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Bradley 12th in Defensive Player of Year vote

4/24/2013

Kent Smith/NBAE/Getty Images

Avery Bradley earned two first-place votes for Defensive Player of the Year.Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley finished 12th in this year's balloting for Defensive Player of the Year. The lingering question is whether he deserved better.

Bradley, a third-year guard, landed on just five of 121 ballots cast by sportswriters and broadcasters, but earned a pair of first-place votes while accruing 15 points overall. Memphis' Marc Gasol won the award with 30 first-place votes and a total of 212 points, while LeBron James (149 points), Serge Ibaka (122), Joakim Noah (107), and Tony Allen (102) rounded out the top 5.

A few thoughts on where Bradley landed this year:

* Those that stumped for Bradley will point to his individual defensive numbers, most notably those from Synergy Sports. In terms of points allowed per possession, Bradley was No. 1 among all players with at least 250 possessions defended at 0.697 points per play (next closest was old friend Marquis Daniels at 0.707 ppp). What's more, Bradley was also tops in opponent field goal percentage (30.8) and opponent score percentage (31.8). He wasn't perfect, but when he kept his man in front of him, he made things very difficult for that player (whether that was harassing opposing ball-handlers or making shots difficult for shooters).

* Boston's barely-better-than-.500 record certainly didn't help Bradley's cause (he was the only Celtics player to receive a vote, despite being a team that ranked sixth in defensive rating this season). What's more, the fact that Bradley missed the first 30 games of the season likely played a role in driving down his vote total.

* It's a big man's award. Always has been, with Gary Payton really the only exception in the past two decades.

* This is a step in the right direction for Bradley, who tied for 14th place last season with only two points.

* The more important defensive honors await with the NBA's All-Defense teams announced next month. That's voted on by the league's 30 head coaches and is position specific. It will be interesting to how Bradley fares there.

Read on for the full voting and previous year's recipients:

And a list of previous year's recipients:

1982-83 Sidney Moncrief, Milwaukee

1983-84 Sidney Moncrief, Milwaukee

1984-85 Mark Eaton, Utah

1985-86 Alvin Robertson, San Antonio

1986-87 Michael Cooper, L.A. Lakers

1987-88 Michael Jordan, Chicago

1988-89 Mark Eaton, Utah

1989-90 Dennis Rodman, Detroit

1990-91 Dennis Rodman, Detroit

1991-92 David Robinson, San Antonio

1992-93 Hakeem Olajuwon, Houston

1993-94 Hakeem Olajuwon, Houston

1994-95 Dikembe Mutombo, Denver

1995-96 Gary Payton, Seattle

1996-97 Dikembe Mutombo, Atlanta

1997-98 Dikembe Mutombo, Atlanta

1998-99 Alonzo Mourning, Miami

1999-00 Alonzo Mourning, Miami

2000-01 Dikembe Mutombo, Philadelphia

2001-02 Ben Wallace, Detroit

2002-03 Ben Wallace, Detroit

2003-04 Ron Artest, Indiana

2004-05 Ben Wallace, Detroit

2005-06 Ben Wallace, Detroit

2006-07 Marcus Camby, Denver

2007-08 Kevin Garnett, Boston

2008-09 Dwight Howard, Orlando

2009-10 Dwight Howard, Orlando

2010-11 Dwight Howard, Orlando

2011-12 Tyson Chandler, New York

2012-13 Marc Gasol, Memphis