The NBA Preseason has come to an end, meaning the 2021-22 NBA Season is finally upon us! And with that, it’s time to try and predict who’s going to win which NBA award at the end of the season. For this, we’ll try to predict who will win the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award.
Last year’s Defensive Player of the Year award was won by Rudy Gobert, who took home the award for the third time in four years. Other finalists included Ben Simmons and Draymond Green.
Unlike the other awards around the league, the DPOTY award is one that has the usual suspects as favorites year after year.
According to Caesars Sportsbook, the top 5 favorites to win the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award are as follows:
- Rudy Gobert (+350)
- Ben Simmons (+375)
- Anthony Davis (+700)
- Giannis Antetokounmpo (+900)
- Joel Embiid (+1000)
Heading into this season, Gobert is looking to win the award for a fourth time, potentially tying him with Ben Wallace and Dikembe Mutombo for most all-time, while Simmons looks to be the second point guard to ever win the award.
While some will look to win the award again, plenty more are hoping to become first-time winners.
Let’s take a look at some sleeper picks and predictions for who will come out on top next season as the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year.
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2022 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Sleeper Bet
Bam Adebayo, C, Miami Heat (+1600)
Bam Adebayo finished fourth last year, just barely missing the cut on being a finalist for the award. With that kind of chip on his shoulder, Adebayo could easily come in and take the award this year.
Adebayo has gotten much better throughout his young career on both sides of the ball, but especially on defense. As a center, he’s had to guard players such as Antetokounmpo and Embiid but has also successfully guarded players no center wishes to go 1-on-1 against in LeBron James and Jayson Tatum. He can shut down the paint while also locking down the perimeter.
Adebayo finished ninth in defensive rating last year to go along with averaging 9.0 RPG, 1.2 SPG, and 1 BPG. Don’t be surprised if Adebayo takes that next step and walks away with the award at the end of the year.
2022 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Prediction
Rudy Gobert, C, Utah Jazz (+350)
Having won last year and previously two years in a row, Gobert will win the Defensive Player of the Year award again for a record-tying fourth time.
Last year, Gobert either led the league or finished in the top 3 in total rebounds, rebounds per game, blocks, blocks per game, defensive win shares, and defensive rating.
Gobert has dominated the league defensively since 2014 and has been named First Team All-Defense the past five seasons. He’s shown no sign of slowing down, as proof during the 2020 Olympics where his defensive ability was on full display.
The Jazz will once again be one of the league’s top defensive teams thanks to Gobert, and it’ll be wrong to not give him the award again.
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