Rudy Gobert Has Won His Third Defensive Player Of The Year Award

Rudy Gobert has established himself over the past five years as one of the NBA’s most dominant defensive forces, as the Jazz’s center has become the anchor for what is perennially one of the league’s best defensive teams. Gobert is always among the league leaders in blocked shots but his impact goes well beyond just the shots he gets to, as he is such a deterrent that teams will avoid going to the rim against Utah when he’s in the game.

This postseason, Gobert is trying to rewrite the narrative about himself as a playoff performer, putting together a sensational effort in Game 1 of their second round series against the Clippers that he capped off with a game-sealing block of Marcus Morris on a corner three. Defensive Player of the Year is a regular season award, however, so his exploits during the 82- (or in this case, 72-) game season have twice earned him DPOY honors, and on Wednesday, he added a third to his collection as his teammates surprised him with the award at practice.

Gobert spoke with the Inside the NBA crew about the mentality he has to have to win the award three times, as well as what it says about the Jazz as a team on that end.

Gobert won the award fairly comfortably, beating out Ben Simmons and Draymond Green for the award with 84 of the 100 first place votes.

This season, Gobert set new career highs in blocks per game (2.7), block percentage (7.0%), and defensive rebounding percentage (33.5%) to help Utah to the top-seed in the West and the best record overall in the NBA.

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