Sixers praise De’Anthony Melton for defense on Clippers star Paul George
PHILADELPHIA–In order to knock off a team like the Los Angeles Clippers, one has to find a way to stop both of their stars in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
If you can’t stop both, then you better stop at least one of them.
The Philadelphia 76ers were able to do so in a 119-114 win over the Clippers where they trailed by as many as 20 and worked their way back in order to pick up a win. Joel Embiid and James Harden were terrific, but De’Anthony Melton deserves a ton of credit.
Melton was assigned to George in the second half and he harassed the LA star into just five points on 1-for-6 shooting and a turnover. That type of defense was instrumental in Philadelphia being able to rally for the win.
“He was great,” said Embiid. “That’s what he’s been doing all season. That’s what we need from him to take on those type of matchups and on the offensive end, whether it’s to rebound or knock down wide-open shots, that’s what he’s been doing. Everybody needs to keep doing their job.”
Coach Doc Rivers was asked about how they were able to slow down and contain George after he scored 17 points in the first half and he went straight to Melton and the job he did.
“That was all De’Anthony,” said Rivers. “We trapped Kawhi down the stretch and Paul down the stretch, but other than that, it was more De’Anthony Melton.”
Melton is one of the better perimeter defenders in the league, and Philadelphia’s best perimeter defender, so the fact that he was able to hold down George the way he did is almost normal.
“De’Anthony’s great on defense every night,” said veteran PJ Tucker. “I think he’s an all-defensive guy. An All-Defensive Team, he should be on one of those teams every year. He’s solid, he’s quick, he’s got good hands, and he cares. That’s the biggest thing. He cares. He wants to play defense.”
Tobias Harris also added that Melton was terrific against George on the night. The Sixers don’t rally and win this one without him.
“De’Anthony always plays great defense,” Harris stated. “He’s active, his hands are in the passing lanes, he leads our teams in deflections and everything, so he’s been great. Especially, when he’s guarding some of the top players on the other team so he did amazing.”
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Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire
Source: Yahoo Sports