NBA / Sep 16, 2009 / 1:57 pm

Top 5 Contenders For Defensive Player Of The Year

Kobe Bryant (photo. Chris Sembrot)

Kobe Bryant (photo. Chris Sembrot)

Winning Defensive Player of the Year isn’t as sexy as winning the MVP or the Rookie of the Year. Most basketball fans can’t even name who won it last year and Madison Avenue isn’t exactly waiting to snag up the league’s most dominant defender to a lucrative endorsement deal based on the award itself. But to players it matters. Especially when you are talking about extremely competitive guys like Kobe and LeBron, this award means even more bragging rights.

The candidates are basically the usual suspects. There are rarely any real surprises when it comes to this award. Still, we look at five guys who could have the best “D” in ’10.

1. Dwight Howard: Superman won the award last year and could very well repeat again this year. At 7-feet and blessed with ridiculous athleticism, Howard can clean the glass and beat up shots basically on cue. He averaged 13.8 rpg, 2.9 bpg and even a steal in ’08-09. If the Magic win the East in the regular season, this award stays in Orlando.

2. Kobe Bryant: Kobe has been on the All-Defensive first team seven times. You know Kobe would love to win this award especially since MJ has one. Kobe is so competitive he wants to be the most complete player on both ends of the court. With the Lakers on a mission to repeat, I can see Bryant turning up the intensity on D. He is a great on-the-ball defender, can read passing lanes and is a great leader on the defensive end by communicating with his teammates and getting them in the right spots.

3. Chris Paul: Last year, CP3 was hands down the best point guard defender. His 2.77 picks a game was best in the league. His ability to carry the Hornets on both ends of the court makes him not only a strong candidate for Defensive Player of the Year but also for MVP as well. The fact that he also grabs nearly five defensive rebounds a game speaks volumes.

4. LeBron James: Like Howard, LeBron is a physical freak. At 6-8 and 270, he is built like a power forward but has more grace and athleticism than almost any guard in the league. He can lock up four different positions. Last year, he averaged 7.6 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.1 blocks per game. Not many defenders in this league have that kind of versatility where they can guard someone on the perimeter, in the post and be a great help-side defender.

5. Ron Artest: The Lakers’ newest acquisition is the dark horse to take this award. Between him, Pau, Kobe and Bynum – they are going to be a defensive nightmare for opposing teams. If he accepts his role and focuses, he can maybe even outshine Kobe on the defensive end. Artest won this award in 2003-’04 when he was a Pacer. This could be the year he reclaims his title.

Who do you think will win it? Any other players in consideration?

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  • Michael

    what about Shane Battier? he is top5 perimeter defender and he does a great job on Kobe, Lebron,…

  • therealest

    cp3 has the steals, but he is not a good on ball defender…no way he even deserves mention for the DPOY…dwight gon take this again

    kobe can take it if he wants tho…

  • http://www.lifeofagiant.com Big Aaron

    Dwight to average 15 rebounds and 3.5+ blocks this year.

  • flavur


  • Kobeef

    Dwight falls a few notches down this list because of his lack of offense on the other side of the ball. He may stop a lot of scoring but he hurts his own team with his offensive ineptitude.

  • flavur


    Read this and you will be convinced that Dwyane Wade should be on this list

  • George W Kush Sr

    Depending on injury, KG.
    Always liked Artest.
    I think Kobe is going for a MVP season, so I think Lebron or Dwight might get it by default again.

  • @

    … go back and read the article one more time kobeef…….

  • Wake


    I don’t think you should factor in what a player does in offense. If that was the case then Big Ben shouldn’t have won any Defensive Player of the Year awards. The focus should stay on defense and defense alone.

  • Diego

    Yeah, right, LeBron–sure did a nice job on Skip in the Orlando playoff series. (Sarcasm.)

  • tl

    kobe did not deserve to be on the first team last year. wade got robbed. he was the only player in the league to have 100+ blocks and 100+ steals. he was in the top 20 in blocks and he was the only guard on that list.

  • Heckler…formerly ‘Yallallreadyknow’

    shane battier is the leading favorite coming into the season.

    chris andersen will get some votes.
    kevin garnett MIGHT get a vote

    at some point in their careers, both kobe bryant and tim duncan will eventually win this award. if the spurs have another solid season, i think tim duncan will get it over shane battier

    and kobe may not even be the best defender on hit own team


    Luke Ridnour gonna win it. I think he gets like 500K in incentives.

  • Sanssasin

    y’all forget

    d wade

    and cp3 is not the best pg defender hands down. i would take j kidd, harris, hinrich and rondo any day over cp3. don’t get caught up in the cp3 hype. dude is good but come on!

  • Sanssasin


    i meant that i would take j kidd, harris, hinrich and rondo’s defense anytime over cp3’s defense any day.

