Nic Claxton is on fire of late. Saturday night was his ninth double-double of the season and he blocked six Raptors shots, a career high.

Asked about how he’s been able to play at such a high level, Claxton told Meghan Triplett of YES Network he believes he deserves more respect, including being in the so-called conversation for Defensive Player of the Year...

“It’s just me being me,” Claxton told Triplett. “Honestly, I feel that I am one of the best defenders in the league. I feel I should be in the top for the Defensive Player of the Year. I feel like I wasn’t getting the respect I deserve. We’re winning, my numbers are good protecting the rim, guarding 1 through 5.

“So, it’s just me being me, bringing energy and it’s great for the team,” he added.

Setting his sights on the DPOY may seem a bit far-fetched to some, but the near 7-foot, 23-year-old is second in the league in blocks at 2.3 per game behind Brook Lopez. He’s now averaging nearly nine rebounds to go along with his nearly 12 points.