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The Memphis Grizzlies are one of the best defensive teams in basketball. And the man in the middle of it, literally, is Marc Gasol.

According to Chris Vernon, Gasol will be named the 2012-13 Defensive Player of the Year.

Gasol, in terms of traditional stats, doesn't necessarily impress. He averaged just 1.7 blocks, 1.3 a game behind league leader Serge Ibaka. Gasol pulled in 7.8 rebounds a game, almost five a game fewer than Dwight Howard, the league leader.

But Gasol's impact can be found simply in this: With him on the floor, the Grizzlies enjoyed an incredible 95.4 defensive rating. With Gasol on the floor, the Grizzlies allowed 99.3 points per 100 possessions. With him off, 105.9. His impact defensively for Memphis is pretty obvious.

Gasol anchored the league's second-best overall defense and while he wasn't swatting shots or dominating the defensive glass, his high intelligence in defending the pick-and-roll and understanding space makes him a very excellent choice.
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