The NBA has been presenting the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award since the 1982-83 season. Over that time, 10 players have won the award on multiple occasions. Of the top players in the running for the award for the 2021-22 NBA season, each of the top three have won the award at least once in the past.
The current favorite to win the 2022 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors, won the award in 2016-17. The player who is second in the current odds is Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz. Gobert, an NBA player since 2013-14, is one of only two players who have won the award three times. He and Dwight Howard are the three time winners. If Gobert is the top defensive player at the end of this season, he will join Ben Wallace and Dikembe Mutombo as a four-time winner. The player with the third best odds in 2022 is Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, who got the nod in 2019-20.
Before we look at the race to win the 2022 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, check out the odds and picks for the 2022 NBA MVP and the best NBA betting sites.
NBA Defensive Player of the Year Odds
|To Win NBA Defensive POY|
Draymond Green is the big favorite
If the importance of Draymond Green to the fortunes of the Golden State Warriors is not obvious, it could become obvious over the next few weeks. Green, who has already missed five games this month due to a back injury, is going to be out for what looks like at least two more weeks. The Warriors have gone 2-3 with Green out of the line-up.
The NBA league leader in assists per game amongst Forwards / Centers? You guessed it.#DraymondGreen || #NBAAllStar pic.twitter.com/eNKj6AHiqX
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) January 18, 2022
Green is one of the best defensive forwards in the game right now and is counted on to defend the opposing team’s best players. The Warriors will not be able to replace his talents with a backup player. It’s hard to tell if Green’s absence from the club will hurt him or help him when the voting takes place for best defensive player in the NBA in 2022.
Rudy Gobert is in the mix — as always
Rudy Gobert is in his ninth NBA season. During that time, he’s won the NBA’s Best Defensive Player award on three occasions — 2018, 2019 and 2021. With that, it’s no surprise to see the Utah Jazz player once again in the mix for 2022.
Gobert leads the NBA in rebounds (15.2 per game) and is second in blocks (2.3 per game). Gobert is especially effective on defensive rebounds where he leads the league with (11.6 per game). He also leads the NBA in total contested shots with 520.
Rudy Gobert moves into the 𝐓𝐎𝐏 𝟓𝟎 𝐀𝐋𝐋-𝐓𝐈𝐌𝐄 in blocked shots!#UltraMoment | @MichelobUltra pic.twitter.com/e551Y8O8pb
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) December 28, 2021
Gobert recently missed five games for the Jazz. The team went 1-4 during that stretch and gave up an average of 118.6 points. Gobert is invaluable to the Utah club.
Giannis Antetokounmpo hunts for No. 2
Giannis Antetokounmpo is one of the most dominating forces in the NBA on both ends of the court. The Milwaukee Bucks leader is a two-time NBA MVP, the reigning NBA Finals MVP and the winner of the 2020 NBA Defensive Player of the Year. Antetokounmpo is one of three players who have won MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season. The other two players to do so were Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon. There’s a chance Antetokounmpo could accomplish that feat for a second time by the end of the current NBA season.
Quite the resume, @Giannis_An34. #WallpaperWednesday x #NBAAllStar pic.twitter.com/N8pZ2ZOdJu
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) January 19, 2022
Antetokounmpo’s offensive play often overshadows his work on the defensive side of the ball, but without his work on defense, the Bucks would not be the team they are right now.
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