7 Key NBA Players Who Are Terrible at Defense

Greg Swartz@@CavsGregBRCleveland Cavaliers Lead WriterJanuary 26, 2013

7 Key NBA Players Who Are Terrible at Defense

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    When it comes to winning titles in the NBA, defense is key.

    The best teams always have strong team and individual defenders, making scoring the basketball quite a task for opposing teams.

    While some players hang their hat on the defensive side of the ball, others seem lost and confused trying to guard their opponents.

    Every NBA player could improve at least some aspect of their defensive prowess, but these seven truly have a long way to go.

Kyle Korver, Atlanta Hawks

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    Key Stat: 2.5 (defensive rebounds per game for career)


    Kyle Korver has always been known for great hair, great outside shooting and god-awful defense.

    Not much has changed this season, as he's started almost every game for the Hawks while shooting an outstanding 46.0 percent from deep.

    That being said, he doesn't rebound, block shots, rack up steals or play adequate man-to-man defense.

    Back when he was a member of the Utah Jazz, a Facebook page was created to memorialize his defensive achievements captured in this now-iconic photo.

    Another great example can be found here.

    Ouch, his pride.


Michael Beasley, Phoenix Suns

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    Key Stat: 114.4 (points allowed per 48 minutes by team with Beasley on court)


    Beasley has been pretty terrible on both ends of the court this season, but especially on defense.

    A combo forward, Beasley has been equally bad at whatever position he finds himself at.  Too slow to guard the speedier small forwards and too small to bang with the big power forwards of the league, Beasley is putting up awful numbers at both positions this season.

    According to the good people at 82games.com, Beasley is averaging just an 8.3 PER as a small forward, while allowing other small forwards to post a 16.7 PER against him.  As a power forward, Beasley registers a slightly better PER of 14.4, but allows opposing power forwards to post a whopping PER of 26.0 against him.

    Per 100 possessions, the Suns allow 114.4 points per game when Beasley is in the game, compared to just 105.0 with him out.


Steve Nash, Los Angeles Lakers

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    Key Stat: 0.8 (career steals per game)


    Nash first came into the league in 1996 and has yet to be called a great defender by anyone in the basketball world.

    Now 38 years of age, Nash still shows plenty of the same offensive and playmaking skills that have helped build his career.  His defense, however, continues to stink.

    82games.com has Nash allowing 24.8 points, 10.7 assists and a PER of 17.2 per 48 minutes of play to opposing point guards.  While other star point guards like Rajon Rondo (1.86) and Chris Paul (2.56) continue to rack up the steals, Nash has never averaged more than 1.0 steal per game in any of his 16-plus pro seasons.

    Bleacher Report's Dan Favale tells you more about Nash's defensive struggles this season here.

Amar'e Stoudemire, New York Knicks

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    Key Stat: 2.6 (defensive rebounds per game this season)


    To put into perspective how terrible Stoudemire has been on the defensive glass this year, Kyle Korver is nearly out-rebounding him.

    Stoudemire has been an electrifying talent on offense throughout his career, but that's about it.  For someone who's an athletic 6'11", it's truly disappointing how low his career rebounding and shot-blocking numbers are.

    What's really scary is that Stoudemire has claimed that he "was never taught defense" in an article with the New York Daily News


    I mean, Stoudemire did skip college in favor of the NBA and has had Mike D'Antoni as his head coach for much of his career, but this revelation is still a bit surprising.

    Apparently no one taught him how to handle a fire extinguisher, either.

Antawn Jamison, Los Angeles Lakers

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    Key Stat: 407 (blocked shots in 1,021 career games) 


    Jamison is one of the true good guys of the league.

    Getting a little nastier on defense may not be a bad thing, however.

    A longtime talented scorer, Jamison lacks the strength to guard most power forwards in the league and the quickness to cover the rest.  Now 36 years old, his defense has been on a free-fall the past couple of seasons from its already low level of play.

    Jamison has a career average of 0.4 blocked shots per game, almost six times lower than that of Tim Duncan (2.2 per game).

    He's an absolute nightmare to watch while trying to stop a bigger opponent from posting up, oftentimes giving way and trying to strip the ball out instead.

    A great teammate and locker room influence, all young eyes should be on Jamison when learning how to be a professional in the NBA.

    Just not when he's playing defense.

Andrea Bargnani, Toronto Raptors

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    Key Stat: 4.9 (career high in defensive rebounds per game, 2009-10 season)


    Bargnani is the size of a center, blocks shots like a small forward and rebounds like a guard.

    Such has been the up-and-down career of the former No. 1 overall pick, who currently finds himself sidelined with an elbow injury.

    When it comes to his skill set, it goes shooting, shooting, shooting, breathing and then defense.

    Although slight improvements have been made, Bargnani is still a pretty terrible defender.  He doesn't rebound despite his size (4.0 career defensive rebounds per game), nor does he block shots with any regularity.

    When Bargnani is on the court, the Raptors give up more points (112.1 to 107.3) then when he's off.

    When matched up against opposing centers, Bargnani is registering a PER of just 4.0 while allowing a PER of 18.0.

    Constantly being brought up in trade rumors this season, let the buyer beware when it comes to Bargnani's poor defensive game.

Carlos Boozer, Chicago Bulls

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    Key Stat: 1.33 (total amount of steals, blocked shots and charges taken per game)


    The Bulls play an outstanding team defense, thanks in no part to Boozer.

    The 10-year veteran is having a rejuvenated season on the offensive side of the ball, but still doesn't do much on defense.  At 6'9" and nearly 270 pounds, Boozer has a tough time staying in front of driving opponents and has yielded a PER of 17.2 to opposing matchups this season.

    His total amount of steals, blocked shots and charges taken per game ranks fourth worst in the entire NBA of all post players receiving at least 30 minutes per night, according to hoopdata.com.

    The Bulls have managed to get by with Boozer's lack of defensive skills by playing marquee defenders like Joakim Noah, Luol Deng and Taj Gibson around him.

    Chicago gives up a measly 96.9 points per 100 possessions with Boozer on the bench.  This number inflates to 105 with him in the game,