Author Topic: Greatest Defensive Starting Fives In NBA History  (Read 1109 times)

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Greatest Defensive Starting Fives In NBA History
« on: May 24, 2022, 03:55:46 PM »

Offline Ed Monix

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2021-22 Boston Celtics

Starting Five:

Williams III
Horford
Tatum
Brown
Smart

—————————

This starting five should go down as one of the elite units in NBA history.

Who are some other comparable starting fives, that could be a contender for greatest defensive unit of all-time?
« Last Edit: May 24, 2022, 04:23:11 PM by Ed Monix »
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Re: Greatest Defensive Starting Fives In NBA History
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2022, 04:06:17 PM »

Offline nebist

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The 04 Pistons come to mind:
Billups
Rip Hamilton
Tayshaun Prince
Rasheed Wallace
Ben Wallace

08 Celtics have to be mentioned as well:
Rajon Rondo
Ray Allen
Paul Pierce
KG
Kendrick Perkins

Re: Greatest Defensive Starting Fives In NBA History
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2022, 04:16:38 PM »

Offline Vermont Green

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This is hard but I would say any team with Bill Russell on it would be contender for best all time.  In 1968-69, the first year of all defensive teams, Russell was first team and Havlicek was second team.    I am not sure who exactly started beyond that but the team had Sam Jones, Don Nelson, Don Cheney, Satch Sanders, Bailey Howell, all really good defenders.

Going back this far, several eras, makes comparisons hard but Bill Russell is very clearly the defensive GOAT and Havlicek was relentless so that pair probably beats Smart and RWilliams.  The rest of the team probably beats the rest of the current Celtics.

Re: Greatest Defensive Starting Fives In NBA History
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2022, 04:18:02 PM »

Offline Donoghus

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Pick a Celtics team from the 60s.


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Re: Greatest Defensive Starting Fives In NBA History
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2022, 04:19:56 PM »

Offline Ed Monix

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The 04 Pistons come to mind:

Billups
Rip Hamilton
Tayshaun Prince
Rasheed Wallace
Ben Wallace

I’d love to see this Celtics team go against the 04 Pistons in a seven game series, it would be an amazing matchup.

B.Wallace  -  Horford
R.Wallace  -  Williams III
Prince       -  Tatum
Hamilton   -  Brown
Billups      -  Smart
« Last Edit: May 24, 2022, 04:28:17 PM by Ed Monix »
5' 10" former point guard

Career highlight: 1973-74 championship, Boston Celtics

Career lowlight: traded for a washing machine

Re: Greatest Defensive Starting Fives In NBA History
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2022, 04:28:35 PM »

Offline SparzWizard

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The 04 Pistons come to mind:

Billups
Rip Hamilton
Tayshaun Prince
Rasheed Wallace
Ben Wallace

I’d love to see this Celtics team go against the 04 Pistons in a seven game series, it would be an amazing matchup.

B.Wallace - Horford
R.Wallace - Williams III
Prince      - Tatum
Hamilton  - Brown
Billups     - Smart

I would swap Horford and Williams. Williams resembles Ben Wallace with his block-shot talent and paint presence. Horford and R.Wallace can shoot 3's and be an interior threat.

Re: Greatest Defensive Starting Fives In NBA History
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2022, 04:39:00 PM »

Offline Roy H.

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https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2185159-ranking-the-nbas-20-best-defenses-of-all-time

They crunched the numbers how I would have: DRtg vs. league average

The best teams are the Russell Celtics.  The best modern team is the 2004 Spurs.


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Re: Greatest Defensive Starting Fives In NBA History
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2022, 04:44:37 PM »

Offline Amonkey

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The 04 Pistons come to mind:

Billups
Rip Hamilton
Tayshaun Prince
Rasheed Wallace
Ben Wallace

I’d love to see this Celtics team go against the 04 Pistons in a seven game series, it would be an amazing matchup.

B.Wallace - Horford
R.Wallace - Williams III
Prince      - Tatum
Hamilton  - Brown
Billups     - Smart

I would swap Horford and Williams. Williams resembles Ben Wallace with his block-shot talent and paint presence. Horford and R.Wallace can shoot 3's and be an interior threat.

Looking at that 04 squad, I think it's hard to compare to today's game but man were they great defensively. Ben Wallace was a beat and the guy barely scored. Tayshawn Prince could lock down Tatum with his athleticism and long arms. R. Wallace could bang bodies and make it tough to go inside. Hamilton was great at harrassing smaller players and Billups was no joke. Offensively, I think we have them beat but defensively, wow.
Baby Jesus!

