Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Case for DPOY Was An Easy One For Voters
Giannis Antetokounmpo made history last night. He is the fifth MVP to win a Defensive Player of the Year award. If Antetokounmpo wins the MVP for the year which is assumed, he will only be the second player to win both. Hakeem Olajuwon won both in 1994 and won a championship. There will be some people who make the case for Anthony Davis for Defensive Player of the Year on the sports talk shows, but please know that Antetokounmpo is the most deserving winner for this award. This was not a hard decision by those making it.
The hot take artists today, who need to debate something or they lose their opportunity at their daily boner, will try to explain why Davis deserved it over Giannis. They’ll throw out some bullshit explanation that doesn’t matter. All the stats lead to Giannis. Let’s look at Defensive Win Shares. Giannis is the league leader in that category. Davis is 23rd. Rudy Gobert is 24th. Want another one? How about opponents’ points in the paint? Giannis allows only 22.2 while Davis and Gobert are around 33 points. That is an eleven point difference. That’s a significant amount.
From my quick research, there is only one stat where Davis reigns over Giannis and that’s steal percentage. A metric that doesn’t matter when talking about big men. He also is a better shot blocker than Giannis but playing defense is more than blocking shots. Gobert gets all this attention for being this great shot blocker when that’s all he is. Nikola Jokic put 21 points in his face in the first quarter yesterday.
This is shaping up for Giannis to sweep the awards and be placed in another category of NBA player. Does he need a title to make it all worth it? Probably. To have one of the best regular seasons ever and not get a postseason title would sting. But Giannis knows that. The team knows that. They’re ready to win a title.