He was arguably the best defensive standout that ever came out from the point and whose ability to defend the perimeter were by far better than anyone else. Not only that he was capable to shut down his man, he was a shot blocking machine who could just have a ton of steals, defended the pick n' roll well and even if there was a switch on the perimeter, he was so good in there too. The likes of Bill Russell led the Boston Celtics to 11 NBA Championships due to his spectacular defensive abilities. Defense should be valued and regarded just as highly as offense, no matter how difficult that might be. Tim Duncan has never led the league in blocks since entering the league in 1997. Do Not Sell My Personal Information | Kevin Garnett: 12 x All-Defense, 1 x DPOY. The reason that I included these categories are because players from different positions often have their own ways of slowing down their opponents. Bill Russell is the meaning behind the popular phrase in sports, "Defense wins championships." I tried to write a novel at that time but I got lazy. Here is my list: Honorable Mention: Chris Paul, Hakeem Okajuwon (9th on the all-time list,1st for all big men!). Depending on the position, there are interior, perimeter, man to man and versatile stoppers out there who all play equally great defense but make different impacts on the court. When considering many of the great defensive players of the league, a nod was given to many of the modern era players who have to neutralize players with more athleticism. Nevertheless, they’re just way out of line, as the greatest player in Lakers history was one of the most fierce defenders against top opposition, with that clutch gene on both sides of the court and even making 9 NBA All-Defensive team appearances through his 20 year career as a part of the Los Angeles Lakers, even if he never averaged more than 1.9 steals per game. -Defensive Player Of The Year: 4 (NBA record,shares it with Big Ben), -All NBA Defensive Selections: 6 (including 3x All-First), -Blocked shots: 3,289 (2.8)--------------------------251 (2.5), -Rebounds: 12,359 (10.3)-----------------------------------962 (9.5), -Ranks at No.35 in most career rebounds per game, -Ranks at No.18 in most boards grabbed for career, -Ranks at No.7 in most blocks per game during the playoffs, -Ranks at No.15 in most career defensive win share, -Ranks at No.8 in career defensive rebound percent. That was being a defensive stalwart his entire career, as he was almost the perfect defender. David Robinson's defense, just like Duncan, went unnoticed at times. Athletic scorers have always received their fair share of accolades in a league where scoring is still essential to a team's success, however, when the games get tight it is often the defensive plays that can make a big difference. The best defender in … Bill Walton helped the Portland Trail Blazers win an NBA title in 1977 thanks in large part to his defense. Although slightly higher than Leonard, 102 is still a very good NBA defensive rating. -All NBA Defensive Selections: Nine Times (All-First Defense for each), -Steals:2307 (2.0)----------------------------------------------395 steals (1.9), -Ranks No.1 in the playoffs history for most steals, -Ranks No.1 in the playoffs history for most steals record by a forward, -Ranks No.6 on the all time list, for most career steals, -Often led his teams in blocks and assists, from time to time even in steals. 2 on the all-time list, but he is the NBA's all-time rebound leader in the Playoffs (24.9) and in the Finals as well. I'll try to rank them all, in a top 15 list that will feature five guards, five forwards and five centers all ranked in one place. Bill Russell kind of got the short end of the stick on this one. Everything he lacked in size (6'6") and strength, he made up with in aggressiveness, determination, work,  effort and pure skills. Pippen often had to draw the other team's best forward and scoring leader on any given night. This is a testament to Kawhi’s impact on the defensive end. -10-time All-NBA Defensive Teams (including All 8 First), -Rebounds: 12,385 (10.8)-----------------------------------------1072 (11.2), -Blocked shots: 1802 (1.6)---------------------------------------137 (1.4), -Ranks No.4 in most defensive rebounds for career, -Ranks No.18 in most rebounds grabbed for career, -Ranks No.19 in most blocks during career, -Ranks No.12 in career defensive rebound percent (25.7), -Ranks No.10 in defensive win share (75.4), -Ranks No.37 in playoff defensive win share (6.13), -Ranks No.9 in playoff defensive rebound percent (25.9). He had some seasons when he ranked top 5 in steals, which is crazy! Robinson had an equally, if not better, offensive game and that is why his defense is underrated when talking about all time great defenders. From the recent history of the NBA, Hakeem Olajuwon stands out on top. If you had the opportunity to make your ideal NBA defender, it would probably look like Scottie Pippen. Duncan was an incredible NBA rim protector for decades, but outside of the paint, he didn’t really have much of an impact. Pippen was a great athlete and his ability to play on ball defense as a forward was second to none. Other candidates with similar cases are Hakeem Olajuwon, who stands tall in this debate, then the always terrific, consistent Tim Duncan. Welcome back to the "Greatest Ever" series, as we continue with the ranks of the greatest defenders in the NBA History. David Robinson was impressive too. Robinson was athletic enough to steal the ball from opposing big men if they tried to beat him with the dribble or block their shot if they tried to shoot up over him. We'll say it right here, we believe Scottie Pippen was a better defender than Michael Jordan. He was known for his defensive performances in his career against some of the top scorers of all times. Hakeem, like Duncan, was an incredible NBA rim protector but struggled to defend on the perimeter. However, Bowen made the NBA All-Defensive First team five times along with being a three-time selection on the NBA All-Defensive Second Team. Garnett’s impact goes beyond versatility as well. Terms of Use | He basically built the fundamentals of the blocked shot, who made blocking shots into an art form, because he had perfect timing, didn't foul the shooter and when he blocked the shot, kept his team in possession since he would tip the ball to his teammate or to himself. For example, if a player has a DBPM of one, he would allow one less point per game. Tied for second most ever. All of those advantages named above gave him huge strength in protecting the basket against dominate big guys in his entire career. The defense provides the heart and soul for any NBA team. Defensive Accolades: Three-time Defensive Player of the Year, Three-time All-Defensive First Team, Two-time All-Defensive Second Team. There are dozens of guys you could make an argument for, largely because there aren't any good stats one can use to determine who is or is not a good defender. Blocked shots are a powerful action in the game of basketball, which is often the last line of defense in order to stop someone's shot attempt.


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