Steph Curry did not win MVP, but the voters still managed to properly acknowledge the spectacular season the Warriors' guard had.
They did not do the same for Draymond Green when it came to Defensive Player of the Year voting.
The NBA announced Wednesday that Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert was named the 2021 Defensive Player of the Year, marking the third time he has won the award. That wasn't a surprise whatsoever, as Gobert was expected to win in runaway fashion -- and did with 464 total voting points.
What was surprising, however, was the distribution of first-place votes. And more specifically, that Green didn't receive a single one.
Of the 16 first-place votes that didn't go to Gobert, 15 went to Philadelphia 76ers forward Ben Simmons, who ultimately finished in second in the voting with 287 total points. The lone remaining first-place vote went to Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo, who finished in fourth in the voting with 31 points.
Green came in third with 76 points, which seems like far too few given how tremendous he was defensively throughout the whole season. He received 13 second-place votes and 37 third-place votes, meaning an unfathomable 50 percent of ballots left Green off altogether.
I'm sorry, but that's just terrible. The Warriors had the fifth-best defense in the NBA this season, which was an incredible accomplishment given that Klay Thompson missed all of it, and they had a 19-year-old center who was limited to just 39 games. The Warriors don't come even close to being a top-five defense without Green performing like he did night in and night out.
Yes, Curry carried the offense, but Green was just as critical on the other side of the ball.
While voting Simmons over Green is understandable, the humongous difference in total points is not. For one, two of Simmons' teammates also received votes, which should serve to further separate Green from him and the rest of the pack. And two, there isn't a single player who finished below Green in the voting that deserves any kind of vote over him.
Had Green not been left off of half(!) the ballots, there's a good chance the voting would have more accurately acknowledged just how phenomenal he was. Ultimately, it wouldn't have made a difference in terms of who won the award, but knowing Green, it'll make a difference in his mindset heading into next season.