NBA GMs: Grizzlies defense is really, really good

Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol have become the faces of the Grizzlies.
Nelson Chenault/Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

The annual NBA GMs survey hitting the internet means there is going to be lots of praise of the Grizzlies defense on the web today. It seems like a yearly tradition with the poll. No matter what, the Grizzlies always get their praise on the defensive end—and rightfully so.

It all starts with the question, who is the best defensive player in the NBA:

1. Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio — 27.6 percent

2. Anthony Davis, New Orleans — 17.2 percent

3. LeBron James, Cleveland — 13.8 percent

4. Tony Allen, Memphis — 10.3 percent

5t. Draymond Green, Golden State — 6.9 percent

5t. DeAndre Jordan, L.A. Clippers — 6.9 percent

There's a familiar name: Tony Allen, who actually might be better than James at this point in the King's career considering his coasting tendencies on D early in games and throughout the regular season. That isn't the only spot where Allen's or a Grizzlies' name pops up, though.

There's best perimeter defender:

1. Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio — 44.8 percent

2. Tony Allen, Memphis — 17.2 percent

3t. Jimmy Butler, Chicago — 10.3 percent

3t. LeBron James, Cleveland — 10.3 percent

Also, best interior defender brings out a name all Grizzlies fans boast:

1. Marc Gasol, Memphis — 27.6 percent

2t. Anthony Davis, New Orleans — 17.2 percent

2t. DeAndre Jordan, L.A. Clippers — 17.2 percent

4. Rudy Gobert, Utah — 17.2 percent

5t. Dwight Howard, Houston — 6.9 percent

5t. Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City — 6.9 percent

Gasol is a former Defensive Player of the Year coming off the best season of his life. It's no surprise he tops the list of best interior defenders. Actually, the only surprise here is that he's merely under the category of “Also receiving votes” under the “Who is the best defensive player in the NBA?” category.

Coach Dave Joerger got some love, too, when the GMs were asked which coach had the best defensive schemes:

1. Gregg Popovich, San Antonio — 31 percent

2. Dave Joerger, Memphis — 27.6 percent

3. Steve Kerr, Golden State — 13.8 percent

4t. Steve Clifford, Charlotte — 6.9 percent

4t. Jason Kidd, Milwaukee — 6.9 percent

Because of all that, the GMs named Memphis the second-best defensive team in the NBA, behind the Warriors. They also picked Memphis to finish sixth in the West.

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