Earlier today, news broke that J.R. Smith would be named the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year. Now, reports are indicating that Marc Gasol, the center of one of the league’s best defenses, will be named the Defensive Player of the Year.
Gasol has been considered one of the league’s most underrated defensive players for the past few years. This season the Grizzlies finished second in defensive efficiency at 97.4, trailing only Indiana and their own candidate for the DPOY, Roy Hibbert. But Gasol, after averaging 1.7 blocks and 1.0 steals per game, was more essential to his team’s defensive gameplanning. Without the Spaniard on the court, the Grizzlies allowed 6.5 more points per 100 possessions. In the same scenario, Hibbert’s impact was noticeably weaker (2.9 points per 100 possessions, per 82games.com). And while Larry Sanders and Serge Ibaka get credit for being the best shotblockers in the NBA, the younger Gasol is one of the best at the less glamorous things: positioning, help defense and understanding angles.
The only way the day gets any better for Gasol is if he spearheads a stellar defensive outing tonight in L.A. and Memphis ties up their series with the high-flying Clippers at one game.
I was just told that Marc Gasol will be named NBA Defensive Player of Year
— Chris Vernon (@ChrisVernonShow) April 22, 2013
Is Gasol deserving of this award?
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