Among a panel of 125 basketball media members, only one cast a ballot that listed New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis as their top choice for Defensive Player of the Year, a factor that led to Davis taking eighth place overall in the award voting, announced this week by the NBA. Chicago’s Joakim Noah was the 2013-14 winner of the prestigious award. Davis led the league in blocked shots per game by a significant margin, averaging 2.82 in his second NBA season, but his name only appeared on a total of 13 ballots (in addition to his single first-place vote, he received four second-place nods and eight third-place mentions).
Davis’ first-place vote came from Sun Sports broadcaster Tony Fiorentino, a former coach and the Miami Heat’s longtime TV analyst. Four other panelists cast a second-place vote for Davis, including Boston Globe writer Gary Washburn, OrlandoMagic.com writer John Denton, Philadelphia Inquirer writer Keith Pompey and Suns radio analyst Tim Kempton.
In the overall voting, centers took each of the top three spots. After Noah, Indiana center Roy Hibbert and Clippers center DeAndre Jordan finished 2-3. Oklahoma City forward Serge Ibaka was fourth, Golden State wing Andre Iguodala took fifth, Miami forward LeBron James was sixth and Indiana forward Paul George netted seventh. Davis finished in an eight-place tie with Houston center Dwight Howard.
Noah earned 100 of the 125 possible first-place votes. No other player received more than eight first-place mentions.