Greatest Defenders of All Time Part 2

4/5/13 in NBA   |   CJH12   |   7 respect


David Robinson vs Hakeem OlajuwonSmall Forwards

1. Scottie Pippen – SPG: 2.0 BPG: 0.8 Defensive First Team: 8 Defensive Second Team: 2 Career Defensive Win Share: 67.3 (16th of all time) Defensive Rating: 101.51 (66th of all time) Defensive Player of the Year Award: 0
 
          Scottie Pippen, without doubt, is the greatest small forward defender of all time to me. Phil Jackson commented once on his defense, “The other thing that I remember probably most about Scottie was a sequence which he had to direct the defense. Scottie was our voice on defense. He had, as you can tell, a tremendous voice.” (Used from http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com) That just how great Scottie Pippen was on defense.
               
2.  Metta World Peace – SPG: 1.9 BPG: 0.6 Defensive First Team: 2                          Defensive Second Team: 2 Career Defensive Win Share: 37.8 (97th of all time) Defensive Rating: 102.92 (106th of all time) Defensive Player of the Year – 1

       Metta World Peace and Bruce Bowen are so close to each other. Deciding between the two took me 30 minutes. That’s second longest behind Frazier and Payton. I’m okay with Bowen going here but I put Metta here for one reason: He’s one the Defensive Player of the Year Award. Bowen’s only been on the defensive first team 3 more times and one Defensive Player of the Year Award is worth 5 defensive first team selections to me. Metta has been able to hold any star. Kevin Durant shot only 35% against Metta and 5 points below his normal PPG. This is just one example of Metta’s amazing defense.

 3. Bruce Bowen – SPG: 0.8 BPG: 0.4 Defensive First Team: 5 Defensive Second Team: 3 Career Defensive Win Share: 33.5 (131st of all time) Defensive Rating: 102.25 (85th of all time) Defensive Player of the Year: 0

        Bruce Bowen was one of the key parts of the Spurs success in their championships run. He could hold Kobe, Lebron, Dwyane, and pretty much anybody he wanted. Bruce Bowen guarded everyone on the court. He could guard Chris Paul one night and Dirk Nowitzki the next. He was just a great defender.
 
4. Lebron James – SPG: 1.7 BPG: 0.8 Defensive First team: 4 Defensive  Second Team: 0 Career Defensive Win Share: 43.1 (66th of all time) Defensive Rating: 101.94 (75th of all time) Defensive Player of the Year Award: 0
 
     I truly believe Lebron is the fourth greatest defender at his position. He’s    known for his thundering dunks and scoring ability but his defensive ability is often overlooked. He has to go out and guard Carmelo, Durant, Pierce, and Kobe on a nightly basis. He still gets put at the defensive first team 4 times. Oh ya, 4 STRAIGHT times. I’m not expecting that to change any time soon.

5. Bobby Jones – SPG: 1.5 BPG: 1.4 Defensive First Team: 8 Defensive Second Team: 1 Career Defensive Win Share: 43.2 (70th of all time) Defensive Rating: 99.37 (25th of all time) Defensive Player of the Year Award: (Didn’t exist until 1983.)

       Bobby Jones was a true hustle player. That’s what defense is all about really, hustle and determination. Bobby would steal the ball and jump out bounds to throw it back in to start a fast break. Jones once said in an interview, “I don’t care about points that much. I want to see my steals and blocks go up.”
Power Forwards

1. Dennis Rodman – SPG: 0.7 BPG: 0.6 Defensive First Team: 7 Defensive Second Team: 1 Career Defensive Win Share: 54.5 (32nd of all time) Defensive Rating: 100.26 (36th of all time)Defensive Player of the Year: 2
 
      Dennis, the Menace, Rodman was a fabulous defender. He could guard David Robinson one night and Michael Jordan the next. Dennis was possibly the most versatile defender of all time. He could stop you in the post and stop somebody else from driving. Many people would Duncan here but Rodman was a better one on one defender and a more versatile defender. Duncan was a better team defender though.
 
2. Tim Duncan – SPG: 0.7 BPG: 2.2 Defensive First Team: 8 Defensive Second Team: 5 Career Defensive Win Share: 88.6 (6th of all time) Defensive Rating: 95.4 (2nd of all time) Defensive Player of the Year: 0

       Mr. Fundamental was a great defender. He’s still a very good defender but not like he was 5 years ago. Duncan now owns the record for most blocked shots in his career. This doesn’t even tell the whole story though. Tim Duncan was such a good team defender. He scared everybody from coming to the middle because he was so good at help defense. Mr. Fundamental sure was/is a great defender.
 
3. Kevin Garnett – SPG: 1.3 BPG: 1.5 Defensive First Team: 9 Defensive Second Team: 2 Career Defensive Win Share: 83.5 (8th of all time) Defensive Rating: 98.95 (19th of all time) Defensive Player of the Year: 1

          KG was/is one of the scariest players you could ever face. He trash talks and most people hate him. Tim Duncan even said he hates him. Garnett is more than just trash talking though. He plays lockdown defense and stops almost anyone who comes into the paint.  Avery Bradley once commented on KG’s defense, “Not taking anything away from Dwight, he’s an excellent defender too, but I’m here every day watching the things that KG does and he’s just amazing.” You can hate him all you want, but you can’t say KG isn’t a great defender.
 
