Raptors forward O.G. Anunoby has a case for Defensive Player of the Year and Most Improved Player in the early stages of the season, Imman Adan and Katie Heindl analyze which has a better chance to come to fruition. Listen to the full episode on the "Raptors Over Everything" podcast feed or watch on our YouTube.
IMMAN ADAN: Last question on OG I'm going to ask you before we close this up. We'll just talk a little bit Cavs right after this. OG-- do you think he has a better case for DPOY or MIP?
KATIE HEINDL: I mean, in my-- like, what we're talking about, the MIP, I think, is maybe an outsider perspective perhaps because it's like, he, I think, has been developing at this rate season over season his entire career. It's just he hasn't had these great stretches to flourish.
IMMAN ADAN: Yeah.
KATIE HEINDL: Or maybe just, like, the spotlight on him at the moments he has been flourishing, I would say too.
IMMAN ADAN: That's a lot of what MIP is, to be quite honest. It is a narrative-based-- most NBA awards are narrative-based awards. Yeah.
KATIE HEINDL: Yeah, so I think more defensive player of the year, but I wonder if, just because of what we're saying about it, yeah, it is kind of a narrative-based award, and the defensive player of the year category is always a pretty stacked category. Not to say he's not up for it and hasn't been playing like he's up for it. But it might be-- he's more deserving of defensive player of the year, I think, candidacy. But now I'm like, have I talked myself into getting the most improved?
IMMAN ADAN: See, see, that's exactly where I'm at with it. I think he is only in the running for Mitt because DPOY is so stacked. But here's my take. He is the defensive player of the year.
Like, I don't want a consolation prize, which is what I'm going to be treating MIP as for OG Anunoby. And I also think that, like, I don't know what the criteria for MIP is anymore after Ja Morant won it. I don't think you can be the second overall pick and still win MIP in your third season. Like, you're not even done your rookie contract, and still?
KATIE HEINDL: Yeah, what's the model that you're improving on?
IMMAN ADAN: Isn't this just, like, called a natural progression? Like, isn't this what's expected? So I have no idea what the new rubric is for becoming MIP, but I do know that DPOY, it's pretty obvious what the criteria is for that, and it's being the best defender in the league.
And I think that OG has really made his case. And so-- and I like that he's doing it with counting stats as well because a lot of people, like I said, narrative-based awards, all of these awards. They look at those other things as well.
So yeah, I like the case for OG DPOY. I think Brook Lopez is making a strong case over in Milwaukee. But, hey, we're going with the wing. We're done with the bigs winning it.