NBA Awards Watch: Defensive Player of the Year

By Mike Elworth. Follow Mike @MikeElworth24. For site updates follow @walterfootball.

Six weeks into 2016 NBA Season, this is my second NBA Awards Watch. I had an offseason version with LeBron James as the MVP, Steve Kerr as the Coach of the Year, Marcus Smart as the Most Improved Player, Marc Gasol as the Defensive Player of the Year, Jahlil Okafor as the Rookie of the Year and Joakim Noah as the Sixth Man of the Year. Regardless, these are my picks now, enjoy.

  1. Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs
    The Spurs’ defense is incredible, and although Kawhi Leonard gets a lot of credit, no defense can be as excellent as the Spurs’ if there isn’t elite play from at least one big man, which they are getting from Duncan. San Antonio is second in opponent field goal percentage with Duncan protecting the rim, and the club’s points allowed, at 88, a game is ridiculous. This is the best defense the league has seen in years, and Tim Duncan should be the Defensive Player of the Year.

  2. Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors
    The Warriors have arguably the NBA’s second-best defense, and Green is the NBA’s best defender, so he is easily No. 2. The Spurs deserve the winner right now though, and Duncan is having a truly elite season.

  3. Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons
    When somebody is the NBA’s best rebounder by a four-per-game margin, it’s a big deal, as those four rebounds are taking points off the board for opposing teams. Drummond is also close to averaging two-plus blocks and steals a game, which just doesn’t happen, and for a team that is seventh in points.

  4. Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City Thunder
    Ibaka has been one of the best defenders in the league for about five years, and the Thunder have one of the NBA’s best defenses this season. His athleticism and shot-blocking make him one of the most dangerous players to score on in the NBA.

  5. Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz
    Gobert is hurt, but his team is one of the best in the league defensively and his shot-blocking, size and rebounding is one of the biggest reasons why. He has become an elite center in his third season. Being 7 feet, 2 inches tall helps.

Fantasy Football Rankings - May 23

2025 NFL Mock Draft - May 21

NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 22

NFL Picks - Feb. 12