Before we get started I wanted to say like always we are going to take a unique outlook on the situation, except this time to introduce our new Defensive Stats for the 2019-20 NBA Season we are going to use one of those stats here today applied to this season.

Now I didn’t want to use this stat across every NBA player as that would have taken a ton of time, so I decided to make two requirements too be considered a top 25 Defender this season.

  1. Must be in the Top 60 DFG% For Players with atleast 45 Games and 9.5+ FGA Defended Per Game
  2. Must also be in the Top 75 in DRating For Players with at least 45 Games and Playing 24+ Minutes Per Game

Top 60 NBA DFG% (Req. 45+ Games, 9.5+ FGA Defended Per Game) In Order

  1. Pascal Siakam
    Derrick Favors
    Giannis Antetokounmpo
    Jayson Tatum
    Kevin Durant
    Mitchell Robinson
    Brandon Ingram
    Eric Bledsoe
    Khris Middleton
    Klay Thompson-10
    Nicolas Batum
    Lebron James
    PJ Tucker
    Hassan Whiteside
    Patrick Beverley
    De’Aaron Fox
    Mike Conley
    Maxi Kiebler
    Marcus Smart-20
    Draymond Green
    Montez Harrell
    Lonzo Ball
    Kevon Looney
    Ben Simmons
    Jaren Jackson JR.
    Kemba Walker
    Robin Lopez
    Dorian Finney-Smith
    Johnathan Isaac-30
    LaMarcus Aldridge
    Aaron Gordon
    CJ Mcollumn
    Josh Hart
    Derrick White
    Nemanja Bjelica
    Damian Lillard
    Jusuf Nurkic
    Paul George
    Josh Richardson-40
    Jerami Grant
    Malcolm Brogdon
    Jonas Valacunis
    D’Angelo Russell
    Dennis Smith JR.
    JaVale Mcgee
    Kyle Lowry
    Avery Bradley
    Rudy Gobert
    Nikola Mirotic-50
    Derrick Rose
    Justin Holiday
    Brook Lopez
    Zach Lavine
    Joel Embiid
    James Harden
    Dwight Powell
    Deandre Jordan
    Kawhi Leonard
    Russell Westbrook-60

Top 75 NBA D-Rating (Req. 45+ Games, 24+ Minutes)

  1. Giannis Antetokounmpo
    Corey Joseph
    Malcolm Brogdon
    Brook Lopez
    Domantas Sabonis
    Jaren Jackson JR.
    Rudy Gobert
    Donovan Mitchell
    Khris Middleton
    Paul George-10
    JJ Redick
    Eric Bledsoe
    Myles Turner
    Ricky Rubio
    Joel Embiid
    Pascal Siakam
    Justice Winslow
    Danny Green
    Jae Crowder
    Victor Oladipo-20
    Josh Hart
    Gordon Hayward
    Monte Morris
    Chris Paul
    Jerami Grant
    Paul Millsap
    Terrence Ross
    Jayson Tatum
    Dennis Schroder
    Gary Harris-30
    Marc Gasol
    Josh Richardson
    Jaylen Brown
    Terrence Ferguson
    Nikola Vucevic
    Thaddeus Young
    Demarre Carroll
    Lonzo Ball
    Mike Conley
    Bojan Bogdonavic-40
    Kyle Lowry
    Fred Vanvleet
    Steven Adams
    Jusuf Nurkic
    Draymond Green
    Marcus Smart
    Rudy Gay
    Al Horford
    Jonathon Isaac-50
    Garret Temple
    Darren Collison
    Russell Westbrook
    Dwayne Wade
    Derrick White
    Stephen Curry
    Kyrie Irving
    Serge Ibaka
    Nikola Jokic
    Lebron James
    Kawhi Leonard-60
    Jamal Murray
    Bojan Bogdonavic
    Jimmy Butler
    Nikola Mirotic
    Kevin Durant-65
    Dennis Smith Jr
    Damian Lillard
    Tyler Johnson
    Marcus Morris
    Brandon Ingram
    Montrezl Harrell
    Buddy Hield
    Patrick Beverley
    Ben Simmons
    Klay Thompson-75

Players In Both Top 60 and 75 List (33 Total)

