And it’s about damn time, to be honest, that this man’s amazing defensive talents in the post are recognized. Though he’s the NBA’s best shot-blocking big man, Camby doesn’t get a whole lot of press playing for a team that also employs Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony. He’ll get his moment in the spotlight this afternoon, however, as the Denver Post reports that he will be named the NBA’s 2007 Defensive Player of the Year.
“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. “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. I led the league in blocks and finished top four in rebounding. I try to be consistent with that.”
On the season, Camby led the league in both blocked shots per game (3.3) and total blocks (231) while finishing tied for fourth overall in rebounds per game (11.7). Perhaps just as importantly for the Nuggets, the chronically injured 11-year vet stayed healthy for most of the season, suiting up in 70 games, the second most of any season in his career. Along with Nene and Carmelo, Denver has fielded one of the most versatile frontcourts in the league, with Camby obviously providing the D, Carmelo focusing on O, and Nene giving a little bit of both.
The 6-11 center has twice been named to the NBA’s All-Defensive Second Team, but he’ll likely make the first squad this season to go with his first ever NBA Defensive Player of the Year award. Nice job, Marcus… now shut down Timmy Duncan tomorrow night and help put your team up 2-1 on those sleep-inducing Spurs.