Today is a day where you get to gripe about the usual twists of fate and blame the day instead of whichever deity you identify with. It’s also the day that inspired one of the best movie franchises in horror history: Friday the 13th. In honor of Jason Voorhees and his ilk, we thought we’d provide 5 of the scariest defenders in the NBA. It’s Friday the 13th, and that black cat running across the landscape is really just a defender getting ready to swipe the ball.
We could have talked about NBA players who can be legitimately terrifying in certain instances (like going to a strip club with Stephen Jackson), but instead we thought we’d run down the 5 scariest defenders — who are often more paralyzing for opponents than an empty bully. These defenders aren’t mean mugging players as they bring the ball up the court. They play such fighting defense, offensive players are always leery of their presence. While Jason Voorhees terrorized campers, these guys terrorize the NBA’s best offensive players. Watch out.
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Possibly the hardest working defender in the league, Bradley has no qualms running 94 feet right on the hip of whichever point guard is unlucky enough to have drawn the wrath of the 22-year-old out of Texas. Sure, the Celtics don’t scare many teams in the Eastern Conference after the departure of Doc Rivers, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett this offseason, but Bradley is always waiting, ready to pounce when an offensive player loses track of his presence. Once an opposing player has been lulled into a false sense of security with the ball, the 6-2 guard is in their pocket lifting the ball like a world class thief. Pest isn’t the right word for him, he’s more like an ever-present shadow never abating until he’s sucked the life out of your offense. With Rajon Rondo back this upcoming season, Bradley can slide over to off-guard and focus on frustrating opposing ball-handlers until they have choice but to call for that mid-court screen to get some elbow room to run the offense. Before they know it, Bradley will be right back on them, bodying them until they can’t even breath.