A Substitute for War

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Posts Tagged ‘NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award

Bogansing the Vote

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Keith Bogans

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ESPN did us the solid of sharing their expert picks, and lo &  behold the  picks by Dr. Jack Ramsey blew some minds. Manu Ginobili for MVP is the kind of off-the-wall pick that someone of Ramsey’s stature  might make people reconsider their opinions on. There’s nothing to be done though when he picks Keith Bogans as Defensive Player of the Year. Suffice to say, that there is no conceivable way that a guy who plays less than 20 MPG should be getting consideration for really any on court accolade. Even 6th Man of the Year is well out of his league, so DPOY is many orders of magnitude out there.

How do we reconcile that with the fact that Ramsey is a Hall of Fame coach who clearly knows the game on a level matched only by a few handfuls of people on this planet?

Well, by recognizing that Ramsey just isn’t putting that much effort into his picks.

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Written by Matt Johnson

April 28, 2011 at 10:32 pm

Howard is the DPOY, but he’s no Garnett

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Kevin Garnett led the league in defensive rebo...

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Dwight Howard just won his 3rd straight Defensive Player of the Year, and I don’t disagree with the choice. In fact, I don’t disagree with any of the three votings that gave Howard the award. However, with Howard becoming the first player to win the award three times in a row comes discussion of how Howard stands compared to the best defenders of other eras, and there is a problem with this: Howard isn’t even the most impactful defender of this era, that would be Kevin Garnett.

Let’s start out by acknowledging that Howard and Garnett don’t play defense the same way. When we think of the great defensive big men, we tend to think of blocked shots. Howard fits that bill significantly more than Garnett. Although lets pause and consider that Howard’s 2.3 BPG this year, is only just ahead of Garnett’s 2.2 BPG peak – and that Howard’s never actually averaged 3 blocks per game in his career. If Howard were putting up these blocking numbers in other eras, we wouldn’t look at him as anything like the shotblocking ideal he often gets talked about today.

Still, thinking about defense in these terms, it’s not at all hard to see why people think Howard’s the superior defender when comparing peak to peak, and especially now as Garnett ages. Add in Howard’s current rebounding edge, and the fact that Orlando always ranks well on defense despite Howard’s supporting cast not having a stellar defensive reputation, and the debate is over before it begins in a lot of people’s minds.

Garnett, Russell & the Horizontal Game  Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Matt Johnson

April 23, 2011 at 12:07 am

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.