NBA news: Giannis Antetokounmpo, 3 finalists announced DPOY award
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Giannis Antetokounmpo among 3 finalists announced for NBA’s DPOY award

Lakers, Anthony Davis, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Frank Vogel

The NBA announced three finalists on Saturday for its Defensive Player of the Year award, with reigning MVP forward Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks among the trio.

Joining Antetokounmpo is Los Angeles Lakers star power forward Anthony Davis and Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert as finalists for Defensive Player of the Year.

Antetokounmpo, having won the MVP honor last year, has led the Bucks the NBA’s best record and first place in the Eastern Conference. Milwaukee is preparing for the playoffs, although they were embarrassed by a very shorthanded Brooklyn Nets team in a seeding game the past week.

Giannis Antetokounmpo is averaging a steal and a block a game along with 13.7 rebounds.

Davis, a seven-time All-Star, is completing his first season with the Lakers after last summer’s blockbuster deal with the New Orleans Pelicans sent the three-time league block leader to Hollywood. Davis, LeBron James, and the Lakers are currently the best team in the West, thanks in part to “The Brow”s defense; he’s averaged 1.4 steals, 2.3 blocks, and 9.4 rebounds per game this season.

Lastly, Gobert, a first-time All-Star for the Jazz in 2019-20, has already won the Defensive Player of the Year award twice—the past two seasons. Gobert became the face of the then-emerging coronavirus pandemic when his positive COVID-19 test back in March stopped a matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder and dominoed to the NBA suspending the season along with other professional and amateur leagues closing shop.

Gobert has been an All-Defensive First-Team selection for the last three seasons and is averaging 13.6 rebounds, 0.8 steals, and 2.0 blocks per game.