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Defensive Rating, along with offensive rating, is a player evaluation metric invented by Dean Oliver. Defensive Rating and offensive rating can be calculated by using box score data.
The premise of individual defense is that players force defensive stops, preventing the other team from scoring.
An individual can do that by forcing a missed shot that then gets rebounded by his team, by getting a defensive rebound, by forcing a turnover, or by fouling a player who misses both foul shots, the second of which is then rebounded by the defense.