Dongbu gets boost from Kim and strong front court players

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Dongbu gets boost from Kim and strong front court players

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Kim Joo-sung of the Dongbu Promy can be considered the Korean - and older - version of Kevin Durant, who plays for the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder.

And it’s the 31-year-old’s scoring ability and quickness, combined with his height, that has made Dongbu a regular in recent KBL postseasons.

This year, the Promy is currently tied for first in the KBL with Rodrique Benson and Yoo Ho-young adding depth behind Kim this season - creating the tallest front court combination in the league. Kim is listed at 205 centimeters (6-foot-8), Benson is 207 centimeters and Yoon is 197 centimeters tall. The size advantage allows the trio to attack the basket with success.

Each player has a clear role on the team. Benson is the prototypical center who provides strength in the post and Yoon is a versatile small forward with a respectable 3-point shot as well as an ability to drive to the basket. But as the star player of the team, Kim has the freedom to roam freely depending on the situation.

It’s part of the reason why, despite having three big men in its front court, Dongbu’s offense is able to maintain fluidity. Head coach Kang Dong-hee utilizes the three players in accordance with the opposing team’s strengths and weaknesses.

Yoon came up big with 20 points and led the Promy to a 89-64 win over the slower ET Land Elephants on Dec. 10. In the following game against the SK Knights, featuring a smaller lineup, it was Kim’s turn, scoring 32 points to help Dongbu to a 93-88 win on Dec. 12.

Benson has been averaging 18.8 points and 10 rebounds a game, Yoon has been scoring 14.7 points and 6.1 rebounds per game while Kim has been averaging 17 points and 5.9 rebounds. And while Kim was gone for the 2010 Asian Games - he’s only played nine games this season so far - Yoon and Benson picked up the slack for the Promy.

What makes the Dongbu front court dangerous is that the trio does not merely have height but they are also quick enough to keep up with smaller players. It’s the reason why Dongbu guards are able to feed the big men on fast-break plays for easy baskets. ET Land’s front court of Herbert Hill, Seo Jang-hoon and Moon Tae-jong, as well as KCC Egis’ front court of Ha Seung-jin and Chris Daniels don’t pale in comparison to Dongbu in terms of size - Ha comes in at a giant-like 221 centimeters. But speed is how Dongbu wins, with ET Land and KCC centers and forwards having trouble keeping up with the Promy front court.

Opposing teams in the KBL also fear Dongbu for its defense. The Promy features a triangle defense with Benson manning one of the two spots near the basket and Kim and Yoon rotating in and out to provide support in defending the low post. On Dec. 10, ET Land’s center Seo Jang-hoon was limited to 10 points and seven rebounds and had two turnovers in the low post. Dongbu’s front court has limited its opponents to 68.4 points per game this season.

“When facing Dongbu, the game is good as over if we don’t start connecting on our 3-point shots,” said LG Sakers head coach Kang Eul-joon.


By Kim Woo-cheol, Jason Kim [jason@joongang.co.kr]

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