Defense is key in basketball and having players who can stifle the opposition, prevent good looks, and force a bad shot can be just as integral as a ball handling playmaker. The same holds true virtually in NBA 2K23.
With the increase in three-point shooters, perimeter defence is more valuable than ever, but the players on this list are just as capable on the interior; as the saying goes, “Offense wins games defence wins championships.”
Below, the players will be ranked by their Defensive Consistency (DCNST), but their other attributes that make them the best defenders in the game will be explored as well. A table with an expanded list of defenders will be at the bottom of the page.
1. Kawhi Leonard (98 DCNST)
Overall Rating: 94
Position: SF, PF
Team: Los Angeles Clippers
Archetype: 2-Way 3-Level Point Forward
Best Stats: 98 Defensive Consistency, 97 Perimeter Defence, 97 Help Defence IQ
Kawhi Leonard is a formidable player on both ends of the floor, but has an arsenal of defensive stats that would intimidate the best any offense has to offer. After all, “The Klaw” made his mark early in San Antonio because of his defense and has been named to no less than seven All-Defensive Teams and has won Defensive Player of the Year on two occasions.
Leonard has some phenomenal stats with his 97 Perimeter Defence, 79 Interior Defence, and his 85 Steal. Add to that his 11 Defensive badges with Hall of Fame Menace, Gold Clamps, Gold Glove, and Gold Interceptor, the ball will never be safe in passing lanes and offensive players are in for a difficult shift.
2. Giannis Antetokounmpo (95 DCNST)
Overall Rating: 97
Position: PF, C
Team: Milwaukee Bucks
Archetype: 2-Way Slashing Playmaker
Best Stats: 95 Defensive Consistency, 95 Perimeter Defence, 96 Help Defence IQ
“The Greek Freak” Giannis Antetokounmpo is a ridiculously amazing player with ability both offensively and defensively. Antetokounmpo is one of only three players to win both the Most Valuable Player award and the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award in the same year (2020).
The 27-year-old’s defensive attributes are outstanding, such as his 91 Interior Defence, 92 Defensive Rebounding, and 80 Block, making him an absolute beast on the defensive boards while having the ability to swat shots away like flies. He also boasts 16 Defence and Rebounding badges, most notably Gold Clamps, Gold Chase Down Artist, and Gold Anchor.
3. Joel Embiid (95 DCNST)
Overall Rating: 96
Team: Philadelphia 76ers
Archetype: 2-Way 3-Level Scorer
Best Stats: 95 Defensive Consistency, 96 Interior Defence, 96 Help Defence IQ
Joel Embiid is a three-time member of the NBA All-Defensive Team and has also scored his fair share of baskets, averaging 30.6 points during the 2021-2022 season.
The seven-footer poses a challenge for any offensive player to get by and isn’t easily pushed around with his Gold Brick Wall badge. His standout defensive stats are his 96 Interior Defence, 93 Defensive Rebounding, and his 78 Block. Embiid also has six Defence and Rebounding badges with Gold Anchor, Gold Boxout Beast, and Gold Post Lockdown making him a ferocious defender in the paint.
4. Anthony Davis (95 DCNST)
Overall Rating: 90
Position: C, PF
Team: Los Angeles Lakers
Archetype: 2-Way Interior Finisher
Best Stats: 95 Defensive Consistency, 94 Interior Defence, 97 Help Defence IQ
29-year-old Anthony Davis is an eight-time NBA All-Star and has been selected in the All-NBA Defensive Team four times. He is also the first NBA player to win an NCAA title, NBA title, Olympic Gold medal, and FIBA World Cup in his career.
In terms of his defensive skills, he has an 88 Block, 80 Perimeter Defence, and 78 Defensive Rebounding. These make him formidable rebounder while making it a nightmare to get a shot off from deep. To go with those attributes, he has nine Defence and Rebounding badges, highlighted by his Gold Anchor and Gold Post Lockdown badges.
