Skip to content

Marc Gasol officially named NBA Defensive Player of Year

Apr 24, 2013, 12:41 PM EST

Memphis Grizzlies Marc Gasol of Spain protests a foul during Game 2 of their NBA Western Conference Quarterfinals basketball playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers in Los Angeles Reuters

This was the right call — and it’s a call that might not have been made a decade ago.

Marc Gasol was officially named the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year on Wednesday. He was the frontrunner for the award, with LeBron James coming in second and Serge Ibaka of the Thunder in third.

It’s hard to put quality statistics on defense, but the advanced NBA metrics out there plus more sites that break down game tape (every NBA writer I know uses Synergy or the NBA’s media-available videos to watch breakdowns) have given the general fan a broader understanding of defense. It’s not just rebounds and blocked shots, it’s how a player impacts the defensive end in terms of altering what the other team does. Defense is looked at differently than a decade ago.

Gasol was the anchor and key to the second best defense in the NBA this season. Memphis allowed 95.4 points per 100 possessions with Gasol on the court and 102.2 points per 100 when he sat. He protects the rim (1.7 blocks a game, 12th best in the NBA) but more than that he anticipates the play better than any big man in the game — he just seems to always be in the right place at the right time contesting shots.

Gasol had 30 first place votes (out of 121 sportswriters and broadcasters) and 212 points. LeBron had 18 first place and 149 points, Ibaka 14 first place and 122.

The rest of the top 10 vote getters are Joakim Noah, Tony Allen, Tim Duncan, Larry Sanders, Paul George, Andre Iguodala and Roy Hibbert (that’s a little low for Hibbert in my book).

Odd votes that caught my eye were the person who voted Trevor Ariza second (he’s good but not THAT good) and same with Dwyane Wade.

Latest Posts
  1. Dallas moves into title contender status with addition of Rajon Rondo

    Dec 19, 2014, 1:01 AM EST

    Rajon Rondo AP

    Rondo moves the Mavs into contender status in the West. Problem is that is a crowded field.

  2. Kevin Durant turns ankle, leaves game not to return; X-rays negative.

    Dec 19, 2014, 12:46 AM EST

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Golden State Warriors Getty Images

    The team officially described the sprain as “mild.”

  3. Phil Jackson takes to Twitter to defend Knicks trading Tyson Chandler to Mavericks

    Dec 18, 2014, 11:00 PM EST

    Phil Jackson, James Dolan, executive chairman of the Madison Square Garden Company AP

    Phil responds to an article ripping the Knicks for making the deal.

  4. Carmelo Anthony considering shutting down because of knee injury

    Dec 18, 2014, 7:35 PM EST

    Carmelo Anthony Carmelo Anthony

    Anthony has been advised that sitting out would be smart.

  5. Why Tim Duncan’s buzzer beater last night looked familiar

    Dec 18, 2014, 4:45 PM EST

    Utah Jazz vs San Antonio Spurs Utah Jazz vs San Antonio Spurs

    Spurs star made same clutch shot a decade ago against Lakers

  6. Wesley Matthews not thrilled to find referee’s junk in his face (video)

    Dec 18, 2014, 3:40 PM EST

    New York Knicks v Portland Trail Blazers New York Knicks v Portland Trail Blazers

    Trail Blazers guard just waiting to check into game, when his personal space gets violated

  7. Andrew Bogut undergoes PRP therapy on knee, out indefinitely

    Dec 18, 2014, 3:09 PM EST

    Denver Nuggets v Golden State Warriors - Game Six Getty Images

    The Warriors are +15.8 per 100 when he is on the court. They will miss him.

  8. Report: Add the Clippers to the list of teams pursuing Corey Brewer (with Rockets, Cavs)

    Dec 18, 2014, 12:22 PM EST

    Los Angeles Lakers v Minnesota Timberwolves Getty Images

    It would be very difficult for the Clippers to find a deal Minnesota would like.

Featured video

Can red hot Warriors sustain success?
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. D. Favors (7267)
  2. K. Martin (6604)
  3. A. Davis (6554)
  4. D. Cousins (6495)
  5. J. Noah (6332)
  1. A. Bogut (6314)
  2. T. Jones (6056)
  3. D. Lee (5931)
  4. C. Bosh (5701)
  5. B. Lopez (5540)