The latest odds to win NBA Defensive Player of the Year have been released, and the list is quite interesting, to say the least.
Giannis Antetokounpo: -230
Anthony Davis: +150
Rudy Gobert: +2500
Patrick Beverley: +10000
Joel Embiid: +10000
Kawhi Leonard: +10000
Marcus Smart: +10000
Six others at +10000
Right away, the first thing that I notice is Marcus Smart being so low on the list. The disrespect towards Marcus Smart when it comes to DPOY voting is surreal. I’m not here to say Marcus Smart should win the award, but he deserves to be higher on this list and should have better odds than some of these guys.
I get that the Defensive Player of the Year award is never given to guards. In fact, only five guards have ever won the award since it was created in 1983. The last guard to win the award was Gary Payton in 1996, when the Supersonics were still a thing.
I mean, just listen to what Gary Payton says to Marcus Smart in this video. Payton is an all-time great defender, and he recognizes defensive greatness when he sees it.
The award is always given to big men, and as understandable as that might be since they have the rebounding numbers to go along with blocks and steals, guards deserve more respect.
Even Dwyane Wade thinks the same way.
Marcus Smart is hands-down one of the best, if not the best, defensive guards in the entire league. Smart can guard any position one through five and makes a defensive impact whenever he steps on the court. Whoever he’s asked to defend, whether it’s a center or the team’s best player, he’ll do it.
Smart has a 104.3 defensive rating, 0.14 defensive win shares, and has drawn 11 charges this season. He averages 1.6 steals and 0.5 blocks per game on the season. The Celtics have the fourth-best defensive rating in the NBA, and Marcus Smart is a big reason for that.
I feel like the disrespect comes from the voter’s inability to understand the impact he makes on the Celtics, or they just don’t watch the Celtics games period. Smart is such a difference-maker on this team, and people outside of Boston genuinely don’t notice this.
I’ll end this article with a bunch of clips highlighting how great of a defensive player Marcus Smart is. Like I mentioned earlier, I’m not advocating Marcus Smart to win the award this year. Giannis Antetokounmpo deserves to win the award and become the third player to ever win MVP and DPOY in the same season. But it’s time we stop disrespecting guards like Marcus Smart and give them the credit they deserve.
You can also just go through this thread. Plenty of gems in here as well.
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