Los Angeles Lakers All-Star Anthony Davis was named among the three finalists for the Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award. While this was expected, it’s good to see Davis being recognized as one of the league’s elite defenders.
There is also no surprise as to who’s joining him as the award’s finalists. Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo and Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert also got nods, as all three have been dominant on the defensive end of the court.
As it stands, Antetokounmpo is likely the favorite to win Defensive Player of the Year, as well as MVP, due to his greatness on both ends of the floor for the NBA’s best team in the Bucks. However, Davis and Gobert both have compelling cases to make as well.
Davis is one of the NBA’s most versatile defenders, with the ability to guard players on the perimeter while simultaneously being able to block shots with consistency.
Gobert — on the other hand — has already taken this award home twice in the last two seasons due to him being the best rim protector in all of basketball.
In the categories that have the largest impact on Defensive Player of the Year, the results are a mixed bag. Antetokounmpo and Gobert have a big advantage in rebounding, grabbing 13.7 and 13.6 respectively compared to Davis’ 9.4. However, Davis leads the three in both steals and blocks.
Going to advanced stats, all three have similar defensive win shares, which estimates the number of wins a player has contributed to his team through his defense. Antetokounmpo leads the way with 4.9, but Davis and Gobert are close behind at 4.4 and 4.3.
Defensive box plus-minus gives a major advantage to the Greek Freak. His 4.1 fares noticeably better than Davis’ 2.7 and Gobert’s 1.9. However, Davis has a huge advantage in block percentage, as he is No. 5 in the NBA in that category while the other two aren’t in the top 20.
Along with Davis earning recognition, LeBron James was selected as a finalist for MVP, along with Antetokounmpo and Houston Rockets star James Harden.
Results for this award and all other NBA awards will be announced during the 2020 NBA Playoffs.
Lakers coach Frank Vogel picks Davis as his Defensive Player of the Year
Although it has some bias behind it, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel landed on Davis when deciding who should be defensive player of the year. He’s one step closer to being correct with the finalists being revealed.
“Nobody impacts winning more than LeBron James. I believe he should be the MVP this year, and I believe Anthony Davis should be Defensive Player of the Year,” Vogel recently said. “I hope those awards go to our two players. That’s not to take anything away from some of the other candidates.”
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!