Preseason prediction: Duncan for Defensive Player of the Year

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Editor's note: We asked our panel of NBA experts, "Who will win Defensive Player of the Year?"

1. Tim Duncan (5 votes)

Henry Abbott, ESPN.com's TrueHoop: A strong candidate every year.

Jon Barry, ESPN: The more I saw him in the playoffs last year, the more I discovered that I never realized just how good defensively he was.

Chad Ford, ESPN.com: The guy is so dependable that everyone sleeps on him each year. If the Spurs are back in elite form, Duncan should walk away with this trophy.

John Hollinger, ESPN.com: Maybe, one of the most dominant defenders of the past decade finally will be honored as such.

Kiki Vandeweghe, ESPN: Underrated. He's going to need to shine defensively for the Spurs to get where they want to go.

T-2. Bruce Bowen (3 votes)

J.A. Adande, ESPN.com: Maybe he deserves this for his body of work.

Mark Jackson, ESPN: One of best defenders the league has ever seen, whether it's bigs or littles.

Marc Stein, ESPN.com: Show me someone else in this league who guards Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki, Steve Nash and LeBron James.

T-2. Kevin Garnett (3 votes)

Chris Palmer, ESPN Mag: Best defensive presence in Beantown since his boy Kevin McHale.

Scoop Jackson, ESPN.com: Will block more shots than Wonder Woman's bracelets.

Keith Lipscomb, ESPN.com Fantasy:
No obvious, sure-to-be healthy candidates (see: Camby, Marcus). I miss the days of writing "Ben Wallace" in pen.


Tyson Chandler (1 vote )

Jemele Hill, ESPN.com: He's coming off his best season, but this year Chandler is on the verge of becoming an All-Star.

Dwight Howard (1 vote)

Ric Bucher, ESPN Mag: Because voters are enthralled with rebounds and blocks.

Andrei Kirilenko (1 vote)

David Thorpe, Scouts Inc.: Confidence is often the difference maker at this level, and AK has it after his EuroBasket performance.

Shawn Marion (1 vote)

Chris Broussard, ESPN Mag

Andres Nocioni (1 vote)

Jack Ramsay, ESPN Radio: This bulldog loves the challenge ... strong and tough.

Ben Wallace (1 vote )

Jalen Rose, ESPN:
He's got his headband back this year. Ben's going to be heading back into the leaders' column in defensive categories.

Gerald Wallace (1 vote)

Chris Sheridan, ESPN.com: Those who didn't draft him in fantasy leagues will be kicking themselves for the next 5½ months.