Jaren Jackson Jr. Named 2023 NBA Defensive Player Of The Year
The NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year for the 2023 season is none other than Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr. Moreover, this marks the first award given out for the basketball league for this year, handed out on Monday night (April 17). Furthermore, Jackson Jr. earned the award with 56 first place votes over Brook Lopez and Evan Mobley, who were also finalists. The 23-year-old led the league with 3.0 blocks per game, 1.0 steals, and a 9.6 percent block rate. Also, Jackson Jr. was near the top of most advanced metrics, earning a top 10 spot in many categories.
To elaborate, these were in Defensive Box Plus/Minus, Defensive Win Shares, and Defensive Rating, according to Basketball-Reference. All in all, Jaren Jackson Jr.’s work to secure the ball for his team contributed to a fantastic season for the Memphis Grizzlies. In fact, they ended up being the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference behind the Denver Nuggets. While his work was certainly impressive, cases for each finalist were hotly contested. For example, the strongest knock against the New Jersey native was his number of games played, with both Lopez and Mobley playing more often.
Jaren Jackson Jr. Becomes The NBA’s Defensive Player Of The Year
However, that didn’t stop voters from siding with Jaren Jackson Jr. and his defensive prowess. All that’s left now is to see how far along the Memphis Grizzlies will go in the 2023 playoffs. Recently, they lost their opening first round game against the Los Angeles Lakers 128 to 118. Jackson Jr. scored 31 points, five rebounds, two blocks, four assists, and one steal. That series should make for one of the more exciting in the Western Conference, especially considering the team’s recent extracurricular developments.
Meanwhile, there are others in the NBA world who think the series is already over. “This series is over,” Stephen A. Smith remarked after Ja Morant’s hand injury. “As far as I’m concerned, the Lakers are winning this series. I think it’s done.” Perhaps the Grizzlies and the Defensive Player of the Year will be able to turn the odds in their favor. For updates on that and more news on Jaren Jackson Jr., come back to HNHH.