Mar 17, 2015; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol (33) attempts to block Detroit Pistons forward Anthony Tolliver (43) during the first quarter at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
NBA Awards: 2015 Defensive Player of The Year:
Last Year’s Winner: Joakim Noah
To win defensive player of the year, you have to be a lingering presence at all times. Almost for the past 20 years, the award has been handed to forwards and centers. The last guard to be deemed as the DPOY was Gary Payton back in 1996. Since then, the frontcourt has lobbied the yearly achievement. This year is not any different. The top candidates all stand 6’7″ or taller. This is not to say that guards can’t win the award but they are slightly at a disadvantage. Nowadays, the guards are too quick to stay in front of by yourself.
The easiest way to score is to get right to the rim and the player who usually protects that area is a forward or center. They’re usually the anchor to the defense not just because of their size, but because what they can see. Due to their positioning, they can see the entire floor in their peripheral vision which allows them to communicate with the team. They call out screens, cutters and anything else a fellow defender may not see. It’s more than just blocks and steals to this category. It’s how you get the rest of your team to buy into the system.
Next: Rockets' Candidate