Who are the worst defenders in the NBA?
A lot of argument goes into who is and isn't good or bad defensively. Some people will say such and such player is good when the numbers say differently, and the same for players with poor reputations. Some players improve their defense as they gain more experience, some get worse when they get money. With all of this said, I wanted to see if we can get close to a consensus as to who are the worst players defensively in the NBA?
Synergy Sports put out a list of the 5 worst defenders. I was surprised by it.
Nicolas Batum is one that I didn't expect. Not my list.
About how many ppg do each player on the list give up a game?
A guy going against Kobe,Lebron,Anthony,Paul Pierce,Ray Allen every single night is giving up points rather he is playing good D or not. You have to pick it based on what u see.
Jason Kapono. Complete defensive liability in every way. No lateral quickness, awful off-ball defense, poor awareness in general. Lack of length hurts him badly, isn't strong enough to use his body to shield players from the basket.
Aaron Gray. Too slow to effectively defend outside of the paint whatsoever. A total liability on pick and rolls. Doesn't have the explosiveness to handle quick moves in the paint, and seems to lack reactions and great awareness. Gets backed down too much for someone his size. The one positive for him is that he's a decent rebounder and usually boxes out effectively.
Carl Landry. Wasn't a good defender in college, and has same issues in the NBA. Has average/a little below average height for a PF at around 6-8 1/2. Doesn't have the quickness to defend the perimiter against high-level shot creators at either forward spot (especially SF), and doesn't have the height, length or awareness to defend the paint and handle quick moves. He seems essentially uncaring defensively as well, not mentally or physically tough enough to mask his weaknesses.
Javale McGee. Yeah, he blocks shots and can rebound some shots (mostly due to his athletic ability), but his on ball defense is very poor, for someone with his athletic ability he doesn't defend the perimiter that great, he really struggles on pick and roles, doesn't consistently box out, and lacks the strength to defend the post effectively. He's also not quite as explosive when you take the ball right at him, and doesn't seem to understand his rotations or what he's supposed to do with weakside defense consistently. He and Blatche are a major reason why the Wizards are poor defensively as a team.
Michael Beasley. To put it simple, defensively he's a 4 playing the 3 position in Minnesota. He's usually out of position to do anything effective rebounding and has very little awareness or court sense defensively. A complete non factor, who can be abused defensively by quicker 3s.
Batum isn't a great defender from what I've seen of him, so his criticism of Rose was a bit perplexing for me. He struggles with his footwork on the perimiter. He plays close to his man but can be thrown off balance with fakes and crafty dribbling. When he's under control he's a very good defender but it's certainly not consistent.
Great shooter, TERRIBLE defender. Cant even stay on his feet!
Isn't awful defensively. He's not good, but he's not awful. He struggles when he has to defend quicker slashing players one-on-one, where his obvious lack of fluidity with his movements and poor length are exposed. He does show good hustle, awareness, plays good team defense and uses (tries to use) his improved body well defensively. He's simply limited athletically.
Compared to other shooting specialists he's much better than given credit for.
Batum doesnt deserveto be on the list, his defense has regressed from last year, but still hes going up against Dirk one night, Paul the next, then Kobe, he guards basically every other teams best player unless its a poew 4, he still has a lot to improve on in the defensive area, his biggest weakness is hes terrible at fighting off screens.
But Synergys system is flawed because the just assume he guards the other teams small forward every game.
JR Smith. Simply plays no defense. For someone who shows so much athletic ability, he gets beaten off the dribble consistently by backups. Lack of effort and no awareness or court sense defensively.
Earl Boykins. Obvious reasons for this, his lack of size. He can play decent pressure defense but is too short to be a major factor. Also tends to put most of his energy and focus on scoring, and not defending.
Mo Williams/Daniel Gibson/Ramon Sessions. All 3 have similar issues, not quick enough to effectively defend elite athletes at the 1 position, not big enough to defend the 2 position.
I think Gibson is the worst of the 3 defensively, and one of the worst defenders in the NBA, especially since he defends 2's a fair bit of the time. Simply lacks the quickness, strength or length to be any sort of a positive factor.
Amare Stoudamire. Plays poor one-on-one defense, mainly sitting in the paint and just waiting for the ball to be funneled to him instead of playing effective defense. When he does play one-on-one, he fouls often being too aggressive with his body, isn't great at defending the perimiter since he doesn't get in a great stance and seems to reach too much, also leading to fouls, and isn't a center and simply cannot defend physical centers consistently. Doesn't rebound effectively enough as he's often times running out for fast breaks offensively and isn't in position. Is mostly good for blocked shots and occasional good defense, but certainly isn't a good defender.
