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Frank Vogel Says LeBron James Should Win MVP, Anthony Davis Should Win Defensive Player Of The Year

The NBA awards will be based on games through March 11, when the season was paused because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lakers coach Frank Vogel said Saturday that two of his players should win two of the league's most prestigious awards this year. 

He thinks LeBron James should be MVP and Anthony Davis should be Defensive Player of the Year. The awards will be based on games through March 11, when the season was paused because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Vogel thinks both players punctuated their argument for those awards in two of the Lakers' final games before the season was suspended against the Milwaukee Bucks (53-12) on March 6 and the Clippers (44-20) on March 8.

"In that weekend, LeBron took the toughest assignment in both games," Vogel said. "He guarded Kawhi [Leonard] in the Clippers game and did a great job with him there. And then he guarded Giannis [Antetokounmpo] in the Bucks game when AD was in foul trouble and did a great job in those two situations. I feel like after what he’s able to do on the defensive end, combined with the dominance that he exhibits with not just scoring the ball, assisting the ball, but orchestrating our offense, leading us on the break, I think that weekend was probably a great indicator or a great measuring stick to those two awards."

James, who is 35 years old and in his 17th season in the league, was averaging a league-leading 10.6 assists, 25.7 points and 7.9 rebounds a game before the hiatus for the Lakers, who are atop the Western Conference with a record of 49-14. 

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Davis was averaging 26.7 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.4 blocked shots a game. Vogel said he's a big reason why the Lakers are third in the league -- and best in the Western Conference -- in defensive efficiency. 

"Anthony dominates in his own matchup in most cases, but also has the ability to switch out and guard anyone on the floor at any size and be one of the best rim protectors in the game," Vogel said. "So that versatility and dominance makes him the frontrunner in my book."

Vogel also weighed in on who he thinks should win Coach of The Year, saying there's many good options.  

"I think so many people have done great jobs," he said. "Obviously, coach Bud [Mike Budenholzer] and coach [Nick] Nurse out East, doing what they’ve done has been very impressive," he said. "Billy the Kid [Donovan] in OKC, with a team that didn’t necessarily have high expectations, has done a great job. Taylor Jenkins has done a great job in Memphis."

Vogel, however, gave the nod to Brad Stevens, who has led the Boston Celtics to third place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 42-21. 

"Why don’t I give it to my former Indiana buddy Brad Stevens for doing a great job, losing Kyrie Irving and a few others," he said. "Al Horford changing the whole identity of their team and having a great season. I would probably vote for Brad."