The NBA first awarded its NBA Defensive Player of the Year award at the end of the 1982-83 season. Since then, 10 players have won the award on multiple occasions. The favorite to win the award for the 2021-22 season is Rudy Gobert. Gobert will join elite company if he claims the award at the end of the 2022 NBA season.
Gobert, who joined the NBA in 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.
Gobert moved ahead of Draymond Green in the recently released odds. Green, who captured the 2017 NBA Defensive Player of the Year award, has slipped in the rankings since he last played in early January. Green is out of action due to a back injury and is not expected to return to the Golden State Warriors lineup until after the 2022 NBA All-Star Break.
NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds
|To Win 2022 NBA Defensive POTY|
|Jaren Jackson Jr||+450||+600||+450||+425|
Gobert could repeat and join the elite of the elite
Rudy Gobert is in his ninth NBA season. 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 move into the top spot with Draymond Green out due to injury.
Gobert leads the NBA in rebounds per game with 15.1. The closest player to him in that stat is Nikola Jokic, who has 13.7 rebounds. After that, two players have over 12. Gobert is second in the NBA in blocks per game at 2.3 (only four players average more than two blocks per game).
Gobert is a well-rounded player for the Jazz, as he is the team’s third highest scorer as well. He averages 16. 0 points per game.
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) January 17, 2022
Gobert recently missed five games for the Jazz. The team went 1-4 during that stretch.
Giannis is in the mix
Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks improved his odds to win his second NBA Defensive Player of the Year award in a big way over the past month. Antetokounmpo is a two-time NBA MVP, reigning NBA Finals MVP. He is also the winner of the 2020 NBA Defensive Player of the Year. Antetokounmpo was +800 to claim the award in January. His odds are now half that at +400.
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.
Near triple-double for Giannis tonight.
18 PTS | 7 REB | 8 AST pic.twitter.com/EpuWg5ZpJ7
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) February 11, 2022
Antetokounmpo ranks seventh in rebounds per game with 11.2 and 12th in blocks with 1.4. Antetokounmpo is also an offensive force. He is second in NBA scoring 29 points per game.
Jackson enters the conversation in a big way
Jaren Jackson Jr., who is in his fourth year in the NBA — and fourth season with the Memphis Grizzlies, was not among the top-10 players being considered for the 2022 NBA Defensive Player of the Year in January. In February, Jackson entered the conversation and he is listed at +450 to claim his first Defensive Player of the Year award.
FLY SWATTER. pic.twitter.com/pz6HSdzVgm
— Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz) February 13, 2022
Jackson is the anchor of the Memphis defense. The team is in third place in the Western Conference and Jackson’s play is a big reason the team has had success. He is tied for third in the NBA in blocks per game at 2.2 and has added six rebounds and one steal per game. Offensively, Jackson is scoring 16.8 points per game.
The 2022 NBA Defensive Player of the Year race is between Draymond Green and Rudy Gobert. The longer Green is out of action, the better Gobert’s chances are to win the award. With no set date for Green’s return, the pick is Gobert to win the 2022 NBA Defensive Player of the Year.
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