NBA Defensive Player of the Year power rankings: Bam Adebayo rising to the top

Bam Adebayo is slowly creeping into the Defensive Player of the Year conversation again. This could be the year he finally wins the award.
Miami Heat v Los Angeles Lakers
Miami Heat v Los Angeles Lakers / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages
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1. Rudy Gobert

James Harden, Rudy Gobert
Los Angeles Clippers v Minnesota Timberwolves / David Berding/GettyImages

Team success and rim deterrence have gotten this man a lot of money and accolades. Of his three DPOY awards, Rudy Gobert was a deserving candidate each time, though other players had strong cases.

Gobert is back to his stifling ways after a down year by his standards a season ago. Guards attack the paint, hopelessly pump-faking into oblivion as they attempt to get Gobert to make a misstep. This happens rarely.

Amongst active defending bigs, Gobert remains one of the most minor foul-prone players out there. His 3.2 foul percentage ranks in the 74th percentile. Other bigs have better numbers in that regard, but Gobert's rim protection numbers are otherworldly. According to PBP stats, opponents are shooting a dreadful 49.6% with Gobert at the rim.

Not only are players missing shots against Gobert at the rim, but teams just flat-out won't attempt many shots, either. Opponents only shoot 29.5% of their shots at the rim against this stingy Timberwolves defense. Miami ranks higher than that, but Gobert, being the leader of the number one defense in the league, keeps him at the top spot for now.

Honorable Mentions: Brook Lopez, Joel Embiid, Jalen Suggs, Herb Jones