Top five Defensive Player of the Year candidates for the 2022-23 NBA season

The NBA Defensive Player of the Year race is going to be an interesting one to watch this season.

Milwaukee Bucks in a file photo (Image credits: Twitter)
By Godwin Matthew | Nov 16, 2022 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

The NBA Defensive Player of the Year race for the 2022-23 season is going to be an exciting one to watch. The likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Marcus Smart and OG Anunoby have all proven to be front runners in the race. However, with a lot of basketball still to be played, others could still make their way into the list.

Smart made history by becoming the only guard since Gary Payton to win the NBA’s DPOY awards. He is yet again playing great basketball and has helped the Boston Celtics to an 11-3 record. Meanwhile, Giannis Antetokounmpo is also looking to reclaim the trophy he last won in 2020. The Greek Freak has been efficient on both ends of the floor. Apart from these two players like Bam Adebayo, Mikal Bridges, Herbert Jones and Lu Dort have also emerged as probable to win the DPOY trophy. In this list, we take a look at five names who could probably win the Most Defensive Player of the Year trophy this season.

#5 Herbert Jones

Herbert Jones is entering his sophomore year with the New Orleans Pelicans. He has a defensive rating of 112.5 this season and is going to be a big player for them if they are to make a deep playoff run. Jones is known to be a great perimeter defender and can lock up some of the best offensive players in the league. Although there are some big names that are in the running to win the DPOY trophy, Jones would be a player to watch out for in the race.

#4 Lu Dort

Lu Dort has been regarded by many as one of the best defenders in the NBA. He has often times put clamps on the best offensive players in the game. Luka Doncic recently heaped high praise on Dort when he called him one of the top three defenders in the NBA. He is very much in the running to win the DPOY race as his abilities are known to all.

#3 OG Anunoby

OG Anunoby has had a firing start to the 2022-23 NBA season. He is averaging a career-high of 17.3 PPG while shooting 45.9% from the field. Along with his contributions on the offensive end, Anunoby has also been doing terrific work on the defensive end of the floor. He is leading the league in steals with 2.7 per game and also has 1.0 Blocks per game.

#2 Marcus Smart

Marcus Smart was a key part of the Boston Celtics’ run to the NBA Finals last season. In doing so, he won the DPOY award as he was an anchor in helping the team improve their defense. This season again, Smart is in the race to get to the DPOY award. He has been on fire on the offensive end, but it is the defensive side of the floor where the Celtics need him the most. His grit and determination to attack every loose ball and tenacity are what make him special.

#1 Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo’s impact on the game of basketball is well-documented. He is one of the best two-way players and is once again proving to be the best two-way player in the league. The Greek Freak is leading the MVP race and is also a leading contender in the DPOY race. Giannis is averaging 31.3 PPG, 11 .8 RPG and 5.2 APG. Antetokounmpo won the MVP and DPOY honors in 2020 and he could very well be on his way to achieving the feat again.

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