SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – Rudy Gobert has a chance to repeat as the NBA Defensive Player of the Year.
Gobert was announced as a finalist, along with Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo and Oklahoma City’s Paul George for the award, which will be announced on June 24th.
Gobert just wrapped his sixth NBA season, averaging career-highs in points per game (15.9), rebounding average (12.9) and assists per contest (2.0). For the third-straight year, he was the anchor of a top-three NBA defensive helping the Jazz hold a defensive rating of 105.2, which was the second best defensive rating in the NBA in 2018-19. The 26-year-old led Utah in rebounding average and the team had the best defensive rebound percentage (.759) of any team in the NBA last season.
The reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year posted the best defensive box plus-minus (5.0) in the NBA, ranked second in defensive win shares (5.7) and ranked fourth overall in defensive rating (100.4) among all qualified players last season. The 7-1 center contested the second most shots per contest (16.0), also swatting away the second most shots in the league last year (187).
In addition to his contributions on the defensive end, Gobert led the league in field goal percentage (.669) and became only the second player in NBA history to total over 1,200 points, 1,000 rebounds, while also shooting over 65 percent in a single season, joining Wilt Chamberlain (1966-67).
Gobert finished with a league-record 306 slam dunks and totaled 66 double-doubles (second most in NBA), which was a franchise record for most pt-reb double-doubles in a single season (previously, Karl Malone with 62 in 1987-88).
Mark Eaton is the sole Jazzman to have won Defensive Player of the Year two times, doing so in 1985 and 1989.