For years the phrase "offense wins games, defense wins championships" has been a mantra for organizations and their coaches and GMs as they try to build toward a title. Teams search for years for that elusive, game-changing defender who can not only check the other team's best offensive player, but take him out of the game completely and shut him down.
Every great team in the history of the league has had at least one such player, and many have been able to overcome offensive issues because they can play absolute lockdown defense. By establishing the tone of the game on the defensive end, one team can assert themselves against the other and knock them completely out of rhythm.
Despite today's NBA being more renowned for its show-stopping offense and highlight-reel plays, there are several young defensive players who are on the cusp of becoming true nightmares to play against. Whether its their on-ball defense, ability to swipe at the ball, or knack for keeping an opponent from getting to their spots, these guys truly make their living on the defensive end of the court.
Here is a look at a few elite stoppers who will be vying for All-Defensive team spots for years to come.