Giannis Antetokounmpo
Pascal Siakam
Paul George
Lebron James
Lonzo Ball
Nikola Mirotic
Kevin Durant
Eric Bledsoe
Klay Thompson
Brandon Ingram
Ben Simmons
Patrick Beverley
Kawhi Leonard
Draymond Green
Montrezl Harrell
Joel Embiid
Damian Lillard
Dennis Smith Jr
Russell Westbrook
Marcus Smart
Jusuf Nurkic
Kyle Lowry
Mike Conley
Derrick White
Khris Middleton
Brook Lopez
Malcom Brogdon
Josh Richardson
Johnathan Isaac
Jaren Jackson JR.
Jayson Tatum

This is a mighty fine list of defenders as is and before we get into ranking the Top 25 in this Pool Of Defenders We’d like to give a shoutout to some Honorable Mentions That Made 1 Of the 2 Lists and are recognized as Great Defenders.

Honorable Mentions:
Myles Turner, PJ Tucker, Mitchell Robinson, Anthony Davis, Jaylen Brown, Hassan Whiteside, Robert Covington,
Derrick Favors, Jimmy Butler, Bojan Bogdonavic

Alright now that we are trying to evaluate the Top 25 Defenders in the NBA we decided to play around with the some numbers and while it still isn’t perfect, we plan to have a similar stat next season to include strength of competition. However the way we calculated each players Unique Defensive Score is we said, “Unique Defense= Defensive Rating X DFG% – Combined Total of Assists and Blocks”

On this Unique Scale a Perfect Defender Would be somewhere around a 35 (the lower the score the better the defender).

Too put that theory to the test we decided to use Ben Wallace’s Career too see how close he would be to 35. He was pretty close for his career as he posted an astounding 36.9 Unique Defensive Score. (95.7 X .42 – 3.3= Unique Defense)

The reason this scale seemed to worked out, is Centers and Forwards are usually guarding different shots than Guards which can make only looking at their DFG% lean heavily towards Guards, however by subtracting their total steals and blocks you can account for the additional possessions they are giving your team as Centers tend to have a higher combined BLK/STL Total.

25. Kawhi Leonard

Unique Defensive Score- 46.3

Many expect Kawhi to be much higher on this list, and I’m not sure if he is saving himself in some possessions for the playoffs or what, but Kawhi hasn’t been one of the best defenders this season. In spurts I’m sure and if I needed one Defenive stop there may only be 2-3 players in the entire NBA I’d want over him in that situation, but this is Rankings for this season not our expectations.

24. Russell Westbrook

Unique Defensive Score- 45.8

Westbrook said he was the best Point Guard Defender in the NBA, But by our calculations he comes in at 9th Amongst Point Guards for the 2018-19 season. Most of which is being hurt be a middle of the road ranking for DFG% (60th) and DRating (53rd).

23. Kyle Lowry

Unique Defensive Score- 45.3

Simply put the raptors aren’t the same team without Kyle Lowry in the game. They need him in both ends, he is vital to them winning and having a chance in the East. He has to show up in the playoffs for them to have any shot.

22. Patrick Beverley

Unique Defensive Score- 45.2

Beverley had a great season defensively, and while I had him right above Lonzo Ball for the season in my original list I chose to go an alternative route once I saw how closely this Unique Defenive Score matched my rankings of the players.

21. Ben Simmons

Unique Defenive Score- 45.1

Having him above Beverley is iffy but even if you give Beverley the edge for On ball pressure you have to give Simmons the clear advantage for size, stats, and versatility which is why him beating Patrick by the slimmest of margins was fine by me.

20. Derrick White

Unique Defenive Score- 44.9

Derrick White has been great all season long and seeing his name up here may surprise anyone that isn’t a Spurs fan. But don’t be fooled getting this recognition is well deserved, Show time the other Spur that made this list… I’ll wait.

19. Klay Thompson

Unique Defenive Score- 44.9

Klay is one of the best on Ball Defenders in the NBA and virtually always guards the opponents best Guard as Steph is a liability on Defense. Klay should be at least 5-10 spots higher on this list if it took into account Competition level.

18. Montrezl Hartell

Unique Defenive Score- 44.8

17. Malcom Brogdon

Unique Defenive Score- 44.2

16. Joel Embiid

Unique Defenive Score- 44.1

He is one of the best defenders in the game and comes in as the 3rd best Defenive Center this season. With Philly having multiple capable defenders I have to wonder why he isn’t higher on this list and why Philly doesn’t Have a better Team Defense.

