Andrei Kirilenko says that guarding Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant is harder than guarding LeBron James.
The Nets square off against the Heat tonight, and although they've lost 13 in a row to the two-time champs, Brooklyn feels that with their re-vamped lineup they have a solid shot at knocking the Heat off. Part of that new lineup is Andrei Kirilenko who has been known for his defensive proficiency throughout this career. Speaking about guarding LeBron James one-on-one, AK 47 says LBJ is one of the most difficult covers in the game, but not the most difficult.
He cites Kobe and Durant as the two hardest players to guard one-on-one because they are relentless with their attack, and LeBron's willingness to give the ball up makes him an easier cover.
“He’s definitely one of those guys who is tough to guard,” Kirilenko said after Thursday’s practice. “I wouldn’t say he’s the toughest to guard 1-on-1, but he’s definitely in that category.”
So, if not James, then who?
“For me, personally? I would say Kevin Durant and Kobe [Bryant], because they’re very motivated to play with the ball,” Kirilenko said. “LeBron is way unselfish, and he will pass it as soon as the guy is open.
“Kevin and Kobe, unless the guy is wide open, like wide open and ready to shoot, they will keep going at you. They’ll keep going at you. That’s why it makes it harder to play against those guys.”