse at the rim
Best defense: 
Use length. Avoid the drive at all costs. Contest the jumper. 

No one in the league has the ability to finish like Derrick Rose. His body control is amazing. I’ve never seen anything like that. He can be driving right, stop on a dime, jump, avoid the charge and finish on the other side of the rim in rhythm. There’s definitely no other player his size with that type of body control. He’s also gotten so much better with his jump shot that now he’s complicated to guard.

Before you could just make him shoot, but nowadays you have to respect his jump shot because he will pull up and shoot a 3 right in your face.

The thing that bothers him most is length. In Game 1, Miami did a good job of pulling LeBron onto him. If he gets a shot off, it’s going to be tough for him to see over the all that length to score a basket. If you can contest his jump shot with a guy who is 6-7 or better, it gets tough for him to get his shot off.

Letting him go to the basket is a mistake. He’s going to score no matter who is on him. But if you make him take a jump shot, over a bigger player, you have a higher chance of him missing those shots.

Me personally, I’ll play off of Rose because I know I’m long enough to contest his jump shot so I’ll give him a lot of space. He’s so quick that you can’t be tight on him, he’s going to get past you. You have to give him space and make sure you contest his jump shot. What makes him such a problem is that most of the guys that defend him aren’t big enough to contest. He can see over them and he has a better chance of making that shot.

 


Kevin has a really nice jump shot and he can get to the basket (Getty Images).

Kevin Durant
Strengths: Size, makes shots from anywhere on the floor.
Preferred moves: Mid-range jump shots, off-balance floaters
Best defense: 
Deny the ball. Keep him out of his spots. Play physical. Get in his face. Force him into the post.

You have to be very physical with Kevin. You saw a little bit with the Memphis guys, Shane Battier and Tony Allen. Whenever they tried to deny him the ball and get physical with him, it kind of took him out of the game. When you take him out of the game it usually leads to them forcing shots and trying to force feed him. When they do that, it’s a pretty good advantage for your team.

But Kevin is dangerous everywhere on the floor. The weakness of his game is that he doesn’t post up. He has a really nice jump shot and he can get to the basket. But the main thing is to have him try to take contested jump shots and be physical with him.

He wants to get to certain spots on the floor. But if you body him up, you can wear him down. At the end of the game, it shows, because he’s a guy that’s going to live by the jump shot. As a jump shooter when you really don’t feel your body and you’ve been beaten up all game, you don’t make as many jump shots.

Russell Westbrook
Strengths: 
Speed, athleticism
Preferred move: 
Drive to the basket.
Best defense: 
Prevent penetration. Turn him into a jump shooter. Use length. 

I’ve known Russell for a long time, starting in college at UCLA. His improvement has been one of the quickest of anyone around the league.

After practices in college, Russell and I went one-on-one pretty much every day. It was me, Russell and Darren Collison. That helped me because I had to guard smaller guys so I got quicker at everything I did. Even then he showed a lot of signs of what he’s doing now with his explosiveness and his athleticism to the basket.

Russell can drive as well as anyone in the league. He gets to the basket strong and is able to finish with contact. He has also developed his mid-range jumper and has a good pull-up game. So you have to make him take shots and try to contest them.

That’s where I use my length. I’ll play off him and I don’t let him get to the basket. If you let him get to the basket, he can really do damage. If you make sure he’s out on the perimeter taking contested jump shots, you can deal with the results.

I take a lot of pride in my defense. There’s no feeling like it when you can shut down a premier player on defense. You can score a lot of points, and that’s always great, but for me there’s no other feeling like making one of those guys frustrated because they can’t get into what they want to do. If they can’t score the points they usually score and they really look like they don’t know what’s going on, it’s a great feeling — especially if you get the win.

But at the same time, those guys are the best players in the world. They’re going to make shots. As long as they’re not getting anything easy, then I’m comfortable with that because then at the end of the game, they’re going to wear down. I want them to be worn down when it comes to crunch time and we’re fighting for the last couple of possessions.

Follow Luc Richard Mbah a Moute on Twitter at @mbahamoute and on Facebook.

Undefeated in 2010

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and the Milwaukee Bucks had no trouble racking up another win on Tuesday night, downing the struggling New Jersey Nets, 98-76.

No. 12 played a mere 18 minutes in the victory, which saw Milwaukee jump out to an early lead and gradually grow it over the course of the contest.

Milwaukee maintained a perfect 2-0 record in the new decade.

PLAY OF THE GAME
For the second straight outing, Luc found himself highlighted in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel‘s « Play of the Game. » As reported by Charles F. Gardner:

Early in the third quarter, Bucks guard Brandon Jennings drove the baseline and found Luc Richard Mbah a Moute with a nice underhanded flip pass that Mbah a Moute took to the rim for a dunk and a 64-50 lead.

RELATED STORIES
Tuesday game report: Bucks at Nets (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Jan. 5, 2009)
http://www.jsonline.com/sports/bucks/80763882.html