If this discussion was confined to playoff performance, the smart-enough-to-pace-himself Iguodala might be as good as it gets. Hard to give a definitive answer on this, so I’ll answer it by position: Point Guard: Gary Payton. Subscribe and rate Sixers Talk: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | YouTube. Deng is often called upon to guard the likes of LeBron James and Paul Pierce in the East. The Association hadn't seen a stat line with 27 points, five assists, two offensive boards and 57 percent shooting since...well...ever. Middleton and Harkless are reliable and versatile, but Covington is the name to note here. He has size (6'6"), length (6'10" wingspan), athleticism, razor-sharp instincts and an unquenchable thirst for film study. Jimmy Butler is a strong second choice as he is a leader for the Timberwolves on both ends of the floor but it could be argued that Butler’s situation means that he is №2 defender. Calling all shot-erasers, straitjackets, glass-cleaners, pickpockets and rim protectors: Today is your day. All stats, unless otherwise indicated, courtesy of Basketball Reference, NBA.com and ESPN.com. At 6 foot 4 inches, Smart is the sixth in the NBA for steals per game with 1.8 because he can guard guys bigger than him. Klay has very good footwork which means that he can stay ahead of much smaller players such as Kyrie Irving who can get buckets from basically anywhere on the court. LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers (7.625). Dunn is also an amazing interceptor of the ball, averaging a whopping 3.7 deflections per game. How do you make such a subjective decision? George’s active hands have been enhanced this year by the presence of Andre Roberson, it means that he has more energy for individual assignments on the defensive and play lock-down defense. Paul George turned the difficulty down and the sliders up in 2018-19, proving it's somehow possible for a 28-year-old, five-time All-Star to engineer a breakout season. Matthews' basketball IQ, court vision and lateral speed even at his current age of 33 is elite, and is a big part of the Bucks' defensive schemes in 4th quarters. Like most parts of his game, Chamberlain's shot blocking was mythical. In one of the most underrated free-agent pickups of the offseason, the Milwaukee Bucks signed veteran Wesley Matthews, and he slotted into their starting lineup perfectly. Offense wins games, but it's all about getting stops in crunch time. When this is coupled with the relentlessness that Butler shows on the court, it is a formidable combination. Marion is the best defender on his team now that Tyson Chandler has departed. Click through this slideshow for full rankings and analysis. But the Klaw has only played 85% of all games this season, and he wasn't 100% committed to lockdown defense for some of those games, and hence the drop on this list. Al Horford, Philadelphia 76ers (5.625). Among qualified power forwards, he was first in DBPM and DWS, and he landed second in DRPM and DRtg. 5. You turn it into an objective examination. While number-crunchers still haven't found the perfect defensive stat, a decent number of catch-all categories can paint a clear picture together. Marion will be a factor when Dirk returns and the Mavs make a playoff push. LeBron James and the 5 Best Wing Defenders in the NBA 0 of 5 With a league dominated by offensive perimeter players, there are still a few who can make an impact defensively. Thibs’ strategy of running his starters into the ground means that Butler is hugely fatigued and cannot continue to operate at the same level.

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