4. Dave Debusschere – SPG: 0.9 (NBA started recording steals in his last year) BPG: 0.5 (NBA started recording steals in his last year) Defensive First Team: 6 (NBA started recording this after his first 6 years) Defensive Second Team: 0 Career Defensive Win Share: 47.7 (49th of all time) Defensive Rating: (Didn’t exist until 1978) Defensive Player of the Year: (Didn’t Exist until 1983)

       This ranking can be hard to decide. We don’t know his SPG or BPG until he was out of his prime. We don’t know how many times he would’ve been selected to All Defensive Team’s, because they started it when he was out of his prime. We don’t know a lot of things. We just have to decide by him being selected to the All NBA Defensive First Team 6 straight years (when he was out of his prime), highlights, and people who saw him. Red Holzman can do some clarifying for us: "Sometimes he'll score only 4 or 6 points in 40 minutes," Red Holzman told Newsday. "People say to me: How come you play him so long? I say because he does a hell of a rebounding job for us, a hell of a job on defense for us."That’s just how great Dave was on defense.
 
5. Kevin McHale – SPG: 0.4 BPG: 1.7 Defensive First Team: 3 Defensive Second Team: 3 Career Defensive Win Share: 37.06 (104th of all time) Defensive Rating: 105.8 (245th of all time)
Defensive Player of the Year: 0
 
        Kevin McHale is known for his unstoppable post moves but his defensive abilities are often overlooked. His long arms and height could be very hard to just get a shot off. Charles Barkley even said, "Kevin McHale's the best player I played against because he was unstoppable offensively, and he gave me nightmares on defense." Kevin McHale sure was good.
Centers

1. Bill Russell – SPG: (Wasn’t recorded until 1974) BPG: Wasn’t recorded until 1974) Defensive First Team: (Wasn’t used until 1969) Defensive Second Team: (Wasn’t recorded until 1969) Career Defensive Win Shares: 133.6 (1st of all time) Defensive Rating: (Wasn’t used until 1978) Defensive Player of the Year: (Didn’t exist until 1983)

         Like Dave Debusschere, we have to rely on career defensive win share, highlights, and comments from opponents, teammates, and people who saw him play. Most people, including me, think Russell is the greatest defensive force of all time. Tom Heinsohn, one of Russell’s teammates, said, “He took defensive basketball and made it an art form.” Bill Russell is definitely the greatest defender ever.

2. Hakeem Olajuwon – SPG: 1.7 BPG: 3.1 Defensive First Team: 5 Defensive Second Team: 4 Career Defensive Win Share: 94.5 (3rd of all time) Defensive Rating: 97.9 (13th of all time) Defensive Player of the Year: 2

        Hakeem Olajuwon is amazing. He’s a great scorer, rebounder, teammate, winner, and most of all, defense. He holds the record for most blocks of all time and it looks like this will stay for a while. It’s amazing that he was able to get selected to 5 defensive first teams against Ewing, Robinson, Dikembe, and Alonzo Mourning. Hakeem Olajuwon sure was great.
 
3. Ben Wallace – SPG: 1.3 BPG: 2.0 Defensive First Team: 5 Defensive Second Team: 1 Career Defensive Win Share: 70.6 (14th of all time) Defensive Rating: 95.8 (5th of all time) Defensive Player of the Year: 4

        This selection was definitely the hardest one to decide. I had to choose between Kareem, David Robinson, Nate Thurmond, Dikembe, Alonzo Mourning, or Ben Wallace. In the end I chose Wallace because he won 4 DPY’s (tied for most with Dikembe), had the 5th highest defensive rating ever (Only David R. is better between the 7 players listed before), and has been selected to 6 defensive teams. In my opinion someone who wins 4 DPY’s definitely should be in the top 5 in any debate about who’s the greatest defender of all time. All in all, I believe Big Ben is the 3rd best defensive center ever.
 
4. Dikembe Mutombo – SPG: 0.4 BPG: 2.8 Defensive First Team: 3 Defensive Second Team: 3 Career Defensive Win Share: 68.5 (15th of all time) Defensive Rating: 99.2 (23rd of all time) Defensive Player of the Year: 4

       Dikembe Mutombo is one of the greatest shot blockers of all time. How else could a center start if he only averages 9.8 PPG for his career? The 4 DPY’s also explain to me that he definitely has to be in the top 5 for this category. His finger wag shows how much confidence and arrogance he possessed. Dikembe was really an amazing defender.
         
5. David Robinson – SPG: 1.4 BPG: 3.0 Defensive First Team: 4 Defensive Second Team: 4 Career Defensive Win Share: 80.1 (10th of all time) Defensive Rating: 95.6 (4th of all time) Defensive Player of the Year: 1

      David Robinson is very underrated when it comes to defense. He was known for scoring and rebounding but his defense gets overlooked sometimes. His defensive rating and win shares can’t be ignored and winning a DPY over Hakeem, Ewing, and many others proves he was great. D-Rob was definitely special.

People who barely missed the cut:
PG’s: Maurice Cheeks and Norm Van Lier SG’s: Joe Dumars and Alvin Robertson
SF’s: Larry Bird and Grant Hill PF’s: Rasheed Wallace and Karl Malone
C’s: Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Alonzo Mourning, Nate Thurmond, Wilt Chamberlain, Mark Eaton, Dwight Howard, and Patrick Ewing.
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4/6/13   |   MortonsLaw   |   156 respect

Alvin Robertson is one of six guards to win NBA defensive player of the year. Someone has to be bumped.