Rankings Debates: RBs vs. WRs
Covering the impact of coronavirus on the sports world
When the NBA announces its season awards, there’s typically an award show that comes with it. This season, though, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the awards are being announced sporadically over the course of the postseason. Coach of the Year has already been announced, with the Toronto Raptors’ Nick Nurse receiving the award, and on Tuesday evening the league made Defensive Player of the Year winner known to the public.
After finishing in second place a season ago, Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo won the league’s top defensive prize in landslide fashion. The reigning MVP received 75 of the 100 first-place votes, with Lakers’ All-Star big man Anthony Davis coming in second place with 14 first-place votes.
Giannis Antetokounmpo won in landslide fashion for Defensive Player of the Year. Anthony Davis, who came in second, only got 14 first-place votes. pic.twitter.com/xDCJiCmVvy
Antetokounmpo’s impact on the defensive end of the floor anchors Milwaukee’s entire defense, and standing at 6-11 he’s able to guard essentially every position on the floor. He can get out and terrorize guards on the wing, and make bigs in the post pay with his ridiculous wingspan. He becomes just the second Bucks player to win Defensive Player of the Year, the first on being Sidney Moncrief. The four-time All-Star joins elite company with this award, becoming just the fifth player in NBA history to be named both the league MVP as well as DPOY. The other four players in that club are Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson and Kevin Garnett.
When Giannis was presented with the award by teammate Brook Lopez, he immediately thanked his teammates and family.
« I want to thank my family for always motivating me and supporting me and being there for me win or lose, » Giannis said. « I want to thank Coach Bud, the coaching staff for bringing the best out of us every single night. I want to thank my teammates, without my teammates this wouldn’t be possible. I know that my name is on this trophy, but it could be any of these guys name on this trophy. »
With Giannis on the floor, the Bucks allowed just 96.5 points per 100 possession, which is the lowest defensive rating of any player in the league (min. 15 minutes per game). He allowed opponents to shoot just 36.5 percent from the floor, per the NBA, which also ranks the lowest of any player in the league. He led the league in defensive win shares (5.0), averaged a career-high in rebounds (13.6), all while leading the Bucks to a league-best 56 wins this season.
Antetokounmpo could potentially win some additional hardware when Most Valuable Player is announced later on during the postseason. If he were to be named MVP for the second consecutive year, he would join Jordan and Olajuwon as the only players in league history to win both awards in the same season.
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