As the NBA postseason edges closer, the discussion over who deserves each regular season award is increasing with players looking to give their final cases for why they deserve an award or to receive a respective honor. The Milwaukee Bucks very own Giannis Antetokounmpo is in the hunt for his third MVP trophy, while center Brook Lopez is in contention for the Defensive Player of the Year award.
Per NBA.com, the Bucks have a defensive rating of 110, which is third in the league with just the Memphis Grizzlies and Cleveland Cavaliers with better ratings. Guard Jevon Carter has been outstanding for the Bucks this season and has proven effective on both ends of the court. He has helped contribute massively to their defensive record.
Here is why Jevon Carter has a case to make an NBA All-Defensive Team.
Analyzing Jevon Carter’s potential All-Defensive case for the Bucks
Carter has developed a great partnership alongside Jrue Holiday in the Bucks’ backcourt with the duo becoming one of the best defensive guard combos in the league. Their presence on the perimeter gives teams the ultimate decision of trying to take these two on or heading toward the paint, where they are met by Antetokounmpo and Lopez, who both have been defensive monsters this season as well.
According to StatMuse, Carter has a defensive rating of 111.4 during his 22.4 minutes per game, averaging 0.9 steals and 0.4 blocks per game as well. He has taken the opportunities to start and his defensive impact is what has seen him have a huge increase in minutes this season. Carter has started 35 of the Bucks’ 70 games this season. In his career before this season, he had amassed just nine starts since entering the league in the 2018-19 season.
His offensive improvements have also shown how he has seized the opportunities given to him by Mike Budenholzer. Averaging career highs in points, field goal percentage, and assists shows how he is becoming a much more rounded player and is effective on both ends of the floor.
The nickname “Bulldog” fits Carter perfectly because he brings tenacity without the ball and is relentless in his attempts to stop anyone that dares to take him on. This matches the efforts of the overall roster with the likes of Grayson Allen and Jae Crowder now following suit with the same defensive energy in hounding the opposition and never giving up easy shots.
Another benefit of Carter playing alongside Holiday is it has allowed the latter to have more impact on the offensive end, particularly when Giannis or Khris Middleton are unavailable. Having the ability to throw multiple defenders at a player will only aid the Bucks come playoff time, seeing players being able to rest and then take turns using bursts of defensive effort to slow down the opposition, as well as allowing them to use more energy offensively.
With so much emphasis on advanced stats in the NBA award and honor rankings, Carter has these to boost his case. He is 15th in the NBA in the defensive box plus/minus statistic, this is the box score estimate of the defensive points a player contributes above league average according to Basketball-Reference. The only guards above him are Alex Caruso and John Konchar, who have both played significantly fewer minutes and in the case of Caruso, Carter is contributing to a team with far more wins.
For me, Jevon Carter has a great case for making an All-Defensive team. Looking at other guards in the league that are in contention, he is in the upper echelons along with Holiday. We may see both of them alongside Antetokounmpo and Lopez on the NBA honors list.
Stay tuned to see if Jevon Carter gets his recognition for what has been a great season.