One thing that every true championship contender needs is a glue guy. Someone who is willing to do anything and everything to win basketball games.
Need someone to defend the best player on the opposing team? They’re up for it.
Need someone to grab rebounds, facilitate, or just get the team a defensive stop? These guys are the best to send out there to get that stop.
Here’s my personal list for the top 10 glue guys in the NBA right now.
10. Andre Iguodala
Despite his age, he is still vital for a championship team. For the past 5 years he has been the Warriors best role player. Now on the Heat, he has shown signs of regression, but is still extremely valuable.
9. Matisse Thybulle
What’s not to love about this kid? Drafted 20th by the Celtics, who then traded him to Philly. Now he gets a solid 20 minutes off the bench for the 76ers.
But what is most impressive about him is his ability to come into the league as a 23 year old rookie and not only play good defense, but amazing defense.
Whenever Thybulle and Simmons are on the court at the same time, the defense is incredible.
8. Danny Green
One of the most underrated Lakers signings of the offseason, Danny Green brings virtually everything to the Lakers.
He was a 2nd team all defense just 3 years ago. He is an efficient shooter. And he has a championship pedigree.
Coming off of an incredible championship run with the Raptors one season ago, Danny Green was the most consistent role player on the team. Now he brings a similar energy to the contending Lakers squad.
7. Steven Adams
Aside from the incredible point guard trio of OKC, one of the things that has kept the Thunder afloat has been their defensive anchor and best screen setter in the league, Steven Adams.
He has been as consistent as a 7 foot – 270 pound man can be.
His stats are great but what sets him apart from other centers nowadays is his ability to set solid screens and roll to the basket for an easy 2 points or pass it off to an open man.
6. PJ Tucker
Standing at only 6 foot 5 inches, he has been holding down the “center” spot for Houston. Shooting relatively efficiently (especially for the Rockets standards) he has fit right in with Westbrook and Harden.
Ever since Houston committed to the small ball lineup, Tucker has held it together for the team. Tucker has found his role with ball dominant players with the likes of Russ and Harden by grabbing clutch rebounds and making crucial defensive stops.
5. Ersan Illyasova
Probably the best example of the whole “stats don’t tell the full story” thing, Ersan Illyasova has an impact greater than most expect.
The 6’10” power forward for Milwaukee is one of the best in the league at drawing charges. A perfect compliment to his great defensive IQ is his effective shooting.
4. Draymond Green
One of the most hated players in the NBA, Draymond has been a force on the defensive side of the ball for years. Draymond is one of the players that if you add him to a good team, they become a great team.
The 1x DPOY has had a slight decrease in production, but that is mainly due to the disappointing Warriors season.
Other than his impactful defense, Draymond has been a proven facilitator for Golden State. Oftentimes, Draymond has been the one bringing the ball up the court to initiate the offense.
3. Patrick Beverley
Arguably one of the best at locking up the opposing point guard, Pat Bev is basically the NBA equivalent of your annoying little brother who won’t stop bothering you.
He isn’t afraid of anyone and doesn’t care what people say; he just wants to go out and lock them up. He believes he can stop anyone who he is matched up against and for the most part, he’s right.
2. Kyle Lowry
Just a few months ago, Lowry was the second most important player on the championship Raptors.
Sure he’s the best scorer and passer on this list, but what makes him stand out even more is his basketball IQ. In any situation, Lowry can make the right play. Even in the All-Star game this year, he drew a couple offensive fouls to help Team LeBron leave with the win.
Sure, he won’t put the clamps on people like some of the others on this list, but he is still critical for a great team and Toronto is lucky to have him.
1. Marcus Smart
Being a massive Celtics fan, I watch Marcus Smart a lot.
I’ve seen games where he will shoot terribly from the field but with a minute to go he’ll nail a contested 3 to put the game away. When the game is on the line, you can count on Smart to grab an offensive board or get a needed defensive stop. He has an incredible clutch gene.
This year he has also improved his ability to create shots for others, and some passes have been as flashy as ever.
But what makes Marcus Smart the best glue guy in the NBA is his defense. Marcus Smart is 6 foot 3 but he plays like he is 6’10”.
Earlier in the season he was matched up with Kristaps Porzingis and tons of other bigs. They must have gone off against a 6’3” guard right? Nope. He held Porzingis to 4 points and only 1/11 shooting.
I may have a bit of bias when I say this but in my opinion, Marcus Smart is the best defensive guard in the whole NBA.
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