The NBA is more known for its spectacular display of offense. However, it is the work on the defensive end of the floor that wins games and championships. Additionally, defensive plays can be spectacular themselves and often lead to exciting plays on the other end of the floor.
Which current player is the best defender in the NBA? Let’s look at some of the best defenders in the league right now.
We can’t talk about the best defenders in the NBA without bringing up Rudy Gobert. He is a three time Defensive Player of the Year Award winner. Averaging a career 2.2 blocks per game, he has a serious case to be considered the best rim protector in the NBA.
Gobert’s advanced defensive stats stand out amongst other players, particularly his defensive win shares. However, his numbers are a little low so far this season. That might be due to his transition from the Jazz to the Timberwolves. Either way, Gobert will need to get back on track and make his presence known on the court.
Anthony Davis certainly has the skill to be considered the best defender in the NBA. He has a tremendous length that allows him to effectively protect the rim and disrupt the passing lanes. What separates Anthony Davis from most players is his defensive versatility. Even as a big man, Davis has enough speed to be able to defend any position. That makes him one of the best overall defenders in the league.
Davis is currently averaging the most combined steals and blocks in the league. Health is the only thing that has prevented Davis from reaching his full potential in this league so far. That is likely the only reason he has not won a Defensive Player of the Year Award.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is a former Defensive Player Award winner. His speed, strength, and length make him a unique defender and one of the best in the league.
Giannis has not only proved he is an elite defender, but also that he can defend in the moments that matter most. In the 2021 NBA Finals, Giannis blocked Deandre Ayton late in the decisive Game 4 that ultimately led to victory for the Bucks.
Draymond Green’s numbers won’t stand out to you. It is his mentality that makes him one of the best defenders in the league. Draymond is on the same team as Steph Curry. While Curry provides much of the scoring, Green provides nearly everything else the team needs to win.
Draymond plays his role so well that he has voted as an All-Star four times in his career. He is the best defender on the Warriors and he is a huge reason why they have been considered one of the top defensive teams throughout this current dynasty.
Kawhi Leonard is another player that should be in the conversation as the best defender in the NBA. Kawhi has been out for a while, so many people have probably forgotten how great of a defender Leonard is. Over his career, he has won two Defensive Player of the Year awards and has seven All-Defensive team selections.
Kawhi is nicknamed “the Claw” for a reason. He is one of the best players at getting steals. Leonard has developed into an elite offensive player, but it is his defense that makes him such an impactful player.
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