By Melva N. Lloyd
In continuation from yesterday’s post, here are SMG’s picks for our defensive NBA All-Decade team:
Jason Kidd (Point Guard, Dallas Mavericks) – Have you ever wondered how a point guard could steal the ball from under your nose, score off of your turnover and then make it back down court to do it all over again? Jason Kidd uses his lightening quick speed to be a force on both offense and defense. Offensively, he’s one of the league’s best point guards but after playing professionally for 15 years, he’s learned a thing or two on the defensive end. He’s averaged just over two steals per game since his rookie season and at thirty-six years old; he’s keeping up just fine with the young guys.
Bruce Bowen (Retired, Small Forward, San Antonio Spurs) – Bruce Bowen’s middle name should be defense because it seems as though no one played it better than him. Over his sixteen- year career he’s picked over seven-hundred pockets and earned a reputation as one of the premiere perimeter defenders in the NBA. He contributed to the firepower that fueled the Spurs to championship rings every two years between 2003 and 2007.
Ben Wallace (Power Forward, Detroit Pistons)* – Statistically speaking, Ben Wallace played his best basketball in Detroit. So now that he’s back in the motor city after a stint with the Cavaliers, maybe he’ll repeat history. During his six years as a Piston, Wallace averaged just over 12 rebounds per game while blocking three shots per game; he led the league in both during the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons, the first to do so since Hakeem Olajuwan. Big Ben doesn’t only reside in London.
Kobe Bryant (Guard, Los Angeles Lakers) – Do I really have to repeat myself? I’ll just add this: 7x NBA All-Defensive First Team.
Tim Duncan (Power Forward, San Antonio Spurs) – No need to reiterate myself, but Tim Duncan did make All-Defensive First Team a whopping eight times.
Shaquille O’Neal (Center, Cleveland Cavaliers) – I think the name pretty much says it all don’t you?
Honorable Mentions (In no particular order):
- Ron Artest
- Andrei Kirilenko
- Dwight Howard
- Alonzo Mourning
- Kevin Garnett
- Dwyane Wade
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