DAR Sports: The Best NBA Defensive Players Today

By @TrueGodImmortal

For as much attention is given to the offensive side of basketball, we know that the most vital part of basketball is rooted in defense. The ability to pull down the defensive rebound, to create pressure on an offense, come away with the steal, or block a shot down the stretch is so vital to the game and it is really one of the biggest keys to winning a championship. There are a number of players who tend to excel at defense in this game, some more than others. Today, we look at the 15 best defensive players in the game today.

*Patrick Beverley 
(Guard, Houston Rockets)

-I'm not a fan of him, but he is one of the best defenders in the league. His in your face style of defense in the perimeter can break down the best players and I feel he's an underrated defensive player. He may not be top 5, but he's definitely deserving of a mention on this list. The 2014 member of the NBA All-Defensive First Team is still viable and gets the job done.

*Chris Paul 
(Guard, Los Angeles Clippers)

-One of the best defensive guards, CP3 is clutch defensively when need be and he's received the accolades for it. His knack for picking up in transition and his stealing ability is probably the best of any player in the league. The 6X NBA steals leader and 6X member of All-Defensive First Team and 2X member of the All-Defensive Second Team will go down as one of the best defensive guards ever IMO. He's having a great year as well on that end, showing he's not lost a step.

*Avery Bradley 
(Guard, Boston Celtics)

-A lot of people sleep on his defensive ability, but make no mistake about it, Avery Bradley is a premier defender in the league. An All-Defensive Second Team member in 2013 and All-Defensive First Team member in 2016, Bradley has gotten praise for his defensive work.

*Anthony Davis 
(Forward, New Orleans Pelicans)

-The tall Power Forward/Center hybrid is a walking defensive machine when he wants to be. How can you drive the lane and be expect to not be met at the rim by this monster? With a knack for blocking shots and pulling down rebounds, AD is a solid defender and one of the strongest defensive players in the game. The 2015 All-Defensive Second Team member is headed for another appearance this season if he keeps this up.

*Hassan Whiteside
(Center, Miami Heat)

-Defensively, he could be even better than he is now, but he's not as focused. He could be top 5 defensively if he wanted to be, yet he doesn't apply himself as much as we'd like to see, but he's still currently the rebounding leader in the NBA and still a top shot blocker in the game. The 2016 blocks leader and All-Defensive Second Team member is a damn good defensive player and rim protector, but he could be even better as well.

*Paul George 
(Forward, Indiana Pacers)

-One of the best perimeter defenders in the game, PG knows how to stop the momentum of just about any player in the game. The 2014 All-Defensive First Team member and 2X All-Defensive Second Team member has showcased his ability to be an elite defensive player.

*Rudy Gobert
(Center, Utah Jazz)

-When you're 7'1, it's sort of hard to not be a top tier defensive player. Rudy has shown that he has the ability to defensively control a game, and while the Jazz have had their struggles this year, he's definitely shown and proved that he's a future All-Defensive First Team member and possible Defensive Player Of The Year candidate this season.

*Tony Allen 
(Guard/Forward, Memphis Grizzlies)

-After he left the Celtics, it seems like Tony became a premier defensive player. He's been on the All-Defensive First Team three times (2012, 2013, 2015) and the All-Defensive Second Team twice (2011, 2016), and it's impossible to make this list without him. I don't see him winning a Defensive Player Of The Year award as his career winds down, but defensively he's still one of the elite.

*Jimmy Butler 
(Guard/Forward, Chicago Bulls)

-Growing as a threat shooting wise and offensively, Jimmy Buckets has been an elite defensive player for years now. With 3 straight appearances on the All-Defensive Second Team, Butler has shown that he can be clutch on defense when needed and one of the best in the game on the other end of the ball. As his game continues to grow, I could see an All-Defensive First Team appearance for him one day in the near future.

*Klay Thompson 
(Guard, Golden State Warriors)

-While he's known more for his offensive prowess and three point shooting, the truth is, Klay is one of the best defensive guards in the game. He can stick with just about anyone in the game and he can cause problems for many players when guarding them. He hasn't made an All-Defensive team yet, but I'm sure in the next year or two, you'll see his name on one. It's a must.

*LeBron James 
(Forward, Cleveland Cavaliers)

-The best player in the league is one of the best defensive players in the game. A 5X member of the All-Defensive First Team and a member of All-Defensive Second Team in 2014, LeBron has been able to lock down many players in his career. His most famed play in recent memory is one of the all time great blocks that occurred in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals and it's a testament to his defensive prowess.

*Kevin Durant 
(Forward, Golden State Warriors)

-Who would have imagined that one of the greatest scorers ever could become elite defensively during the biggest career change possibly? KD has stepped up and become a blocking machine, utilizing his 7 foot frame to pull down rebounds, block shots, and make stops. This is the season where I think we see KD make the All-Defensive First or Second Team if he keeps up this style of play.

*Deandre Jordan
(Center, Los Angeles Clippers)

-When he FINALLY figures it out, he will be a top 3 defensive player in the game. He's already a top 10 defensive player with no doubt, but he hasn't perfected his ability just yet it feels like. With blocks and rebounds, Deandre is a force and he's hard to stop. I can only see him getting better as the years continue to go by.

*Kawhi Leonard 
(Forward, San Antonio Spurs)

-Since coming into the league, it seems like Kawhi has taken the reign of being the best defensive player and that's not really a stretch to say. Kawhi has been a 2X Defensive Player of The Year winner, and he's a 2X All-Defensive First Team member the last two seasons. This year it's not as clear so far if he will win the award or not, but he's still the top defensive player in the league and could very well get his 3rd award this season if he continues to defensively lock down his opponents.

*Draymond Green 
(Forward, Golden State Warriors)

-This is my pick to be Defensive Player Of The Year this season and it's because he's probably the most underrated player in the game. Draymond isn't well liked for some obvious reasons, but his passion for the game and toughness shows in his defensive prowess. From getting stops to blocking shots, Draymond is one of the most versatile players in the game and I would like to see him get that DPOY award this year because even with the inclusion of KD on the team, he's more than done his job.



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