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Top 5 early contenders for the 2021 NBA Defensive Player of the Year award

Orlando Magic vs Milwaukee Bucks - Game Five
Orlando Magic vs Milwaukee Bucks - Game Five
ANALYST
Modified 21 Oct 2020, 18:00 IST
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The winner of the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award last year was an interesting one. Even though Giannis Antetokounmpo emerged as the comfortable winner, many argued that Anthony Davis deserved the award over the Greek Freak.

For the 2021 NBA Defensive Player of the Year award, the race could be a close one. On that note, let us take a look at the Top 5 early contenders for 2021 NBA Defensive Player of the Year award.

Top 5 early contenders for the 2021 NBA Defensive Player of the Year award

Considering his exploits in the 2019-20 regular season, Anthony Davis could be one of the favorites for the 2021 NBA Defensive Player of the Year award. His defensive prowess for the LA Lakers was seemingly overlooked by many, something that may not happen again next year.

However, the 2021 NBA Defensive Player of the Year award could be a wide open one. Without further ado, let us take a look at the top 5 early contenders for the 2021 NBA Defensive Player of the Year award.


#5 Bam Adebayo

Miami Heat vs Indiana Pacers - Game One
Miami Heat vs Indiana Pacers - Game One

The chances of Bam Adebayo, who came fourth in the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award last year, might have received a boost for the next edition of the award, considering the player's contribution in the Miami Heat's run to the 2020 NBA Finals.

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During the Heat's 2020 Playoff run, Adebayo was a key player on both sides of the floor. He led the team in total rebounds and blocked shots while as a starter, he also had the best defensive rating among players in the team.

Adebayo can be a good rim protector and is an athletic big who should be able to stay with guards. If his defensive game continues to improve, Adebayo might have good chances to win the 2021 NBA Defensive Player of the Year award.


#4 Rudy Gobert

Denver Nuggets vs Utah Jazz - Game Four
Denver Nuggets vs Utah Jazz - Game Four

Already a two-time winner of the Defensive Player of the Year award, Frenchman Rudy Gobert is likely to be in the mix for the 2021 edition of the award as well.

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Gobert is an extraordinary rim protector who has come off of his best season in the NBA in terms of rebounds (13.5 per game, 10.1 defensive rebounds). He will certainly be in the reckoning for the 2021 NBA Defensive Player of the Year award.

If he wins the coveted award, he will become only the fourth player in history to do so at least three times after Dikembe Mutombo (4), Ben Wallace (4) and Dwight Howard (3).

With the Utah Jazz expected to remain a playoff team in the West, Gobert will be in the 2021 NBA Defensive Player of the Year conversation. An average of 2.2 blocks per game during his seven-year all-star career is an impressive number for Gobert who had previously won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award in successive seasons (2017-18 and 2018-19).

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Published 21 Oct 2020, 18:00 IST
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