Defense wins championships, but it doesn’t always get you noticed by the casual NBA fans. Luckily for the players who bring it on basketball’s least sexy end of the floor, there’s the Defensive Player of the Year award to recognize those who put their team in a better position to win. Whether it’s protecting the rim, rotating within a team defense or just locking down an opponent on the perimeter, these Defensive Player of the Year candidates contribute in ways that don’t always show up on a highlight reel or even on the stat sheet.
So since it’s August and we’ve already looked at the top 10 candidates for the Most Improved Player of the Year and Sixth Man of the Year awards, now it’s time to give defense its day in the sun. Without further ado, here are the top 10 candidates for Defensive Player of the Year in 2014-15.