Brook Lopez – Defensive Player of the Year
In the 2022-23 season, Brook Lopez was unbelievable on defense and had arguably the best season of his career at the age of 34. His performances put him in contention for the Defensive Player of the Year award and thus being selected to the All-Defensive First Team for the first time in his career.
He was formidable on defense, and alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo, they really made teams afraid of driving to the paint, knowing there were two big bodies there waiting to stuff them at the rim. Lopez finished the season averaging 2.5 blockers per game, seeing him have 12 games of five or more blocks and hitting nine blocks against his former team the Brooklyn Nets.
Jaren Jackson Jr. won D.P.O.Y. last season and without his center Steven Adams for the season he will be hoping to repeat the feat. Other players include Anthony Davis, who is always in contention when healthy, who knows about Kawhi Leonard, but if he is healthy, he is of course in the conversation, and finally, Giannis has the ability to guard every position which always stands you in good stead for this award.
It will be difficult for Lopez to repeat his performances from last season, but with Lillard added to the offense and hopefully a healthy Khris Middleton, he can focus more defensively as his offensive play may dip slightly now that the Bucks have a more scoring-focused point guard.
The Bucks have been one of the best defensive teams in recent years, and Adrian Griffin is a defensive-minded coach. Lopez has every chance of winning his first D.P.O.Y. award.