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Spurs’ Leonard Is 2015-16 Defensive Player Of Year

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The San Antonio Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard, who helped the team finish with the NBA’s top defense this season, is the recipient of the 2015-16 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award, the NBA announced today. Leonard, a 6-7 forward, becomes the first non-center to earn the honor in back-to-back seasons since Dennis Rodman in 1989-90 and 1990-91.

Leonard received 84 first-place votes and 547 total points from a panel of 130 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. He edged the Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green, who tallied 44 first-place votes and 421 points to finish as runner-up for the second season in a row. The Miami Heat’s Hassan Whiteside was third with 83 points (two first-place votes). Players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote.

A first-time NBA All-Star this season, Leonard contributed to a San Antonio defense that led the NBA in points allowed (92.9 ppg) and defensive rating (96.6 points per 100 possessions). The Spurs, a franchise-record 67-15 this season, were even stingier on defense with Leonard in the game: According to NBA.com/Stats, they had a defensive rating of 94.9 when the five-year veteran was on the court and 99.2 when he wasn’t – a difference of 4.3 points per 100 possessions. Leonard also averaged 1.78 steals (12th in the NBA), 5.5 defensive rebounds and a career-high 0.99 blocks to go with career highs on offense of 21.2 points and 2.6 assists.

Below are the balloting results for the 2015-16 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award. The balloting was tabulated by the independent accounting firm of Ernst & Young LLP.

2015-16 KIA NBA DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR RESULTS

PLAYER 1st Place (5 Pts) 2nd Place (3 Pts) 3rd Place (1 pt) Total Points
Kawhi Leonard 84 41 4 547
Draymond Green 44 62 15 421
Hassan Whiteside 2 12 37 83
DeAndre Jordan 7 29 50
Paul Millsap 3 12 21
Avery Bradley 1 11 14
Rudy Gobert 1 10 13
Tony Allen 1 2 5
Anthony Davis 1 1 4
Andre Drummond 1 3
Jimmy Butler 2 2
LeBron James 2 2
Trevor Ariza 1 1
Jae Crowder 1 1
Al Horford 1 1
Kyle Lowry 1 1
Chris Paul 1 1

For the third year in a row, complete media voting results for each NBA annual award will be posted on NBA.com/official after the announcement of each winner.

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Source: Dave McMenamin of ESPN

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