It’s award time again. This time, via Memphis bros Chris Vernon and Ronald Tillery, it’s DPOY talk. Here’s the Memphis Commercial Appeal:

Grizzlies center Marc Gasol will be named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year later this week, according to the multiple sources with knowledge of the voting.

Don’t expect to find too many arguments about this award. Not only did the Grizzlies finish second in defensive efficiency, according to 82games they were 6.5 points per possession better on that end when Marc-y Marc was on the court. Which is to say, the Grizzlies were great defensively but even better when the Big Burrito was watching the rim. That’s good stuff, even if his traditional defensive stats — your blocks, steals and defensive rebounds — don’t blow you away because other Grizzers are making those plays.

Cases could be made, I guess, for Joakim Noah, Roy Hibbert or Tim Duncan, all of who would be fine choices for this award if they played more minutes. But as it stands, Gasol played 370 more minutes than Noah (the closest of the previous three in terms of playing time) and 718 more than Duncan (the furthest). Considering Marc plays a little bit more than 35 minutes a game, that’s like getting an extra 10-20 games of A+ defense from your center. Between that and the cool guy factor that Gasol is enjoying thanks to the tireless work of Zach Lowe, it’s a pretty easy choice.

But it’s a free internet, so please disagree in the comments if you want to. Just remember that if you do, Marc Gasol is going to give you a giant sweaty hug to win you back. Consider for a second if that’s worth it to say how great Andre Iguodala has been this season.

Comments (12)

  1. It’s insane he wasn’t picked for the All-Star game this year. I’m glad he was able to have the rest but without Big Spain, the Grizz would be fighting just to be in the playoffs.

  2. Has to be the best cover photo in the history of TBJ

  3. HAHAHA!
    That pic is from today’s game?
    Especially the griffin-zach inside the palm tickler.

  4. i like the nickname “the big burrito”, but since he is spanish, i think it should be something more related to spain, perhaps incorporating some sort of alliteration with “paella” or “jamon”

  5. Burritos are Mexican, not Spanish… But I guess that’s the same to an American.
    Maybe the big empanada or the big tortilla?

  6. Awesome picture! Looks like two syncronized swimmers.

  7. well deserved defensive player of the year, but its crazy to think timmy never got the award.

  8. It is undoubtedly a great choice, and he deserves it. But I would have loved to see a perimeter guy like Tony Allen get it. Perimeter defenders are always underrated and Tony Allen is the most exciting non-scoring perimeter player in the league, hands-down.

    My personal choice, which nobody cares about except me, would have been, Joakim Noah over Marc Gasol by a hair (bad unintended pun).

  9. SeƱor Marcos Gasol!

  10. DPOY means nothing now. Gasol didn’t finish anywhere close to #1 in blocks. He averaged only 7 rebound per game. Fact that Memphis’ hold its opponents to 89 could be because it plays at a slow-paced tempo. Moreover, the fact that two of his teammates were in the DPOY running suggest he wasn’t responsible for the team’s defensive success.

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