Jose Calderon, Andrea Bargnani, Brandon Jennings, Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire, Jason Kapono, Steve Nash, JJ Reddick, Chris Bosh.
Uhh, hello, Derrick Fisher. The man has just absolutely fell off defensively. He's FAR too slow for iso situations, and is a terrible pick and roll defender. He's seriously become absolute garbage. Luckily for L.A., he still has one player that he is a decent match-up defensivey against, and that just happens to be Ray Allen. Ray will get numbers, but fish is able to make him work for em. Overall though, PG's are consistenty having career nights against the Lakers be it starting caliber or scrub. Similar &$#%#&@!in' could be done for Steve Blake as well.
On defense. The rules of today's NBA are a problem for him, as he can't use his physicality as effectively. With that said, he's still a crafty defender, knows how to use his body and strength, plays good team defense and knows how to funnel his man to the help defense. He's still good at taking charges and he gets a good amount of steals without selling out to do so. His problem is simply the fact he lacks quickness and one-on-one defensive ability because of that. He's not a great defender but one of the worst, not quite.
Every point guard in the NBA looks forward to playing the lakers because of Derek Fisher
Mike Bibby is awful defensively. He's too slow to guard quick guards. The hawks are always using different matches to mask it, but its obvious in one-on-one situations.
Also, Redick is a pretty good defenders for how unathletic he is. His off ball defense is above average, and he's learning how to man up better.
Batum is not a great defender. My mind was sold on his defense after watching him be destroyed consistently by Deng when Portland was in Chicago. Since then, he's shown moments of great play, but mixed with moments of poor play. He's overrated defensively.
He fights through pics well 2. He struggles keeping fast guys in front of him at times. Jennings is not one of the worse he pressures the ball well and his team has improved dramatically on D since he was added to play with Bogut. Calderon and Bargnani are very bad Melo,Amare too. All season PF have career games in rebounding and scoring against Amare.
By position, my list looks like this
PG- stephen curry- has terrible lateral quickness and his light frame makes it worse when he matches up with bigger guards. Am i the only one that noticed when he came in during the summer in playing with Team USA that the opposing guards were getting into the lane at will?
SG- kevin martin- has never been a good on ball defender. he will sometimes get into the passing lanes and take an occasional charge because of his quickness but he gets lit up by almost everyone. His light frame and lack of defensive IQ while on the ball has been terrible and as a kings fan, i know first hand
SF- JR Smith- just gives no effort on the defensive end of the floor. would much rather chuck up 3s... his demeanor is lazy. he has the tools to be a great defender and he showed it a little back in the 09 conference finals guarding kobe on occasion how he could be if he put out the effort but he never does
PF- Carl landry- i see it on a nightly basis. he cant rebound defensively consistently. he averages around 6-7 rebs a game i believe and im sure 75% of those are offensive rebounds. hes too short, doesnt show much effort, just an overall terrible defender.
C- javal mcgee- his IQ is close to zero defensively. ive seen him lean all his weight on opposing big men trying to stop them from banging him around, and the opposing player spins off of him and gets an easy look at the rim, making him look like an idiot. hes a good helpside defender and an ok rebounder, probably not as good as he should be given that he's a starter and hes as athletic as he is.
Did anyone see Kobe blow by DRose for a reverse dunk. DRose is not the worst defender, but that was just awful job by him, and this is the supposedly "old" Kobe.
He honestly lets guys get in the lane all the time. I am a Rose fan. One of my favorite guys in the L, but his D is bad. In the world championships I could not get over how often he let inferior opponents go past him off the dribble.
We could give you a handful of them on the Raptors, its very funny how many of these guys are horrible defenders. Yeah we know Caderon is a horrible defender, and Bagnani is a given.
What about Sonny Weems...yeah despite his great athletisism he is HORRIBLE on defense. His focus and awareness defensively is a joke, and I lvoe the guy but he is never there to close out on shooters, he is always out of position, and Im sick of the Raptors representitives, colour commentators, and broadcasters saying he has the potential to be a lockdown wing. He needs to play some D before we can say any of that.
Jerryd Bayless is another complete joke. All the tools to suceed except the one that matters, the brain. It seems every game he gets caught up in one on one battles with other PGs and he is (lets face it) a nobody in this league. You can catch any game he plays in and he will get abussed on the defensive end and then get frustrated and take bad shots on the offensive end of the court.
Lienis Klieza, oh god dont get me started. Possibly the worst defender in the league and its not even funny ow bad he really is on D. The prototypical wing can blow by him at anytime his lateral quicks are just not at an NBA level.
