A Substitute for War

Basketball philosophy

2010-11 NBA Predictions: DPOY

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The Defensive Player of the Year is the most straight forward of the awards.  Despite the fact that defensive accolades in general tend have rather comical results, the DPOY tends to be pretty reasonable each year.  Dwight Howard has won the last two DPOYs, and there’s really no reason to think he’ll stop winning it any time soon unless he faces a serious injury.  He fits the bill for what everyone is looking for in a defensive player:  A big guy with the athleticism to rebound like a mad man, and the coordination to block a lot of shots.  He’s not perfect, but that just means he’s got room to improve to make his winning of future DPOYs all the more of a given.

I’ll give a shout out to two other guys though:

Andrew Bogut came alive as a defensive threat last year, actually out blocking Howard down the stretch, and helping turn the Bucks into an elite defensive team.  I think we’re all a bit shocked to see him develop this ability 5 years into his NBA career, and we all have doubts about his ability to improve further, but Bogut is definitely a man to watch going into this season.

Rajon Rondo.  I say the name, and I have my doubts that I’ll personally ever see him as DPOY worthy.  First and foremost, defense is a big man’s game, and point guard is the least valuable, and least effective defensive position in the NBA.  Part of that is the specifics of the modern game, with ball handling and passing skills so high, and the referee’s whistle so frequent, it’s becoming impossible to stop a great point guard on offense.  However, it’s been the case ever since the blocked shot came to prominence that nothing else gives offenses nightmares the same way.

My god though, does Rajon makes some spectacular plays.  He was without question the guy you wanted to watch in last year’s playoffs.  If Boston has a fantastic year led by a fantastic defense, and Kevin Garnett doesn’t suck too much of the credit away, Rondo could start getting some serious buzz for this award even if Howard doesn’t fall off.

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