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A day after Celtics forward Kevin Garnett came in a distant second behind Dwight Howard in the running for defensive player of the year, another C’s forward came up short for another end of the year award. It was announced earlier this week that Lamar Odom would be named the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year, leaving Glen Davis empty handed.
Big Baby was one of the favorites to win the award. In 78 games this season, Davis only started in 13, 22 less starts than Odom. Davis averaged 11.7 points per game in only 29.5 minutes per game. He was tremendous defensively for the C’s, ranking at the top of the league in charges taken all year.
The undersized power forward had played in the sixth man role all season and continued to play strong even after the acquisition of Jeff Green, who was expected to take part of that role.
As Dwight Howard took home his third consecutive Defensive Player of the Year award, the last man to win the award other than Howard, took the runner up spot. Kevin Garnett won the award back in the Celtics’ 2007-2008 Championship season.
This year he had to settle for runner up. Did he really deserve it? I don’t know if KG was totally up to par. He was 13th in the league in rebounds with 8.9 per game and 41st in the league in blocks per game with only 0.80 per game. Both of those categories were under his career averages.
His intensity and fire is what has earned him a great defensive reputation. There’s no question KG’s spirit drives the Celtics and their defense, but I don’t know if that makes him the second best defender in the league.
I’m not totally sold that he’s the best defender on his team anymore. I’d have to give the nod to the quick Rajon Rondo.
Rondo was fifth in the voting for the award, behind former Celtic Tony Allen. Rondo was second in the league in steals with 2.25 per game and the fifth best rebounding point guard, pulling down 4.4 boards per game.
Despite those three Celtics coming up short on a few awards, I’m sure they’d all rather win the big one and take home the Larry O’Brien Trophy.