Ahead of the final slate of NBA play-in games, the crew on NBA on TNT unveiled the list of finalists for the league’s 2022-23 Defensive Player of the Year Award.
NBA Defensive Player of the Year finalists: Jaren Jackson Jr., Brook Lopez, Evan Mobley
Jackson was named a first-time All-Star this season for the Memphis Grizzlies while leading the league with an average of 3.0 blocks per game, while Lopez averaged a career-best 2.5 blocks per game in his fifth season with the Milwaukee Bucks. Mobley didn’t boast any sign of a sophomore slump in year two with the Cleveland Cavaliers as he averaged 1.5 blocks per game and nearly a steal per game as well (0.8).
All three players were leading drivers on the defensive end for their franchises, but after leading the league in blocks it’s hard not to assume that Jackson is the odds-on favorite to win the hardware. Throw in the fact that he’s the lone All-Star selection in this group, with much of his impact being felt on the boards and on the defensive end, and it feels like the city of Memphis will have some hardware coming their way in the near future.