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DPOY Candidates for the 2020-21 Season

The Defensive Player of the Year award in 2021 has been a pretty hot discussion. many players are in the running, but only one can win. Today, I am going to be ranking the top 10, as well as going into detail on why the top 5 is there. Stick around to find out who are my picks for the DPOY this year.

Players 6-10:

Lugentz Dort

Matisse Thybulle

Draymond Green

Clint Capela

Joel Embiid

Bam Adebayo

Bam Adebayo is probably the most underrated member of our power rankings for the NBA Defensive Player of the Year. Although he is yet to crack the top3 and probably won't this time, he has been the Miami Heat's anchor. He ranks third overall for defensive real plus-minus, behind only Rudy Gobert and Clint Capela, and is the Heat's spark on that side of the court this year.

Adebayo possesses a unique combination of defensive qualities that voters for the NBA Defensive Player of the Year would recognize when voting for him. He can guard any player on the outside, similar to Ben Simmons, but can also switch inside to be a rim protector, similar to Rudy Gobert, and is unafraid of smaller guards dribbling in front of him.

Rudy Gobert

Rudy Gobert and Ben Simmons have been battling for the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award all season, and it appears that their fight will come down to the wire. Since his numbers for the season were better than Simmons', the Utah Jazz center keeps his place atop our power rankings. The Frenchman leads the league in defensive win share, and he is third in defensive rating (101.4) and first in defensive rebounds among players who have played in at least 50 games (10.1). Gobert's rim deterrence has never been more evident than this week against the San Antonio Spurs. Fearing that their shot will be blocked on a 3-on-1 fast break, the 28-year-old stopped all three from attacking the basket. Gobert has averaged 3.1 blocks per game over his last ten games.

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Last week, Giannis Antetokounmpo received praise from fellow NBA superstar Kevin Durant. The Greek has been a force on the offensive end, but he is mostly a defensive force. Durant said how much he loves going up against the league's best defenders. It's quick to overlook the fact that Antetokounmpo won the award last year and hasn't looked back since. His defensive rating has dropped marginally this season, but it remains impressive at 106.3. The Milwaukee Bucks would have the best defense in the league if the majority of his teammates played to the same level. With 9.5 defensive rebounds per game, he is fourth on our list for defensive rebounds and has the second-best defensive box +/-.

Ben Simmons

Ben Simmons, as one of the few players who can genuinely guard one through five, would undoubtedly believe he is deserving of the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award this season. Simmons is one of the most versatile defenders in the league, thanks to his size and athleticism, and has been a key factor in the team's second-placed defensive quality. The Philadelphia 76ers have a 39-14 record when he is on the court. When Simmons is out, however, the team's record drops to 5-7. When he plays, he has a +/- of 7.5, while when he doesn't, Philly concedes 3.7 more points per 100 possessions than usual.

Myles Turner

Turner might not be as flexible as some of the other candidates, but he has been absolutely insane in recent weeks when it comes to defending his team's hoop. He's averaging 3.7 blocks per game and set a season high with eight in Indiana's first game of the season. When was the last time a player had at least 3.7 blocks per game? Turner is also making plays in the passing lanes, averaging 1.7 steals per game, which is a career high. It'll be difficult for him to keep up this pace, but if he does, someone will notice.

If you’ve read this far, I’m guessing you want to see the final list. well here it is:

10: Lugentz Dort

9: Draymond Green

8: Matisse Thybulle

7: Joel Embiid

6: Clint Capela

5: Myles Turner

4: Giannis Antetokounmpo

3: Bam Adebayo

2: Ben Simmons

And my pick for NBA DPOY this season goes to...

1: Rudy Gobert

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