NBA 2017-18: 5 Defensive Player of the Year candidates
Current offenses are at an all-time high with respect to their efficient and in such an environment defenders are that much more valuable. But the Golden State Warriors have made sure that if any player is one-dimensional (only offense or defense), his weakness will be exploited. That's why two-way players are in demand right now ala Jae Crowder for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
If a player is to win Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY), he's got to have a respectable offense while his defense stands out. Recent history suggests the out-and-out defenders don't fair too well in the voting for this award.
Draymond Green was named DOPY for 2016-17 after being the runners-up the previous two years. The most recent voting also saw the rise of Utah Jazz's center Rudy Gobert. Where do these guys stack up for next year's award? Does Kawhi Leonard run away it?
We rank the top five candidates for the 2017-18 NBA DPOY award:
Honorable Mention: Klay Thompson
At the mention of his name, everybody talks about his three-point shooting and his ability to score points in a hurry (NBA-record 37 points in a quarter and career-high 60 points in 29 minutes). However, an underrated skill of Klay Thompson is his ability to play some spectacular one-on-one defense.
Now, the Warriors have four All-Stars for their offense to rely on, so he isn't exactly under pressure when it comes to scoring but plays a huge role in the team's system on the other end of the floor. We arguably in the golden age of point guards right now and each night, the Warriors look to Thompson to lock them down.
Standing at 6'7", Thompson's incredibly tall even by an average guard's standards. That coupled with his agility laterally is what makes him the Warriors' defensive weapon on the perimeter.