Lakers: Why Anthony Davis’ DPOY snub could be good for LeBron James

Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Kim Klement-Pool/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Kim Klement-Pool/Getty Images) /

Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis did not win the Defensive Player of the Year award.

As we inched towards the long-awaited return of NBA regular season, I wrote an article on why Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis deserved to take home the Defensive Player of The Year trophy this season. Unfortunately, Davis fell victim to a disheartening snub on Tuesday.

At least on Lake Show Life, I’m far from the only one that likely feels this way. At this point in time, there are currently four other articles on this site alone making excellent cases as to why Davis should have taken home this prestigious honor. Let’s dig in.

Davis finished third in the league in blocks per game at an impressive 2.3. His 1.4 steals landed him in the top 15 in the league. However, amongst power forwards, he ranked second behind only Robert Covington.

Covington, of course, is playing out of position and spent the start of the season playing on the perimeter. He’s only recently become the focal point of the Houston Rockets’ small ball experiment after a midseason trade.

With that in mind, Davis trailed only Andre Drummond for the lead amongst both forwards and centers in steals this season. Very impressive.

As the Los Angeles Lakers powered their way to the best record in the Western Conference, their defensive numbers as a team climbed from last year as well. This season, the Lakers ranked third in defensive rating, fifth in steals, and first in blocked shots.

However, despite the great season for Davis and the Lakers, Giannis somehow found himself nominated for the Defensive Player of the Year award despite only averaging a one steal and one block per game. As we found out yesterday, he came away with it.

Sure there is more to defense than grabbing steals and blocking shots. The Bucks were undoubtedly a great defense and Giannis did pull down 13.6 rebounds a game. He and the Bucks by no means had a bad season on that end of the floor.

The problem, however, is that Giannis’ frontcourt mate Brook Lopez was arguably the defensive anchor of the team.

This season, Lopez finished second in the league in blocks at over two per game and is equally deserving of at least some credit for helping the Bucks become the best defense in the league.

Even the Bucks organization appears to agree with me on this one. In the video that made it official, Brook is the one handing Giannis the award.

Unfortunately, awards in the NBA always seem to center around a narrative. This season, the Milwaukee Bucks finished with the league’s best record. Giannis was his usual MVP candidate self, the defense was elite, and head coach Mike Budenholzer handled business as usual. Even as Laker fans, it’s hard to argue with Bucks personnel appearing across the board on the award front.

However, with the Toronto Raptors’ Nick Nurse grabbing Coach of The Year, Budenholzer came up empty. Like Nurse, Anthony Davis could have easily locked the Bucks out of taking home the DPOY award as well. So why didn’t they?

The Defensive Player of the Year Award could foreshadow something for LeBron James:

I believe yesterday’s Defensive Player of The Year Award announcement foreshadows what is to come: LeBron James will be your 2020 NBA Most Valuable Player. Think about it:

With Coach of The Year and MVP out of the question, wouldn’t the Bucks be entitled to see some semblance of an award for their excellent season?

Of course! That’s why we have Giannis as our Defensive Player of The Year and, if my prediction is correct, LeBron James will take home his fourth MVP trophy this evening. In this narrative, both teams get to see their best player take home an award. Everyone is happy and we shift our focus back to the playoffs and a potential NBA Finals matchup between these two heavyweights.

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Then again, I could be completely wrong. If that’s the case, The Lakers will have yet another chip on their shoulders. If they stay locked in, the next chip they encounter might be one worn on their fingers at the start of next season.