Defense is not as underrated as it used to be. Nowadays highlight reels are full of high-flying blocks. Case in point: the first moment of the 2013 Finals that comes to mind is LeBron James’ dunk of Tiago Splitter. Defense is back and appreciated more than it has been in the past decade.
Gone are the days of Seven Seconds Or Less. Teams are learning that championships are won by both scoring and preventing baskets. Even the Golden State Warriors, a notoriously terrible defensive team over the past decade, has taken up a mantra of defensive intensity.
Going into the 2013-14 season, a few teams have had their defense improve dramatically while others were simply up to par. Let’s look at next season’s 10-best defensive teams in the NBA. We’re going to take a look at the defensive stats of 10 teams from the 2012-13 season and predict how they will fare in the following season. Defensive rating is the estimated points allowed per 100 possessions. Pace is the number of possessions each team averaged per 48 minutes.