By Joey Ramirez
The Lakers have found their defensive anchor in two-time all-star Roy Hibbert, who was introduced at the team’s El Segundo practice facility on Wednesday.
The 7-foot-2 Hibbert has been among the NBA’s best defenders over the past few years, ranking second in defensive rating in 2013 (96.9) and sixth in 2014 (98.2). From 2009 through 2014, he also placed in the league’s top 10 in blocks for each season.
Joining a team with veteran scorers — like Kobe Bryant, Nick Young and Lou Williams — as well as young offensive talents — such as Jordan Clarkson and D’Angelo Russell — Hibbert plans to leave his imprint on the other end of the ball.
“Looking at the team here, they have a lot of firepower,” Hibbert said. “… My main presence is going to be at the rim. Last year the Lakers were (29th) in defensive efficiency. So my job is to make sure I clog up the paint, (provide) help-side defense, and whatever else I get on the offensive end is candy. My main presence is going to be on defense to make sure these guys know I have their backs.”
Hibbert, who prides himself “on being able to be one of the best rim protectors,” is certainly just that, as he stifled the opposition by not only blocking them, but also by using his length to alter their shots. The 28-year-old held opponents to just 42.6 percent shooting at the rim, which ranked fourth behind Rudy Gobert (40.4), Serge Ibaka (40.8) and Andrew Bogut (41.4).
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