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Miami Heat News: Hassan Whiteside Finishes Third in Defensive Player of the Year Voting
- Updated: April 18, 2016
Despite being the league’s top shot blocker, Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside finished third in voting for the 2015-16 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award. San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard won the award for the second straight season and Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green came in second place.
Whiteside led the NBA in blocks per game (3.7) and total blocks (269). His closest competition was Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, who played in more games and finished with 177 blocks on the season. The Heat big man rejected the most shots in a regular season since Marcus Camby blocked 285 shots in 2008. The Marshall University product was also the league’s fourth best rebounder (11.8) and notched three triple-doubles with blocks.
Still it didn’t give Whiteside a strong enough case to get the media’s attention. During the voting, players were awarded five points for first-place votes, three points for second-place votes and one point for each third-place vote.
Leonard accumulated a total of 547 points and 84 of the 130 first-place votes while Green received a 421 points and 44 first-place votes. Whiteside finished with just 83 points and acquired the only other two first-place votes, one of which came from Heat television play-by-play man Eric Reid.
Although Whiteside didn’t get the award that he campaigned and longed for, the 26-year-old still managed to have a fantastic season. The center’s rise from no-name to third best defensive player of the year, behind two starting All-Stars on historic teams, is a monumental jump for the fourth-year pro. Whiteside will likely make the NBA All-Defensive first team and is in contention for Most Improved Player of the Year.