Defense is key in the NBA, even though it might not seem like that due to the high offensive scoring and deep threes. In the NBA, individual defense is focused on more than any other sport, as most of the time players are left on an island. The Defensive Player of the Year award is awarded to the player who plays outstanding defense throughout the course of the NBA season. This could be a big man blocking shots, or a quick hands player getting a ridiculous amount of steals. It could be both and there are a few great candidates that could walk away with the Defensive Player of the Year award.

Draymond Green

Draymond Green has been under the radar offensively for the majority of the season, but defensively, he has been a threat to opposing offenses.

Green is averaging 1.4 blocks per game, swatting away shots and harassing shooters driving in the lane. Green is also averaging 2 steals per game, which is first in the league. In head-to-head defense, Green's opponents have barely shot 40 percent from the field, and they turn over the ball on 14 percent of their possessions. Green has been able to guard a variety of positions, from the point guard spot, to the center, and the only player who can do that well is LeBron James. Green has been a defensive master this season, and he might be the front-runner for defensive player of the year.

Hassan Whiteside

Miami has been rolling in the second half of the season and they can give the credit to Hassan Whiteside. Whiteside is a big man in the paint, and he's been sending back shots on a regular basis.

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Whiteside is averaging 2 blocks per game, and even though it might not look like a lot, his blocks are timely. He had a blocked shot on Bradley Beal to seal the game vs. the Wizards. Whiteside has been under the radar the entire season, and now he might be able to get the Defensive Player of the Year trophy.

Kawhi Leonard

It seems like Leonard is always in the defensive player of the year discussion every year. Leonard is having yet another great year defensively, harassing the best scorers in the NBA. Kawhi is averaging almost two steals per game and is only committing about 2 fouls per game. That means he is picking his spots wisely to get a deflection or a steal. He averages almost one block per game, showing that he can swat a shot away if needed. He has shown his dominance over some of the best players in the game, shutting down LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and many more. His versatility on defense allows him to play even the shiftiest of guards. In the west when you have so much star talent in that conference, Kawhi is holding his own, and that might be enough to allow him to three-peat as defensive player of the year.

Rudy Gobert

The "Stifle Tower" of Utah has been a machine on defense this season. Being able to use his long body makes him able to swat away shots that seem impossible. Gobert is averaging almost 3 blocks per game, showing he is a force in the paint. His opponents have the third lowest shooting percentage against him when going to the rim, shooting 43 percent. He is man amongs boys in the paint, and his shot blocking ability might just earn him a defensive player of the year trophy.

Who wins?

It will be a close vote, but I have Draymond Green winning this. His defensive energy is second to none. Also, it will help your case when you're leading the league in steals. His team relies on his defensive excellence, and that might explain why the Warriors are one of the best defensive teams in the league. Draymond Green is my choice for Defensive Player of the Year.