They say defense is the best offense and that defense wins championships. The latter is evident by the ramping up of defense in the playoffs after a long 82-game season. It’s one of the reasons why defensive badges are what you need to boost your NBA 2K23 gameplay experience in MyCareer.
Even the worst defenders in the league can create stops just by being in front of your player. Equipping the necessary badges for your player makes sure you do better than a cheap steal on a bull-rushing player.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a guard or a big. These defensive badges are made to make you the best 2K player possible.
What are the best defense & rebounding badges in NBA 2K23?
Below, you will find the best defense & rebounding badges for your MyCareer player, regardless of position. If you want to shut down your opposition, then equipping these badges will help immensely.
Badge Requirement(s): Perimeter Defense – 55 (Bronze), 68 (Silver), 77 (Gold), 87 (Hall of Fame)
The Menace badge still makes this list of being the top defensive badge in NBA 2K23. Since it’s easy for a player with no defense to steal from a sprinting Chris Paul, this badge makes sure all attributes drop. Specifically, Menace drops the attributes of the opposing player if you stay in front of them playing good defense.
Being in front of an offensive player while having this badge equipped will assure your opponent of at least a 25% drop in performance. Upgrade Menace to higher badge levels for even more success. This badge is probably best for perimeter players, but can also be good for bigs if the defensive scheme relies on lots of switching.
Badge Requirement(s): Perimeter Defense – 70 (Bronze), 86 (Silver), 92 (Gold), 97 (Hall of Fame)
Clamps is the perfect combo to the Menace badge. Clamps gives you quicker cut off moves. It also makes you more successful when hip riding or bumping your opponent. This means that Clamps is almost mandatory if you have Menace as one helps keep the ball handler in front of you while the other benefits when they’re in front of you.
This badge also works for big men as it allows better recovery on bumps and hip riding as the offensive player has the ball in the paint. Again, if the defensive scheme of your chosen team relies on switching a lot, then this is also a good idea for your big.
3. Pick Dodger
Badge Requirement(s): Perimeter Defense – 64 (Bronze), 76 (Silver), 85 (Gold), 94 (Hall of Fame)
The Pick Dodger badge is a very important defensive badge to equip, especially if you are a perimeter defender. It can be frustrating for some whenever they are doing good on defense only to be countered by a screen. Pick Dodger improves your ability to navigate screens. At the Hall of Fame level (pictured), you have the potential to completely blow up screens in the park or blacktop. If you play online a lot, then this is a must.
Don’t let the offensive player’s ability to get past you become your frustration. Equip this badge and make sure you are still in front of your man no matter how many screens are given. Upping your Strength attribute will also help in navigating picks, especially from larger opponents.
Badge Requirement(s): Steal – 64 (Bronze), 85 (Silver), 95 (Gold), 99 (Hall of Fame)
Steals are the easiest thing to do in 2K23. Even the best ballhandlers lose the ball if they sprint right in front of a guy with no defense. It’s aptly named after former Seattle legend and Hall of Famer “The Glove” Gary Payton. His son, Gary Payton II, has established himself with Golden State in a similar mold to his father.
As for your player, having the Glove badge enhances the success rate of your steals. While a defensive player being prone to reach-in fouls is still a narrative in the current 2K gen, at least this badge eases things a bit. Just be judicious and don’t attempt a steal if the defender is turned away even in the slightest.
The best way to use this badge is simply to time it on a sprinting opponent or if a lazy opponent has left their dribble unguarded.
5. Work Horse
Badge Requirement(s): Interior Defense – 47 (Bronze), 55 (Silver), 68 (Gold), 82 (Hall of Fame) OR
Perimeter Defense – 47 (Bronze), 56 (Silver), 76 (Gold), 86 (Hall of Fame)
The Work Horse badge is necessary because some steal attempts tend to be an unsuccessful one or end with a loose ball. Some ball pokes lead to an easy recovery by an unsuspecting teammate who didn’t even have any business being on that part of the court. Other times, the ball will veer toward the baseline or sideline.
That said, the Work Horse badge is what you need to be able to get those loose balls over your opponent. The extra hustle this badge gives should pay off. It increases your speed and ability to retrieve loose balls over an opponent. Diving for loos balls is also an easy way to slightly improve your teammate grade, so any defender will be better off with this badge.
6. Chase Down Artist
Badge Requirement(s): Block – 47 (Bronze), 59 (Silver), 79 (Gold), 88 (Hall of Fame)
The Chase Down Artist badge helps for a quicker recovery on defense, particularly on the fast break. It helps anticipate a layup or dunk attempt better. Specifically, Chase Down Artist boosts the speed and leaping ability of your player when chasing down a player for a block. This badge was basically created because of the amount of chase down blocks LeBron James had throughout the years, particularly his days in Miami and of course, his iconic block on Andre Iguodala that basically sealed the 2016 championship for Cleveland.
The additional speed boost and vertical leap attributes this badge provides is enough to block nearly any shot with perfect timing. The taller and lankier the player, the more success this badge gives. Just remember that you have to actually make it to the ball handler.
Badge Requirement(s): Block – 70 (Bronze), 87 (Silver), 93 (Gold), 99 (Hall of Fame)
In previous versions, the Anchor badge, or Defensive Anchor as it was formerly known, is like the defensive version of the Floor General badge. Nowadays it’s different.
The Anchor badge increases your success rate when it comes to rim protection. Since the current meta allows even a standing opponent to successfully defend, this badge assures you of at least a better defensive stop. Think Rudy Gobert; your player could become a defensive anchor like him with this badge.
Note that Anchor is a Tier 3 badge. This means that you must equip ten badge points between Tiers 1 and 2 in defense & rebounding to unlock Tier 3 badges.
8. Pogo Stick
Badge Requirement(s): Block – 67 (Bronze), 83 (Silver), 92 (Gold), 98 (Hall of Fame) OR
Offensive Rebound – 69 (Bronze), 84 (Silver), 92 (Gold), 99 (Hall of Fame) OR
Defensive Rebound – 69 (Bronze), 84 (Silver), 92 (Gold), 99 (Hall of Fame)
While the Anchor badge helps with blocks, the Pogo Stick badge helps with deceptive opponents. It allows for better recovery for a second block attempt if an opponent fakes you to a first jump, but also on rebounds and your own jump shots.
Two good example of human Pogo Sticks are Rudy Gobert and JaVale McGee, who seemingly are able to immediately jump again after an opponent fakes them. Particularly if your player is a big and you love blocking shots, Pogo Stick is a must.
Pogo Stick is another Tier 3 badge.
What to expect when using defensive & rebounding badges in NBA 2K23
It’s easier to play defense in NBA 2K23 than some game in the series. Simply stand in front of your opponent in the post or make a block attempt on a perimeter shot and they’re likely going to miss. At worst, a shot contest will likely be enough to alter the shot into a miss.
The purpose of these top defensive badges in 2K23 is to counter those offensive players with abilities enhanced with shooting, finishing, and playmaking badges.
Once you equip these badges, it will be a very easy night for you and your team while playing MyCareer in NBA 2K23.
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