Some of the greatest defenders in basketball history have won the NBA DPOY award in the league’s history. The recipients of this honour, regardless of position, have built strong defensive reputations throughout their careers. Although the season is still far from over, one thing is sure: these players will stop at nothing to make it hard for the opposition to score.
This season has seen some great defensive plays from the candidates for Defensive Player of the Year, and they appear to be just getting started. A outstanding defender goes above and beyond to secure defensive rebounds and stops opponents in addition to being laser-focused on blocks and steals.
Here are Sports Betting Dime’s Sascha Paruk’s top five picks for the 2023–24 NBA DPOY title following the Week 12 Power Rankings.
NBA DPOY Power Rankings for Week 12 (2023–24)
5. The Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid
NBA DPOY winner Joel Embiid, the league MVP for 2022–23, is included. The Sixers star is playing wonderfully on both ends of the court once again this season. When it comes to Embiid, shotmaking is already a given, but because of his incredible offensive ability, his excellent rim protection is sometimes overlooked.
Embiid averaged 2.0 blocks and 1.1 steals a game this season in addition to having a 106.7 defensive rating.
4. Miami Heat’s Bam Adebayo
Centre Bam Adebayo of the Miami Heat has made four appearances on the All-Defensive second team. For the big man, who has established a reputation for being able to guard several spots, this season is no different. You need go no farther than Adebayo for defence consistency.
He is averaging 1.0 bpg and 1.0 spg this season with a defensive rating of 109.7.
3. The LA Lakers’ Anthony Davis
Anthony Davis, who is ranked second on the NBA DPOY list, is still among the top two-way players in the league. AD is capable of doing it all: rim protection, perimeter defence, defensive rebounding, and fast closeouts. Even though Davis has had some patchy performances this season, offensive players still find it difficult to overcome him.
The LA Lakers forward is in his 12th season and has a defensive rating of 108.4 while scoring 2.5 points and 1.2 rebounds per game.
2. Chet Holmgren, OKC Thunder
Centre Chet Holmgren of the OKC Thunder has shown promise, particularly when it comes to defence. Holmgren has been an outstanding defender and a major contributor to the Thunder’s success despite his small stature.
Chet Holmgren had a 108.9 defensive rating in his first season while scoring 2.5 points per game and 0.7 steals.
1. Minnesota Timberwolves’ Rudy Gobert
Rudy Gobert of the Minnesota Timberwolves, whose team boasts the best defence in the NBA, is ranked first on the list. This season, the towering big man has not missed a beat and has already earned three NBA DPOY honours. His excellent rim protection is a driving force behind the Timberwolves’ strong perimeter defence.
Gobert, in his 11th season, averages 2.1 points per game and 0.7 spg with a defensive rating of 103.7.
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