According to a story courtesy the Royce Young of CBS Sports, Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol will be named the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year.
According to Chris Vernon, Gasol will be named the 2012-13 Defensive Player of the Year.
Gasol, in terms of traditional stats, doesn’t necessarily impress. He averaged just 1.7 blocks, 1.3 a game behind league leader Serge Ibaka. Gasol pulled in 7.8 rebounds a game, almost five a game fewer than Dwight Howard, the league leader.
But Gasol’s impact can be found simply in this: With him on the floor, the Grizzlies enjoyed an incredible 95.4 defensive rating. With Gasol on the floor, the Grizzlies allowed 99.3 points per 100 possessions. With him off, 105.9. His impact defensively for Memphis is pretty obvious.
Gasol anchored the league’s second-best overall defense and while he wasn’t swatting shots or dominating the defensive glass, his high intelligence in defending the pick-and-roll and understanding space makes him a very excellent choice.
Didn’t see this coming, but the more I think about his presence in the middle of the Grizzlies stifling defense and less about the statistics, the more it makes sense.