Publish date:

Why Paul George Can Be The Defensive Player Of The Year This Season

Paul-George

It's not often a wing player is honored with the Defensive Player of the Year award, with big men dominating the award voting up until recently, with the rise of Kawhi Leonard as a defensive superstar.

Before Leonard, the last wing player to win DPoY was Ron Artest back in 2004 when playing for the Pacers, and before that, it was Gary Payton in 1996, the last guard to win the award.

It's quite possible though that defensive-minded wing players could continue their streak of Defensive Player of the Year award wins, led by none other than Oklahoma City swingman Paul George.

Joining OKC this past offseason via trade from the Indiana Pacers, George is finally in an environment where he can showcase his true talents alongside other All-Star talents in the form of Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony, not being relied on to carry the scoring load as well as guard the best player on the defensive end.

PG13 has always been known as an elite two-way player while playing for the Pacers, but his defense had the potential to improve -- and that's exactly what's happened in Oklahoma City.

59e65f02d320c.image_

George is currently leading the league in steals and steals per game, averaging 2.6 pilfers per contest, up from 1.6 steals last season in Indiana.

On top of that, PG also leads the league in deflections per game with a whopping 5.1 a game, showing just how intelligent he is in playing the passing lanes, as well as the sheer amount of effort he's putting in on the defensive end on the ball now that he has two elite scorers beside him.

When you consider the fact that both Kawhi Leonard and Rudy Gobert are missing significant time this season, Paul George could very well be a front-runner for the Defensive Player of the Year award if he keeps up this sort of hustle.