Hayward Making Strides on Defense
After holding All-NBA forward Kevin Durant to 19 points Friday in Utah’s home loss to Oklahoma City, Jazz forward Gordon Hayward said he believes he can defend anyone in the NBA.
They were bold words from the second-year player who was struggling with his place in the league just one year ago. But Hayward’s defense and confidence have continued to improve in 2011-12, and Corbin is taking notice of the changes.
“The largest strides that he’s made this year … [are] defensively of taking the challenge and playing the top scorer on the other team. I think he’s doing a great job of taking that challenge personally, of getting up into guys,” Corbin said.
He added: “That actually generates his offense a little bit, because he’s looser, he’s more focused on what he has to do, and then he can get in the flow of a game a lot quicker.”