Well, so long for those good-old-days when the NBA was a defensive-orientated league, as the pace keeps getting up and players are shooting more threes year after year.
Even so, you must have a solid defensive unit if you want to have a chance at making it to the playoffs, let alone the NBA Finals, because you can’t expect to simply outscore your opponents night after night.
Still, there are some teams that can’t seem to stop anyone to save their lives, and after six weeks of the regular season have gone by, we’ll let you know about the league’s top 10 worst defenses:
10. Chicago Bulls
Jim Boylen has failed to develop the Chicago Bulls’ young guns. The Bulls seem lost and unaware in the defensive end, and they’ve made it clear to the coach that they’re not on the same page.
This team was supposed to be in the mix for a playoff spot but is now sitting on a negative record thanks to having the 10 worst defense in the NBA, as they allow an average of 110.1 points on 46% shooting per night.
9. Portland Trail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers entered the season with high hopes but have struggled to keep up the pace in the strong Western Conference, mostly due to their defensive woes.
Hassan Whiteside has done little to fix their rim-protection issues as the Blazers allow 114.7 points per game and let their opponents shoot 44% from the floor.
8. San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs are going through their worst stretch of the Gregg Popovich era, and they look like a team ready to hit the drawing board and just start over rather sooner than later.
But, surprisingly, they’ve been even worse in defense than offense, something extremely anti-Popovich. This year, their opponents are shooting 47% from the floor (39% from deep) and scoring 115.1 points.
7. Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cleveland Cavaliers are losing games by an average of 22.5 points. I’m no expert, but that doesn’t look good. At all. So they may be in line for another very, very, long season.
The Cavaliers struggle to put points on the scoreboard, but they’re even worse at preventing their rivals from scoring, as they allow an average of 112.1 points on 48% shooting.
6. Golden State Warriors
So long for those days when the Golden State Warriors dominated the league and were one of the most solid defensive units in the league. Now, they’re bottom of the pack and likely to finish with the 1st overall pick.
Steve Kerr just lacks the personnel to fix the defensive chaos this team has become. They get outrun in transition and outhustled in the paint, and are allowing 115.1 points on 47% shooting and 39% from deep.
5. Memphis Grizzlies
The Memphis Grizzlies made a name for themselves thanks to their grit and grind. Notably, that was when Mike Conley, Tony Allen, Zach Randolph, and Marc Gasol were on the team, and not much of their current reality.
The Grizzlies are going through a rebuilding process and while their young players look like stars in the making, they’ve been far from good in the defensive end, allowing their opponents to shoot 46% from the floor and score 117.1 points a night.
4. New Orleans Pelicans
The New Orleans Pelicans have put together one of the most impressive and promising young cores we’ve seen in years, but injuries have forced Alvin Gentry to experiment with different lineups, so the team is yet to develop an identity.
That’s even more obvious in the defensive end, as they look out of sync and unaware at times. The help is always late or there’s no help at all, and their rivals are scoring 118.9 points per game vs. them.
3. Atlanta Hawks
The Atlanta Hawks are the kind of team that loves to run, keep up the pace, and put a lot of points on the scoreboard. Sadly for them, they couldn’t stop a fast break if it meant winning a billion dollars.
The Hawks need to put a lot of work in the gym if they want to have a shot at making the playoffs once John Collins is back from his suspension, as they’re allowing their rivals to score 117.2 points on 47% shooting.
2. Charlotte Hornets
The Charlotte Hornets are a mess right now. They struggle to find their rhythm in the offensive end, but they’re even worse when it comes to holding their own on the other side of the floor.
Teams light up the Hornets night in and night out as they have one of the worst perimeter defenses in the league (37% shooting). Night after night, they go home with 113.8 points against their backs.
1. Washington Wizards
And finally, the Washington Wizards get the not-so-honorable distinction of the league’s worst defensive team. They don’t have many chances to make the playoffs, and their defense must be the main reason why.
So far, the Wizards are allowing a league-worst 122.7 points per game on 49% from the floor, also a league-worst. Also, they allow 37% shooting from deep, and there’s just no way they’re going to win many games with these kinds of numbers.