Coming into the 2019-20 NBA season, there were three players who stood head and shoulders above the rest in terms of their odds of winning the Defensive Player of the Year award. Those players were Giannis Antetokounmpo, Anthony Davis and Rudy Gobert – who has won the award in each of the last two seasons. Considering that this honor has been awarded to centers more than times than not over the last two-plus decades, Gobert seemed to be the frontrunner to win it again this season. So, without further delay, let’s take an updated look at which of these players has the best odds to be the top defensive player in the league based on their performances from the past week (12/2 – 12/8).
NBA DPOY 2019-2020 Odds—> Read More
3. Giannis Antetokounmpo (+500). Last week’s odds (+450)
The reigning MVP has picked up right where he left off last season. After posting career totals in multiple categories last season, Giannis is averaging 30.8 points, 13.1 rebounds and 5.4 assists per contest. He is also shooting 56.4 percent from the field. Even more impressive, he is shooting 31.6 percent from 3-point range, up from the 25.6 conversion rate he posted last season. And thanks to a superb trio of outings from their top player, the Bucks won each of their previous three outings. During that stretch, Giannis averaged 30.3 and 11.7 boards per outing on 60 percent shooting from the field and an improbable 8-for-16 from beyond the arc. On the defensive side of the court, though, he recorded just two blocks and no steals. This is probably why his odds have slightly dipped from where they were last week. As great of a player as Antetokounmpo is from an offensive standpoint, he doesn’t have the same impact at the defensive end of the court. Having said that, there’s little chance of him moving up on the list of DPOY candidates.
2. Rudy Gobert (+250). Last week’s odds (+140)
A week ago, Gobert has a slim lead over Anthony Davis in the best odds category. But this week, the Utah Jazz big man slipped to the second spot on the list. Despite not being known for being a prolific scorer, Gobert put up respectable numbers over the past week, with averages of 17.8 points (more than 3.5 points above his season average) and 11 rebounds per contest on an uber-efficient 74.4 percent from the floor. Unfortunately, the Jazz lost three straight games during that stretch before snapping their skid with a 126-112 win against the Memphis Grizzlies. From a defensive standpoint, Gobert didn’t do much to improve his stock, as he averaged just one block and less than a steal (0.3) per contest. It will be interesting to see if the Gobert can regain his form at that end of the floor.
1. Anthony Davis (-152). Last week’s odds (+175)
The Lakers are off to hot start this season and Anthony Davis has a lot do with it. In five games over the past week, Davis helped lead Los Angeles to four wins during that stretch. He posted averages of 33.4 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists per contest. This includes an impressive 50-point, seven-rebound, six-assist outing against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Dec. 8. This marked the third time this season in which he’s scored at least 40 points in a game. As impressive as the offensive output was, Davis also excelled on defense as well. During that five-game stretch, the Lakers forward averaged two blocks and 1.6 steals per outing. Talk about taking care of business. Davis came into this season wanting to help the Lakers become one of the best defensive teams in the league. His addition to the roster has helped this team do exactly that. And if he continues to play at this level, there’s no reason to believe why he can’t become the league’s top defensive player this season.