The San Antonio Spurs gave up the fewest points per possession in the 2015-16 season. So much so, their defense is just as mind-melting as Golden State’s offensive fireworks this year. It should be no surprise, then, that Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard, a major catalyst for this defensive effort, earned the league’s Defensive Player of the Year honors. (Clearly, the NBA took a page from Dime’s postseason awards.)
Here’s the full break down of the voting. Leonard gained most of the first-place votes, but Draymond Green was his biggest competition and by far the closest in total points:
To be sure, Green had a legitimate case. Statistically, he was every bit as good, if not a little better, than Leonard. The main difference is that Green simply had more opportunities — far more, really — to show off his defensive chops. Leonard, to make a football comparison, was more of a shutdown corner type in which the opposing quarterback didn’t even throw to his side of the field. That’s why he’s #KawhiIsland is a thing (just like — Darrelle — #RevisIsland is in the NFL).