Chris Paul and Steve Curry have been doing it for a minute, but in recent years we’ve been able to see some of the newer faces in the cut-off stage showing that they’re not afraid of the big moments… Guys like Devin Booker, Jason Tatum, Ja Morant and now, even Anthony Edwards.
But the more I watched these men, the more I had to respect the men whose job it was to stop them. It may be cliched, but it’s defensive
truly Win trophies. At this point, there are only eight teams left in the playoffs, and it’s no coincidence that guys like Matisse Thiebol, Draymond Green, Michal Bridges and Pam Adebayo are still alive.
There can only be one defensive player of the year, and this year, he happens to be playing in Boston.
Marcus Smart definitely worth.
Obviously I feel a little calm with the Celtics, but over the years, when I’ve been watching Marcus, I’ve always felt that he is exactly the kind of player I want on my team. He has skills on both sides of the ball, but defensively, he’s not willing to give an inch to his opponent, which is exactly why he’s a favorite in Boston.
The first conversation I had with Gary Payton as soon as we became teammates in Miami, the GP complimented me because, according to him, I wasn’t afraid to get up in another guy’s face. To be honest, I was a bit surprised that he knew who I was, but he always told me that this comment was real, and today, this comment has a new meaning to me.
When I look back at my career, I thank for everything I have been able to achieve and for the fact that I have been able to win at the highest level. It’s hard for me to look back and say I have no regrets, but I can’t lie…As someone who was seen as a great 3D guy, it was nice to win the Defensive Player of the Year award. If you’re someone who takes pride in your ability to lock up other guys, that’s kind of the pinnacle of a career.
Even though we were only together in Miami for a short time, I learned a lot about defensive principles and techniques from the GP, and we were especially proud to defend our opponents and make things difficult for them.
For me, everything comes full circle in some way; Marcus became the first goalkeeper since the GP to win the Defensive Player of the Year award.
Gary Payton pulled out to surprise DPOY winner Marcus Smart 👏 pic.twitter.com/FrGtxLWEsR
– Bleacher Report (BleacherReport)
April 18 2022
The GP was named Defensive Player of the Year during the 1995-96 season. Since then, out of the next 25 seasons, the award has been given, and it’s gone to number 19 times. The other six times, the prize was won equally by the young attackers and the strong attackers.
The fact that it is almost 30 years before a backcourt player wins the award again is insane. If anything, the prize should be given to the guards more than anyone else.
What we’ve seen throughout history is that, for the most part, centers get the credit for solidifying a team’s defense. And in most cases, they deserve to be commended, because being the last line of defense is a huge responsibility. But centers usually have the advantage of size and play close to the edge. In many cases their primary responsibilities are blocking or changing shots, and rebounding, but they usually have a higher chance of playing on the ball and attracting attention because they usually play on the edge.
Obviously, having a good anchor is an important part of any tournament-level defense, but even players like Rudy Gobert or Dikembe Mutombo can’t patch every hole in a bad defense.
When you have a unit of five on the ground, they are really just as strong as the weakest link, and if the backcourt can’t defend, the team is roasting.
think about it. In most cases, unless you’re playing a triangle attack or something, the offensive attack starts with a guard point. If he is able to easily beat his leg from dribbling, then this puts the entire defense in jeopardy. When it comes to direct play and man-to-man defense, the goalkeepers have to be top notch so they are not in charge of their team.
Today, the game is very far apart. It’s certainly getting more difficult for positions, but the surrounding players have to guard pickups and rolls, chase screens, keep missions ahead, contain dribbling ahead of them, and generally take on more responsibility.
To be honest, it does seem a little strange discussing this point, as Draymond Green and OG Anunoby are two of my favorite companions to watch on the defensive end. I respect the hell of Joubert and Adebayo, and I think Dennis Rodman and Scottie Pippen are some of the best defenders ever. None of these guys is a player in the backcountry. However, what they have in common is their versatility. That’s why Marcus Smart deserved to win the award this year.
Perhaps the solution is to separate the league for Defensive Player of the Year, and award the award to the best backcourt defender and best frontcourt defender. That would probably take a bit of prestige out of the honor, but the fact of the matter is that seniors and goalkeepers have very different responsibilities to a team’s defense – it’s really hard to compare those contributions directly.
But this year, at least, it’s good to see that Marcos ended the drought. It’s been a long time coming. Not every day you find a guard who not only accepts every challenge that comes his way, but excels at it as well. Smart can effectively protect all 5 positions, which is something you don’t see every day.
With dollars standing between them and a chance of reaching the conference finals, Boston has its own cut in the eastern semi-finals. Giannis and Pax try to turn back.
But one thing is for sure, Boston will fight, and I know Marcus Smart will fight every possession he has. And even if he wasn’t 100%, his fingerprints would be all over the game.
He deserves more than credit for that. He deserves to be the best defensive player of the year and, frankly, he’s long overdue.