The Boston Celtics know the importance of feisty guard Marcus Smart on the defensive end of the floor.
And while he’s earned some respect across the NBA for being a top defender, he’ll have to wait at least another year to earn the league’s Defensive Player of the Year distinction.
Smart finished tied for sixth in Defensive Player of the Year voting with the Los Angeles Clippers’ Pat Beverley. Smart received no first place votes and only one second place vote.
Giannis Antetokounmpo was named the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year while Los Angeles Lakers’ star forward Anthony Davis finished behind Antetokounmpo and Utah’s Rudy Gobert took third place. Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons and Miami’s Bam Adebayo finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is the runaway Defensive Player of the Year. Marcus Smart ties with Patrick Beverley for 7th, which, considering their history, is hilarious pic.twitter.com/FYkhGo9LHU— John Karalis (@RedsArmy_John) August 25, 2020
Smart, who plays with a chip on his shoulder, will certainly take his lack of votes as a slight and there’s no doubt that Smart believes he belongs at the top of the list when it comes to ranking the NBA’s best defenders.
“I’m able to make plays without the ball in my hands, without scoring,” said Smart after the Celtics Game 3 win over the Philadelphia 76ers in their opening round series of the NBA playoffs. “I find other ways to help the team. That’s just me being me — the best defensive player in this league that I know I am, that my teammates know I am and that opponents know.”