NBA Awards Rankings: New No. 1 in Defensive Player of the Year race

The NBA season is now moving into high gear and there’s a new No.1 in the Defensive Player of the Year race.
Denver Nuggets v Minnesota Timberwolves
Denver Nuggets v Minnesota Timberwolves / David Berding/GettyImages
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2. Mitchell Robinson

Ever since Mitchell Robinson came into the NBA, he has always been a great defender and through the first three weeks, he has been the second-best defender in the NBA and a reason the New York Knicks are currently on a three-game win streak. 

Robinson’s stats have not been updated from the Knicks win over the Hornets yet so through his first eight games is averaging 1.5 steals and one block per game. The blocks per game are low for his standards but behind those blocks are multiple altered shots that have caused at the rim. Through his first eight games, he is one of very few players to be averaging at least one block and one steal per game.

More importantly, Robinson is also dominating the advanced defensive stats as well. He is currently fifth in defensive rating with 100.7 and tied for fourth in defensive win shares with 0.8. All of this has led the Knicks to the second best defensive rating in basketball and currently a 5-4 record. 

Robinson is one of the few players in the league to average at least one steal and one block, top five in two advanced defense stats, along with his team being good and having the second-best defense in the NBA. He is without question in the defensive player of the year conversation. 

His defensive intensity isn’t going to go anywhere because he has been great defensively his whole career. The defensive intensity that he has been anchoring on the Knicks is second to only one player in the NBA.