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The Most Dominant Defensive Player of the Year

By 11.11.08

Yesterday we debated the Most Valuable MVP in the last thirty years, in which virtually everyone said that Michael Jordan‘s ’87-88 season takes the cake. The crazy thing about that particular season was that MJ also notched Defensive Player of the Year honors. He and Hakeem were the only two on our list to complete that double-feat over the same year.

You’ll find Jordan’s season here along with some ridiculous defensive campaigns, as we’re taking stacking up the greatest defensive seasons of the last thirty years. We went back to 1982-83 to find the thirteen best Defensive POY seasons. (That’s when the award started.) We limited each player to one season a piece.

Who is the most dominant Defensive Player of the Year of the last 26 years?

(Look for “DRtg” below, which stands for a player’s Defensive Rating, which is calculated as how many points their team surrendered per 100 possessions when they were on the floor. The lower, the better.)

* 1990-91 – Dennis Rodman – 9.8 ppg, 12.5 rpg, 0.9 bpg, 0.8 spg, 101 DRtg
(It’s a shame that he didn’t win it the year after when he averaged 18.7 board per night.)
* 1998-99 – Alonzo Mourning – 20.1 ppg, 11.0 rpg, 3.9 bpg, 0.7 spg, 93 DRtg
* 1986-87 – Michael Cooper – 10.5 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 0.5 bpg, 1.0 spg, 108 DRtg
* 1985-86 – Alvin Robertson – 17.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 0.5 bpg, 3.7 spg, 103 DRtg
* 1992-93 – Hakeem Olajuwon – 26.1 ppg, 13.0 rpg, 4.2 bpg, 1.8 spg, 96 DRtg
* 1991-92 – David Robinson – 23.2 ppg, 12.2 rpg, 4.5 bpg, 2.3 spg, 94 DRtg
* 1987-88 – Michael Jordan – 35.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.6 bpg, 3.2 spg, 101 DRtg
* 1984-85 – Mark Eaton – 9.7 ppg, 11.3 rpg, 5.6 bpg, 0.4 spg, 97 DRtg
* 1995-96 – Gary Payton – 19.3 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 0.2 bpg, 2.9 spg, 102 DRtg
* 2002-03 – Ben Wallace – 6.9 ppg, 15.4 rpg, 3.2 bpg, 1.4 spg, 90 DRtg
* 1994-95 – Dikembe Mutumbo – 11.5 ppg, 12.5 rpg, 3.9 bpg, 0.5 spg, 103 DRtg
* 2003-04 – Ron Artest – 18.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 0.7 bpg, 2.1 spg, 96 DRtg

Who is the most dominant Defensive Player of the Year?


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