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Anthony Davis: 'I Want to be Defensive Player of the Year'
Anthony Davis is already universally considered one of the top defensive forces in the game. Now the new Laker wants to make it official with some hardware.
“I want to be Defensive Player of the Year,” Davis told Yahoo Sports. “I think if I’m able to do that, I can help this team win. The offensive end will come around, but defensively, I want to hold myself, teammates, including LeBron [James], accountable in order for us to take on the challenge of being the best we can defensively. In doing so, we’ll have a good chance of winning every night. I want to make sure me and LeBron are on the All-Defensive Team. And for me personally, I just want to be the Defensive Player of the Year. If we’re able to hold teams under 100 [points], which is probably unrealistic but it should be our goal, I think we’ll have a shot at winning the title.”
Sure, holding opponents to double-digits every night might be a dream considering the league-leading Indiana Pacers still gave up 104.7 points per game last year. But DPOY should be right in AD’s grasp.
One of the league’s elite rim protectors, Davis averaged 2.41 blocks last season, which would have been third in the NBA if he had played enough games to qualify for the leaderboard.
And he’s one of the few talents capable of two rejections on a single possession.
But that’s nothing new for The Brow, who has led the league in swats three times in just seven seasons. Unsurprisingly, he is also a three-time All-Defensive selection, including in 2017-18 when he was the blocks champ and finished third in Defensive Player of the Year voting.
Yet blocks are hardly the extent of Davis’ defensive skills. In fact, his greatest value on that side of the ball may not even show up in the box score.
Davis is one of the most mobile bigs that the game has ever seen, with quick feet and elite length that allow him to switch onto even the deadliest guards.
While other big men routinely get roasted on switches, Davis thrives. Famously, he was an unsolvable puzzle for Portland’s dynamic backcourt in New Orleans’ 2018 playoff sweep of the Blazers.
Now he’ll look to prove that he can provide 82 games of lockdown in his quest for the DPOY trophy.
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