Lost DPOYs 1950s
An overview of the best defenders of the 1950s NBA
As the Lost Awards Series moves into the realm of honoring defensive players, this is going to get admittedly hard. Blocks and steals (not foolproof measures of defensive acumen, but measures nonetheless) weren’t tracked until the 1973-74 NBA season. And forget about any advanced metrics.
Best we got is basketball-reference’s estimates of defensive win shares.
That means that I am NOT going to try and identify a Defensive Player of the Year or All-Defensive Teams for each season of the 1950s. DPOY didn’t come around until the early 1980s and All-Defensive Teams not until the 1968-69 season.
However, for the 1950s, I will mention three players (a guard, a forward, and a center) who I think exhibited the best defense from their positions in the decade and then provide some names at the end of other worthy folks.
Given that I haven’t read everything about the NBA from the 1950s, I’m invariably going to leave some people out. Feel free to mention dudes in the comments that I neglect to.