Moons shine in brother-on-brothers matchups

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Moons shine in brother-on-brothers matchups

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Moon Tae-young

Moon Tae-jong was recently chosen first overall in the Korean Basketball League’s half-Korean draft by the ET Land Elephants. And with his younger brother Moon Tae-young playing his rookie season with the LG Sakers this season, it brings to mind the question of which pair of ethnic Korean brothers is the best: the Moons or the Lees - Lee Seung-joon of the Samsung Thunders and Lee Dong-joon of the Daegu Orions.

The Lee brothers are power forwards with size and dynamism, while the Moon brothers play the small forward position and are known for their shots and ability to penetrate to the basket.

The question of which brothers would win in a two-on-two matchup was asked of the head coaches from 10 teams, including the SK Knights. Samsung’s head coach, Ahn Joon-ho, declined to comment, saying he did not know enough about Moon Tae-jong, and SK’s Shin Sun-woo could not be reached, but the others were willing to put together their dream duo.

The brothers were evaluated on rebounding, shooting, dribbling, assists and defense. Seven of the head coaches rated the Moon brothers as the better players in all categories except rebounds. This means that while the Lee brothers are on average about 14 centimeters (5.5 inches) taller than the Moons, the latter pair leads on fundamentals and knowledge of the game.

“Lee Dong-joon and Lee Seung-joon are better players in the low post. However, in other facets of the game, Moon Tae-young and Moon Tae-jong are a notch better,” stated LG Sakers head coach Kang Eul-joon.

“Moon Tae-young has a knack for grabbing rebounds. Taking the low-post play and perimeter defense into the equation, the two brothers would be fairly even when it comes to defense,” said Mobis Phoebus head coach Yoo Jae-hak, who predicted a tie between the Lees and Moons.

Although Moon Tae-young is 11 centimeters shorter than Lee Seung-joon, Moon is sixth in the league in rebounds with an average of eight per game. The numbers are one better than Lee’s.

The KT Sonic Boom’s head coach shared similar sentiments with the seven other head coaches - except when it came to defense. “All four players are horrible on defense,” said Chun Chang-jin. KT is currently the league’s worst in rebounds, with an average of 28.9 per game.

If the two brothers were available in tandem at the KBL draft, rather than in a two-on-two match, which duo would the head coaches choose? Looking at the evaluation categories, six of the eight who commented said they’d shoot for the Moons.

“They are more versatile and can be utilized in different situations in game plans,” said the KT&G Kites’ head coach Lee Sang-beom.

“When looking for versatile, all-around players, the Moon brothers will be of greater help,” said Yoo of Mobis.

“The ideal scenario would be to have Moon Tae-young and Lee Seung-joon. If that’s not possible, I’d take the Moon brothers,” said KCC Egis’s head coach, Hur Jae.

Dongbu’s Kang Dong-hee was the lone head coach to opt for the Lee brothers.


By Kim Jong-ryok, Kim Woo-chul [jason@joongang.co.kr]

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