Originally Posted by chronoaug
Marion is more suited for guarding the perimeter big men and rangy small forwards than he is guys who pound it like odom, bynum(well at least against the suns, smart phil always makes him do this) or do crazy quick 2guards like kobe. I don't believe it makes him overrated as it's asking way too much to ask him to be a complete lockdown player on every position. The thing is, he can guard all of them competently, and some positions at an elite level. Just like Ben Wallace was an elite defender when guarding down low bigs, but struggled a bit with guys who would bring him up high. Same with Ron Artest, bruce bowen and other lock down defenders.
But Odom really isn't a banger--he's traditionally a small forward because of his ball-handling skills and his ability to play on the wing. He's been playing out of position the last few years. The reason he kept taking it inside against Marion is that he had a mismatch there and he and Phil both knew that he could take it down against Marion and get a shot off anytime he wanted.
Marion is very similar to Tayshaun Prince, although Prince has a better offensive skill set and Marion is more athletic. When the Pistons play the Lakers, however, Saunders doesn't hesitate to put Prince on Kobe. Just a point.
No one is arguing that Marion is a bad defender--he's a good one. But his numbers reflect weakside play and gambling, I think, although maybe that's a little unfair because the Suns have never had a strong presence in the middle to capitalize on Marion's particular defensive talents. And this of course begs another question--if Marion is such a good defender, then why are the Suns such a bad defensive team? That aside, when you talk about elite perimeter defenders, you think of Ron Artest, Tayshaun Prince, Bruce Bowen (not this year's model), Kobe.... But you don't really think of Marion. At least I don't. He's more of a guy who does a little bit of everything (hence the nickname), but he doesn't do any of it great.