While many NBA players would rather put points on the board, some remain committed to the art of defending. Here are the top five defenders in the NBA right now:
1. Dwight Howard
Howard had his share of problems last season, but he's still the best defender in the NBA when he's 100 percent focused on basketball. Howard -- who's still recovering from back surgery -- is expected to miss the first couple of months in the 2012/13 NBA season, but I expect him to put up serious numbers when he eventually suits up for the Los Angeles Lakers.
2. Tyson Chandler
Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry might get the credit for the Dallas Mavericks' 2011 Finals victory against the Miami Heat, but they wouldn't have been able to get past LeBron and company without Chandler. The 2011/12 NBA Defensive Player of the Year's aggressive, high-energy personality rubs off on his teammates, and I was impressed with the way he impacted the New York Knicks last season, instantly turning them into one of the top defensive teams in the NBA.
3. LeBron James
Most people associate LeBron with spectacular dunks and shots, but he's also one of the best defenders in the league right now. He's capable of guarding virtually every position on the court, and he never seems to take a play off.
4. Serge Ibaka
Some NBA fans might be surprised to find Ibaka on my list, but the 23 year-old has already established himself as a force to be reckoned with on the defensive end. He averaged 3.6 blocks per game during the 2011/12 NBA season (league high), and his best days are still ahead of him.
5. Andre Iguodala
There so many players in the NBA deserving of the fifth spot, but I had to give it to Iguodala. He's one of the best perimeter defenders in the league right now, and I'm sure he'll have an instant impact on the Denver Nuggets' defensive mentality.
David is a Miami Heat fan that has followed the team for 16 years. Follow him on twitter @davidkingwriter and check out his blog.
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