The NBA announced Wednesday that Grizzlies center Marc Gasol has been named the 2013 Defensive Player of the Year.
Gasol, 28, averaged 14.1 points, 7.8 rebounds, 4 assists, 1.7 blocks and one steal per game in his fifth season with the Grizzlies, leading Memphis to the second-best defensive efficiency mark in the NBA. The 2012 All-Star, the first Grizzlies player to ever win Defensive Player of the Year, helped guide Memphis to a 56-26 record, good for the Western Conference's No. 5 seed.
A big-bodied and high-IQ true center, Gasol improved the Grizzlies' defensive rating from 102.2 when he was off the court to 95.4 when he was on the court. A majority of a recent SI.com panel recently picked Gasol as the Defensive Player of the Year and The Point Forward's Rob Mahoney made the case for Gasol earlier this month.
Gasol garnered 30 first-place votes, finishing ahead of LeBron James (18 first-place votes), Serge Ibaka (14) and Joakim Noah (13). Others who received at least one first-place vote: Tony Allen (9), Tim Duncan (11), Larry Sanders (4), Paul George (8), Andre Iguodala (5), Roy Hibbert (3), Chris Paul (2), Avery Bradley (2), Dwight Howard (1) and Luol Deng (1). Click here for the complete results. The Grizzlies trail the Clippers 2-0 in a first-round playoff series.