In today’s NBA, you can make your money just by having a certain specialty. You could be a knock-down shooter, a lengthy defender, or even just a great rebounder. The most recent specialty players are getting rewarded for is hustle. We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 players you hate to play against, but definitely want on your team if the chance came up. We start with number 10:
10. Tyler Hansbrough
Hansbrough is one of the most annoying big men in the league because he’s absolutely relentless when opposing players come into the paint or try to steal his rebounds. Hansbrough is just a rebound-and-dunk type player without much offensive upside, but his hustle is unquestionable.
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9. J.J. Barea
J.J. Barea has been a solid backup in the league over the past couple of years. Whether it was as Ricky Rubio’s backup in Minnesota or Jason Kidd and Rajon Rondo’s backup in Dallas, Barea has a knack for scoring and getting to spots that he wants to on the floor. As one of the most aggressive guards, Barea also tends to flop every once in a while to sell a foul call, which angers opponents.
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8. Anderson Varejao
Cleveland’s own Anderwon Varejao is one the best, if not the best, hustle guy in the NBA. He chanses loose rebounds, sets the tough screens, and bangs bodies down low. Unfortunately, this style of play has left is career fairly injury-riddled.
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7. Matt Barnes
Barnes is one player who never backs down, no matter if its J.J. Barea or Andrew Bogut. Barnes was the heart and ferocity of the Clippers for the past couple of seasons, and undoubtedly brings toughness wherever he plays.
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6. Tony Allen
Tony Allen has been the NBA’s best wing defender over the past couple of seasons. He’s shut down the likes of Kobe Bryant and Klay Thompson in the playoffs before, and makes any team he’s on a defensively solid perimeter team.
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5. Matthew Dellavedova
The lesser known name of the bunch is easily Matthew Dellavedova, who made a name for himself in the 2015 postseason thanks to some aggressive play as the starting point guard in Kyrie Irving’s place. More often than not, Delly was an annoying a player to play against thanks to his willingness to dive for loose balls and defend his matchup the best way he knows how.
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4. Patrick Beverley
Patrick Beverly is quite possibly the biggest nuisance as a point guard in the NBA. He plays lock-down defense 100% of the time and even picks players pockets whenever he wants to.
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3. DeMarcus Cousins
Cousins has been tough to coach, but that’s because no coach has ever really given him a chance other than Mike Malone. Cousins is an absolute bull in the painted area, grabbing seemingly every rebound and scoring at will. He makes his defenders look helpless as he really just does what he wants them to. The only way you can really win the matchup against Cousins is by getting him in foul trouble or getting in his head.
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2. Kevin Garnett
‘The Ticket,’ as he’s now known, is the most fiery and intense NBA player to ever play, quite possibly. From the smack talking and getting into your head to the trouble he gives defenses, Kevin Garnett is really one of hte toughest guys to play against. If he’s on your team however, you’ve already gotten into some of your opponents’ heads.
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1. Joakim Noah
Noah is likely the most annoying players ever. He tussles and jostles for position down low and always goes after the loose ball. His tenacity makes it a nightmare for opponents to get anything too easy when he’s defending the area, and he’s one to flop as well in an attempt to sell a foul call.