Gerald Wallace - Charlotte Bobcats
Defensive Player of the Year

Named NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week on Nov. 28 ... Leads the NBA in steals (2.50) and 11th in blocks (2.09) ... Only player in the NBA averaging two blocks and two steals ... Since the NBA began recording blocked shots officially in 1973, only two players have finished the season averaging more than 2.0 steals and 2.0 blocked shots: Hakeem Olajuwon (three times) and David Robinson, both of whom played the center position ... Recorded a career-high eight steals on 1/13 vs. MIL and then blocked a career-high six shots three days later vs. NOK ... Has recorded five or more steals seven times and five or more blocks five times.

Our take:
When you hear the name Wallace and the word defense in the same sentence, you usually think of the NBA's three-time defensive player of the Year, Ben Wallace.

Well, we could have a different defensive Wallace hoisting hardware this season: Gerald.

This season, Wallace has averaged 2.5 steals per game and 2.09 blocks per game. How rare is that feat? Only two players in NBA history have done it -- Hakeem Olajuwon, three times from 1987-1990 and David Robinson in 1991-92. These Hall of Fame locks were two of the best centers of their eras. What's impressive about Wallace's performance this is season, is the 6-7 small forward doesn't sit in the paint and wait to reject shots. He must go get them, and looking at the numbers, he does it well.
-- Rob Peterson

From a teammate:
With his athleticism, his length and his quickness, he gets in the passing lanes. Then he blocks shots also. He's definitely the total package and he's a big part of what we've been able to do this season.
-- Brevin Knight

A fan's take:
Wallace was a brick wall on defense all season long, leading the league in steals and finishing in the top ten in blocked shots. Picking up some of the slack for Emeka Okafor, Wallace was the most exciting thing about the Bobcats' rough season. Wallace was one of the most feared perimeter defenders this year, and even contributed to defense in the post.
-- Kai - Levittown, N.Y.

The Numbers:
54 34.5 15.4 7.5 1.8 2.50 2.09 .538 .280 .613

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

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