The Bulls' Ben Wallace is the reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year, due to his heavy presence in the middle of the lane. But who are the NBA's top lockdown defenders, the guys who can shut down a high-scoring swingman or create havoc along the perimeter? The 6-7 Artest is certainly as good as they come, using his thick frame, tremendous balance and just enough looniness to keep opponents on edge. He's the only non-center to win Defensive Player of the Year honors (2004) since Gary Payton in '95-'96.
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With his quick feet, long arms, and relentless energy, this 6-7 forward has established himself as one of the game's best one-on-one defenders. He may not be "dirty" -- despite what his critics claim -- but he definitely gets in foe's heads.
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Infamous for his clothesline takedown of Kobe Bryant in last year's playoffs, this 6-5 guard has shown he won't back down to anybody. On a Phoenix team full of scorers, he brings some much-needed defensive feistiness.
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At age 31, this self-proclaimed "Kobe Stopper" might have lost a step from his days with the Sonics and Blazers. But the 6-5 Patterson, now with the Bucks, is still one of the game's most rugged perimeter defenders.
5 of 9AP
A Bull in a china shop, he bangs into opponents and flails his arms -- all while playing fearless defense. In his three seasons, the 6-7 Argentinian has slipped under the skin of numerous stars, including Kobe Bryant, Vince Carter and LeBron James.
6 of 9AP
The Canton (Ohio) Bulldog has long been one of the game's best defensive point guards. Strong, heady and well-schooled in the tricks of the trade, he remains a starter on a contending Cavs team despite having limited offensive skills.
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One of the game's underrated defenders, this 6-6 forward has quick feet and extraordinary leaping ability. A frequent starter for the Clippers over the past three seasons, he usually draws the assignment of the opponent's best scorer.
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Long and lanky, with the quickness to run down foes from behind, the 6-9 Prince is a royal pain for any scorer. His lockdown D on Kobe Bryant in the 2004 Finals was a big reason the Pistons won the championship.
9 of 9Damian Strohmeyer/SI
Though more known for his shot-blocking, this 6-9 Russian pogo stick is also a solid one-on-one defender with pesky long arms and thieving hands. Plus, his hairstyles have been known to unnerve even the steeliest of opposing scorers.
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