Although Anthony Davis may have been snubbed for Defensive Player of the Year honors, his efforts during the 2019-20 season were more than enough to earn him a spot on the NBA All-Defensive First Team.
Davis once again finds himself in a class all his own after averaging at least 2.0 blocks and 1.5 steals for the third consecutive season and fourth time in his career. This helped spark quite a resurgence on the defensive end for a Los Angeles Lakers team that finished the season ranked third overall with a 106.1 defensive rating.
Davis also joined some elite company as the first Laker to be named to a First Team since Kobe Bryant did it in 2011. This is the the fourth time that earned All-Defensive honors but only the second First Team bid after getting it with the New Orleans Pelicans for the 2017-18 season.
The Lakers were additionally represented by LeBron James and Avery Bradley also garnering votes NBA All-Defensive Team. James received one First Team vote and five Second Team votes, while Bradley registered just one vote for Second Team.
While Davis may have been the only one to earn a spot outright, it is indicative of the recipe for success Los Angeles has established during an unprecedented season. It is now paying huge dividends for them in the playoffs after taking a 2-1 series lead in the Western Conference Semifinals against the Houston Rockets.
Vogel again touts Davis over Antetokounmpo
Lakers coach Frank Vogel has made it a point to ensure that his players are getting the recognition they deserve. He previously spoke at length about why James was more than deserving of winning the NBA MVP over Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo.
So it should come as no surprise to see Vogel stand by his endorsement for Davis as Defensive Player of the Year after the First and Second Teams were announced.
“Obviously the less you have to double in this league the better your defense is going to be. The more you have positional flexibility, the better your defense is going to be. The more you have rim protection, the better your defense is going to be. Anthony brings all of those to the table,” Vogel explained.
“It’s not surprising, but we’re happy for him that he made All-Defensive First Team. In my mind he’s the Defensive Player of the Year and a huge reason for our success this season. I think we’ve seen his impact in this series, with what he’s able to do guarding multiple, highly-talented offensive players.”
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