The 2023-2024 NBA Defensive Player of the Year race is shaping up to be one of the most competitive in recent memory. There are a number of talented defenders who could put their names in the conversation, but a few stand out as the favorites.
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Jaren Jackson Jr.
The reigning DPOY is the clear favorite to repeat in 2024. Jackson is a versatile defender who can guard multiple positions. He is also a shot-blocker, averaging 2.3 blocks per game in 2022-23. Jackson’s Grizzlies were one of the best defensive teams in the league last season, and he was a key reason why.
Mobley is another young defender who has the potential to be a DPOY one day. He is a great rim protector and mobile defender who can switch onto guards on the perimeter. The Cavaliers were a top-10 defensive team in 2022-23, and will likely continue to be every year with Evan Mobley on the roster.
Antetokounmpo is a two-time DPOY who is still one of the best defenders in the league. He is a dominant force on the interior, and he can also guard multiple positions. Antetokounmpo’s Bucks were a top-10 defensive team in 2022-23, and he was a key reason why.
In addition to these three players, there are a few other contenders who could be in the mix for DPOY in 2024. These include:
- Bam Adebayo
- Anthony Davis
- Rudy Gobert
- Joel Embiid
- Mikal Bridges
- OG Anunoby
These players are all elite defenders who could have a chance to win DPOY if they stay healthy and play well. However, Jackson, Mobley, and Antetokounmpo are the three players who I believe have the best chance to win the award in 2024.
The Importance of Team Defense
It is worth noting that the DPOY award is almost always won by a player on an elite team. This is because the award is based on a combination of individual and team defense. A player who is a great defender on a bad team will have a harder time winning the award than a player who is a good defender on a great team.
This is why I believe that Jackson, Mobley, and Antetokounmpo have the best chance to win DPOY in 2024. These players are all on teams that are expected to be contenders, and they will have the opportunity to show off their defensive skills on a national stage.
My Three Picks
Based on the factors I have discussed, here are my three picks to win DPOY in 2024:
- Jaren Jackson Jr.
- Evan Mobley
- Giannis Antetokounmpo
Jackson is the defending DPOY, and he is on a team that is expected to be one of the best in the league. Mobley is a rising star who is already one of the best defenders in the league. Antetokounmpo is a two-time DPOY who is still one of the best defenders in the league.
I believe that one of these three players will win DPOY in 2024. It will be interesting to see who steps up and takes home the award.
In addition to team success, there are a few other statistics that can be helpful in predicting who will win DPOY. These include:
- Defensive win shares
- Defensive rating
Defensive win shares is a statistic that measures a player’s impact on his team’s defense. Defensive rating is a statistic that measures a team’s defensive efficiency. Efficiency is a statistic that measures a player’s production relative to his minutes played.
All three of my picks are elite defenders who have posted strong defensive statistics in recent seasons. Jackson led the league in defensive win shares in 2022-23. Mobley was second in defensive rating among rookies in 2021-22. Antetokounmpo has led the league in defensive rating three times.
I believe that these statistics provide further evidence that Jackson, Mobley, and Antetokounmpo are the three players who have the best chance of winning DPOY in 2024.