NBA: Top 10 candidates for 2018-19 Defensive Player of the Year award
The NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award features a clash of old and new basketball ideals. Here are the top 10 candidates for DPOY in 2018-19.
Traditionally a designation for shot-blocking men, the Defensive Player of the Year award has never been more interesting. As the league dives further into the small-ball era, there’s a natural clash between past ideals and modern trends when it comes to evaluating DPOY candidates.
On the one hand, positional versatility with 3-and-D wings is paramount in today’s NBA. On the other hand, the center position is experiencing a Renaissance with elite bigs who are asked to do so much more on both ends of the court than the lumbering seven-footers who simply patrolled the paint and corralled rebounds.
Recent DPOY winners like Kawhi Leonard and Draymond Green have revolutionized the way NBA teams value being able to go small and defend multiple positions, while the reigning award winner, Rudy Gobert, fits the more recognizable mold of rim protector and defensive anchor.
Still, even Gobert isn’t a true representation of the DPOYs of old, since he does so much more for the Utah Jazz’s top-five defense than swat shots. The question is, will wing defense and multi-positional ability win the day in 2018-19, or will another skilled big man take home the award?
There are dozens of worthy candidates in both categories, but it’s worth noting that Defensive Player of the Year typically favors players who post high steal and block averages, anchor one of the league’s best team defenses in a given season and yes, can switch onto multiple positions.
After taking a look at the top candidates for Executive of the Year, Coach of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Most Improved Player, our awards watch continues with the top 10 candidates for the NBA’s 2018-19 Defensive Player of the Year award.
Honorable Mentions: Robert Covington, Jimmy Butler, Josh Richardson, Jrue Holiday, Marcus Smart, Paul George, Kevin Durant, Paul Millsap, Myles Turner, Dejounte Murray, Khris Middleton, Jonathan Isaac, DeAndre Jordan, Mohamed Bamba