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Kawhi Leonard Named Defensive Player Of Year

For the second consecutive season, the Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard has been named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year, the league announced via press release. Leonard, a 6’7″ small forward, becomes the first noncenter to earn the honor in back-to-back seasons since Dennis Rodman did so in 1989/90 and 1990/91. The 24-year-old Leonard received 84 first-place votes and 547 total points from a panel of 130 sportswriters and broadcasters. He beat out the Warriors’ Draymond Green, who notched 44 first-place votes and 421 points to finish as runner-up for the second season in a row.  The Heat’s Hassan Whiteside came in third with 83 points, garnering two first-place votes.  Players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote, according to the release.

Leonard, a first-time NBA All-Star this season, anchored a Spurs defense that led the NBA in points allowed (92.9 ppg) and defensive rating (96.6 points per 100 possessions).  The Spurs, who were a franchise-record 67-15 this season, were significantly tougher on defense with Leonard in the game. According to NBA.com, they had a defensive rating of 94.9 when the five-year veteran was on the court and 99.2 when he wasn’t — a difference of 4.3 points per 100 possessions. Leonard also averaged 1.78 steals, which was good for 12th in the NBA, 5.5 defensive rebounds and a career-high 0.99 blocks to go with career highs of 21.2 points and 2.6 assists on the offensive end.

The final voting results for 2015/16 NBA Defensive Player of the Year:

  1. Kawhi Leonard (Spurs)
  2. Draymond Green (Warriors)
  3. Hassan Whiteside (Heat)
  4. DeAndre Jordan (Clippers)
  5. Paul Millsap (Hawks)
  6. Avery Bradley (Celtics)
  7. Rudy Gobert (Jazz)
  8. Tony Allen (Grizzlies)
  9. Anthony Davis (Pelicans)
  10. Andre Drummond (Pistons)
  11. Jimmy Butler (Bulls)
  12. LeBron James (Cavaliers)
  13. Trevor Ariza (Rockets)
  14. Jae Crowder (Celtics)
  15. Al Horford (Hawks)
  16. Kyle Lowry (Raptors)
  17. Chris Paul (Clippers)

To see each voter’s ballot, click here.

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5 thoughts on “Kawhi Leonard Named Defensive Player Of Year

  1. aarongill

    Not votes for Roy Hibbert? Lol jk.

    • aarongill

      No*

  2. Glad that Leonard won. While Green’s defensive ability to guard essentially any position, he isn’t tasked with guarding the team’s best player on a nightly basis. That’s partially due to the Warriors asking Green to play the 4/5 so they need him to cover a big but Leonard is often paired against the best offensive player on the opposing team. Also I’m glad that Whiteside didn’t win. Great shot blocker but that’s all he can really do as he’s still learning how to play actual defense.

  3. Z.....

    2nd year in a row that Tim Duncan finishes the season number 1 in defensive box plus/minus, and isn’t even mentioned…Kawhi shouldn’t have won last year. He missed like 20 games. And Draymond got more 1st place votes. Also, I find it incredibly hypocritical to have those guys as the top vote getters, despite them being deserving, when the excuse given for LeBron not winning the 2 years he got robbed by Tyson Chandler and Marc Gasol, was his size…I guess I’m more annoyed at last season’s results than this year. Kawhi is pretty deserving this season. It just irks me that now he is a 2 time winner, when he shouldn’t be, and others that are deserving haven’t been recognized

    This list is a joke. Most of the bigs listed have no business being mentioned. Also, Kyle Lowry over Chris Paul? Wow. I wish those were the only issues, but that’s what you get when the media decides things

    • Z.....

      that 2nd paragraph is supposed to say: Seriously. This list is a joke. Most of the bigs listed have no business being mentioned, and there are guys that missed a lot of games as well. Also, Kyle Lowry over Chris Paul? And of course a Houston broadcaster casts a vote for Trevor Ariza like its 4 years ago, or possibly just b/c he apparently didnt watch any of the games he broadcasted throughout the season while the Rockets defense was god awful. I dont see Marvin Williams or Justise Winslow or Kentavious Caldwell Pope on that list at all. Wow. I wish those were the only issues, but that’s what you get when the media decides things….Sorry for the 2nd post

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