Offense wins games but defense wins Championships and anybody that argues that with you just doesn’t know what he’s talking about, as that trend is something that has prevailed throughout basketball history since it’s very beginning.
The Golden State Warriors have been one of the most dominant teams in basketball history, and perhaps one of the most offensively skilled teams as well, with the ability to put up 120 or 130 points with great ease on any given night against top notch defenders.
Curry, Durant and Klay have developed such a nice chemistry and Steve Kerr’s system seems perfect, but even they have lost games against teams that have forced them to slow the pace and play less possessions per game, outplaying their run and gun offense with hard-nosed old school help defense.
Over the last decade or so, some defenders have been so dominant, that put together could destroy even the almighty Golden State Warriors.
Today, we’re going to let you know about the best defensive lineup of the last 10 years.
PG: Chris Paul
Even though we all know Chris Paul for his offensive game and his playmaking, he’s also been one of the most crafty backcourt defenders in the Association ever since making his professional debut out of Wake Forest.
See, besides being one of the best ball handlers in NBA history, CP3 has constantly led the league in steals as well, finishing 6 different seasons as the top thief in the league as well as making it to 9 All-Defensive squads.
SG: Kobe Bryant
Just like CP3, Kobe Bryant will be remembered mostly for all that he did in the offensive end of the hardwood, but even though most of his haters would argue, he’s been one of the most locked in defenders the league has seen over the last couple of decades.
The Black Mamba was a guy you just couldn’t get a pass unless you were willing to pay the price, and a guy with such quick hands and a determination to win that led him to 12 All-Defensive squads throughout his career.
SF: Kawhi Leonard
Kawhi Leonard is - according to Michael Jordan himself - the best two way player in the entire world right now, and perhaps one of the few players capable of leading both the Most Valuable Player and the Defensive Player of the Year race at the very same time.
At the tender age of 26 years old and over a 5 season span, the Klaw has already won two DPOY awards, also developing a fierce and well rounded offensive game that quickly took him to basketball elite, and he’s perhaps the only player capable of locking down and frustrating LeBron James with great ease.
PF: Kevin Garnett
Throughout his entire career, Kevin Garnett was known for his determination, his big heart and his hustle in both ends of the court, regardless of if you were playing a scrimmage game or you were down by 5 late in the fourth of the finals.
Garnett is one of the fiercest competitors in the history of the game, a one-time Defensive Player of the Year and a member of 12 All-Defensive squads, averaging 1.3 steals and 1.4 blocks per game through 20 seasons in the NBA.
C: Dwight Howard
People tend to forget how much of a dominant defender Dwight Howard was during his Orlando Magic days, as he made everybody believe he may actually be the second coming of Shaquille O’Neal right out of the gate.
Even though he’s lost some of that defensive punch, let’s not forget the fact that he won 3 Defensive Player of the Year awards over a 6-year span, as well as making it to 5 All-Defensive squads, leading the league in blocks in back to back seasons as well.
Bench: Rajon Rondo, Tony Allen, LeBron James, Draymond Green, Tim Duncan
Nobody could score in this second unit either, with prime Rajon Rondo making opposing guards go nuts with his peskiness and ability to read passing lanes to create on the fast break like he did in his Boston Celtics stage.
Besides him, you’ve got a mad dog in Tony Allen, a guy that’s nothing near to a threat in the offensive end of the court but that has made a living out of his crafty and suffocating defense, making it to 6 All-Defensive teams throughout his career.
On the wing, we’ve got LeBron James, who’s been accused of not playing defense during the regular season but he’s also been highly praised as one of the best defenders during clutch time and the playoffs, and also a member of 6 All-Defensive rosters.
Also, Draymond Green is perhaps the most versatile defender the league has seen over the last decade, being able to guard all 5 spots with great ease and one of the main reasons why the Warriors have been so successful. In just 4 seasons as a starter, he’s won 1 DPOY and has made the shortlist in all other three.
And finally, we’ve got Tim Duncan down low, perhaps the biggest DPOY snub in NBA history, and one of the most skilled two way big men this game has ever seen. Through his career, Duncan made it to 15 All-Defensive squads and averaged over 2 swats per game, rounding up the perfect defensive team of the last decade.