The NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award is one that doesn’t have a ton of definitive rules around who the winner is. Last season Marcus Smart won the award with what most people would call “extremely moderate” defensive stats. He averaged 1.5 steals, 0.4 blocks, and 3.2 rebounds. It was the first time a guard won the award since Gary Payton did so in 1996 when he led the NBA in steals with 2.9 per game. Boston had the best record in the NBA last season. Is that what determines the award?
This season Brook Lopez is leading the odds right now to win the award with 2.5 blocks, 0.5 steals, and 6.7 rebounds. The Bucks though have the best record in the NBA. It seems that best-overall record has a huge determination on the award winner based on last and this year.
Jaren Jackson Jr. has the second-best odds to win the award but he is averaging 3.1 blocks per game and 0.5 more steals than Lopez. Memphis also has a very good record, but not the best. Currently, they have seven less wins than the Bucks.
If Brook Lopez wins the award with worse defensive stats compared to Jackson Jr. with a slightly better record, then it may be safe to say that team’s record has a huge impact on the award winner.
Photo Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Marcus_Smart_(34481569696).jpg