NBA Award Watch: 2021 Defensive Participant of the 12 months
The 2020-21 NBA season is roughly a 3rd of the best way via as we enter February. At this level within the season, there have been fairly just a few gamers which have made an unlimited affect on the defensive finish of the ground.
Final season, Giannis Antetokounmpo gained the NBA Defensive Participant of the 12 months Award alongside together with his MVP honors. Whereas he definitely might be thought-about to win it for a second-straight season, he’s received loads of competitors. For 4 straight seasons, a ahead or heart has gained the award, and it appears like that pattern will possible proceed.
Whereas we’re solely a 3rd of the best way via the 2020-21 season, we broke down our high 5 Defensive Participant of the 12 months candidates.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks)
1.Three BPG, 1.Three SPG, 106.7 DRTG
Whereas he doesn’t have the identical numbers as among the different gamers that may possible get consideration for this award, Antetokounmpo is probably the most versatile of any and is ready to guard as many positions as anybody else within the NBA. Trying to win in back-to-back seasons, he may have a number of different bigs to show himself in opposition to.
The Bucks haven’t been nearly as good defensively as they’ve in previous seasons, however Antetokounmpo ought to be capable of do one thing about that because the season progresses. If the Bucks find yourself having one of many league’s high defenses, he may have an excellent likelihood to win this award but once more.
Anthony Davis (Los Angeles Lakers)
1.eight BPG, 1.Three SPG, 106.2 DRTG
Davis simply missed the reduce when it got here to successful the 2020 NBA Defensive Participant of the 12 months Award. He completed second when it got here to voting, behind Giannis Antetokounmpo.
This season, issues are completely different, as Davis has led the Lakers to the highest protection in all of basketball. In the event that they proceed to close groups down the best way they’ve with him as their defensive anchor, Davis might as soon as once more be a finalist.
Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers)
1.Three SPG, 1.four BPG, 107.7 DRTG
Embiid just isn’t solely taking part in at an MVP degree on offense but additionally has dominated on protection this season. Amongst a few of his particular person performances so far embrace a recreation with 5 steals, which has helped him attain a career-high in steals per recreation.
His defensive depth has rubbed off on his teammate as effectively. Up to now within the season, the Sixers have been a top-three protection within the NBA.
Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz)
2.7 BPG, 0.four SPG, 102.5 DRTG
Earlier than lacking out on this award final season, Gobert gained the NBA Defensive Participant of the 12 months award in back-to-back seasons.
This season, the Jazz have been proper across the top-five within the NBA defensively with the assistance of Gobert. Along with his peak and size, he’s the most effective rim protectors within the final decade and has helped Utah climb to the very best document within the league.
Myles Turner (Indiana Pacers)
3.5 BPG, 1.1 SPG, 106.7 DRTG
From a pure numbers perspective, Turner has been the very best defender within the league to date this season. He’s averaging profession highs in each steals and blocks.
He’s notched two video games with eight blocks this season, in addition to seven video games with 5 or extra blocked pictures. Turner leads the league in blocks by a large margin, whereas additionally contesting pictures and making it troublesome on offenses everywhere in the court docket.