15. Mike Conley

Unique Defenive Score- 44.0

Conley has always been a good Defenive Guard, and while he doesn’t benefit from a slower pace than most the players on this list, but he still deserves recognition for forcing tempo, slowing the game down and forcing those stops and possessions.

14. Lebron James

Unique Defenive Score- 44.0

Many believed Lebron to be an issue for the Lakers on defense, when the real problem was Everything around him. Lebron is +7 since Returning from injury while the rest of the Lakers (not named Ingram and Lonzo) have been outscored by 173. +7 compared to -173 is an awfully big swing for someone who doesn’t play defense.

13. Lonzo Ball

Unique Defenive Score- 44.0

This Season Lonzo is
-9th Best DFG% Amongst Guards
-13th Best DRating Amongst Guards
-6th in Pace Amongst Guards
-8th Best Rebounding Guard

Lonzo prompted a faster pace for the Lakes all while allowing opponents to Score Less Points when he played. The Lakers went from a top 7 Defense in the NBA to a bottom 5 Defense since his injury, and can’t seem to find a way to win ball games.

12. Brandon Ingram

Unique Defenive Score- 43.8

What Ingram lacks in steals and blocks he makes up for in DFG% and on ball pressure. He is one of the best Isolation defenders in the Entire NBA, this was in large part because he was guarding smaller players all season. However that also shows his versatility as he can guard the 1-4 with ease.

11. Marcus Smart

Unique Defenive Score- 43.8

Smart has been amazing all year for the Celtics and while I had him a few spots lower on my list due to his height, his effort and strength make up for that greatly on the Defenive end. He is also having one of his best years yet defending and getting into passing lanes.

10. Draymond Green

Unique Defenive Score- 43.7

No surprise to see Draymond Green this high on the list as he won DPOY 2 years ago and could have won the award 2-3 times by now. He has been a consistent anchor and force for the Warriors Defense.

9. Rudy Gobert

Unique Defenive Score- 43.3

Gobert being the 2nd center on this list is because of the lean towards Forwards in this metric, however I’d argue that should be the case as forwards can guard and switch multiple positions while Centers are slightly more limited in their capabilities. Gobert however is as close to an exception to that as you could get Being last years DPOY.

8. Paul George

Unique Defenive Score- 42.7

He had some DPOY hype that I believe has started to taper off along with his MVP talk but PG13 prior to his injury was having a top 3 season in the league but he has sense dropped down on the Defenive and Offensive ends.

7. Khris Middleton

Unique Defenive Score- 42.5

He is a long and capable defender and again the DRating helped Middleton to a large degree like Brogdon and Bledsoe, but he was an All-Star for a reason he can do a lot more than shoot the basketball.

6. Jaren Jackson JR.

Unique Defenive Score- 42.3

JJJ is the only rookie on this list and while the Grizzlies weren’t very good this season, that had absolutely nothing to do with Jaren. He was superb on Defense this season, being one of the best shot blockers as a Rookie.

5. Kevin Durant

Unique Defenive Score- 42.1

Durant is Easily a Top 2-3 Defender in the world if you need one defensive stop; one on one for your basketball lives. He’d be on my short list with Giannis and either Kawhi or Lebron depending on who’s Healthier and if it is playoffs or not. He hasn’t seemed fully engaged either and still has a high Defenive Score.

4. Eric Bledsoe

Unique Defenive Score- 41.6

This may Be boosted by Middleton, Brogdon, Giannis and Lopez a good amount but Bledsoe has always been a good Defenive Guard and on this team he is having one of the best season of his career. I was shocked he was so high, as I had more about 24th on my personal list but none the less he should be given credit for his season.

3. Jayson Tatum

Unique Defenive Score- 40.6

He hasn’t always Guarded the other teams best player and he does stick more on to wings than guards but the stats speak for themselves but he did qualify and his DFG% speaks for itself, now I just want too see him lead his own team guarding the bet players on a nightly basis.

2. Pascal Siakam

Unique Defenive Score- 39.8

His Defense May have improved more than his offense, which isn’t hard to do. It’s a strong reason why he should still be right i the MIP conversation. There is a reason the Raptors don’t miss a beat when Kawhi goes out.

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Unique Defensive Score- 38.0

#1 in D-Rating, #3 in DFG% while Averaging 1.5 Blocks and 1.3 Steals. We didn’t need to make up a metric too see he was the best and most versatile defender in the NBA but I’m glad our metric held up.

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