Anthony Davis will end yet another season without a Defensive Player of the Year award. On Tuesday, the NBA announced that Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo is the Defensive Player of the Year for the 2019-20 season. This is Antetokounmpo’s first time winning the award.
Davis received the second-most first place votes, but it was still 61 first-place votes less than Antetokounmpo, who led the league in both defensive win shares (5.0) and defensive box plus-minus (4.1), according to Basketball Reference. The Bucks also had the best defensive rating (102.5) in the NBA, which dropped 6.5 points per 100 possessions when Antetokounmpo was off of the floor. When Antetokounmpo was on the floor, the Bucks posted a defensive rating of 97.4.
He might not have been Lakers fans’ first choice, but he’s just as deserving of the award as Davis is. Here are the full voting results:
Anthony Davis finished second in Defensive Player of the Year voting pic.twitter.com/GGi9IAXaaL— Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) August 25, 2020
This is Davis’ second time finishing among the top-three vote-getters for the Defensive Player of the Year award. In 2018, Davis finished third behind Rudy Gobert and Joel Embiid. That season, he ranked third in the league in defensive win shares (4.9). This season, he ranked second (4.4).
Anthony Davis' finish is the highest by a Laker for Defensive Player of the Year since Shaquille O'Neal also placed second in 2000.— Joey Ramirez (@JoeyARamirez) August 25, 2020
In addition to defensive win shares, Davis ranked third in total blocks with 143. Only Brook Lopez (163) and Hassan Whiteside (196) blocked more shots than Davis in the regular season. Davis also ranked fifth in block percentage (6.0).
However, Davis’ true defensive value lies in his versatility, and it’s been on full display in the Lakers’ first-round matchup with the Portland Trail Blazers. If Davis continues to dominate both ends of the floor, the Lakers have a great chance of punching a ticket to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010. Hopefully Antetokounmpo makes it there too so he and Davis can settle this debate on the court.