Even though it wasn’t much of a secret, the NBA announced another award winner on Wednesday.
The league announced that Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol is the winner of the Defensive Player of the Year Award.
Gasol deserves the award after anchoring perhaps the NBA’s best defensive unit.
According to an official release from NBA.com, Gasol tallied 212 total points, receiving 30 of 121 possible first-place votes. LeBron James came in second with 149 points (18 first-place votes) while Serge Ibaka (14 first-place votes) finished third with 122 points. Joakim Noah (107 points, 13 first-place votes) and Grizzlies teammate Tony Allen (102 points, nine first-place votes) rounded out the top five.
The Grizzlies led the NBA in scoring defense, allowing only 89.3 points per game, and it all started with Gasol.
His numbers aren’t eye popping; averaging 7.8 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and 1.0 steal per game. But he ranked fifth on the NBA’s defensive rating list for the 2012-13 season (via Basketball-Reference) and second on the NBA’s defensive win shares list (via Basketball-Reference).
For anchoring the league’s best defensive, it’s a well-deserved honor and potentially one of many possible Defensive Player of the Year awards, as Gasol is a difference maker in the paint.
He replaces the Knicks’ Tyson Chandler, who won the award last season.
Chandler finished 13th in the voting this season with 11 total points.
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