Jazz center Rudy Gobert has been selected as the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. This is the third DPOY honor for Gobert, who also won the award in 2018 and 2019.
During his eight NBA seasons, Gobert has established himself as one of the league’s best shot blockers. He averaged a career-best 2.7 rejections per game this season and ranked first in a number of defensive analytics stats, including defensive real plus-minus and defensive RAPTOR, by a wide margin.
“It takes team effort, mental toughness, hard work and dedication,” Gobert told Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune (Twitter link). “Every day you have to come in with a mindset to make your team better on that end.”
Gobert received 84 first-place votes, along with 14 for second place and two for third place for an overall total of 464 points, the NBA announced in its official press release.
The Sixers‘ Ben Simmons was second with 15/67/11 and 287 points, followed by the Warriors‘ Draymond Green with 0/13/37 and 76 points. The other first-place vote went to Bam Adebayo of the Heat, who came in fourth.
Eight other players received at least one DPOY vote, including Giannis Antetokounmpo, Clint Capela, Joel Embiid, and Jrue Holiday. Perhaps the most unexpected vote belonged to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who was placed third on one ballot.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.