There were a lot of incredible candidates for the 2017 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award, but make no bones about it: Golden state Warriors forward Draymond Green was the most deserving.
Monday night Green was announced as the Defensive Player of the Year during the NBA’s Awards Ceremony.
In a year in which the Warriors were coming off a 73-9 season, and after an offseason where they added Kevin Durant, Green’s importance to the team was never overstated. His tenacity on defense and switchability allowed the Warriors to continue to be one of the best defensive squads in the NBA. Golden State finished second in the NBA in defensive efficiency in 2016-17, and part of that was due to Green acting as they lynchpin.
A unique defensive player, Green was able to take some of the pressure off of Durant as well as boost his impact on defense. A player who at times had to guard all five positions, Green led his team in defensive win shares.
To take home his DPOY award, Green got 73 out of a possible 100 first place votes (from select media members), comfortably beating out Utah Jazz big man Rudy Gobert, who was second, and San Antonio Spurs MVP candidate Kawhi Leonard, who was third. Robert Covington of the Philadelphia 76ers was fourth, followed by LeBron James fifth.
Much like the MVP award this season, a real argument could be made for either Leonard or Gobert’s candidacy for DPOY. However, With yet another 60+ when season under his belt, it made sense that Green was seen as the key by voters for the Golden State defensive attack.
Green finished with 73 first place votes, while Gobert trailed with 16 and Leonard with 11. Green finished with 434 total points. Gobert was second with 169.
Durant was the 2017 NBA Finals MVP, and voting for DOPY closed before the playoffs began. But if anyone watched the great playoff run by the Warriors — one where they only lost one game — Green’s importance is easily understood.