Nene, not Billups, driving Denver's D

Originally Published: February 17, 2009
By Tom Haberstroh | Special to Insider
Here's a news flash: The Denver Nuggets' Nene is a better defender than former defensive player of the year Marcus Camby.

It might sound like a crazy assertion. How could the Nuggets possibly improve on defense without Camby, a member of the past four NBA All-Defensive teams who has 1,188 blocks the past six seasons? But the basketball box score does a lousy job of identifying a player's defensive contributions. On a player's stat line in an official NBA box score, only steals and blocks tell you anything about how effective a player is on the defensive end. At Insider, we know there are more revealing ways to measure a player's defensive contributions.

[+] EnlargeNene
Noah Graham/Getty ImagesNene's defense has made a big impact for the Nuggets.
Today's basketball statistical analysts like NBA Insider John Hollinger and the folks over at 82games.com break down the defensive component of the game beyond the box score, producing some provocative results. Among them: The Nuggets are a better defensive team without Camby.

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