With the NBA regular season winding down, the races for the awards are starting to heat up. One race that has been somewhat overlooked all year long is the Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY) race. We saw Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics come away with the award last season, but it looks as if a new face is going to win it this year. For a good portion of the season, Jaren Jackson Jr. of the Memphis Grizzlies has been the favorite, but a new face has emerged as the favorite in terms of betting odds. While Jackson Jr. still has a solid chance to win the award, Brook Lopez of the Milwaukee Bucks has been having a career year on the defensive end of the floor. All odds were verified via VegasInsider.
Brook Lopez New Favorite for Defensive Player of the Year
#1: Brook Lopez
Brook Lopez has been having a terrific campaign. While he has always been a solid player, this is the first year we have seen Lopez truly buy in to the defensive end of the floor. Per FanDuel, he currently has -110 odds to win the Defensive Player of the Year. This year, Lopez is averaging a career-best 2.5 blocks per game. Not to mention, he is also tallying a defensive rating of 108 to couple with a defensive win-share total of 3.5. Lopez’s defense has been a huge factor to Milwaukee’s success this season and could be an integral part to a second NBA title in the Giannis era.
#2: Jaren Jackson Jr.
As alluded to earlier, Jaren Jackson Jr. was the favorite to win the Defensive Player of the Year for the majority of the season. He became a first-time All-Star this year and is starting to come into his own. According to FanDuel, he currently possesses +110 odds to take home the DPOY award. Jackson Jr. is currently averaging 3.2 blocks, which is leading the league, and a defensive rating of 104. On top of this, he is also tallying a defensive win-share total of 3.1.
#3: Bam Adebayo
Bam Adebayo has been a crucial part of Miami’s core. They have not had the year they were hoping for, but Adebayo has been doing his part on the defensive end. Per FanDuel, Adebayo has +1900 odds to win this season’s DPOY. His numbers this year include 0.8 blocks per game, a defensive rating of 110, and a defensive win-share total of 3.5. Chances are that Adebayo won’t win this award, but he is still a sleeper candidate for this year’s DPOY.