Marc Gasol Named 2013 Defensive Player of the Year
New York, NY
Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol has bagged the Defensive Player of the Year trophy, becoming the first player in franchise history to receive the honor.
Gasol garnered 212 points and 30 first-place votes, edging Miami's LeBron James (149 points), Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka (122 points), Chicago's Joakim Noah (107) and teammate Tony Allen (102).
San Antonio's Tim Duncan, Milwaukee's Larry Sanders, Indiana's Paul George, Denver's Andre Iguodala and Indiana's Roy Hibbert wrapped up the top 10.
"On behalf of my teammates and our coaching staff, I am grateful to be named the Defensive Player of the Year," Gasol said on the team's website. "We had a great season, especially on the defensive end, and that is due to the hard work of everyone involved."
Gasol averaged just 1.7 blocks and 7.8 rebounds a game, but his defensive presence allowed the Grizzlies to limit opponent to a league-low 89.3 points in the regular season.
The Grizzlies became the first NBA team since the 2005-06 season to allow fewer than 90 points per game to their opponents.
With Gasol on the floor, the Grizzlies enjoyed an incredible 95.4 defensive rating but without him, the defense had a 102.2 rating or a difference of seven points per 100 possessions.
Memphis also ranked near the top of the league this season in defensive categories such as field goal percentage allowed (.435, 3rd), three-point field goal percentage allowed (.338, 2nd), total rebounds allowed (39.1, 1st) and forced turnovers (15.5, 6th).
Picked 48th overall by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2007, Gasol's draft rights were acquired by Memphis in exchange for older brother Pau Gasol and a 2008 second round draft pick.
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