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#pounditWednesday, May 22, 2024

Lakers fans upset about 1 snub from NBA awards finalists

The Lakers logo at half court

Apr 22, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; The Los Angeles Lakers logo at center court during game three of the 2023 NBA playoffs at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers fans got riled up Sunday over the latest announcement by the NBA.

Early on Sunday evening, the league revealed this season’s finalists for all of the major NBA awards. Three finalists each were officially named for seven total awards — Most Valuable Player, Defensive Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Clutch Player of the Year, Sixth Man of the Year, Most Improved Player, and Coach of the Year.

You can take a look at the full list of finalists below.

But there was one particular snub that Lakers fans were livid about — Anthony Davis not being named as a finalist for Defensive Player of the Year. Davis lost out to Minnesota’s Rudy Gobert, Miami’s Bam Adebayo, and San Antonio’s Victor Wembanyama.

Many Lakers fans and even some Lakers media members expressed anger on X over the Davis snub.

Davis certainly had a strong case for being selected as one of the three best defenders in the NBA this season. He appeared in 76 games (which is quite remarkable by his standards) and averaged a stout 1.2 steals and 2.3 blocks per game. Davis also posted an excellent 56.4 defensive field goal percentage on shots inside six feet and a 47.3 defensive field goal percentage on all shot attempts overall (per NBA.com tracking data).

Gobert, the anchor of an NBA-best Timberwolves defense, was probably a shoo-in choice and should be considered as the frontrunner to ultimately win DPOY. But Lakers fans will argue that Davis was much more impactful than Wembanyama, a rookie on a 22-win team, and Adebayo, a first-time finalist in a defensive scheme based more around switches and zone play rather than funneling ball-handlers into a lone rim protector.

In any case, Davis still has yet to win Defensive Player of the Year in 12 career seasons. If a high-impact, 76-game campaign wasn’t enough to even earn him a finalist spot, Davis will probably never end up winning it. But at least Davis already ended up getting one NBA honor that some think he did not deserve.

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