During the opening week of the NBA Playoffs, the league has so far announced three winners for Regular Season awards. Earlier in the week, Lou Williams of the Toronto Raptors won the Sixth Man Award and Mike Budenholzer of the Atlanta Hawks won the Coach of the Year Award. Today the NBA announced that San Antonio Spurs Kawhi Leonard has won the Defensive Player of the Year award.
Leonard, 23, led the league in steals per game this year with 2.3. He also had a career-high in rebounds per game with 7.2. He is the third Spurs player to win the award, first since David Robinson in 1991-92.
Kawhi Leonard registered 37 first-place points with a total of 333 points. The point system is the same as stated in previous award post in which 1st place points are worth 5, 2nd place votes are worth 3 and 3rd place points are worth only 1 point. Leonard actually did not have the most first place points, Draymond Green of the Warriors actually had the most with 45. Since Leonard had more 2nd and 3rd place votes he was able to beat Green 333-317. DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers came in 3rd place with 261 points (32 1st place votes).
When on the court, Leonard anchored the defense the Spurs defense. NBA.com has an interesting stat that might have been overlooked to the average fan: (Excerpt from NBA.com)
“The 6-7 Leonard averaged career highs of 2.31 steals and 5.9 defensive rebounds to help anchor a Spurs defense that held opponents under 100 points per game (97.0) for the 20th consecutive season. According to NBA.com/Stats, San Antonio ranked third in the NBA in defensive rating, allowing 99.6 points per 100 possessions. The Spurs gave up only 97.1 points per 100 possessions when Leonard was on the court, a defensive rating that would have led the league over the entire season. When Leonard was off the court, though, San Antonio permitted 102.2 points per 100 possessions, a league-average defensive rating.”
You can see from that excerpt from above that Kawhi Leonard has meant a lot to this team. He definitely stepped up big time last season, winning the 2014 NBA Finals MVP and has grown since. The Spurs are currently tied 1-1 with the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the 2015 Playoffs and have hopes of making another historic Finals run.
Here is the breakdown of all the sportswriters across the country that were in the panel and who they voted for. Here is the final tally results for the 2014-2015 NBA Season Defensive Player of the Year award.
Player Team 1st (5) 2nd (3) 3rd (1) Total
- Kawhi Leonard SA 37 41 25 333
- Draymond Green GS 45 25 17 317
- DeAndre Jordan LAC 32 25 26 261
- Anthony Davis NO 11 15 7 107
- Rudy Gobert UTAH 2 4 11 33
- Andrew Bogut GS 0 6 13 31
- Tony Allen MEM 1 4 12 29
- Tim Duncan SA 1 1 4 12
- Michael Kidd-Gilchrist CHA 0 2 3 9
- Jimmy Butler CHI 0 2 1 7
- Marc Gasol MEM 0 2 1 7
- Joakim Noah CHI 0 1 0 3
- LeBron James CLE 0 0 3 3
- Trevor Ariza HOU 0 1 0 3
- Patrick Beverly HOU 0 0 1 1
- DeMarre Carrol ATL 0 0 1 1
- Nerlens Noel PHI 0 0 1 1
- Chris Paul LAC 0 0 1 1
- Hassan Whiteside MIA 0 0 1 1
What do you think? Is Leonard DPOY? Who should have won it? Tweet at us @BBallSociety_