Caldwell-Pope names his least favorite NBA player to guard


WASHINGTON -- The question was posed to Wizards forward Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Who is his least favorite player in the NBA to guard? Not necessarily the most difficult. The answer to the latter could be Kevin Durant or LeBron James or someone else who competes for scoring titles on a yearly basis.

But as for his least favorite match-up, the player Caldwell-Pope brought up doesn't score nearly as much as those guys. It's more about the way he scores that makes him a complete pain in the you-know-what.

"I would say Duncan Robinson. [And] that's a great compliment for him," Caldwell-Pope said

"Those types of guys that move without the ball and are always moving, I tend to get lost a little bit ball-watching. So, guarding him is always, I'm always focused. Like, he's my man and I'm guarding him. I probably won't look at anybody else but him. I've got to give him that respect. He's a great player. Off the ball, he's one of the best."

It was ironic that Caldwell-Pope brought up Robinson, the Miami Heat sharpshooter, given those two were the focus of a viral video earlier this season. A fan sitting courtside filmed Robinson being defended by Caldwell-Pope at Capital One Arena and running all over the place just to get an open shot.

Caldwell-Pope has seen the video and said it was a perfect demonstration of what he's up against defending Robinson.

"That's the thing. I mean, he ran me until I was tired. That's hard and then you're trying to do it over 48 minutes. That's a monster. So, I tip my hat off to him," Caldwell-Pope said.


Robinson runs a lot and shoots a lot. For his career, he averages 7.9 3-point attempts per game and makes them at an impressive 40.6%.

The vast majority of Robinson's threes are on catch-and-shoot plays, as he runs all over the court and then shoots with a quick release. Caldwell-Pope knows when he's going up against Robinson and the Heat, he better be ready to cover a lot of ground.

"I feel like if I play as hard as he's playing, somebody's going to give out soon. One of us," Caldwell-Pope said.

Robinson and the Heat continue their first-round NBA playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night. Miami leads the series 2-0. Robinson had 27 points in just 23 minutes in a Game 1 win last Sunday but was held scoreless in seven minutes in Game 2 on Tuesday.