Defensive Player of the Year
Sean: Anthony Davis
This award is difficult to determine because a lot of it depends on team defense as a whole. The Lakers rank 3rd in defensive rating while Milwaukee is ranked first but where the Lakers separate themselves is in defending the perimeter. They rank top 7 in both opponent’s field goal percentage and 3 point percentage. In my opinion, that credit belongs with Anthony Davis. When Davis is on the floor, the Lakers defenders focus on checking their individual assignments because they know they have a human eraser behind them. He’s capable of guarding on the perimeter and protecting the paint and in today’s NBA, those skills are very valuable. Davis is averaging 1.5 steals and 2.3 blocks this season and seems to be everywhere on the floor at once. He’s my pick.
Brandon: Anthony Davis
AD does so much defensively. It’s truly amazing to watch. On the season, Davis finished 3rd in blocks per game, 14h in total rebounds (something I actually wish he did better), 14th in steals per game, and first in players with a unibrow. AD has to patrol the paint, switch onto guards, block shots, get steals, and bail out the sh*tty Lakers guards. Giannis has better analytics, but I strongly believe AD should be the DPOY.
Rami: Giannis Antetokounmpo
I whole-heartedly wanted to go with Gobert here. After all, he did shut the entire league down back in mid-March. While Davis has posted incredible numbers, I ultimately chose Giannis due to his versatility. Giannis’s athleticism and skill allow him to perfectly match up with any position. From a statistical standpoint, he ranks first in defensive rating, first in defensive win shares, second in defensive rebound percentage, and first in defensive box plus/minus. All signs point to Giannis (again).