The quality of Marcus Camby’s defense will always be great fodder for statistical debate — he’s like the Adam Dunn of basketball. There’s no denying the value of Marcus Camby’s presence in the paint against teams that attack with dribble-penetration. But we’ve also seen that more active PFs with outside games — guys like Luis Scola — can present problems for the Clippers, because Marcus tends to play off his guy. He’s also a bit passive as a P/R defender.
But enough perception. What do the stats show?
Thus far, 82games.com likes what it sees from Marcus Camby. Their ratings don’t include last night’s game in Oklahoma City. They show that the Clippers give up 102.7 points per 100 possessions while Marcus in on the floor, but a whopping 117.2 points/100 possessions when he’s not.
How bad have the Clippers’ reserves been? It’s worse than you think. When the starting unit is off the floor, the Clippers are almost five points/100 possessions worse than the 29th ranked team, Orlando. And only Dallas’ reserves have a less productive +/- number.
Early-season stats often take a while to settle. I don’t expect Mike Taylor to finish with a better defensive rating than Baron Davis. There are also tons of contradictory data. For instance, despite Camby’s defensive prowess, opposing power forwards are destroying the Clips. If Camby is so effective, why are opposing PF’s compiling a collective 22.4 PER? That can’t all be attributable to Tim Thomas, can it?