NBA: Top 5 favorites to win the 2023-2024 Defensive Player of the Year (November 2023)

Top 5 NBA favorites for 2024 Defensive Player of the Year as of November 2023

“Defense is the best Offense”. As the NBA season unfolds, the race for the coveted title of Defensive Player of the Year is heating up. Let’s explore the top contenders who are making a significant impact on the defensive end of the court. From seasoned veterans to rising stars, these players showcase their prowess in thwarting opponents and protecting their team’s basket. Join us as we highlight the top five favorites to clinch the Defensive Player of the Year award for the 2023-2024 NBA season, offering insights into their stellar performances that have left an indelible mark on the league’s defensive landscape.

5. Victor Wembanyama

A surprising name enters this list and beats the reigning DPOY, Jaren Jackson Jr., at least in the 5th spot. This season, the sensational rookie Victor Wembanyama, who’s already proven himself to be an elite scorer and excellent rim protector, is a favorite to be named the 2024 Defensive Player of the Year. Not only that, he’s also a frontrunner for the Rookie of the Year trophy as well as being highly regarded as the next Rookie All-Star.

Although it’s a long shot, it’s very impressive to see a 19-year-old rookie already mark his legacy as one of the league’s best defenders. The San Antonio Spurs also see a boost on their defensive stats every time Wemby steps on the floor and the same rating dips when the 7-foot-4 center sits on the bench. The Spurs have been in the bottom half of the league in terms of defense, but that narrative changes with Wembanyama playing on the court.

Victor Wembanyama’s defensive rating 113.7
Spurs’ defensive rating 120.1 (29th in NBA)
Spurs’ defensive rating with Wembyanyama on the court: 105.3
Spurs’ defensive rating with Wembyanyama off the court: 125.4

4. Anthony Davis

As a player who currently holds the most stocks (steals + blocks) per game this season, it’s not odd why Anthony Davis is heavily expected to win his first DPOY trophy.

Throughout his career, AD has always been a great defender. Naturally a power forward, the 30-year-old superstar can actually guard any position. He’s right up there with Giannis as the league’s greatest two-way player. It’s not surprising to see Davis on this list as he’s always been a defensive threat in the past decade.

Anthony Davis’s defensive rating 108.9
Lakers’ defensive rating 114.2 (19th in NBA)
Lakers’ defensive rating with Davis on the court: 111.8
Lakers’ defensive rating with Davis off the court: 131.8

3. Giannis Antetokounmpo

In the last five years, Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo has always been the best two-way player. Becoming a two-time MVP and 1-time DPOY means he really does it all. If any, Giannis is the definition of a complete player. He is not the best shooter, but he’s decent compared to other big men.

This season, The Greek Freak is once again mentioned in the DPOY favorites. With a lesser load on offense, he can focus more on becoming the defensive anchor of the Bucks alongside Brook Lopez. However, the Bucks’ defense took a tool after trading Jrue Holiday in the offseason.

Giannis Antetokounmpo’s defensive rating 113.9
Bucks’ defensive rating 117.4 (26th in NBA)
Bucks’ defensive rating with Giannis on the court: 118.2
Bucks’ defensive rating with Giannis off the court:

2. Evan Mobley

2021 3rd overall pick Evan Mobley is now in his third year in Cleveland and he’s still doing what he’s been doing best – defense. Mobley, a 6-foot-11 power forward, was on a tear in his first two seasons as an NBA player. In 2022, he almost won the Rookie of the Year but fell just 5 points short of the eventual winner Scottie Barnes. Then, this summer, he was ranked third in DPOY voting, just behind Brook Lopez and Jaren Jackson Jr. This year, Mobley is back at it again and hopefully brings home the Hakeem Olajuwon DPOY trophy.

 

Evan Mobley’s defensive rating 107.9
Cavaliers’ defensive rating 112.3 (15th in NBA)
Cavaliers defensive rating with Mobley on the court: 112.9
Cavaliers’ defensive rating with Mobley off the court:

1. Rudy Gobert: Is he going for his 4th Defensive Player of the Year award?

Minnesota might end up as complete wildcards after a fantastic start in the 2023-2024 season. Aside from Anthony Edwards playing like an MVP and Karl-Anthony Towns and Naz Reid also contributing well on the offensive side, the Timberwolves are seeing prime Rudy Gobert’s defense.

The French star has already won it three times in Utah after being known as an emphatic shot blocker. However, contrary to his defensive prowess, his weakness is his offense (or lack thereof). Also, Gobert isn’t as good when it comes to defending smaller guys on the perimeter, unlike Anthony Davis, Evan Mobley, Giannis Antetokounmpo, or even Bam Adebayo, who can guard players from positions 1 through 5. But, if we’re going to be talking about rim protection, shot-blocking, and defending the paint, Rudy Gobert is your guy. He’s also helping the Wolves become the team with the best defensive rating this season. As of this writing, Gobert is averaging 12.1 PPG, 13.1 RPG, and 1.9 BPG.

Rudy Gobert’s defensive rating 96.4
Timberwolves’ defensive rating 100.8 (1st in NBA)
Timberwolves’ defensive rating with Gobert on the court: 100.2
Timberwolves’ defensive rating with Gobert off the court:

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