WATCH: Jahlil Okafor’s Excellent Defensive Effort
There’s an art to playing defense in basketball, but there’s also an art to playing no defense. Last night, the Sixers’ Jahlil Okafor put on one of the most incredible performances of not-playing-defense of all time.
The Sixers were throttled by the Heat in Miami last night, 125-98. Jahlil Okafor scored just six points in 22 minutes. His 28-point, 10-rebound performance last weekend seems so far in the rear view mirror after two straight clunkers.
But enough about his offense. It’s a clip of his defense that’s making the rounds today on pretty much every sports site. It’s even leading CSN Philly, a site that used to share a parent company with the team! The clip, which you can see above, does not reflect well on Okafor.
Do you want this play described? Sure. Goran Dragic drives to the basket and fires up a shot. Okafor stays put in the middle of the lane. He does not jump. Rodney McGruder then comes in from the side for the rebound. He dribbles around, before handing it off to Hassan Whiteside, who hits an easy bucket. Okafor basically just turns around in the lane and watches the entire play happen.
“Jahlil is such a willing participant in trying to be coached,” Sixers coach Brett Brown said postgame, defending Okafor. “He lets us coach him. I think people have a hard time understanding just how young he really is. … You realize he’s got a long ways to go defensively as far as a sustained type of effort on the defensive side of all of it. He wants to be coached, he lets us coach him, and I think he is getting better.”
The Sixers have 22 games left this season for Okafor to, um, continue to show that improvement on the defensive end. Hopefully, we won’t see many more highlights like the one above.