May 15, 2011; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol (33) attempts a shot while being guarded by Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka (9) during the second half of game seven of the second round of the 2011 NBA playoffs at the Oklahoma City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Marc Gasol wins Defensive Player of the Year; Serge Ibaka finishes third

Marc Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies has now officially been named the Defensive Player of the Year in 2012-13.

Gasol led the Grizzlies to a 56-26 record this season. Memphis had the No. 2 best defensive efficiency mark at 97.4 behind only the Indiana Pacers.

Gasol averaged 14.1 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game this season.

LeBron James finished second in the voting and Serge Ibaka came in third.

Gasol received 30 first-place votes while LeBron received 18 and Ibaka 14.

Kendrick Perkins came out yesterday endorsing Ibaka for the award and said he could not believe he didn’t win it. Today, Dwight Howard did the same thing.

Maybe this is a thing where the players really respect Ibaka as a defender more than the voters do.

Ibaka led the league in blocks for the second straight season averaging 3.0 per game. The Thunder had the fourth best defensive efficiency this season.

LeBron may have won it if Miami’s regular season defense was better. They simply did not need to though because their offense was so good and that may have worked against LeBron.

Ibaka has plenty of room to grow as a defender. Winning this award does seem like something that will come his way in the future.

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Tags: Marc Gasol Memphis Grizzlies Oklahoma City Thunder Serge Ibaka

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