Players will always be unhappy when their best defensive player doesn’t get the award, and some will go on record about it. Manu Ginobili openly wondered how Tim Duncan didn’t win, and Dwight Howard thought the results were funny.
The NBA regular season awards continue to trickle out. The latest award, Defensive Player of the Year, was handed out Wednesday.
Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol sent his younger brother, Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol, a congratulatory tweet after the news broke.
Memphis’ Marc Gasol, who anchored the league’s stingiest defense, is the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award. Gasol becomes the first player in Grizzlies history to earn the honor.
His teammate, Tony Allen, who received my first-place vote (along with eight other first-place votes), finished fifth.
Gasol received 212 of a possible 1,089 points, including 30 first-place votes, from a panel of 121 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Miami’s LeBron James (149 points, 18 first-place votes) and Oklahoma City’s Serge Ibaka (122 points, 14 first-place votes) finished second and third, respectively.
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 received.
Gasol, one of only six players to average at least 1.5 blocks (1.7 bpg) and 1.0 steals (1.0 spg), led a Grizzlies defense that allowed a league-low 88.7 ppg during the regular season. According to NBA.com/Stats, Gasol’s +5.4 score differential ranked second among NBA centers; additionally, Memphis enjoyed a +7.5 score differential when Gasol was on the court compared with -3.9 when he was on the bench.
2012-13 KIA NBA DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR RESULTS
PLAYER TEAM 1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place Total Points
Marc Gasol Memphis 30 16 14 212
LeBron James Miami 18 15 14 149
Serge Ibaka Oklahoma City 14 15 7 122
Joakim Noah Chicago 13 10 12 107
Tony Allen Memphis 9 15 12 102
Tim Duncan San Antonio 11 11 6 94
Larry Sanders Milwaukee 4 18 16 90
Paul George Indiana 8 2 11 57
Andre Iguodala Denver 5 3 9 43
Roy Hibbert Indiana 3 5 6 36
Chris Paul L.A. Clippers 2 2 3 19
Avery Bradley Boston 2 1 2 15
Tyson Chandler New York 0 3 2 11
Dwight Howard L.A. Lakers 1 0 4 9
Luol Deng Chicago 1 0 1 6
Dwyane Wade Miami 0 1 1 4
Trevor Ariza Washington 0 1 0 3
Jimmy Butler Chicago 0 1 0 3
Kenneth Faried Denver 0 1 0 3
Russ Westbrook Oklahoma City 0 1 0 3
Mike Conley Memphis 0 0 1 1
I always wait until the final day of the season to make up my mind on my official NBA ballot choices.
Because during the lockout-shortened NBA season in 1999, I was in San Antonio covering a forgettable game at the Alamodome when I spoke with a veteran writer for a national publication who had already submitted his ballot after only 44 of the 50 games had been played.
I asked him, and I asked myself … “What’s the rush?”
I was working at the Associated Press in those days, and the AP does not allow its writers to vote for national awards (same rule applies at The New York Times). But after I left AP and went to ESPN, I became a national voter both for regular season and postseason awards.
I don’t have a vote but I am hoping to influence his thought process with my choices, which are below.
If not, I am hoping I will make him laugh with my snotty remarks.
Let’s get to it.