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Nba 2K17: Best Defensive Players In Nba 2K17 Should Be, Best Defensive Players: Nba2K

May 12, 2016; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) brings the ball up the court against Oklahoma City Thunder guard Andre Roberson (21) during the first quarter in game six of the second round of the NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

6th place – Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard will be the best defender in NBA 2K17. It’s harder to stop opponents outside than it is to take control of a big man with length inside to swat away opponents, and there’s no one on the planet with more smothering perimeter defense than “The Claw” that is Leonard.

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With that potential to improve in mind, Davis garnering some more attention as the team’s leader should only help his rating inNBA2K17. That and, obviously, the fact that he’s a special basketball player.

After being shut down in March to undergo surgery on his left knee and a torn labrum in his left shoulder, Davis was held to less than 70 games for the fourth straight time. It likely hurt his standing in 2K17 as he barely scraped the top 10 at 10th, but his two-way ability is exceptional.

Averaging 24.3 points, 10.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.3 steals and two blocks per game, Davis was a force yet again. Not taking a leap to be MVP as many expected aside, he continued to show off his elite rim protection and expand his offensive game.

He eased out beyond the three-point line with 35 makes at a 32.4 percent rate for the season. Limiting those attempts and being selective will be key, but add on his career-high 43.4 percent shot from 16 feet to the arc, and it’s clear Davis’ jumper is increasingly smooth and reliable.

Athleticism, rebounding, rim protection, floor running and shooting all combine to make Davis an easy choice for a top-7 player when translating those attributes into his 2K17 rating.

Rather than Klay Thompson at 7th place, someone who will capitalize from brilliant shooting with variousvirtual ratings a great deal (he’s an underrated defender, too, but still), Davis taking his spot shouldn’t be considered as much of a hot take.

Next: The world's best perimeter defender

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May 12, 2016; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) brings the ball up the court against Oklahoma City Thunder guard Andre Roberson (21) during the first quarter in game six of the second round of the NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

6th place – Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard will be the best defender in NBA 2K17. It’s harder to stop opponents outside than it is to take control of a big man with length inside to swat away opponents, and there’s no one on the planet with more smothering perimeter defense than “The Claw” that is Leonard.

His combination of persistence, speed and length gives opponents hell, resulting in Leonard leading the San Antonio Spurs towards the best defensive rating in the NBA last season while winning his second straight Defensive Player of the Year award.

Meanwhile, he became a deadly catch-and-shoot threat and added more to his offensive arsenal than we could have seen coming.

Making 44.3 percent of his threes with 1.8 makes per game (up from 34.9 percent and one make the previous season), Leonard’s shooting stroke couldn’t have looked much further from the struggles he had early in his career. On top of that, he improved his handle and stroke off the dribble to the point where he could create far more effectively in isolation using pull-ups, drives, or operating fromthe post.

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With his rank in the 84th percentile in isolation plays, 89th as a post-up player, and 95th as a pick-and-roll ball handler, albeit on limited plays (per NBA.com), it’s clear how far Leonard has come as a two-way superstar.

Everything combined resulted in new career-highs for Kawhi of 21.2 points, 2.6 assists and one block per game. Not to mention new highs in PER (26) and true shooting percentage (61.6) as well.

Leonard keeps getting better, andthe 93 rating he received in NBA 2K17 is easily fair.

Next: The NBA's most terrifying athlete

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May 24, 2016; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) reacts in front of Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) during the first quarter in game four of the Western conference finals of the NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

5th place – Russell Westbrook

As a top-five player in the NBA, it goes without saying that Russell Westbrook makes an appearance in the top five for 2K17. Possessing more athleticism than any point guard we’ve seen and arguably more than anyone in the league right now altogether, Westbrook gets a lot of ratings boosts from his physical prowess before even considering the talent.

And then there’s everything thathis physical prowess and furious motor allows him to do on the court. With an astounding league-best 18 triple-doubles last season, resulting in averages of 23.5 points and career-highs of 10.4 assists and 7.8 rebounds per game, Westbrook waseasily worthy of the often overused “beast” descriptor.

As the best rebounding guard in the world, an improved playmaker, terrorizing transition threat and quick trigger pull-up shooter from mid-range, he’s too entertaining to play with in 2K and simply too good in various aspects of the game to not rank ahead of those below him on this list.

Of course, there are weaknesses. Westbrook shot 29.6 percent from three last season, which is far from ideal in today’s NBA and certainly less than ideal for someone who attempted 4.3 per game. His defense and gambles for steals, not to mention theshot selection that frustrates Thunder fans at times, are also issues.

However, for the obvious way he cantake over a game single-handedlywith such explosive authority, there’s no way his overall rating can’t reflect that with a top-five standing in the game.

Though, rating as a 93 overall, exactly the same as his former teammate Kevin Durant, is something I’d question. As this list will indicate.

Next: The Point God

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April 12, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul (3) moves the ball against Memphis Grizzlies guard Jordan Farmar (4) during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

4th place – Chris Paul

This may bother some people, just as it may have for those who read the Sports Illustrated Top 100 for 2016-17 and saw Chris Paul placed at 4th on their list, too. Ahead of Defensive Player of the Year Kawhi Leonard and the triple-double man himself, Russell Westbrook, Paul being this high may surprise some.

But there areseveral reasons why.

