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5 Best 3-and-D players in the NBA this season

Robert Covington is one of the best 3-and-D players in the NBA.
Robert Covington is one of the best 3-and-D players in the NBA.

Over recent years, most top-tier NBA teams have tended to have multiple 3-and-D players capable of making shots from deep and defending a variety of positions.

The likes of Klay Thompson and Kawhi Leonard are the elite 3-and-D players in the NBA. However, the two superstars might have too much in their arsenal to be considered as 3-and-D role players. To an extent, one-half of the Splash Brothers, Klay Thompson, might be the ideal 3-and-D player. The shooting guard can guard a variety of positions and is easily one of the greatest shooters of all time. His proficiency puts him on the list of "bonafide NBA superstars."

2020-21 NBA Season: Best 3-and-D players this season

It has become a trend to employ 3-and-D players on championship-contending rosters. Klay Thompson would undoubtedly be one of the best in today's game. However, the sharpshooter's season has been curtailed by injury, which means the Golden State Warriors' ace cannot be considered on the list for this year. Regardless, without further ado, let's take a look at five of the best 3-and-D players in the 2020-21 NBA season.

#5 Duncan Robinson

Duncan Robinson went undrafted in the 2018 NBA draft and then signed a Summer League contract with the Miami Heat. He went on to make his debut for the Heat the same season, but could not hold down his place as a regular starter until the following year. Over the years, Robinson has gained a reputation for being one of the better shooters in the NBA.

NBA star, Duncan Robinson of the Miami Heat.
NBA star, Duncan Robinson of the Miami Heat.

After shooting at almost 45% from the 3-point line last season, the 26-year-old has quietly improved his defensive awareness. He currently boasts a defensive rating of 113.7. This season, Robinson is averaging 13 points per game and is shooting at just above the 40% mark from the 3-point zone. Overall, he has a shooting efficiency of over 61%, which is the best on the Miami roster.

#4 Danny Green

Danny Green is an elite perimeter defender who has made a reputation as an elite 3-and-D player over the last few seasons. This year, he is averaging his joint-career best of 1.3 steals along with 9.7 points for the Philadelphia 76ers. Green has often been criticized for a lack of consistency with his shooting. This has not been a problem for him this season.

He is shooting at a high clip of 41.2% from the 3-point zone and has fit in as a role player in a team that is expected to challenge for the title this season. The 33-year-old is also a 3-time NBA champion, and his experience should come in handy for the 76ers come playoff time.

#3 OG Anunoby

23-year-old OG Anunoby has shown a stark improvement in his overall shooting efficiency this season. The Toronto Raptors concede around 13 points fewer per 100 possessions when he is on the court. The youngster's ball-stealing abilities and defensive versatility are elite.

This season, OG Anunoby is registering career-high stats in almost every category. He has increased his number of 3-point attempts and has maintained an efficiency of around 40%. Anunoby is averaging a career-high 14.8 points and 1.6 steals per game and has evolved into a defensive mainstay for the Toronto Raptors.

#2 Robert Covington

Another player widely regarded as one of the best 3-and-D players in the league is Robert Covington. His defensive impact is not just limited to numbers. His ability to be in the right position has been useful for the Portland Trail Blazers this season, who are short on options in defense.

Covington has attempted 5.3 3-pointers per game this season. He shoots at an efficiency of 39%. The Portland Trail Blazers have several elite 3-point shooters. This has arguably impacted his overall production. Regardless, Covington is also averaging 1.6 steals and 1.3 blocks per game. He is the best defender on the Trail Blazers' roster.

#1 Mikal Bridges

Mikal Bridges has been instrumental in the Phoenix Suns’ fairy-tale run this season. The 24-year-old is a contender for the all-defensive team of the year and has shown vast improvement in his 3-point shooting this season. Bridges finished in the top ten for overall deflections in the NBA in both of his first two seasons in the league.

Mikal Bridges of the Phoenix Suns.
Mikal Bridges of the Phoenix Suns.

This season, Bridges is shooting at slightly over 40% from the 3-point line. He is also averaging in double digits for points scored for the first time in his career. Bridges has become an important cog for the Phoenix Suns machine this season. The 24-year-old is second only to DeAndre Ayton on the roster in terms of overall shooting efficiency.

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Edited by Utathya Ghosh
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