Lakers News: Rudy Gobert Wins NBA Defense Player Of The Year; Anthony Davis Finishes Fourth
Anthony Davis, Rudy Gobert, Lakers, Timberwolves
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers have slowly but surely convinced Anthony Davis that his best position is at center as the star big man has been entrenched at the five the past couple of seasons.

With Davis playing center, he’s able to patrol the paint and challenge more shots at the rim. His mix of size, length, defensive awareness and anticipation make him one of the best defenders in the NBA. However, the Lakers struggled with point of attack defense and bigger wings which often times resulted in Davis being overtaxed covering so many mistakes and blown assignments.

Although Davis had strong 2023-24 season defensively, he wasn’t recognized by the media as a top-three candidate in the annual NBA Defensive Player of the Year voting. When Rudy Gobert, Victor Wembanyama and Bam Adebayo were named as finalists, Davis admitted he didn’t understand why he wasn’t named a finalist.

Gobert was eventually named the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year for the 2023-24 season, making it his fourth time winning the award. Meanwhile, Davis ultimately finished fourth among voters.

Gobert was nearly the runaway winner and rightfully so as the Minnesota Timberwolves boasted the best defense in the regular season. Meanwhile, Wembanyama was a worthy candidate after he put up an astounding season for a rookie.

The gripe for the top three in voting is between Adebayo and Davis as the latter had one more first-place vote, but but the former earned five more second-place votes. In fairness, the Miami Heat were also a strong defensive team that Adebayo anchored throughout the year.

As far as Davis’ case, it was likely marred by the fact that Los Angeles struggled for most of the year and were just about a league-average defense. Despite improving in the second half of the season, it apparently wasn’t enough to get Davis more votes.

Regardless, it’s important to remember that DPOY is a regular season award and Davis does his best work in the playoffs. It’s fair to say that Davis might not ever win the award, though he and the Lakers have bigger goals in mind.

Anthony Davis believes Lakers should keep core together for continuity

With L.A. exiting the playoffs early, the front office is expected to pursue after star players to complement LeBron James and Davis. However, Anthony Davis is in favor of keeping their core together to preserve continuity.

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