Basketball is constantly evolving. The key job of a defender is to stop the offense from making the shot. Besides ball-handling, shooting and rebounding, defense is one of the most significant aspects of basketball. Along with being a good scorer, their defense must be top-notch. Defenders are constantly pushed to the brink, forced to adapt or fail. In this age of high-scoring affairs and high-profile offenses, the defense can often feel like an archaic term, but there are several stars (and potential stars) on this side of the ball who should bring plenty of excitement for fans for years to come. Without further ado let’s take a look at the top 7 best defenders in the NBA right now.
Who are the best defenders in the NBA right now?
|Rank||Best NBA defenders||Team|
|1.||Antony Davis||Los Angeles Lakers|
|2.||Giannis Antetokounmpo||Milwaukee Bucks|
|3.||Kwahi Leonard||Angeles Clippers|
|4.||Ben Simmons||Brooklyn Nets|
|5.||Bam Adebayo||Miami Heat|
|6.||Rudy Gobert||Utah Jazz|
|7.||Marcus Smart||Boston Celtics|
1. Antony Davis
Antony Davis is the best defender in the NBA on our list. He is a shot blocker and slasher, having the ability to block shots and also score points at a high rate. Antony Davis was drafted by the New Orleans Pelicans in 2012, with the 6th overall pick. Initially, when Antony Davis came out of Kentucky he was considered one of the best prospects in his draft year. He had great success at Kentucky, winning a national championship with his team.
Everyone knew he would be a good defender and rebounder but not an elite scorer or shooter as well. In his rookie season, he showed that he could play both ends of the floor and made some big plays for his team. He also averaged 14.2 points per game, which is good for a rookie big man.
2. Giannis Antetokounmpo
Next up is Giannis Antetokounmpo. He’s still a power forward. But he’s almost 7 feet tall and 230 pounds, with long arms and freaky leaping ability. He’s got an insanely high ceiling on defense, where he can also make things extremely difficult for any opponent without fouling them (he has averaged just 2.8 fouls per game over his career).
Giannis Antetokounmpo is a 6’11” tall NBA player. He was drafted in the 2013 NBA draft by the Milwaukee Bucks with the 15th overall pick. His career achievements up to this point are already better than most other players in the league. The Los Angeles Lakers got the best of the Milwaukee Bucks when it mattered most in the 2020 NBA playoffs and won their first title in 10 years.
3. Kwahi Leonard
The third-best defender in the NBA in 2022 is Kwahi Leonard. He is 6-foot-7 and 230 pounds. His wingspan is over seven feet long, and his hands are enormous. Kwahi is an athlete in every sense of the word. He could play any sport on earth and be among the best. His rare combination of size, strength, and athleticism has made him one of the most promising young players since he entered the league in 2011.
Leonard has a rare combination of mental and physical gifts that allow him to play defense at an otherworldly level. Kwahi might be the best perimeter defender since Scottie Pippen. Like Pippen, Leonard can also guard four positions at a high level. He has excellent instincts for reading plays as they develop. He never gets lost off the ball and is strong enough to hold his own against power forwards but fast enough to stay in front of smaller players on switches. Leonard also has incredible footwork, which allows him to recover if he gets beaten off the dribble or if a pick forces him.
4. Ben Simmons
Nest up is Ben Simmons of the Brooklyn Nets. He is the league’s leader in steals, third on the career list for defensive win shares, and a two-time Defensive Player of the Year. Simmons was a 6’10” point guard with a 7’0″ wingspan who can cover any position on the court and also guard every player from point guards to centers. His speed, agility, and strength allowed him to do so without showing fatigue, and his size allowed him to defend even larger players without being overpowered. Simmons is also known for his ability to block shots from behind.
5. Bam Adebayo
The Heat drafted Adebayo with the 14th overall pick in 2017 after a strong career at Kentucky and signed him to a four-year, $13 million contract before last season began. He is averaging 18 points and 10 rebounds per game this season and shooting 54.1%. Also, in a recent poll of NBA executives conducted by ESPN, Adebayo was voted as the second-most likely player to be named Most Improved Player this season.
6. Rudy Gobert
Lastly, Rudy Gobert is a center for Utah Jazz. He was the first-round pick in the 2013 NBA draft. He won the NBA All-Defensive First Team in 2017 and 2018, the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2018 and 2019, and also played in the NBA All-Star Game in 2020. His overall defense is pretty good, and it helps his team a lot. He was ranked as the sixth-best NBA defender by Sports Illustrated’s Ben Golliver in a list published on July 9, 2015.
Gobert scored a season-high 25 points with 12 rebounds and two blocks in a 102–100 loss to the Sacramento Kings, becoming the third player to record at least 25 points, ten rebounds, and two blocks on less than ten field goal attempts since 1985.
On offense, Gobert has become a great rim runner, passer, and finisher. He has developed into a great pick-and-roll partner with Mitchell and is nearly automatic when scoring at or around the rim.
7. Marcus Smart
Marcus Smart started his NBA career with the Celtics in 2014. Smart has shown that he can not only play defense against guards but can also defend players who are much taller than him. In an interview with ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan, Smart explained how he successfully stops players by “getting into their chest” and also being “as physical as possible.”
While Marcus Smart is known more for his defensive abilities than his offensive ones, he is also effective on offense at times. In the 2018-2019 season, he averaged 8 points per game and also shot 37% from three-point range, which improved from his previous season’s shooting percentage of 32%. Furthermore, in the 2018-2019 season, Marcus Smart averaged 1.9 steals a game, which was seventh-best in the NBA while playing 31 minutes per game. He ranked first in steals per 36 minutes at 2.9.
Also, check out: the best NBA shooting guards in 2022.
So here is the article on the best defenders in the NBA right now. Also, please let us know your thoughts in the comments. The source for the information in this article is from various Google searches. The information on this article might change in time, therefore our website (www.beginbasketball.com) does not claim that the data is accurate.