Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr. has won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award, per the announcement on the TNT pregame show Tuesday ahead of the playoff game between the Nets and the 76ers. Jackson Jr. finished with 351 total points with 56 first-place votes.
stamp that @jarenjacksonjr | #BigMemphis pic.twitter.com/IQ03QvBeXI— Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz) April 17, 2023
Jackson Jr. beat out Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez and Cleveland Cavaliers forward Evan Mobley for the honor. Lopez finished with 309 points and Mobley had 101 points. Despite missing time at the beginning of the season recovering from a foot injury, Jackson Jr. averaged 6.8 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game.
Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert opened the year as the odds-on favorite to win the honor at DraftKings Sportsbook, but Jackson Jr. quickly became the favorite with his ability to protect the rim. His rebounding numbers aren’t that for a typical DPOY candidate, although that is largely because Memphis’ frontcourt has been solid all season. Jackson Jr. should have better rebounding numbers in the playoffs with Steven Adams and Brandon Clarke sidelined.
The Grizzlies, and Jackson Jr., will be in action Wednesday attempting to level their first-round series against the Lakers.