5. Rudy Gobert (95 DCNST)
Overall Rating: 88
Team: Minnesota Timberwolves
Archetype: Defensive Anchor
Best Stats: 95 Defensive Consistency, 97 Interior Defence, 97 Help Defence IQ
Rudy Gobert is a fearsome defender who is an absolute animal on the boards, leading the league during the 2021-2022 season. He is also a three time winner of the NBA Defensive Player of the Year and a six time All NBA Defensive First Team member, embodying his nickname of “Stifle Tower.”
The 30-year-old has some impressive defensive numbers, including 98 Defensive Rebounding, 87 Block, and 64 Perimeter Defence (high for a center). If there are any rebounds to be had, chances are it’s going to wind up in the Frenchman’s hands. He also holds eight defensive badges, the most significant Hall of Fame Anchor, Hall of Fame Post Lockdown, and Gold Boxout Beast.
6. Jrue Holiday (95 DCNST)
Overall Rating: 86
Position: PG, SG
Team: Milwaukee Bucks
Archetype: 2-Way Scoring Machine
Best Stats: 95 Defensive Consistency, 95 Perimeter Defence, 89 Help Defence IQ
32-year-old Jrue Holiday has been selected four-times to the NBA All-Defensive Team. He was also a part of the successful Bucks side that won the NBA Championship in 2021, playing a key role as one of the best perimeter defenders during his time in the NBA.
Holiday has some great defensive stats, which include 80 Block and 73 Steal. He also owns nine Defence and Rebounding badges, the most significant being Gold Ankle Braces and Gold Glove. This means he’s hard to shake off with dribble moves and can whip the ball away from opponents with ease.
7. Draymond Green (95 DCNST)
Overall Rating: 83
Position: PF, C
Team: Golden State Warriors
Archetype: 2-Way Slashing Playmaker
Best Stats: 95 Defensive Consistency, 92 Interior Defence, 93 Help Defence IQ
Draymond Green has won four NBA Championships and was named as a member of the All-NBA Defensive team on seven occasions as well as winning NBA Defensive Player of the Year and leading the league in steals in 2016-2017. The multi-time champion, diminished as he was compared to his peak, proved his worth once again to Golden State as they won another title thanks in part to his leadership and defence.
Green has some impressive defensive attributes with 86 Perimeter Defence, 83 Defensive Rebounding, and 75 Block, making him a pretty solid all-around defender. Along with his decent attributes, he has nine Defence and Rebounding badges with Gold Anchor, Gold Post Lockdown, and Gold Work Horse the most notable..
All the best defenders in NBA 2K23
Here is an extended list of the best defenders in NBA 2K23. Each player listed has a Defensive Consistency rating of at least 90.
|Name||Defensive Consistency Rating||Height||Overall Rating||Position(s)||Team|
|Kawhi Leonard||98||6’7”||94||SF, PF||Los Angeles Clippers|
|Giannis Antetokounmpo||95||6’11”||97||PF, C||Milwaukee Bucks|
|Joel Embiid||95||7’0”||96||C||Philadelphia 76ers|
|Anthony Davis||95||6’10”||90||PF, C||Los Angeles Lakers|
|Rudy Gobert||95||7’1”||88||C||Minnesota Timberwolves|
|Jrue Holiday||95||6’3”||86||PG, SG||Milwaukee Bucks|
|Draymond Green||95||6’6”||83||PF, C||Golden State Warriors|
|Marcus Smart||95||6’3”||82||SG, PG||Boston Celtics|
|Patrick Beverley||95||6’1”||78||PG, SG||Los Angeles Lakers|
|Jimmy Butler||90||6’7”||93||SF, PF||Miami Heat|
|Bam Adebayo||90||6’9”||87||C||Miami Heat|
|Ben Simmons||90||6’11”||83||PG, PF||Brooklyn Nets|
|Brook Lopez||90||7’0”||80||C||Milwaukee Bucks|
|Matisse Thybulle||90||6’5”||77||SF, PF||Philadelphia 76ers|
|Alex Caruso||90||6’5”||77||PG, SG||Chicago Bulls|
Whether you’re playing MyTeam or a franchise season, being able to add any of these defenders will do wonders for your team’s success. Which of the top defensive players will you target in NBA 2K23?
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