Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award Wednesday night, becoming the fourth player to be named the league’s best defender at least three times over the course of his career.
Gobert, who won the award in 2018 and 19 before it was won by Giannis Antetokounmpo last year, got 84 of 100 first-place votes and finished with 464 points overall. Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (15 first-place votes, 287 points total) and Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (76 points total) finished second and third, respectively.
Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo finished fourth.
Utah began its rise to being one of the elite teams in the West several years ago with a team full of defensive players embracing the special abilities of the huge French center. But with more players attacking first on the current roster, the Jazz have relied more on Gobert to keep the team’s defense at an elite level. It has been successful, as the Jazz finished the season with the League’s fourth-ranked offense, third-ranked defense, and the best net rating (9 points per 100 possessions) by nearly three points over their closest competitors (LA Clippers, 6.1).
Simmons, one of the most versatile defenders in the League, helped lead the League’s second-best defense, which, in turn, helped Philadelphia clinch first place in the Eastern Conference.
Green, on the other hand, proved that he is still more than capable of making a significant impact on defense after leading the Warriors to the fifth-best defensive rating in the NBA during the regular season, not to mention he did a spectacular job at home. defensive at Golden State.
The NBA has already announced that Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson won the League’s Sixth Man of the Year award, New York Knicks forward Julius Randle was named their Most Improved Player, Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau, is the Coach of the Year and the center of the Denver Nuggets, Nikola Jokic is the MVP of the League. The Rookie of the Year, as well as the All-Rookie, All-Defensive and All-NBA Teams, have yet to be handed out.
Like last year, the NBA has returned to its traditional awards throwing during the Playoffs, rather than having a grand prize show at the end of the postseason, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.