NBA Odds: Two Celtics In Running For Defensive Player Of The Year

Marcus Smart has the fifth-best odds to repeat as DPOY

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NBA Defensive Player of the Year has been a rigid award for the past few years, but Marcus Smart bucked the trend and won the award, becoming the first guard to do so since Gary Payton did it in 1996.

The award is typically given to big men because they often have highlight blocks that are more flashy then standard shut-down defense. And the opening odds for 2023 Defensive Player of the Year reflects the trend to return.

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert is the favorite on FanDuel Sportsbook at +650 odds. Gobert has won the award in three of the past five years and was the last player to repeat in 2018 and 2019. Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo follows close after at +700 odds. Marcus Smart has the fifth-best odds to win the award again at +950 odds. This means a $100 bet on the Celtics guard would pay out $1,050 total.

Boston shouldn’t feel too disrespected, however, because Robert Williams III has the fourth-best odds to win Defensive Player of the Year at +900 — tied with 2020 Defensive Player of the Year and Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Williams was a contender to win in 2021, but likely fell short after missing most of the second half of the regular season due to surgery on a torn lateral meniscus in his left knee.

“Time Lord” showed during the NBA Finals how big of an impact he has on the Celtics defense. If Williams can stay healthy — and if the Celtics’ defense doesn’t regress — he would make an interesting contender for Defensive Player of the Year. If he were to win the award in 2023, it would mark the first time in NBA history two teammates won Defensive Player of the Year in back-to-back seasons.

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