  • That’s whats up

    I agree with post 2

    CP3 just gambles a lot for those steals – he’s not that good of a defender

    …and he pushes off, EVERY play – fck’n cheater

  • SayItAintSo

    When will people realize that while blocks and steals are defensive stats, they are simply the tip of the ice-berg when it comes to being a good defesnive player.

    In MOST cases, steals are gamble and while you may average 2.77 steals that means you also average a lot of gambles that you lost. The same thing goes for blocks. A lost gamble (steal or block) is a blown assignment. A blown assignment is bad team defense. A good team defender is FAR more valuable than 100 blocks in a season.

  • Ashlov

    Wade should have been on this list, period.

  • Scott

    @ Sanssasin … J Kidd? Did you watch any of his games last year? Shaq may even be able to take his slow ass off the dribble in 09/10

  • money

    just to build on sayitaintso, i also think that stats are overrated. i think dwight was a great shot blocker and rebounder, but his one-on-one defense isn’t that great and his positioning could really improve. On-ball defense is really underrated in this league

  • Jake

    To be honest I dont see any reason why Dwight cant repeat. The dude is an absolute beast. He definately is still #1 on my list. Honestly I dont know who else to include. Dwight seems like the obvious choice. Its funny to me that there is only one center and 4 wingmen on this list lol.

  • The REAL Tyrone

    Ain’t no doubt ya’ll D-Ho be winnin’ them DPOY y’all. Cat’s mad quick and be a glass eater yo. Cat’s got them ability to be dishin dope dimes y’all. Ain’t nobody better than DHO.

    True thugs NEVER lie.
    The Real Tyrone

  • yoda

    kobe could win it this year, especially if he doesn’t have to burn him self on offense as much as he had to previous years. if pau, andrew, l.o. and ron ron take some scoring burden from him, if they can keep him fresh, he could be more agressive on D

  • NL

    Timmy Duncan

  • LakeShow84

    Chris Paul CANT be mentioned just on note of what Billups did to him in the playoffs..

    Once again steals should really count seeing AI gets his steals and we all know he dont stop SHIT..


    @ Tyrone – i find all of your posts annoying somehow..

  • Oscarisalakerfan

    Really Gerald…CP3

  • sh!tfaced

    Shane Battier! And don’t count out KG just yet…

  • http://nbaroundtable.wordpress.com/ Dave

    (1) Dwight
    (2) KG
    (3) Battier

    Outside shot — Andrew Bynum — I think there’s a fair chance that Ron Artest’s addition will bring the best out of Bynum defensively. Drew might be ready to make the leap into All-Defensive territory. Well, maybe …

  • cb4

    what about KG, tim duncan and battier, all players that take pride in their defense. If you want to look at stats to justify this list, how come not gerald wallace, josh smith, marion, or kirilenko. All players who have the numbers that make them look like great defenders.

    This article just adds to the long list of undeserved credit that superstar players are getting. Lebron is NOT the great defender he was built up to be last year, Kobe is far better than lebron, but there is no way he should ever win a DPOY award, CP3’s steals come from gambles, and aren’t reflective of his actual defensive skill.

    Are you guys working for the nba? You really need to stop building undeserved hype. True NBA fans know whats what.

  • Bigdoggchad

    D-wade is a good defender not great he gambles too much. Watch a heat game and see how many times he misses a steal and leaves his team playing 4 on 5.

  • Sanssasin


    yeah i watched j kidd. i would still take him over cp3 to stop somebody.

  • Sanssasin
  • dude

    take out lebron and put rajon rondo on the list. dude is a beast on d

  • Rockets

    I can’t believe D Wade didn’t make this list. I never liked Ron Ron on the Rockets either and I’m sad to see that he’s now with my 2nd favorite team.

  • D-NICE

    very disappointed that D WADE IS NOT ON THE LIST!

  • A-Lid

    @ 20

    I also agree stats on the defensive end are horribly overrated. A couple of blocks and rebounds shouldn’t make anyone the best defensive player in the league.

    Favourites for the 09/10 D trophy
    1. Dwayne Wade
    2. Kobe Bryant
    3. Dwight Howard
    4. Deron Williams
    5. Mario Chalmers

    I put D-Will and Chalmers on the list. I watched them both live, and they glue to there check, and play hard D all game long

    And FUCK NO there is no way LeHYPE james is one of the best defensive players in the league, NO FUCKING WAY.

  • Ian

    wtf is paul doing on the list? kobe well he didnt deserve the first team last season since ariza always played the best perimeter player on the other team same will happen with artest. lebron shouldnt be on the list also.

  • IP

    It’s gotta be Dwigh Howard again. What are his chances of bumping up his rebs and blocks numbers again?

