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NBA 2013-14: The top 5 defenses of the season so far

Yash Matange
Top 5 / Top 10
Published Jan 21, 2014
Jan 21, 2014 IST

There is a famous saying in basketball – Offense wins matches Defense wins championships.

The season so far has been one with most surprising in recent times, be it new names making it to the MVP race, the Sixth Player of the Year candidates, few teams on the league standings or the injury plague which has hit majority of the teams across the league.

However one league table which grades a certain aspect of the game called defense does not usually see surprises because it is a habit. It helps you contain opponents and get back into a game. It is an art which needs to be imbibed and cannot be practiced.

It is the recognition of a championship team. So each season the eventual champion of the season 9 times out of 10 will rank in the top 5 on defense and this season follows this trend.

Miami Heat fans might be disappointed but the back-to-back champions, ranked 9th, do not feature on the top 5 defenses of this season so far. Here’s the list:

5. Golden State Warriors

Known more for their offense, the Golden State Warriors are a surprise on this list. They are a young talented team coached by an equally young and talented coach. Across all categories this team has made huge strides in the right direction since Mark Jackson took over the head coaching duties.

Team defense, a term not many associate with the Golden State Warriors, especially after the amount of attention that the ‘Splash brothers’ and their tipsy contests with their state rivals Clippers grasp. A huge part of that surprising and positive change has been the acquiring of Andre Iguodala in the summer and center Andrew Bogut being healthy.

Bogut has been a huge presence in the paint while Iguodala takes up his duties of guarding the opponent’s best player. He made an impact with his defense on LeBron James when the Warriors visited South beach. Although James had his usual 25+ points, 7+ rebounds and 7+ assists, the unusual stat on his box score that night was 8 turnovers.

This unit has the chance to retrieve some pride by playing great defense, something the previous Warriors team was notoriously allergic to. The scary thing is this team has the potential to get even better.

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