UHM’s 2016-17 NBA Regular Season Award Predictions
NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award (DPOY)
DeAndre Jordan – Los Angeles Clippers
In my personal opinion DeAndre Jordan deserved the Defensive Player of the Year award for two or the last three seasons (2014 and 2015) but it was given to Marc Gasol one year and Kahwi Leonard the next instead. I also personally feel like Draymond Green deserved it hands down last year, but once again it was given to Kahwi Leonard (showing that I believe this award has been given to the WRONG person for some time now). This year I believe they FINALLY get it right and give DeAndre the award he’s deserved two times over now. When I watch DeAndre the name “Ben Wallace” comes to mind but much more athletic and offensive minded in that case; maybe a young Dwight Howard would have been a better comparison, but you get my point. DeAndre protects the paint and makes up for A LOT of the Clippers defensive shortcomings that go unnoticed. He’s good for 13+ rebounds and 2-3 blocks per night; what more could you want from your big man? If he’s not blocking a shot, he’s definitely altering shots all game long for the Clippers. He’s only 28 years old so it’s not like he’s losing a step; in fact he’s just reaching his prime years, so I expect a PRIME award winning defensive season from Jordan.
2016-17 Projected Stats: 14.3 Points, 14.6 Rebounds, 2.8 Blocks per game (34 Minutes per game)
2nd Option – Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz): Rudy Gobert stands at 7’1″ tall and has an NBA record wingspan of 7 feet 8.5 inches; enough said. Gobert is still a developing young talent, but everyone has been raving about the growth the Utah Jazz will show this year and the young talent that they have on their roster. Gobert’s presence in the middle will play a major role in that development. He’s averaged over 2 blocks the past two season and last year he grabbed 11 rebounds per game. Those stats will continue to go up and he continues to develop and the team continues to get better. Gobert is my second option.
Dark Horse Candidate – Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors): Draymond is my Dark House pick for DPOY this year. I only have him listed as my Dark Horse because the Warriors offense is supposed to be so potent that his defensive efforts might go overlooked. I felt that he should have been named the DPOY last season but was ROBBED of the honors, as the award was given to Kahwi Leonard for the second consecutive season. NO ONE in the NBA is capable and actually plays as many positions on the court as Draymond Green at 6 feet 7 inches tall; he literally plays the 1-5 position EVERY night. The only other person who can possibly be in that discussion capable of playing 1-5 is that BEAST in Cleveland, the reigning Finals MVP LeBron James. Look out for Andre Drummond as a possible Dark Horse candidate as well (he just has to get his blocks up this year).