  • jheck

    where’s dwade??? flavur is right…he is not an ordinary defender…i think he should win the award last year more than anyone

  • scotsman

    @12 with the amount of points that will be dropped on the rockets this year i dont see shane battier being in the running

    @ pretty much everyone else….DWAYNE WADE! deserves it more than any other player in the league

  • scotsman

    @ Gerald Narciso

    are you basing these picks on who might actually win it? Or who will probably deserve to win it?

    Paul, James and Artest should not be on that top 5 at all, im sorry.

  • dapro

    The four guys in no way shape or form should win DPOY

    It not big on numbers when it comes to DPOY, rebounds, blocks, and steals don’t mean your altering the course of the game on the defensive end

    These names were mention earlier but-
    Battier deserves some shine
    KG when/if healthy is solid as they come from the 4 spot
    Chalmers and Rondo also deserve some love

  • http://www.kingsfans.com Willis

    probably won’t happen, but Gerald Wallace has an outside chance. Crash is a beast on D.

  • KingOfTheRinGZ

    “and kobe may not even be the best defender on his own team”

    now thats scary…

  • nobs6669

    howard leads the block and rebound but if you watch him. he have a difficult time defending post player 1 on 1. check stats of the best post player against dwight and you would see they always have a great game against him.

    this season if only artest would focus on basketball other than anything else. is the first time artest would focus primarily on defense. and that would be a very big problem with opposing wing player. and a defensive player of the year award for sure no matter what happen with the lakers

  • d1n

    ariza, dahntay, bird?

  • snyde

    lebron is the most overrated defender in the league. a few “run-down” blocks, although spectacular looking, do not make the guy a great defender. dude gets waaaaaay too much credit for his defense based off a few highlights.

  • snyde

    and you people saying bynum…wow. that is the biggest crock of crap i’ve ever read. that guy sucks. gasol rules, bynum blows.

    and no question wade should be on this list. possibly 2nd overall. that guy is amazing.

  • skywarp

    yea right bynum and pau is going to be a defensive nightmare…

  • doc

    This award will be renamed the Dwight Howard award until he dosent feel like winning it no more.

  • nobs6669

    are you really seroius about it. howard got DOP coz of stats alone. he coudn’t even stop a very soft pau gasol

  • nobs6669

    @gerald narciso

    hey cool knowing someone from the Philippines is part of the dime family. keep it up and good luck hope one day i could be part of it

  • http://Darvin.gov Darvin

    Is this for real? Lol.

    Kobe stopped guarding the opposition’s best player like 2 years ago, do you think he really has a chance at DPOY now, with Artest on his team?

    Why would Lebron go from almost taking it last year, to number 4 this year?

  • joesmoove

    give me a break…DWade is the best player on both sides of the ball PEROID…he proved it last season and will continue to prove that he is purely the best…best handle…best playmaker…best attacker…best defender for his size….he blocks dunks….realize…..he is the tru king….and let’s not even go to the videotape….the mavericks are still rebounding after what he did to them in the finals….the best finals per in nba finals history…..

    lebron who?……learn the truth….this kid is the best in the world!

  • Glinda Reed

    Lebron guarded at one time every position on the floor last year. He guard the point in Indiana. When O’Neal was in Toronto, James guarded in him late in the game and came off like a center and met Bosh at the top of his jump for a block. Because of the size in cleveland, he had no choice but to guard teams top g/f, Pierce, Bryant.
    Everyone rave about howard, take him out of the paint and who can he guard.

  • nobs6669

    d-wade was robbed for the defensive player of the year in 09. but for this season i couldn’t see him duplicate his defensive game

  • nutz

    you guys are F’N stupid. Lebron is the only player that guards the best offensive player on the court EVERY night. Howard guards no one, Kobe gives up 30 a game, Artest is over the hill and is a step to slow to do what he used to, and paul can’t guard anyone but p.g’s. & Wade.. he’s a good player and defender but only a fool would say he’s a DOY candidate.

  • T.O momo


    Just wanted to throw his name in the mix, seeing as it may very well be the only time his name is ever mentioned while speaking defence. Well….at leat hes got….um…..wait a minute….remind me why the hell this guys in the league again???

  • manny

    diego you are a moron…lebron is gonna take it next year watch him keep an eay out for wade too

  • JoV

    sabi ko na nga ba pinoy ka! LoL

  • KT

    Between him, Pau, Kobe and Bynum – they are going to be a defensive nightmare for opposing teams.

    Umm…Let’s retract any statement about Pau, defense, or toughness. I reference the 2008 finals and end my argument. Kobe, Bynum, and Ron-Ron can go hard, but we all know on the inside Pau is made of pillows.

  • http://dimemag.com IVO

    You forgot D-Wade the man have a great phisique and better statistics in steals, blocks and rebounds…

  • http://dimemag.com IVO

    Than Lebron and Kobe