Lets not forget about Barbosa. He is always reaching in, overplaying passing lanes, cheating, or out of position thats why he gets steals. His body is too slight to gaurd the prototypical SG, and although he is quick he gets blown by on penetration often. Like Calderon I always see him pressure PENETRATING Gaurds above the 3-point line and leave SHOOTERS wide open. CHECK THE SCOUTING REPORT!
Although Amir Johnson gives a great effort on the defensive end of the court, a team like Toronto (who sometimes even gives him minutes at the 5, THE FREAKING CENTER POSITION.... I KNOW RIGHT!). Anyways on a team like Toronto where there is no big post presence or help defense Amir Johnson struggles because he is targetted by bigger frontcourt plaers and abused in the post. Davis is emerging as a good help defender, but when Davis and Johson are on the court together someone is getting targetted and beat up in the post. Johnson is a ood help defender thou, in another system he could be a very good defender but not in this one.
Id definitely put Klieza and Calderon in the all worst defensive team. They dont have the tools, or athletisism to be good defenders and have never shown otherwise, and thier defensive understand is horrible. Bargnani could make it too, but as a 5. As a center he is too small, and gets pushed around often despite his horrible focus and positioning. He has the tools to be an average defende rat the 4 and you cant really blame him for being put in the center position because that is really Colangelo's call.
He are some of my recommendations:
Andrea Bargnani- Does not show any effort on the defensive end of the ball does not rebound or even step in on the help side.
Yi Jianlian- Similar to Bargnani does not care and just gets dominated by physically stronger post players
Andray Blatche- Has all the talent in the world but is just extremely lazy and cares only about his numbers (ie the triple double incident)
Jose Calderon- No lateral quickness gets dominated by quicker point guards every game thats why they put in Bayless who is a way better defender than calderon
Hedo Turkoglu- Might be the worst of them all. Lazy does not know what is going on defensively and gets beat on a consistent basis
Nice first post GTOWN welcome to the site.
I have to agree with you Hedo is horribleand maybe the worst defender in the league. I think he feels like hes been paid, might as well pretend to play D for the rest of his caeer.
Calderon is the biggest problem, but his defense isn't *quite* as bad as people think it is. It's not anywhere near good, but there are worse defenders. He's fundamentally sound and has quick hands and seems to have quick reactions and good overall awareness. He's got good size for a PG and uses it somewhat adequately. His issues are his lack of length, lateral quickness, and the fact he gets caught reaching and not showing proper footwork (ie. gets caught flat footed) too often, resulting in being beat off the dribble badly too often. Because he doesn't contain his defender on the perimiter it forces the other defenders around him to help off their men, which lead to open looks.
The worst defender on the Raptors and one of the worst in the NBA is Klieza but he's out injured now. He's truly diabolical defensively, and has no defensive position. Bargnani is also worse than Calderon, with his lack of strength to defend the post, lack of physical toughness, poor awareness, and not quick enough nor acceptable footwork to defend the perimiter. Weems has never been a great defender, although many seem to look at him as the Raptors' defensive specialist. He's not fundamentally sound enough to play great defense. The loss of Reggie Evans has hurt the Raptors so much, as he was the defensive anchor. Without him they don't have a defensive leader.
Evans had these guys working extremely hard, which worries me for when he gets healthy. I hope he doesnt have them winning games again, I want Kyrie Irving to be a Raptor badly.
the worst post defending "power forward" is antawn jamison, shows no toughness and no shot-blocking ability and gets worked on backing down situations
derek fisher is more pathetic than ever before...he allows his man to waltz into the paint
another guy who is a joke on defense is brian cook, he doesn't play any post defense and isn't quick enough to stop opposing shooters from either driving to the hoop or taking step back jumpers
Thanks good old Hedo with his lazy ass on the pizza commercials but I would really like the raps to get perry jones in the draft
I watch the Hawks alot, and Mike Bibby is really bad at defense. But the thing is Jeff Teague, while he doesn't have the lack of quickness Bibby does by ANY stretch obviously, is probably even worse! Teague gets fouls really quick because he has bad reflexes for a guy with his athletic ability, and he is bad at denying penetration.
I like Synergy because they take everything into account. They dont just go by the other teams guy at the same position, they go by every player they are guarding. I read up on them once and its a very complex science. They take into account the percentage's the guy they are guarding shoots, points they give up, etc. And unlike most fans they take all games into accounts ( i say most fans because most don't watch every single NBA game ) Fans go by the games they see or highlights and sometimes forget about certain plays. This is a reason i get into arguments with Fellow Laker fans who think Kobe is the same defender he used to be