Dwight Howard and the 5 Best Pick-and-Roll Defenders in the NBA Today

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Dwight Howard and the 5 Best Pick-and-Roll Defenders in the NBA Today
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

There's a reason every team in the NBA employs the pick-and-roll to at least some degree, if not as a featured component in their offensive approach—it creates some serious challenges for even the best defenses.

Defending the play successfully requires a big man who's quick enough to hedge against the ball-handler before getting back in position to challenge his man's jump shot or roll to the basket. It also requires a big man with a strong basketball IQ. Reading what the offense's preferences are enables defenders to react accordingly.

Dwight Howard was the league's most productive pick-and-roll scorer when going straight to the basket, but he's also one of the league's very best when it comes to defending the play.

His addition doesn't come a moment too soon, as the Los Angeles Lakers attempt to hold off pick-and-roll happy contenders like the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder. 

Dwight and players like him have become a hot commodity in the NBA. On the one hand, teams want centers who are big enough to defend the post. On the other, they need bigs who are mobile enough to disrupt the pick-and-roll.

Here's a look and Dwight and five others who get that job done as well as any.

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