The San Antonio Spurs are off to a fantastic start to the NBA season and unlike teams of the past during the Gregg Popovich regime, the Spurs are getting it done on the offensive end of the court.
This season the Spurs are averaging 106.4 points per game and allow 96.5 points per game. A far cry from the defensive teams Spurs fans have cheered for in the past. Though in the recent win against the Portland Trail Blazers, the Spurs reminded the NBA they can still get it done on the defensive end when they held the Blazers to 78 points.
With this new focus on offense, let’s remember some of the best defensive players in Spurs history and name the San Antonio Spurs All-Time Defensive Team.
And if defense wins championships, then I’m sure this fantasy defensive team would have racked up NBA titles.
He was the 1992 Defensive Player of the Year, won the NBA rebounding title in 1991, won the blocked shots title in 1992, named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team four times and ranks high in rebounds and blocked-shots for the Spurs.
He was named to the NBA All-Defensive Team 13 times and has been the corner stone of everything the Spurs do defensively. Though his role on the offensive end has diminished this season, he is still the anchor of what the Spurs do defensively.
Granted he may have been an on-the-court and an off-the-court distraction but while he was with the Spurs, Rodman got it done on the defensive end. With the Spurs he won the won his third straight rebounding title averaging 17.3 rebounds per game in 1994. In his final season wit the Spurs, he averaged 16.8 in 1995. He was also named to the NBA All-Defensive Team in both seasons with the Spurs.
Need I say more?
Bowen was an absolute master as the Spurs perimeter defender before he retired from the NBA. While with the Spurs, he was named to the NBA All-Defensive Team eight times and was the NBA Defensive Player of the Year runner-up twice in his career losing out to Ben Wallace. A travesty in my book.
Though some called him a “dirty player” and not well liked among certain players in the NBA, ask Boston Celtics Ray Allen, there was no denying Bowen was an integral cog in the Spurs march to three NBA titles during his time in San Antonio and a feared defender for an opposing team’s best player.
His legal troubles aside, when Robertson wore the Spurs uniform he was best known for his defense.
Robertson won the 1986 NBA Defensive Player of the Year. He led the league in steals in 1986, 1987 and 1991. Robertson still holds the top career steals-per-game average in the NBA, with 2.71 per game. Robertson led the Spurs in steals four of the five seasons he was in San Antonio, three times averaging more than three per game. He ranks second in club history in total steals, with 1,129.
He recorded a steal in a then-record 105 consecutive games. Chris Paul is surpassed Robertson by recording a steal from 2007-2008. He also recorded a quadruple-double with 10 steals. A category no other player who has recorded a quadruple-double has done.
Now try scoring on this defensive team.