It seems like no longer than a few months ago that the 2019-20 NBA season got underway following much anticipation, although, with All-Star Weekend now in the books, the regular-season is quickly heading towards an exciting conclusion. Teams in both conferences continue to battle to improve their seeding ahead of the postseason - while several individuals are hoping to make enough of an impact to pick up one of the annual end of season awards.
Following back-to-back wins for Utah's Rudy Gobert, several players have positioned themselves in strong a position to claim the 2020 Defensive Player of the Year Award - and the race to secure the award remains in the balance as we head towards March. So, as we enter the final months of the regular season, here we will take a look at the leading contenders to be named DPOY.
#5 Kawhi Leonard - LA Clippers
The LA Clippers completed a stunning swoop for Kawhi Leonard and Paul George last summer, bringing together the NBA's best pair of two-way players. However, with George struggling for form and fitness, it has been down to Leonard to offer resistance on a Clippers defense that has surprisingly struggled.
The 28-year-old is averaging a career-high 6.6 defensive rebounds and is also coming up with 1.6 steals per contest. In LA's win over the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday, Leonard restricted Devin Booker to just 14 points on 5-of-19 shooting - and the former San Antonio star has also been able to lock down superstars such as Anthony Davis and LeBron James. Leonard was named DPOY in 2015 and 2016 - and his performances have been at a similar level this season.