LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 17: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers is defended by Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics in Game Seven of the 2010 NBA Finals at Staples Center on June 17, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Tyson Chandler won this year's KIA Defensive Player Of The Year, with KG finishing 5th with 2 first place votes and 9 second place votes (Chandler had 45 and 25, respectively). Admittedly, I don't watch a lot of Knicks basketball unless I have to, but the numbers don't lie:
Opposing teams averaged 22.5 more points and shot .520 from the field when Chandler was not in the lineup. Opponents shot .438 with Chandler in the lineup. In addition, Chandler grabbed 22.1 percent of his team's defensive rebounds when he was on the floor.
That's an insane difference and Tyson Chandler is deserving of the award. However, he's more anchor than he is quarterback or middle linebacker. With Garnett, you've got a guy manning the baseline and barking orders out to his teammates. He doesn't even compare in the glamor stats of blocks and steals, but he's arguably the best pick-and-roll defender in the game and the intensity that he brings on the defensive end is unmatched. Jessica Camerato also makes this salient point:
Avery Bradley finished 14th with two third place votes, behind # 6 Tony Allen, #9 Luol Deng, and #11 Joakim Noah. It's always nice to see current Celtics and Celtic alums playing well...at least until we meet them in the playoffs.