Re: Greatest Defensive Starting Fives In NBA History
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2022, 04:45:46 PM »

Offline Donoghus

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https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2185159-ranking-the-nbas-20-best-defenses-of-all-time

They crunched the numbers how I would have: DRtg vs. league average

The best teams are the Russell Celtics.  The best modern team is the 2004 Spurs.

"But they were defending plumbers & firemen!"


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Re: Greatest Defensive Starting Fives In NBA History
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2022, 11:17:35 PM »

Offline Moranis

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In 96, Jordan, Pippen, and Rodman were all 1st Team All Defense and Harper was a decent steal generator while Longley was a decent shot blocker.    Payton was DPOY but Pippen finished 2nd, Jordan 6th, and Rodman 7th. 

A quick look and I believe that is the only time in history 3 teammates all made 1st Team All Defense in the same season. 
I was finally wrong. Boston not only didn't win in 5, but didn't win at all.

Re: Greatest Defensive Starting Fives In NBA History
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2022, 12:26:05 AM »

Online tenn_smoothie

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What about the '08 Celtics or the '74 Celtics ?

Garnett's '08 team, with Thibs coaching them, was the best team man-to-man I can remember, That group suffocated their opponent by overloading the ball side fearlessly. Their defensive teamwork, where the help-side defenders essentially played on a string together, allowed them to relentlessly pressure the ball.

Cowen's '74 champions should also be mentioned, I would think. Just look at the individual super-defenders, Don Chaney, John Havlicek, Dave Cowens and Paul Silas along with a steady JoJo White. Very formidable group who played well together on defense. It was this defense that smothered Oscar Robertson, forced turnovers and frustrated Jabbar in Game 7 that won us our first post-Russell title.
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Re: Greatest Defensive Starting Fives In NBA History
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2022, 09:40:23 AM »

Offline Who

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If I recall correctly, it is was the 1964 team that Bill Russell thought was his best team because it was their best defensive team. They had Russell in the middle, the Jones boys in the backcourt for their best defensive guard duo and Satch at forward. KC Jones the best guard defender of his era. Satch as one of the best defensive forwards. Sam Jones as a good defensive guard. Russell as the most transformative defender ever anchoring the team.

I believe Heinsohn was still starting at PF for that team with Havlicek as the 6th man. Hondo played more minutes than Heinsohn though. Hondo obviously one of the top wing defenders of all time.

That is a pretty insane collection of defensive talent if you view Havlicek as the 5th guy. Russell, Jones boys, Hondo, Satch.

Re: Greatest Defensive Starting Fives In NBA History
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2022, 09:44:11 AM »

Offline td450

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In 96, Jordan, Pippen, and Rodman were all 1st Team All Defense and Harper was a decent steal generator while Longley was a decent shot blocker.    Payton was DPOY but Pippen finished 2nd, Jordan 6th, and Rodman 7th. 

A quick look and I believe that is the only time in history 3 teammates all made 1st Team All Defense in the same season.

I always thought the Bulls were dominant because they had an incredible defensive core at the 2, 3 and 4, with either Rodman or Horace Grant.

I don't think our core 3 of Smart, Tatum and Brown is quite that intense, but we have more airtight players around them. If Horford and Rob Williams can stay healthy for a year or two, I think we can become the best defensive team ever.

Re: Greatest Defensive Starting Fives In NBA History
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2022, 10:08:29 AM »

Offline Vermont Green

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In 96, Jordan, Pippen, and Rodman were all 1st Team All Defense and Harper was a decent steal generator while Longley was a decent shot blocker.    Payton was DPOY but Pippen finished 2nd, Jordan 6th, and Rodman 7th. 

A quick look and I believe that is the only time in history 3 teammates all made 1st Team All Defense in the same season.

Good call.  I agree that for the "modern" era, this team is better defensively than the current Celtics but the Celtics are not that far behind.  Pippen, Jordan, and Rodman were all extremely good defensive players.

But I still would go with one of the Russell era teams as the best all time.  Someone had highlighted the 1964 team.  Maybe that specific one was the best of them all, I don't know.  But it is going to be one of those teams from that group of teams.

Re: Greatest Defensive Starting Fives In NBA History
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2022, 10:14:32 AM »

Offline Who

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Knicks were pretty nasty in 1993 & 1994

G: Doc Rivers / Derek Harper
G: John Starks
F: Charles Smith
F: Charles Oakley
C: Patrick Ewing