Top 7 Best Defensive Point Guards

Last Updated on: 1st December 2023, 06:51 pm

In basketball, a team’s defense often determines between winning and losing. While every position on the court plays an important role, point guards are often tasked with setting the tone for their team’s defensive efforts.

The quick list:

With quick feet, sharp instincts, and impeccable timing, these players can disrupt opposing offenses and make life difficult for even the most talented scorers. This article will examine seven of the best defensive point guards in today’s NBA.

From lockdown defenders who can shut down an opponent’s best player to versatile playmakers who excel at getting steals and causing turnovers, each player brings a unique skill set. Whether you’re a fan of one of these players or enjoy watching great defense in action, this list will provide insight into what makes these point guards so special on that end of the court.

best defensive point guards

Ben Simmons

You can’t deny that Ben Simmons is a force to be reckoned with when protecting the paint. This 6’10” point guard has made a name for himself as one of the best defensive players in the league. Despite his offensive limitations, Simmons makes up for it on the defensive end.

What sets Simmons apart from other point guards is his defensive versatility. His size and athleticism allow him to switch to multiple positions seamlessly, making him a valuable asset on any team’s defense. He averaged 1.7 steals per game during the 2020-2021 season and was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team for the second year.

Simmons’ importance extends beyond individual accolades and impacts team success. With him on the court, opponents struggle to score against his team, leading them to victories repeatedly.

Transitioning into Marcus Smart, it’s important to note that he has made significant contributions on defense during his career.

Marcus Smart

Marcus Smart’s tenacity and fearlessness on the court make him a force to be reckoned with. As one of the league’s best defensive point guards, Smart is known for his versatility, defensive intensity, and impact on team defense. He can guard multiple positions and disrupt passing lanes with his quick hands.

His hustle and grit are contagious, inspiring his teammates to play harder. Smart’s defensive skills often go unnoticed in box scores, but coaches and players around the league know just how valuable he is. He consistently ranks among the top steals leaders in the NBA and has been named to the All-Defensive First Team twice.

Offensively, he may not be a star player, but his ability to make timely plays and hit clutch shots has helped lead his team to victory many times. Marcus Smart embodies what it means to be a defensive anchor for any team.

Transitioning into the next section about Jrue Holiday, it’s important to note that he possesses incredible defensive skills while also being an offensive threat on the court.

Jrue Holiday

If you’re facing Jrue Holiday on the court, you better be ready for a challenge because his defensive skills are unmatched. He’s known as a defensive ace in the league due to his quick hands and footwork, making him a nightmare for any opponent. Holiday can shut down his direct assignment and disrupt entire team offenses with his playmaking skills.

Holiday was recognized for his impressive defense and playmaking skills when he was selected to the NBA All-Defensive First Team twice (2018, 2019) and an NBA All-Star in 2021. His ability to guard multiple positions has been vital in leading teams such as the Milwaukee Bucks and New Orleans Pelicans deep into playoff runs.

With all-star potential, there is no doubt that Holiday will continue to wreak havoc on both ends of the court for years to come.

As we proceed to discuss Patrick Beverley, it’s important to note that he shares similar qualities with Jrue Holiday regarding being a defensive force on the court.

Patrick Beverley

When facing Patrick Beverley, you better strap on your seatbelt because he’s a defensive bulldog that will hound you up and down the court. Despite being an underrated defender, Beverley’s defensive intensity is unmatched by most point guards in the league. He is known for his ball pressure techniques that often force turnovers and disrupt opponents’ offenses.

Beverley’s tenacity and energy make him a valuable asset to any team. His hustle on defense inspires his teammates and puts fear into the hearts of opponents. However, even with all this praise, it’s still easy to overlook Beverley as one of the best defensive point guards in the league. But if you ask any coach or player who has gone up against him, they’ll tell you that playing against Patrick Beverley is no easy feat.

Transitioning into the next section about Chris Paul, it’s clear that these two players share some similarities regarding their defensive abilities.

Chris Paul

Chris Paul’s defensive prowess is often overlooked, but his impact on the court cannot be ignored. Known as CP3, he has been recognized for his defensive skills throughout his career and has earned numerous accolades, such as being named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team nine times. One of the reasons for his success is his ability to read and anticipate his opponent’s moves. He also has quick hands, which allows him to get steals and disrupt plays before they develop.

CP3’s impact on defense extends beyond just individual statistics. He sets a tone for his team with his intensity and leadership on that end of the floor. He elevates his game even further in playoff performances, often guarding some of the league’s best players while contributing offensively. His dedication to defense shows that he values every possession and understands its importance in winning games.

