Utah Jazz Center Rudy Gobert has won another Defensive Player of the Year award, the NBA announced Wednesday. It was Gobert’s third time winning the award in four years. He is the fourth player in league history to have won the honor three times after four-time winners Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace and three-time winner Dwight Howard.
The award was appropriately announced a day after the Jazz won the opening game of their semifinal against the Los Angeles Clippers, in part because of a game-saving block by Gobert at the end of regulation.
“I think it takes team effort,” Gobert said in an interview with TNT’s “Inside The NBA,” moments after he was announced as the receiver. ‘It obviously takes toughness, mental toughness. It’s just hard work, dedication. It’s every day, you have to go in with that mindset to make your team as good as possible at the end. ”
Gobert (28) anchored the Jazz, who scored the third best defense in the league and his best record. He scored 84 first places and 464 points. Philadelphia runner-up Ben Simmons scored 287 points and 15 first places. One hundred members of the news media vote on the award, but The New York Times does not participate.
As a tall center who doesn’t shoot well or pass well, Gobert is a bit of an anomaly in today’s NBA. His game is aimed at protecting the edge and immersion. Nevertheless, Gobert, a two-time All-Star, is one of the most influential players in the league. He was fourth in the NBA in winning streak per 48 minutes – essentially an estimate of how many wins a player contributes to his team. His 13.5 rebounds per game was second in the league behind Clint Capela, Atlanta. According to league numbers, Gobert defended the most field goal attempts at the edge (549) and was one of the best in the NBA to challenge those shots effectively.
When Donovan Mitchell, the Jazz star, missed much of the second half of the season due to injury, Gobert’s defense helped keep the Jazz going. Last year, there was friction between Mitchell and Gobert after Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus, days after he apparently mocked it. Gobert’s Test saw the postponement of the season take place, followed by several other leagues doing the same.
Gobert’s rise in the league is surprising. He was drafted with the 27th choice of the 2013 concept by the Denver Nuggets from France, and was immediately traded to the Jazz, where he exceeded the expectations of those usually lined up at the end of the first round.