The Oklahoma City Thunder have watched Lu Dort become one of the best defenders in the entire NBA. In fact, his peers, such as Damian Lillard, acknowledge he is the best lockdown defender. Dort has put on a show defensively in his career, at various points locking down some of the best superstars the association has to offer. Even within the construct of this season, the former undrafted free agent earned the biggest win of the Thunder’s season on the defensive end.
On March 21st, Lu Dort switched through roughly 253,456 screens to stay on Kawhi Leonard in the midrange—one of the automatic buckets and a player often compared to a robot. Dort flustered the superstar to the point Leonard did not get a shot off before time expired. This sealed a one-point win for the Thunder, who would only win five games down the stretch on their way to a 40-42 record. That victory went a long way in earning the OKC Thunder an NBA Play-In tournament bid.
Lu Dort snubbed from All-Defensive Team despite praise from fellow players.
Oklahoma City Thunder General Manager Sam Presti went out of the norm during his exit interviews and heaped praise on Lu Dort and flatly said he should be on the All-Defensive team. Presti went as far as to say if Lu Dort is not on the team, voters are flatly not watching.
The NBA announced their All-Defensive team, which did not include Lu Dort. On the first team came Alex Caruso, Jrue Holiday, Jaren Jackson Jr, and Brook Lopez. The Second team featured Derrick White, Dillon Brooks, O.G. Anunoby, Draymond Green, and Bam Adebayo.
Lu Dort only received one first-team vote and seven second-team votes, finishing fifth in the other players receiving votes category for the guard position. This led to his teammates and other NBA players chiming in.
Lu Dort played in 74 games logging 13 points, four rebounds, two assists, and a steal per game. Along with that, Dort nearly set the record for offensive fouls drawn as he drew 93 fouls. Synergy ranks Dort In the 77th percentile off screens, 66th percentile in defending handoffs, 71st percentile in defending post-ups, and 56th percentile in isolation.