Larry Sanders for Defensive Player of Year?

By Trisity Miller
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Flying under the radar Milwaukee Bucks center Larry Sanders may be able to sneak in and win the Defensive Player of the Year award.

His chances are rare compared to other candidates such as Tony Allen, Tyson Chandler, Andre Iguodala and Marc Gasol due to him being on a small market team with an even smaller name. If Serge Ibaka can place second overall in defensive player of the year voting last season, then it’s safe to say that Sanders has the same chance.

The Milwaukee Bucks are currently 8th in defensive rating and 17th in points allowed per game at 98. When Larry Sanders is on the floor the Bucks allow 98.8 points per game. When he is off the floor, they allow 108.8 points. This would be the perfect time to point out that Sanders is only playing 25 minutes a game.

Compared to Tyson Chandler’s Defensive Player of the Year, the New york Knicks had a net rating of -1.2 when Chandler was on and off the floor.

Another stat that supports Sander’s case for DPOY is the defensive rating when he’s on/off the floor. It’s 105.2 when Sanders is on the bench, 96 when on the floor. Compared to the rest of the NBA, that would be number one in the league.

Sanders also leads the league in blocks per game, 3.1 (4.4 per-36 minutes), and leads the league in Block Percentage at 9.0.

One could make an argument that Sanders doesn’t play enough minutes a game to qualify for Defensive Player of the year, but his impact is more than enough to consider when thinking of names for the award. If Ibaka can be mentioned for simply blocking shots last year, then Sanders has a great chance. Competition and lack of competing in a larger marker may come back to hurt him.


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