Defense. Wins. Championships. Oh, the old saying. It is true, though. You need a defense to contain the teams in your way in order to get to the Larry O’Brien trophy.
Therefore, having a defensive juggernaut on your team is important. These players are crucial. Sometimes, they score, sometimes, they only focus on defense. Nevertheless, it is a need for every team who aims to get an NBA ring.
Defense is not glamorous, it is necessary. That’s why the NBA puts an individual award on the best defensive player every season.
They deserve their recognition. On this page, we’ll cover those players who are essential on the defensive side of the ball, who can be considered to win DPOY.
A group of 124 sports journalists and broadcasters in the United States and Canada submitted a three-place vote. The first place gets five points, the second gets three points, and the third place is one point.
As with other awards in the NBA, the winner is the one with the most total points. This is regardless of the first-place votes a player gets.
To some, the defense may be a forgotten art. To bettors, it is another opportunity to get some bucks into their bankroll.
So, without further ado, let’s check the favorites and the contenders according to almighty odds.
Rudy Gobert – A three-time DPOY is, of course, a brilliant contender to get the fourth one. And, he plays for a championship contender. It is well known by now that his defensive skills are off the charts.
The best rim protector in the NBA, players are nowhere safe when it comes to finishing on the key against the Jazz. Gobert is coming off his second All-Star appearance, and he averaged 13.5 rebounds a game and a staggering 2.7 blocks a night.
Daring him is a huge mistake because he will stop you.
Ben Simmons – For all the criticisms Simmons gets in the offensive regard, he is an elite defender. Last season was unbelievable how good he could lock down the opposing offense.
By playing at point guard, and being 6’11’’ makes him a mismatch to attack.
Simmons may be an offensive liability, but he makes Philly a team that gives no easy layups. He can single-handedly nullify an offensive force. He offers you 1.6 steals a game, 7.2 rebounds, and holds his opponents down to a 40.9% FG percentage when he defends.
Anthony Davis – AD is one of the best big men in the league, but also one of the best two-way players the NBA has as of right now. The Brow gets highlight after highlight on offense, but his defense is as good.
He averages a career of 2.3 blocks, 1.4 steals, and 10.2 rebounds a game. That is an unreal defensive stat line, and if AD is healthy, you bet he is in the mix to be the best defender in basketball.
He just played 36 games last year, but a full, healthy season is enough to make Anthony Davis remind the world he is a top-tier defensive talent.
Giannis Antetokounmpo – Winner of the 2019 DPOY, and now reigning NBA champion, what Giannis has done in his career is already Hall-Of-Fame worthy. The scary thing is Giannis is just 26 years of age, entering his prime.
Eleven rebounds, 1.2 blocks, and 1.2 steal a game tells us he is a lockdown defender. In 2019, he also was first in defensive win shares with 5.0.
The Greek Freak won’t give you easy layups, nor shots. He will hunt you down, suffocate you, and force you to pass the ball or take a contested shot.
Joel Embiid – Two players from the City of Brotherly Love come as favorites. That’s because they are two monsters on defense. Embiid is such a unit man. Seven feet tall, 280 pounds, he is a big boy.
He averages 1.4 blocks, one steal, and 10.6 rebounds a night. He is known as a proven commodity for rim protection. Embiid is a top-tier defender, but his health pushes him away from getting individual accolades.
He hasn’t played a full, healthy season, and he’s been in the league for seven years. Yes, when he plays, he is a difference-maker on both sides of the ball, but he misses way too much time to lay money on him.
Myles Turner – A couple of years ago, the Pacers’ C Myles Turner was a candidate to win DPOY. He ultimately fell short. The once highly-regarded prospect ended up being more of defensive power, rather than an offensive option.
As inconsistent as Turner is offensive-wise, he is coming off a big defensive season. He averaged a league-high 3.4 blocks while getting one steal and 6.5 rebounds a game.
This is the second season Turner has led the NBA in blocks per game. In other words, if he’s under the arc, you better stay out of it. Indiana is a team with a thin roster, who needs Turner to be a wall in order to fight for a playoff berth. He is an interesting bet.
Bam Adebayo – Let’s take a trip down memory lane and go back to the Orlando Bubble. The Heat went to the NBA Finals. One of their most memorable moments was beating the Celtics.
Especially when SF Jayson Tatum leaped over everyone to dunk and tie the game with only seconds remaining. It was Adebayo’s hand who got in the way with a clutch block and sealed the game.
That’s what Bam is capable of doing. He is not scared to take on anyone. He is a career one block per game player. This is, in part, because attacking the rim when he is on the court is something opposing teams actively try to avoid.
A reliable player on the frontcourt, Adebayo is a key component to Miami.
Matisse Thybulle – Another player from Philly enters the list but also opens what can be defined as the first long-shot bet on the list. The SG has been in the league for two years, and he made clear he is one of the best perimeter defenders out there.
Thybulle averages 1.6 steals per game, as well as 1.1 blocks from the backcourt, which is insane.
Thybulle allowed only 31.2% of three-pointers when he was defending the shooter, and that made the Sixers a lot to handle. Thybulle became crucial when coming off the bench since it provided the team with a lockdown defender in the second unit.
Draymond Green – Draymond has been on a steady decline for a few years now, but mainly on the offensive side. His defense is still a big part of his game. At this payout, Draymond Green is surely a bet to consider.
While PG Steph Curry and SG Klay Thompson are out there lighting up teams, Draymond is out there taking on the best offensive player on the other team.
If Golden State pulls a big season, and Draymond balls on defense, he can be an important name when votes for DPOY are submitted. He averaged 1.7 steals a game while grabbing 6.3 boards. Green can get a new air with Klay back, as his only focus will be playing defense.
Clint Capela – The Hawks’ center is so strong. He dominates on the low post. He led the NBA in rebounds last season, with 14.3. He also had two blocks a night.
Capela was a big addition for Atlanta, and it paid off as they went on to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Having his presence below the rim is crucial for the Hawks, as they know there is a stud guarding any rack attack attempt.
|2020||Rudy Gobert||Utah Jazz||Center|
|2019||Giannis Antetokounmpo||Milwaukee Bucks||Power Forward|
|2018||Rudy Gobert||Utah Jazz||Center|
|2017||Rudy Gobert||Utah Jazz||Center|
|2016||Draymond Green||Golden State Warriors||Power Forward|
|2015||Kawhi Leonard||San Antonio Spurs||Small Forward|
|2014||Kawhi Leonard||San Antonio Spurs||Small Forward|
|2013||Joakim Noah||Chicago Bulls||Center|
|2012||Marc Gasol||Memphis Grizzlies||Center|
|2011||Tyson Chandler||New York Knicks||Center|
To bet on who wins DPOY, follow this step-by-step:
1. Log into your account at the sportsbook of your choosing.
2. Select ‘NBA Odds’ from the menu of sports available.
3. Go to the ‘Player Futures’ submenu.
4. Click on ‘Defensive Player of the Year.’
5. Submit your bet on the bet-slip window that -usually- appears on the right-hand side of the screen.