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Report: Marc Gasol to win Defensive Player of the Year

Apr 22, 2013, 7:26 PM EDT

Memphis Grizzlies v Houston Rockets Getty Images

Marc Gasol will be named Defensive Player of the Year, according to Chris Vernon of 92.9 FM ESPN in Memphis.

The Grizzlies center – who averaged 7.8 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and 1.0 steals per game – isn’t a typical recipient of this award. Only 1987 winner Michael Cooper had lower per-game averages in all three of those primary defensive categories.*

*Yes, I’m aware rebounds include offensive rebounds, which are not a defensive statistic, but voters who care about per-game rebounding rarely distinguish between types of rebounds.

Gasol’s honor is a victory, not necessarily for better metrics, but for an attempt to better understand basketball.

Memphis, which ranked second in the NBA in defensive rating, allowed 95.4 points per 100 possessions with Gasol on the court and 102.2 points per 100 possessions with Gasol on the bench. More than those numbers, clips of Gasol’s defensive awareness were widely available via League Pass, Synergy, YouTube and other sources.

I suspect, more than ever, voters understood those numbers and saw that video.

Still, measuring individual defense is difficult, and it would be presumptuous to assume we can do it flawlessly. Maybe someday we’ll look back and wonder how these voters could be so foolish, but based on the best wisdom of the moment, Gasol is a worthy Defensive Player of the Year.

  1. LilTmac2003 - Apr 22, 2013 at 7:46 PM

    I don’t know about this mainly b/c I haven’t been keeping up with his stats on a daily basis — but I like him. He’s a solid player and congrats to him.

    I wanted to see Joakim Noah win it this season but injuries have derailed him this season. He was solid though when he was playing at a high level.

    Some people hate Noah, but one thing that he does have that doesn’t show up on the stats sheet is hustle. This dude’s energy is super high and we love his hustle.

  2. irishfan109 - Apr 22, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    Marc is a very intelligent player, particularly on the defensive end. His per-game numbers don’t tell the whole story so I’m thrilled to see that voters recognized this and he won, deservingly so.

  3. DonRSD - Apr 22, 2013 at 7:57 PM

    LBJ is defensive player of the year, along with the MVP.

    Dumb media won’t give him both though.


    • psung26 - Apr 22, 2013 at 8:00 PM

      We all lost some intelligence reading this.

      • cantonbound13 - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:40 PM

        You’ll learn not to bother reading the bandwagoners posts, it’s a waste of time & energy.

  4. chris3141084 - Apr 22, 2013 at 8:03 PM

    I wonder if DonRSD knows LeBron already has a bride to be.

  5. funktron2x - Apr 22, 2013 at 8:04 PM

    Travesty! Timmy is the best defender in the game despite being old as dirt and only playing 30 mins a game. TRAVESTY!

  6. funktron2x - Apr 22, 2013 at 8:05 PM

    k, lbj is probably better than Timmy… Marc gasol? ? ?

  7. bux1022 - Apr 22, 2013 at 8:16 PM

    After injuries to Chandler and Noah they didn’t know who the hell to pick!

  8. kinggw - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:05 PM

    The media love Gasol. He’s decent but I also believe him to be wildly overrated. Gasol is one of many good defenders on the Griz. He’s not even the best defender on his team, that would be Tony Allen. Larry Sanders was much more deserving in my book. I guess the media didnt like his thumbs up treatment of the refs.

  9. lemfaxx - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:36 PM

    The stat overlook that gasol got some help from randolf… Spurs tim duncan is just a sole post (solid) defender… And the only reason why they are 2nd in the west

    • michaeljordanseviltwin - Apr 22, 2013 at 10:17 PM

      And that is the first time anybody has ever accused Z-Bo of playing defense. I don’t think he’d be very happy about that.

  10. packersareandwillalwaysbebetterthanthebears - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:38 PM

    And like last year with Tyson Chandler, there’s a good chance he doesn’t make first team All-Defense

  11. cantonbound13 - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:42 PM

    I would have voted for Noah, he anchored a very good Bulls defense.

  12. 00maltliquor - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:49 PM

    7.8 reb per contest for a player of his caliber and hieght (7”1) is pathetic! Not trying to put him down or knock him on his moment but sheesh, yikes.

  13. danrrtx - Apr 22, 2013 at 10:50 PM

    I don’t know about DPOY (it probably should go to LeBron) but Gasol seems to be the best all-around center in the L right now. Solid on O…solid on D. Good numbers across the board. Strange, but it’s hard to say that about any other center in the entire league. My how the NBA has changed.

  14. edwardemanuelson - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:34 PM

    Tim Duncan should be the DPOY. It’s the only award he hasn’t won, and apparently the voters are determined to keep it that way.

    • kavika6 - Apr 23, 2013 at 8:14 AM

      Duncan definitely got screwed, again, but at least Gasol is better than the idiot who won it last year.

  15. savvybynature - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:38 PM

    I completely agree that Marc’s positioning and awareness is superb, BUT… does anyone think Duncan doesn’t have at least as much BBIQ on the defensive end? Plus Timmy is a rebounding machine and a better shot blocker. Congrats to Marc Gasol but a shame that The Big Fundamental doesn’t get more recognition.

  16. pistolpete0903 - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:10 AM

    Can’t argue with the selection.
    If Noah can stay healthy for an entire season, he could be a regular contender for DPOY.

    Also, what is the obsession with stats; especially on defense. Many elite defensive players show a lot of hustle, change the opponents offense (drive to the baskets, pick and roll defense) which are not reflected on the stat sheet.

  17. totoywoods - Apr 23, 2013 at 6:46 AM

    LBJ won’t get a DPOY award…
    for SURE!

    hoping that noah would be healthier,
    coz he’s the real deal.

    gooooo bulls!
    booooo heat!

    “SEE RED”

  18. broncobeta - Apr 23, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    Andre Iguodala deserved this. Hell Tim Duncan deserved this.

    Not Marc Gasol. I’m so tired of how pointless the media makes this award.

  19. totoywoods - Apr 23, 2013 at 11:31 AM

    still go for noah…

  20. jerdogthompson - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    Mark is a filthy Spaniard. Last year he purposely kicked his legs out on a drive by Griffin after he had fallen and Blake suffered an injury that required off season surgery. I was at the game last night and watched him perform a similar move late in the game. He’s a filthy Spaniard that will get what he deserves when someone employs a similar pseudo leg trip move and he will end paying for it the same way Griffin did last year.

  21. ajonesmc931 - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    @jerdog oh and blake griffin is a saint gimme a freaking break. Did u cry at the game too?

  22. ajonesmc931 - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    @Jerdog oh and by the way, racist much? geez unnecessary

  23. jerdogthompson - Apr 24, 2013 at 12:36 AM

    I neither cried nor felt what I said was being racist but like a cop once told me. Opinions are like ASS**LES, everyone has one and they stink. I stated mere fact so your conjecture is merely that.

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