With Dwight Howard changing teams (he was, of course, traded from the Orlando Magic to the Los Angeles Lakers) and trying to recover from several injuries, including a herniated disc, Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol won the Defensive Player of the Year Award last season.
Howard is a three-time winner of the award, winning it from 2009-2011 (New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler won in 2012).
Although a healthy Howard is considered the most dominating defender in the league, Gasol has been a defensive force and certainly was deserving of the award last season. Gasol averaged 7.8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game and helped lead the Grizzlies to the Western Conference Finals.
During Friday night’s game between the Rockets and Grizzlies, Howard and Gasol got into a bit of an altercation.
On one play early in the first quarter, Gasol threw Rockets’ point guard Patrick Beverly to the floor and Howard took exception. Howard shoved Gasol and Gasol responded by shoving Howard back. The two were quickly separated and nothing more came of the situation.
These two squads will meet for the first time in the regular season in Memphis on November 25.