SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard has been named the NBA defensive player of the year.
The league announced the award on Thursday. Injuries limited Leonard to just 64 games this season. But he still managed to make an enormous impact, especially on the defensive end of the floor.
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert finished fifth in the voting.
Leonard is just the sixth forward to lead the league in steals per game since the NBA started tracking the statistic 42 years ago. He averaged 2.3 steals per game and helped the Spurs finish third in defensive rating with 99.6 points allowed per 100 possessions.
Leonard garnered 333 total points in the voting, including 37 first-place votes. Golden State forward Draymond Green finished a close second with 317 points, including 45 first-place votes.