Game 6 is tied. Washington has the ball with 17 seconds left. Who do you want guarding John Wall: Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley, or Jaylen Brown?
Keith Smith: Avery Bradley. Brown isn't quite ready for that moment. Smart doesn't have the respect of the officials, so Wall could bait them into making a call. Bradley offers the best of all worlds. He can play Wall straight up without help and he won't be suckered into committing a bad foul.
Alex Kungu: As much as I love Smart as a defender, I think Avery Bradley is perfectly built for a situation like that. Bradley is one of the few defenders who is actually able to keep up with Wall for the most part and he’s picked his pocket numerous times throughout this series when he tried to dance with the ball in front of him. With 17 seconds left, and Wall is looking to score, you’re banking on Bradley to get over the screen and force Wall into a tough midrange shot. He’s the only guy I would trust in that situation not to foul.
Bill Sy: Marcus Smart. I love AB, but I think Marcus has cracked the code on Wall. His foot speed and more so his size is giving Wall problems. In Game 5, he found the perfect balance of riding Wall’s hips into help and bodying him up if he could get in front of his shoulders.
Sean Penney: Bradley. As great as Smart can be on defense, he's not the all-defensive team candidate that AB is. Smart is also more prone to mistakes.
Jared Weiss: The fact that Jaylen Brown is listed in this question is both absurd and beautiful. Kudos to him for sticking through the tough times to earn his current role. But on a clear-out, nobody is better than Avery Bradley. Smart is built ideally for guarding John Wall, but nobody is better at walling off drives without fouling than Bradley. Marcus does a good job of handling pick-and-rolls against Wall and tracking in transition -- despite the incredible fast breaks we’ve seen from Wall – but he isn’t as ideal in iso as Bradley. Smart is unmatched at disrupting the ballhandler, but Wall is too good to take that risk against. More importantly, Wall will almost always go to a crossover step back from 17 feet in this scenario and Bradley is the best in the league at contesting counter-moves. He contests shots like a mini Al Horford. Godspeed AB.