Report: Marcus Camby Defensive Player of the Year
April 27, 2007 12:17 PM
Marc J. Spears of the Denver Post has the scoop:
"It would be the greatest award I've received, other than college player of the year (at the University of Massachusetts in 1996). There are so many great people that won the award," said Camby, in a phone interview Thursday.
The Nuggets are expected to announce the award during a press conference today. NBA commissioner David Stern will be at Game 3 Saturday night at the Pepsi Center and is expected to give Camby the award prior to the game against San Antonio. While the media voting for the award has yet to be released, other candidates included San Antonio forwards Tim Duncan and Bruce Bowen and Phoenix's Shawn Marion. Chicago center Ben Wallace won the past two awards and four of the past five as a member of the Detroit Pistons.
"I just try to be consistent with rebounding the basketball and blocking shots and having trust from my teammates that if they get beat I'll be there to block a shot," Camby said. "I led the league in blocks and finished top four in rebounding. I try to be consistent with that."
Camby is no doubt getting the award on the basis of his gaudy block (3.3 per game, first in the league) and rebound (11.7 per game, tied for fourth) statistics. And at those things, he is amazing. He has the gift of the block, and he should absolutely be recognized in some fashion for that.
We need better ways to measure defense, though, because more than one basketball person has told me that Camby could help his team a lot more on the defensive end.
When defending pick and rolls, the key skill of NBA defense, Camby doesn't often even try to show, trap, or do anything to impede the ball-handler's path to the paint. That means a lot of plays that might have resulted in a frustrated offense -- but no stats for anyone -- instead result in a large number of plays at the rim. That's an inflated number of layups, runners, floaters, and dunks for the other team, which really hurts Denver, as well as an inflated number of blocks and rebounds for Mr. Camby.