There are certain players in the NBA who demand extra attention when they’re on the court. Because of their offensive prowess, some players need defenders ahead of them in order to contain them. But even then, that doesn't guarantee the defenders' success, because these players are crafty and talented enough to get to the hoop.
This season, there have been 20 players who have drawn the most defensive attention, more specifically, double-teams across the league. Giannis Antetokounmpo is the most doubled player in the league, with over 1/3rd of his possessions drawing a double team from the opposition.
Other players on the list include the likes of Joel Embiid, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jayson Tatum, Stephen Curry, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, and Damian Lillard among others. Here is the list of the 20 most double-teamed players in the league, ranked according to the percentage of possessions they are double-teamed for.
Rank - Player - Percentage of Possessions Double-Teamed:
- Giannis Antetokounmpo - 35.5%
- Joel Embiid - 34.1%
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander - 32.9%
- Jrue Holiday - 29.9%
- Ja Morant - 29.8%
- Paul George - 29.8%
- Bradley Beal - 29.5%
- DeMar DeRozan - 29.1%
- Jayson Tatum - 28.8%
- Luka Doncic - 27.9%
- Anthony Edwards - 27.8%
- James Harden - 26.8%
- Fred VanVleet - 26.3%
- Dennis Schroder - 25.8%
- Malcolm Brogdon - 24.9%
- Darius Garland - 24.4%
- Stephen Curry - 24.4%
- Russell Westbrook - 24.2%
- Damian Lillard - 23.6%
- Trae Young - 21.9%
Some players on this list will come as a surprise to fans. Stars like Dennis Schroder, Malcolm Brogdon, and Darius Garland have been performing well, but the fact that they draw this degree of double teams is actually quite shocking.
Some other stars like James Harden and Damian Lillard being so low on the list is also a bit of a shock, given how offensively explosive they have been over the years. As for Russell Westbrook, given his potential to make mistakes, him being double-teamed comes as no surprise, as teams have started to figure Westbrook's weaknesses out.
Stephen Curry's low ranking on the list is perhaps the most surprising, given how offensively spectacular he has been. But aside from these surprises, this list just shows how well these players have been playing, and thus garnering extra defensive attention from the opposition.