Is Kevon Looney A Good Defender?

Jalen Rose

The Golden State Warriors’ center Kevon Looney has been a crucial part of the team’s success in recent years. However, his contribution is not limited to the offensive end.

The 25-year-old has established himself as a reliable defender, particularly when it comes to switching onto smaller players.

But the question remains, is Kevon Looney a good defender overall?.

Is Kevon Looney a Good Defender?

Is Kevon Looney A Good Defender?

Kevon Looney, a seven-year veteran of the Golden State Warriors, has set a goal for himself to make the All-Defensive team. Looney has shown that he is a very good defender and is comfortable switching out on guards and wings.


Kevon Looney has steadily improved his defense throughout his career. In his rookie season, he was a bit of a liability on defense, especially in pick-and-roll situations.

However, over the years, he has shown remarkable growth in his defensive prowess, and now his position coach, Ron Adams, calls him one of the Warriors’ best defenders.

Looney has a long and lanky frame, which he uses to his advantage on defense. He is quick on his feet and has good instincts, which allow him to anticipate and disrupt passing lanes.

Additionally, he is not afraid to get physical with opposing big men in the post or on the boards.


Looney’s biggest strength on defense, however, is his ability to switch out onto smaller players. This is a skill that is becoming increasingly valuable in today’s NBA, where teams are playing more small-ball lineups.

Looney is comfortable guarding guards and wings on the perimeter and is able to use his length and quickness to stay in front of them.

Looney’s goal to make the All-Defensive team is an ambitious one, but it is certainly within reach. He will need to continue to improve his defense, especially in pick-and-roll situations, and show consistency on that end of the floor.

If he can do that, he will be a valuable asset to the Warriors and a player that opponents will fear.

Guards and Wings

Kevon Looney has set a lofty goal for himself to make the All-Defensive team. He has shown that he is a very good defender and is comfortable switching out on guards and wings.

If he can continue to improve his defense and show consistency on that end of the floor, he will be a valuable asset to the Warriors and a player that opponents will fear.

Kevon Looney’s Defensive Skills

Kevon Looney, currently playing for The Golden State Warriors, has been a significant contributor to the team’s success. One of the reasons for this is Looney’s impressive defensive skills.

In a conversation with NBC Sports Bay Area, Looney expressed his desire to make the All-Defensive team, which is a testament to his defensive prowess.

Switch on Guards and Wings

Firstly, Looney’s ability to switch out on guards and wings is one of his most impressive defensive skills.

In today’s NBA, where every team values versatile defenders who can guard multiple positions, Looney’s ability to switch seamlessly without getting exposed is invaluable.

His quick lateral movement and footwork allow him to keep up with smaller and quicker guards, and his size and strength make it difficult for wings to bully him in the post.

Defending Different Positions

Looney’s versatility in defending different positions makes him an important part of the Warriors’ gameplan.

Secondly, Looney is an excellent rim protector. Standing at 6’9, he may not be one of the biggest centers in the league, but Looney has a great understanding of positioning and timing when it comes to defending the rim.

He contests shots without fouling, and his length allows him to alter the trajectory of shots. Opposing players are always aware of Looney’s presence around the rim, and it affects their shot selection.

Outstanding Rebounder

Thirdly, Looney is an outstanding rebounder. His ability to read the ball’s trajectory off the rim and position himself in the right place to grab the rebound is impressive.

Moreover, he is skilled at boxing out opposing players to create space for himself or his teammates. His rebounding ability allows him to start fast breaks, which is crucial in the Warriors’ fast-paced offense.

Excellent Communication

Lastly, Looney is excellent at communication on defense. Defense is not just about individual effort, but also about teamwork and communication. Looney is vocal on the court, and he communicates with his teammates to ensure everyone is on the same page.

He directs traffic and helps his teammates stay in position, which is vital in the Warriors’ switching defense.

Kevon Looney’s defensive skills make him a valuable asset to the Warriors’ defense. His ability to switch out on guards and wings, rim protection, rebounding, and communication skills are essential in the team’s success.

Making the All-Defensive team is a worthy aspiration for Looney, given his contributions to the team’s defense.

Kevon Looney’s Defense

Kevon Looney, a seven-year NBA veteran, has established himself as a versatile defender capable of switching onto smaller players. Looney’s goal of making the All-Defensive team is within reach, according to advanced analytics.

One metric used to evaluate a player’s defense is defensive rating, which calculates the points allowed per 100 possessions while the player is on the court.

Looney’s career defensive rating is an impressive 105, which means that his team allows 105 points per 100 possessions when he is on the court. This is significantly below the league average of approximately 110.

Defensive rating takes into account the player’s ability to defend individual matchups as well as their team defense and communication.

Defensive win shares, another defensive metric, attempt to measure a player’s contribution to their team’s wins through their defensive performance. Looney’s career defensive win shares are 5.5, which is solid for a role player.

