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All NBA worst defensive team

Apr 20, 2010, 11:20 AM EST

The story of these playoffs has been defense — Dwight Howard with nine blocks, Ron Artest on Kevin Durant, the Hawks shutting down what is left of the Bucks. Teams get to the playoffs because of their defense.

But who are the worst defenders in the NBA? Who costs their teams games due a vexing combination of inability and general lack of interest? Who are the guys other NBA players pray will be covering them for a night?

Math wiz Haralabos Voulgaris — who used to use his database to bet the NBA but now uses it in hopes of landing an NBA job — broke it down on his blog Alone in the Corner (via TrueHoop).

You NBA All-Worst Defensive Team:

PG: Johnny Flynn (Timberwolves)
SG: Kevin Martin (Houston)
SF: Andres Nocioni (Sacramento)
PF: Charlie Villanueva (Detroit)
C: Andrea Bargnani (Toronto)

Notice that none of those teams made the playoffs. Coincidence? I think not.

Flynn is a rookie, it’s pretty harsh to put a rookie on this list, especially one that has two power forwards playing behind him rather than one true center shot blocker. But Voulgaris uses a lot of adjusted plus/minus stats, and that metric doesn’t like Flynn. Largely because he’s not really a good defender.

Nocioni is not a league’s worst defender, he’s just put in that position. He’s a tweener, and he gets asked to guard threes that are too big for him or fours who are too big for him. So the numbers hate him, but the skills are there.

Charlie Villanueva, what a great pick up he turned out to be.

Now Bargnani deserves his status — he was the anchor for the worst defense in the NBA last year. It’s the flaw in the construction of the Raptors, both Bargnani and Bosh really need a big paired with them who can defend, block shots, dominate the boards and do the dirty work. Combined they are the softest front line in basketball. Bosh gets more of a pass because he puts in the defensive effort (and makes up for his shortcomings on the offensive end). Bargnani just shows no interest in defense.

  1. Atomsk - Apr 20, 2010 at 2:11 PM

    Sixth man: Derek Fisher

  2. aweb - Apr 20, 2010 at 2:34 PM

    Bargs is just lost out there when asked to do anything more than cover his man. To my eye, he’s not actually that bad at covering a post player one-on-one. But ask him to provide help defense, or fast break defense, or get out on a shooter, and he has no idea how to get into a useful position. Which is all a 7 footer needs to do most of the time when “little” guys come charging in. And the rebounding…ugh.

  3. Eli - May 2, 2010 at 11:16 AM

    Mike Bibby has to be the worst. Has to be.

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