As the NBA regular season comes to a close, a lot of speculation will focus on which players will earn end-of-the-year awards.
One of those trophies is the Defensive Player of the Year, given to the best defender in the league.
There are multiple athletes who qualify but one of them has risen above the rest.
Brook Lopez of the Milwaukee Bucks has been incredibly strong on the defensive end of the court all season long.
As noted by NBA writer Dalton Sell, Lopez now leads the NBA in contested shots with 1,185.
That’s a startling and strong number, made even more startling and even more strong by the fact that the next player on the list is Evan Mobley of the Cleveland Cavaliers with just 775.
That is a huge gap and a major testament to Lopez’s skill.
Brook Lopez leads the NBA in contested shots with 1,185.
Next on the list is Evan Mobley with 775.
— Dalton Sell (@sell_dalton) March 16, 2023
Lopez is averaging 2.5 blocks and 4.7 defensive rebounds a game.
That is the most amount of blocks per game that he has ever had.
Lopez missed nearly all of last season due to injury but has come back with a vengeance in 2022-23.
He has been a dominant and seemingly unstoppable presence all season long, especially down in the paint.
The 34-year-old big man is so powerful that he is now leaving the rest of the league behind when it comes to contested shots.
The Bucks have gotten so much stronger with the return of Lopez.
With him leading the team’s defense, the offense has also grown stronger and the team is now leading the league in multiple ways.
They are the best team in the NBA right now and well on their way to a strong playoff run, partly because of just how monstrous Lopez has been.NEXT: The Bucks Lead The League In Multiple Ways