Marcus Smart is among those who feel he should be in the running to receive the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award.
Unfortunately, however, in the running only can go so far.
The Boston Celtics guard is not among the top three favorites for the award, according to a recent ESPN story which predicted some NBA award winners including the league’s MVP, Most Improved Player and Rookie of the Year.
The Worldwide Leader named Giannis Antetokounmpo first in regards to “Who should win?” the award. The Milwaukee Bucks big man ranked ahead of Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert, Los Angeles Lakers’ Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Clippers’ Patrick Beverly and the Miami Heat’s Bam Adebayo in the category.
ESPN also predicted “Who will win?” in which Antetokounmpo had a 50 percent chance while Davis (38 percent) and Gobert (9 percent) rounded out the top three choices.
The NBA’s DPOY honor has long been an award given to the best defensive big men, overlooking the best defensive guards. Notably, NBA legend Gary Payton was the last guard to win the award in 1995-96.
Smart, however, was listed with Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons and Los Angeles Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard as others who will receive votes.
So while it’s not looking promising for Smart, the 2019-20 award, of course, doesn’t have a home yet. We’ll keep our fingers crossed.