NBA: 2023 Defensive Player of the Year ladder – Who is winning it this year?

Brook Lopez blocks

This season, we are witnessing once again some of the best defenders the league has ever seen. Let’s take a look and find out who is the Defensive Player of the Year leaders before the 2022-2023 season ends.

“Defense is the Best Offense” – A quote that has been used more than a million times now but is still true.

Those who watch the NBA games know that great offense is entertaining. Dunks, flashy crossovers, three-point shots, acrobatic layups, and more. But great defense can always lead to a greater game of basketball. Here are your three players racing for the DPOY award this season.

#3. Evan Mobley (Cleveland Cavaliers)

The 2021 third-overall pick makes his way into the race for the best defensive player in the league. The runner-up of last year’s Rookie of the Year award may have improved, not only in his offensive skills but most importantly in his defense.

  • Mobley’s Defensive Rating: 108.1
  • Cleveland Cavaliers’ Defensive Rating with Mobley playing: 111.2
  • Cleveland Cavaliers’ Defensive Rating without Mobley: 115.6

The 21-year-old big man is helping the Cleveland Cavaliers push for a playoff appearance as they currently sit in the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference. With his defensive prowess and the scoring abilities of Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland, this young Cavaliers team may be a huge surprise in the playoffs. Moreover, it’s also a fact that the Cavs are the team with the best defensive rating in the NBA right now.

2022-2023 stats: 16.2 PPG, 8.9 RPG, 2.7 APG, 0.8 SPG, 1.4 BPG

Also read: 2023 NBA Most Improved Player: Will it be Lauri Markkanen or Shai Gilgeous-Alexander?

#2. Jaren Jackson Jr. (Memphis Grizzlies)

Lately, Memphis Grizzlies is getting the attention of everybody, mostly for bad reasons. However, there are good things that “the most hated team in the NBA” has to offer. The 6’11” forward, Jaren Jackson Jr. has climbed the ladder as he is now the 2nd in ranking. Last year, he finished 5th in DPOY voting. This season, JJJ is taking a huge boost in the defensive side of the ball as he leads the league in blocks this season with 3.1 rejections per game.

  • Jackson’s Defensive Rating: 104.6
  • Memphis Grizzlies’ Defensive Rating with Jackson playing: 110.6
  • Memphis Grizzlies’ Defensive Rating without Jackson: 113.5

Jackson always makes players change their shots when they are attacking the rim, thus making him a defensive threat in the paint. His defensive impact in Memphis basketball is greatly translating into wins as they are currently the 3rd best team in the West. Also, his undeniable presence in the paint resulted in Jackson being named an All-Star this year for the first time.

2022-2023 stats: 17.7 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 0.9 APG, 1.0 SPG, 3.1 BPG

Also read: Zion Williamson’s NBA Return: Will He Be Back Before Playoffs?

#1. Brook Lopez (Milwaukee Bucks)

The best team in the East, which also happens to have three of the best defenders in the game puts one of their guys on this ladder. Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez is currently en route to winning his first DPOY award.

  • Lopez’s Defensive Rating: 108.6
  • Milwaukee Bucks’ Defensive Rating with Lopez playing: 111.5
  • Milwaukee Bucks’ Defensive Rating without Lopez: 118.0
Also read: LeBron James’s NBA Return: Will He Be Back Before Playoffs?

This season, Brook Lopez recorded a career-high 9 blocks. Even at 34 years old, Lopez still prides himself in blocking shots. He has been in first place for many months now and this could be the year he finally wins it.

2022-2023 stats: 15.6 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 1.3 APG, 0.5 SPG, 2.5 BPG


Who do you think should win the Defensive Player of the Year award? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. For more content, stay with us, here at Spiel Times.

OTHER NEWS: 2023 NBA free agency: Will Los Angeles Lakers keep Austin Reaves?

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