NBA History: 5 Greatest rim protectors of all time
"Offense wins you games, defense wins you championships."
It's something any sports fan has heard repeatedly, and it's true. Sadly though, defense is one of the underappreciated aspects of basketball. Most fans prefer fancy dunks over a solid defensive play, but any player or coach knows the importance of good defense.
There isn't a single team in the last 20 years that has lifted the Larry O'Brien trophy without protecting the rim fantastically well. There are a lot of good defenders in the league today, and there have been countless in the history of the NBA.
Despite the amount of talent that the NBA houses, there are some guys that just stick out as outstanding rim protectors. Here are the 5 greatest rim protectors in the history of the NBA:
#5 Tim Duncan
Tim Duncan was one of the best shot blockers to ever set foot on an NBA court. He was known for his quiet style of play - never losing his temper, never too fancy, never showing off. What made him an excellent defender went far beyond his physical ability.
Duncan had an incredibly high basketball IQ - combine this with his excellent positioning, and you get an outstanding shot blocker that timed his jumps perfectly. Despite not having the highest vertical, Duncan's timing and game sense allowed him to beat his opponents mid-air countless times, making him one of the most revered defenders in the NBA.
He was also a master of the fundamentals and had particularly good footwork - allowing him to defend the post very efficiently. Duncan averaged 2.2 blocks and 10.8 rebounds a game over his career.
Sadly, Duncan never won a DPOY award. He was selected for the NBA All-Defensive teams 15 times in his career. Duncan also won 5 NBA championships, 2 MVP awards, and 3 Finals MVPs.