Moving onto Kyle Lowry, another top defensive point guard in the league…

Kyle Lowry

As you continue reading about Kyle Lowry, you’ll discover he has an impressive career total of over 10,000 points and assists combined. But what sets him apart is his leadership qualities on the court.

Lowry’s ability to communicate with his teammates and keep them motivated during high-pressure situations has earned him the respect of coaches and players. This leadership has been on full display during playoff performances, where Lowry consistently steps up and delivers clutch plays when they matter most.

His offensive abilities are also not to be overlooked, as he can easily drive to the basket or knock down shots from beyond the arc. These skills have helped make him one of the best defensive point guards in the league today.

Moving onto Fred VanVleet, another standout defensive point guard who has made a name for himself in recent years…

Fred VanVleet

You’ll enjoy learning about Fred VanVleet, the undrafted guard who has made a name for himself in recent years. Known for his sharpshooting and impressive defense, VanVleet has become integral to the Toronto Raptors’ success.

His playoff performance 2019 was particularly memorable, as he played a key role in leading the Raptors to their first NBA championship. Despite being overlooked by many teams during the draft process, VanVleet’s underrated impact on both ends of the court cannot be dismissed.

He is known for his ability to disrupt opposing offenses with quick hands and tenacious defense, often forcing turnovers and creating scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates. As he continues to improve his offensive game and gain more recognition throughout the league, it’s clear that VanVleet has a bright future ahead of him.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average number of steals per game for each defensive point guard?

Regarding defensive point guards, steal statistics are a key indicator of their impact on team performance. Comparing players’ average number of steals per game can give insight into their defensive abilities and overall value to a team.

It’s important to note that while steals are an important statistic, they don’t tell the whole story of a player’s defensive prowess. That being said, some of the top defensive point guards in the league currently average around 2-3 steals per game.

These numbers may vary depending on playing time and team strategy, but they are a good benchmark for evaluating defensive point guard performance.

How do these players fare in terms of their defensive rating compared to other point guards in the league?

When looking at the defensive rating comparison of these top point guards, it’s clear that they excel in this area.

In addition to their impressive steal averages, they also have a high pick-and-roll success rate. These players understand how to read the offense and react quickly, making them tough defenders to get past.

Their ability to shut down opponents is evident in their defensive ratings, some of the best in the league.

Fans can trust that these point guards will always give everything they have on defense, reflecting their dedication to their team and the game.

What is the success rate of these players in defending against pick-and-roll plays?

Pick-and-roll defense is crucial for any point guard, and the best defensive players understand the techniques needed to stop it.

Communication is key when defending against pick-and-rolls, as players need to constantly contact each other to ensure they are switching effectively and covering all angles.

The most successful defenders also adjust their strategies based on their opponent, recognizing their strengths and weaknesses and adapting accordingly.

Overall, the ability to defend against pick-and-rolls is just one component of what makes a great defensive point guard, but it’s an important one that can make all the difference in close games.

How do their defensive skills translate to their offensive game and overall impact on the team?

When evaluating point guards’ defensive skills, it’s important to consider their offensive impact and overall contribution to team dynamics.

Strong defensive players who possess leadership qualities can elevate the performance of their entire team.

Point guards with strong defensive abilities often have a heightened awareness on the court, allowing them to make quick decisions and anticipate plays.

This translates well into their offensive game, as they can create opportunities for themselves and their teammates.

A point guard who can contribute defensively and offensively can drastically improve the team’s chances of success.

What specific defensive strategies and techniques do each of these players excel at?

Defensive footwork, ball pressure, and help defense are some crucial defensive strategies that excite basketball fans. Transition defense is another essential technique that successful defenders need to master.

On-ball defense and closeouts are two other areas where top-tier defenders excel.
Switching defense, perimeter defense, and post-defense are critical in keeping opponents from scoring.

When it comes to identifying the best defensive point guards in the league, these skills become even more important. These players’ abilities to execute these techniques with precision make them successful on the defensive end and have a significant impact on their overall contribution to their teams’ success.


In conclusion, these seven-point guards are the best in the game regarding defense. They all have an incredible ability to shut down their opponents and protect their team’s basket.

From Ben Simmons’ sheer size and athleticism to Kyle Lowry’s tenacity and quick hands, each player brings unique skills to the table. Watching them play is like watching a masterclass in defensive basketball.

Their moves are calculated, precise, and often awe-inspiring. It’s no wonder they’re considered some of the most valuable players in the league. So, if you’re looking for a team that can hold its own on defense, look no further than these top seven point guards who know how to keep their opponents at bay.