It’s quite an unusual sight when center or power forward doesn’t end up winning the Defensive Player of the Year award. We saw Kawhi Leonard taking this award home for two consecutive seasons. He deserved both of those awards as he was the difference maker on the defensive side of the ball for a team that had the best defense in the NBA. Is Leonard still the best candidate for this award?
5. AL HORFORD, Boston Celtics – Horford is one if not the best defending big man in the game and Boston is also one of the best defensive teams. Celtics will have a great squad this season that is capable of stopping most attacks, and Horford will be their anchor inside. Avery Bradley is the man on the perimeter, but Horford can easily be in the discussion for the DPOY.
4. DEANDRE JORDAN, Los Angeles Clippers – It seems like DeAndre is always in the conversation for the trophy, but never actually wins it. He will continue to be one of the best shot-blockers, and he will alter a lot of shots during the season. All of this makes him the legitimate DPOY candidate.
3. RUDY GOBERT, Utah Jazz – This is probably the best rim protector in the NBA. His case for the award is strengthened by the fact that he is playing on one of the best defensive squads in the NBA in the past two seasons. Jazz are shutting down a lot of people and Gobert is the biggest reason why.
2. DRAYMOND GREEN, Golden State Warriors – Green maybe should have won it two years ago. He is the leader of this team on the defensive side of the ball and is a true difference maker. Green should have another All-Star-caliber year, and he will lead this team on defense.
1. KAWHI LEONARD, San Antonio Spurs – Kawhi is still the leading candidate to win this award. He is the best defensive player in the NBA. Leonard just shuts down people, and there are rare occasions when other players score a lot of points on his watch. Spurs won’t be as good on defense because Duncan is not there anymore, but Leonard is still the man.