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For a start, Paul is easily the superior defender compared to Westbrook. Using his intelligence, knack of breaking up passing lanes, deceptive strength and intensity to make up for not having incredible explosiveness, Paulmade his sixth All-Defensive First Team last season. Meanwhile, Westbrook loses position far more often and gambles for steals and big plays, which doesn’t pay off with the effectiveness or consistency of Paul.

Then there’s the simple matter of running an offense. Paul may not have Westbrook’s gaudy basic per game statistics, but there’s no way to question that Paul is a more reliable option running the point.

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While he may differ from the ability that Westbrook has to dominate a game with such ferocious explosiveness, Paul takes better care of the ball, takes better shots, finds his players open looks when necessary, and runs an offense with moreclinical poise than freneticaggression.

That same offensive prowess, on a level we’veonly seen a handful of times before through NBA history, also places him ahead of Leonard.

Even though players may find it easier to dominate in 2K17 by leaning on Westbrook’s athletic gifts and superior rebounding, Paul is the better two-way player.His rating should reflect that, rather than place him at 91 overall below Russ’ 93 rating.

Next: The best scorer in the NBA

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May 10, 2016; San Antonio, TX, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant (35) reacts after a shot against the San Antonio Spurs in game five of the second round of the NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

3rd place – Kevin Durant

NBA 2K17 probably got the top three fairly accurate in the eyes of most. Despite being one of the best scorers we’ve ever seen, possessing a combination of athleticism, length and shot creation that just shouldn’t happen so effortlessly, Kevin Durant coming in at 3rd makes sense.

Behind the unprecedented shooting ratings of Stephen Curry and the undisputed all-around greatness of now three-time champion LeBron James is the right spot for Durant.

It just seems hard to place him further ahead in 2K17 when the game will be looking at the momentum of player’s individual seasons and how the playoffs panned out. Even though it was the Warriors who blew a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals (sorry to mention that for the billionth time), it was Durant’s Thunder who lost a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference Finals.

His incredible play in that series is almost overlooked as his 42.3 percent shooting has caused many to forget how much he did in other areas of the game and how brilliant his defense was (the best defense of his career that is). Averaging 1.7 steals and 1.7 blocks per game for the series is a very basic indicator of just how important he was.

However, Curry’s Warriors getting the best of Durant’s Thunder in the playoffs and winning a second straight (unanimous) MVPhas unsurprisingly placed Curry ahead.

Of course, if he isn’t going to be placed in the top two, there’s no question that Durant is still a clear choice ahead of everyone else for 3rd.

Next: The shooter who broke the game

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Jun 2, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) stands in the tunnel before game one of the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

2nd place – Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry is an otherworldly talent because of his shooting, and that should apply to NBA 2K17. Except that it starts to get a little bit difficult to make a fair version of Curry when it comes to producing a video game.

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Not in terms of going overboard and making a virtual player that exceeds Curry in real life, but in terms of making a virtual player that actually does Curry’s real life ability justice.

Shattering his own record with 402 made three-pointers last season, averaging a league-best and career-high 30.1 points while shooting 50.4 percent from three and 45.4 percent from three, Curry displayed a partnershipof quantity, quality and difficulty from range that we’ve never seen before.

So, making Curry in 2K17 do the actual Curry justice, as someone who can hit the absurd shots from 30 feet that he can, comes as a shock. Until this year, making the shots in 2K that Curry does night in and night out has always been basically impossible, with the shot meter never wanting to light up from his genuine comfort zone.

With his scoring ability, tremendous finishing inside (69.6 percent within two feet), playmaking, knack for steals (a league best 2.1 per game last season), and ridiculous shooting prowess, it makes sense that Curry is 2nd in NBA 2K17’s top 10.

Even if you don’t rate him as highly as Kevin Durant, the shooting ratings are just too high for Curry in the virtual world.

Next: The King

Jun 19, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) celebratew with the Larry O

1st – LeBron James

This was obviously going to be the case, unless you’re still digging in desperate denial tofind a reason as to why LeBron James shouldn’t be considered the best player in the NBA.

If averaging 36.3 points, 11.7 rebounds, 9.7 assists, three steals and three blocksto win the last three games of the 2016 Finals wasn’t enough, then there’s nothing lest to say.

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He delivered a miraculous effort throughout the series against all odds, facing the first 73-9 team and the first unanimous MVP while down 3-1, and asserted himself as the clear-cut best player in the world.

LeBron is King.

The same applies to the virtual world of NBA 2K17where LeBron’s talent and unparalleled two-wayimpact should be reflected withthe best overall rating. The 96 region that 2K17 has awarded him seems fair, although it doesn’t really matter too much as long as he tops the list.

With his athletic attributions, remarkable vision and passing ability, rebounding, strength when finishing inside, exceptionally versatile defense and straight forward,all-around ability, LeBron’s ratings should be high inmore facets of the game than anyone.

The only real negative to take away from last season is his sudden drop off in perimeter shooting, finishing the regular season 30.9 percent from threewith only 1.1 makes per game. Then again, he turned that around when it mattered by going 37.1 percent from deep in the Finals.

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Next: The NBA”s 10 best point guards heading into 2016-17

While Curry may be maxing out NBA 2K17’s shooting ratings and the limitations of virtual three-pointshooting, LeBron Jamesshould be firmly at the top of this list.

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