The NBA award races are starting to heat up and the defensive player of the year award is going to be competitive. Star centers such as Rudy Gobert and Myles Turner lead the way, but Ben Simmons is close. Let’s take a look at the cases for each player to win the award.
1. Rudy Gobert (Center) Utah Jazz
Gobert has been a dominant force in the paint for the Utah Jazz all season. He is averaging 2.8 blocks per game and is leading the NBA in defensive rating this season with a defensive rating of 101.2. Gobert’s defense has been very impactful as the Jazz are +9.4 while he is on the floor per game. Since the Jazz is over-performing this season greatly due to Gobert’s defense, he takes the number one spot on this list.
rudy does it all pic.twitter.com/ZeACEvzNKC
— utahjazz (@utahjazz) March 2, 2021
2. Myles Turner (Center) Indiana Pacers
Turner started the season off the season on fire on the defensive end of the floor and has kept up the great pace despite the Indiana Pacers recent struggles. He is averaging 3.4 blocks and 1.1 steals per game. Turner has a defensive rating of 105.5 which is fourth in the NBA and the Pacers have a team defensive rating of 111.1 meaning that when Turner is on the floor, the Pacers are significantly better on defense. Turner’s defensive stats are better than Gobert’s, but Gobert’s impact on his team is far greater, leaving Myles Turner second on the list.
the denial by @Original_Turner ????
— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) February 28, 2021
3. Ben Simmons (Guard) Philadelphia 76ers
This year, Simmons has been able to get it done on both ends of the floor as usual. He is averaging 1.6 steals and 0.7 blocks per game. Almost every assignment Simmons has been given on the defensive end, he has been able to neutralize. Simmons has been great on the defensive end, but not nearly as dominant as the other two players mentioned on the list putting Simmons at the third and final spot of the ladder.
He’ll take care of it on both ends.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) March 2, 2021