Kevin Garnett: 10 Reasons He Deserves to Win Defensive Player of the Year Award

Ross ColemanAnalyst IJanuary 21, 2011

Kevin Garnett: 10 Reasons He Deserves to Win Defensive Player of the Year Award

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    MIAMI - NOVEMBER 11:  Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics watches a free throw during a game against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on November 11, 2010 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloa
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Kevin Garnett has always been a defensive force for most of his career. He even was recognized as the best defensive player in the league in 2008.

    Garnett has been voted to 10 NBA All-Defense teams including eight times on the first team. Last year was the first time since the 1998-99 season that he was not on an All-Defense team and the only reason he wasn't on the team was due to injury.

    This year, Garnett is back to his defensive self and he deserves to be rewarded by being named the Defensive Player of the Year.

    Here are 10 reasons why the Celtics star will win another Defensive Player of the Year award.

    What do you think of Garnett's defensive prowess? Let us know.

10. Can Guard Multiple Positions

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    BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 19:  Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics blocks as Rodney Stuckey #3 of the Detroit Pistons takes a shot on January 19, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by
    Elsa/Getty Images

    The thing that makes the Celtics so hard to beat is their versatility. That versatility starts with Garnett.

    KG is such a skilled player that he is able to switch from guarding a big man in the post to a guard with speed on the outside.

    The fact that KG can switch to anyone on the court is a rare talent that not many other NBA players possess.

9. Getting Healthy After Knee Surgury

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    CHICAGO - APRIL 30: Rajon Rondo #9, Ray Allen #20 and Kevin Garnett of the Boston Celtics watch from the bench in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on April 30, 200
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    In May 2009, Kevin Garnett had surgery to remove bone spurs from his knee. While the injury sounds minor, it caused him to miss the entire 2009 playoffs.

    Usually players take two years to recover from knee injuries. Well, KG is finally starting to look like he is fully recovered from the injury.

    The last time KG was 100 percent healthy, he was the Defensive Player of the Year and the Celtics won the NBA championship.

8. Boston Is Best in the East

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    BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 17:  Kevin Garnett #5 and Rajon Rondo #9 of the Boston Celtics talk before the Orlando Magic pass the ball in bounds on January 17, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics defeated the Magic 109-106.  NOTE TO USER:
    Elsa/Getty Images

    As I mentioned in the first slide, the thing that makes the Celtics so dangerous is their versatility.

    Well, right now the Celtics are the best team in the Eastern Conference and the second-best team in the NBA. KG is the main reason for that success.

7. Not Just a Defensive Stopper

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 11:  Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics # of the Charlotte Bobcats during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on December 11, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by d
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Once upon a time, Kevin Garnett was one of the best scoring forwards in the NBA. He has range out to the three-point line and he had some killer post moves. While the Celtics don't require him to do much scoring, he is still capable.

    Looking at other guys who were considered defensive stoppers over the past decade, only Ron Artest had the offensive game that made him difficult to deal with.

6. Celtics Defensive Struggles in Games Missed

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    BOSTON - NOVEMBER 05:  Head coach Doc Rivers of the Boston Celtics reacts to a call in the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bulls on November 5, 2010 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics defeated the Bulls 110-105 in overtime. NOTE TO
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Recently, Garnett missed nine games and most of a 10th because of an injury. During that stretch, the Celtics gave up over 100 points three times and, for the most part, those games were against lesser opponents.

    The fact that Garnett is so important to the Celtics was very evident when he wasn't playing.

5. Celtics Losses in Games Missed

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    BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 10:  Paul Pierce #34 of the Boston Celtics tries to get around Kyle Lowry #7 of the Houston Rockets on January 10, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  The Rockets defeated the Celtics 108-102. NOTE TO USER: User expressly
    Elsa/Getty Images

    During the 10-game stretch where Garnett was hurt, the Celtics lost four games. That might not sound like much, but prior to that the Celtics had lost just five games.

    There is no better judge of what someone means to a team than how that team does without that player.

    With Garnett in the lineup, the Celtics have a .828 winning percentage and a .600 when he is out of the lineup.

4. 2.41 Stocks

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 11:  Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics tries to stop D.J. Augustin #14 of the Charlotte Bobcats during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on December 11, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly ackn
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Stocks are a stat invented by Bill Simmons in his Book of Basketball. Basically steals plus blocks equals stocks.

    Kevin Garnett averages 2.41 stocks per game so far this year. Obviously, that is not a huge number, but it is very high for power forwards because of the high level of steals per game.

3. Top-Ranked NBA Defense

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    BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 17:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic is fouled by Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics  on January 17, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics defeated the Magic 109-106.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly ackn
    Elsa/Getty Images

    The Celtics lead the NBA is scoring defense.

    Boston only gives up an average of 92.1 points per game. They out-score opponents by an average of just over seven points per game.

    It might not sound like much, but that is the third-best in the NBA.

2. KG Is the Heart of Boston's Defense

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    BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 17:  Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celitcs makes a start in the game against the Orlando Magic on January 17, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. Garnett missed several weeks due to a knee injury. NOTE TO USER: User expre
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Kevin Garnett is to the Boston Celtics what Ray Lewis is to the Baltimore Ravens.

    KG is the middle linebacker of the best defense in the NBA.

    If MVP is the best player on the best team, which some people think it is, the Defensive Player of the Year is the best defender on the best defensive team.

1. Clutch Defense

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    BOSTON - MAY 24:  Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics gestures on court against the Orlando Magic in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at TD Banknorth Garden on May 24, 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts.  NOTE TO USER:
    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    On Monday, Kevin Garnett proved that he is at his best in big moments.

    Late in the game, the Celtics held a slim three-point lead and the Magic were looking to tie the game. KG stole a pass and ended up stealing the game.

    Garnett is a clutch defender.