Defensive win shares also take into account the player’s position and teammates, so Looney’s numbers are even more impressive considering that he plays alongside other talented defenders such as Draymond Green.

Usage percentage is a stat that measures the percentage of a team’s possessions that a player uses while they are on the court. A lower usage percentage indicates that the player is less involved in the offense and is likely playing more minutes on defense.

Looney’s career usage percentage is 13.1%, which is relatively low, suggesting that he is spending a good portion of his time on the court playing defense.

Finally, comparing Looney’s defensive metrics to those of other NBA players reveals that he is among the best defensive big men in the league. In terms of defensive rating, Looney has averaged in the top 25% of NBA players over the past three seasons.

His defensive win shares have also consistently been in the top half of the league for players at his position.

Kevon Looney’s advanced defensive metrics suggest that he is a highly effective defender who is capable of earning a spot on the All-Defensive team.

His defensive rating, defensive win shares, and low usage percentage point towards his contributions on the defensive end, and his comparison to other NBA players highlights his proficiency at his position.

If Looney continues to play the same way on defense, it is only a matter of time before he earns an All-Defensive team selection.

Recognition of Kevon Looney’s Defense

Kevon Looney’s defensive prowess has not gone unnoticed, as he has gained recognition from coaches, teammates, the media, and awards committees alike.


Looney has received commendations from his coaches and teammates for his defensive abilities.

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has often praised Looney’s efforts on the defensive end, calling him “one of our best defenders” and “the anchor of our defense.”

Looney’s teammate Draymond Green, himself a three-time All-Defensive team selection, has also spoken highly of Looney’s defense, saying that he is “really good at switching” and “just understands defensive concepts really well.”

Defensive Skill

In addition to coach and teammate commendations, the media has acknowledged Looney’s defensive skills as well.

Various publications have noted his ability to guard multiple positions and switch onto smaller players, with some even naming him one of the best defenders in the league.

ESPN’s Zach Lowe, for example, included Looney on his list of “NBA Tier 2 Defenders,” describing him as “a switchable big who understands all the timing and angles necessary to stymie pick-and-rolls.”

Received Awards and Honors

Finally, Looney has also received awards and honors for his defensive contributions. In 2019, he was named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team, becoming just the third Warriors big man to receive the honor (joining Green and Nate Thurmond).

This recognition came after a season in which Looney posted career-highs in blocks, steals, and defensive rebounds, while also recording the highest defensive rating among Golden State’s regular rotation players.

Overall, Kevon Looney’s defense has been acknowledged and recognized by various parties, including his coaches, teammates, the media, and awards committees.

His ability to guard multiple positions and switch onto smaller players has made him a valuable asset to the Warriors’ defense, and he will undoubtedly continue to strive towards his goal of making the All-Defensive team in the future.

Improvement Areas for Kevon Looney’s Defense

Kevon Looney is a talented defender in the NBA, renowned for his comfort in switching out on guards and wings. However, in order to achieve the honor of making the All-Defensive team, there are areas in his game that he can improve on.

The first area that could use improvement is foot speed and lateral quickness. As Looney often guards smaller and quicker players, he needs to be a bit faster on his feet so that he can stay in front of his opponents.

Improving his foot speed and lateral quickness could allow him to better contain ball-handlers and make it harder for them to get past him.

The second area where Looney could improve is in strength and physicality. As he often guards bigger players, Looney needs to become stronger and more physical to better handle their bulk and strength.

He needs to work on his upper-body strength to hold his ground against bigger, stronger players in the post.

The third area that Looney could improve on is defensive positioning. He has already shown quality skills in this area, but there is always room for improvement.

Looney needs to improve his positioning to better anticipate where opposing players will move and be able to react more quickly to defensive assignments.

Kevon Looney is one of the best defenders in the league, but he has areas where he can improve his defense.

Improving his foot speed and lateral quickness, strength and physicality, and defensive positioning are all ways that he can continue to evolve his game and achieve the goal of making the All-Defensive team.

If Looney can make strides in these areas, he could become one of the most dominant defenders in the NBA.

To Recap

Kevon Looney’s versatility on the court and his defensive skills make him a valuable player for the Golden State Warriors. While he may not have the flashiest stats, his ability to switch onto smaller players and defend effectively is a significant asset for his team.

As he continues to develop his game, there is no doubt that Looney has the potential to make the All-Defensive team in the future.

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Jalen Rose

I am a sports analyst in USA and I have been writing about sports for more than a decade. My career started with writing about the NBA for my school newspaper. After that, I became the Sports Editor of my college paper, then the managing editor of my university’s official website. After graduating from college, I started working as an Assistant Sports Editor at the local newspaper in Atlanta. per. I've been there ever since and have had many opportunities to write about different aspects of sports journalism and interact with other writers and editors from all over the world. LinkedIn

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