Suns’ Mikal Bridges finishes 2nd in NBA’s Defensive Player of Year voting
Phoenix Suns wing Mikal Bridges did not win the 2021-22 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award.
Instead, Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart was named the recipient on Monday.
Bridges finished in second place in overall voting with 202 points, 22 first-place votes and 25 second-place votes — the most of the 11 players whom received votes.
The Suns wing offered his congratulations to Smart via Twitter while also being grateful for the nomination.
Congrats to Marcus Smart fr ! Happy they start realizing it aint easy guarding mfs on the island every night ! Very much deserved … I appreciate everybody that was rockin wit me lol we’ll be ok😭 its a blessing to even be apart of the convo
— Mikal Bridges (@mikal_bridges) April 18, 2022
Smart finished with 37 first-place votes and 257 total points, meaning Bridges and Celtics guard were the head of a two-horse race as the only candidates to collect over 20 first-place votes and 200 points.
Smart is also the first guard to win the DPOY award since Gary Payton — aka “The Glove” — did it in 1996.
In a distant third place came defending Defensive Player of the Year and Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, with Miami Heat big man Bam Adebayo right behind him in fourth.
Gobert — who has won three of the last four DPOY awards — received 12 first-place votes and 136 total points while Adebayo tallied 128 points and 13 first-place votes.
Memphis Grizzlies’ Jaren Jackson Junior and Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo rounded the list for those who received multiple first-place votes and double-digit point totals.
Jackson finished in fifth with 99 points and 10 first-place votes while Antetokounmpo garnered five first-place votes and 58 total points.
The Suns host the New Orleans Pelicans at Footprint Center in Game 2 of the Western Conference quarterfinals on Tuesday at 7 p.m. on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.