Atlanta Hawks: Team Awards at Quarter-Season Mark

Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Hawks
Kent Bazemore #24 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Defensive Player of the Year: Kent Bazemore

A player who gets little hype but is a vocal leader and an absolute fiend on defense, Kent Bazemore is an easy choice for the Atlanta Hawks Defensive Player of the Year at the quarter-season mark.

Baze is extremely active on defense, and even with the new freedom of movement rules in the NBA (which Baze is clearly not a fan of if you’ve watched him bark at the officials frequently on Hawks’ telecasts), Bazemore is able to hound opposing ballhandlers, surprise drivers at the rim for amazing effort blocks and jump passing lanes for easy steals.

Though none of Baze’s defensive numbers pop in a major way, he is 10th in the league with 34 total steals and his 1.5 steals per game are good for a tie for 18th in the league. Among his teammates, Baze is first on the team with those 1.5 SPG and tied for second on the team with 1.0 BPG.

Counting stats be damned, Bazemore really shines in ESPN’s defensive real plus/minus, where Baze has rocketed all the way up to 4th among all shooting guards with a 0.98 DRPM – behind only Danny Green, Andre Iguodala and Victor Oladipo among two guards.

Among the Hawks, Baze is tied for first in defensive win shares at 0.6 with DeAndre’ Bembry, who has experienced an impressive bounce-back campaign, which makes him the frontrunner for…