Anthony Davis is Dominating the Defensive Player of the Year Odds: The Brow’s DPOY Odds
Welcome back NBA fans to our weekly discussion regarding an aspect of basketball that often gets overlooked: Defense. Sure, watching teams score 120 points on a given night can make for an entertaining night of television. However, if a team is unable to stop their opponents in key moments down the stretch, the results are usually not favorable.
The reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, Anthony Davis of the Los Angles Lakers and Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz entered the season as the prohibitive favorites for the Defensive Player of the Year award. Here’s an updated look at how they rank based on how they performed over the past week (Dec. 30 through Jan. 5).
The Third-Best DPOY Odds: Giannis Antetokounmpo (+600 – No Change From Last Week)
Giannis Antetokounmpo played in three games last week. He put up 23 points, 10 boards and six dimes in a ho-hum 123-102 win over the Chicago Bulls. Yeah, the Bulls
made a game of it in the first half, but the outcome was never in doubt. He followed that up with an impressive 32-point, 17-rebound effort against the Minnesota Timberwolves, allowing the Bucks to escape with a 106-104 victory.
Giannis concluded his slate of games with another 30-point outing (32 points) against the San Antonio Spurs on an efficient 7-for-12 from the field. Antetokounmpo also shot 41.1 percent from 3-point range. On the other side of the coin, his defensive impact was minimal, as he recorded a total of two blocks and one steal. Barring a major turnaround during the second half of the season, I expect the reigning MVP to be a distant third in this race.
The Second Best DPOY Odds: Rudy Gobert (+300 – No Change From Last Week)
Despite being known as a solid defensive presence, Rudy Gobert has flashed a different side of his game over the past several weeks. In a home game against the Detroit Pistons on Dec. 30, Gobert finished with 13 points (on 6-for-11 shooting) while hauling in a whopping 19 rebounds. Against the Chicago Bulls, Gobert put another double-double, as he scored 17 points to along with 12 rebounds.
In his final appearance of the week against the Orlando Magic, Gobert didn’t offer much offense, scoring just eight points. However, he was a monster of the glass once again with 17 boards. While he failed to reject a single shot against the Magic, Gobert did post three swats in both games against the Pistons and Bulls, giving him an average of two blocks per contest during the week. Although Gobert trails Davis by a bit, continued solid play should help him close the gap as the season progresses.
The Best DPOY Odds: Anthony Davis (-177 – No Change From Last Week)
As a shock to exactly no one, Anthony Davis continues to hold down the No. 1 spot on the list. As was the case with his counterparts, Davis suited three times last week and his team won all of three of its outings during that stretch. He put together a solid 26-point, 11-rebound outing against the Phoenix Suns on New Year’s Day. Then, he waxed his former team – the New Orleans Pelicans – with 46 points and 13 rebounds on an uber-efficient 15-for-21 from the field. David concluded his slate of games with 24 points and 11 rebounds in a 106-99 win over the Detroit Pistons.
Overall, Davis averaged 32 points and nearly 12 rebounds per outing. But he was just as impressive at the other end of the floor. After recording just one block in each of his first two outings, Davis posted eight blocks against the Pistons. As a result, he finished with an average of 3.3 blocks and two steals per contest. If he continues to play at this level, Davis will bolster his chances of being the league’s top defensive player.