San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard has repeated as NBA Defensive Player of the Year, beating out Golden State's Draymond Green for the honor.
Leonard becomes the first non-center to win the award in consecutive seasons sine Dennis Rodman did it in 1989-'90 and '90-'91.
Leonard tallied 547 points on 84 first-place votes among 130 voters, while Green finished with 44 first-place votes and 421 points.
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The Spurs finished 67-15 this season, a franchise best -- and having the league-leading defense certainly played a big part. And that defense only improved when Leonard was on the court.
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 â 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.
And that talent was on fine display in the Spurs' opening playoff game, as Leonard had the Memphis Grizzlies' Lance Stephenson utterly frustrated by his lockdown defense.