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Is Roy Hibbert a dark-horse contender for Defensive Player of the Year?
Dwight Howard hasn't done anything to lose the award that he's won three years running. Tyson Chandler has changed the culture of the New York Knicks, taking one of the worst defensive units in the NBA to a reputation as a respectable foe. Even LeBron James has garnered some interest, as his versatility has bred respect and consideration.
Through all of the household names, could it be possible that an All-Star center is being overlooked? Spoiler Alert: the answer is yes.
In 2011, the Indiana Pacers were one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA. At the heart of this was their porous interior defense, which led to their allowing 100.9 points and 11.4 offensive rebounds per game. Both of those statistics ranked in the bottom half of the NBA.
In 2012, Roy Hibbert has played a major role in covering up those holes. While the offensive rebounds are still there, the points are not. A major reason is that Hibbert averages 2.0 blocks and 5.5 defensive rebounds per game. His 7'2", 260-pound frame is a factor as to why.
While Hibbert is not my choice for winner of this award, he deserves consideration for all he's done.
Front-Runner: Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic
Columnist Pick: Tyson Chandler, New York Knicks
Fellow Candidates: Roy Hibbert, Indiana Pacers; LeBron James, Miami Heat; Josh Smith, Atlanta Hawks