There's what NBA Awards voters think about the best players in basketball -- and then there's what the players think.
The league announced three finalists for each individual award for the 2019-20 season Saturday, and no Boston Celtics player (or coach) made the final cut.
But were any Celtics players deserving? Jaylen Brown apparently believes so. Here's what the C's wing tweeted Saturday afternoon:
Marcus Smart the best defender in the NBA night in night out— Jaylen Brown (@FCHWPO) August 8, 2020
The league announced Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo, Los Angeles Lakers big man Anthony Davis and Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert as the three finalists for Defensive Player of the Year earlier in the day.
Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Magic, which begins Sunday at 4 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live followed by tip-off at 5 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.
If you ask Brown, though, C's teammate Marcus Smart is a better defender than all three All-Stars.
History wasn't on Smart's side, however: A guard hasn't won DPOY since Gary Payton in 1996, and the gritty Celtics shooting guard entered the NBA bubble as a +10000 long shot to win the award.
But Brown gets to see Smart make incredible defensive plays -- and lock up NBA stars of all shapes and sizes -- on a nightly basis.
"Most guys when they dive for a loose ball are looking to maintain control. He's looking to pass." That's called winning plays, Mike.#Celtics Rewind is Presented by @TMobile— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) August 8, 2020
Watch on @NBCSBoston or stream: https://t.co/Xmx7Whh8Zt pic.twitter.com/UkzONZfxwE
So, while Smart won't be officially recognized for his defensive prowess this season, his peers still know what he brings to the table.