Marcus Camby - Denver Nuggets
Defensive Player of the Year

His 3.29 bpg currently rank first in the NBA ... Western Conference Player of the Week for Nov. 7-13, 2005 ... Has grabbed at least 10 rebounds in 39 of the 56 games he has played this season and has posted 30 double-doubles ... Has grabbed 15 or more rebounds 16 times ... Has blocked five or more shots 17 times this season, including six straight games from April 4-15 ... Is currently on pace to average a career-high in both rebounds per game (previous high 11.5 rpg in 2000-01) and steals per game (previous high 1.19 spg in 2003-04)

Our take:
Marcus Camby leads the league in blocks per game, has grabbed 20 or more rebounds five times and is also third in the NBA in blocks per foul, a testament to his timing and body control. If he played enough games to qualify, he'd rank in the top 20 in steals, despite the fact that only one other center -- quasi five man Ben Wallace -- ranks in the top 40 in that category. On the boards, Camby would rank third in the league had he qualified. Folks, this is a player who's landed on an NBA All-Defensive team just once during his 10 year career (Second Team in '04-05). It's time for a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
-- Brad Friedman

From the media:
Camby is a great shotblocker because he can smack 'em away from the man he's guarding, swoop in from the weak side and also slap shots down in the open court.
Hoop Magazine

A fan's take:
If everyone would just sit down and watch this guy play, there would be no discussion on who should be the 2006 Defensive Player of the Year. Marcus has a defensive presence that every single player in the league is thinking about before they play him; even if they deny it, you know it's true. Every time someone drives down the lane it seems as if Marcus is there to either block the shot or at least contest it. Not only does he intimidate his opponents, but he also is a tremendous leader for his team. With him in the game, the Nuggets' defense goes up 150% and the overall confidence of the team rises. I am not going to shoot down the other candidates for Defensive Player of the Year, but it is all too obvious to me that Marcus Camby should win the title for the 2006 season and maybe then some.
-- Jill - Arvada, Colo.

The Numbers:
56 33.2 12.8 11.9 2.1 1.41 3.29 .465 .091 .712

Defensive Player of the Year - The Candidates:
Bruce Bowen - San Antonio Spurs
Marcus Camby - Denver Nuggets
Andrei Kirilenko - Utah Jazz
Shawn Marion - Phoenix Suns
Ben Wallace - Detroit Pistons
Gerald Wallace - Charlotte Bobcats

Others worth consideration: Ron Artest, Elton Brand, Tim Duncan, Allen Iverson, Jason Kidd, Brevin Knight

Most Improved Player
Rookie of the Year
Sixth Man Award
Coach of the Year
Most Valuable Player

D. Clarke Evans/NBAE/Getty Images