Pacers’ Artest named Defensive Player of the Year
New York, NY (Sports Network) – Indiana Pacers forward Ron Artest was named
the 2003-04 NBA Defensive Player of the Year.
Artest received 80 first-place votes and 476 points from a panel of
sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada.
The 24-year-old Artest finished third in the league in steals with an average
of 2.08 per contest and also held opposing players to just 8.1 points per
Meanwhile, Artest averaged 18.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists per
game during the regular season.
Ben Wallace of the Pistons finished second in the voting with 325 points,
while Portland’s Theo Ratliff placed third with 90. Wallace was the Defensive
Player of the Year the past two seasons.
In other news, Artest will miss Tuesday’s playoff game against Boston after
being suspended one game on Monday for leaving the bench during an
Artest left the bench during Indiana’s 104-88 victory over the Celtics in
Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series after teammate Jermaine
O’Neal got involved in a brief scuffle with Boston’s Brandon Hunter.
Artest started onto the court when he saw O’Neal lose his composure, but
headed back to the bench after a few steps. Artest posted 24 points, six
boards and five assists versus the Celtics on Saturday.