NBA Awards 2019: 3 reasons why Rudy Gobert should win the Defensive Player of the Year Award
Rudy Gobert was drafted 27th overall by the Utah Jazz back in 2013. Now, having just completed his 6th NBA season, Gobert just finished recording his third straight season averaging a double-double with 15.9 ppg and 12.9 rpg.
He is best known for his defensive work on the basketball court. He has already been named to 3 NBA All-Defensive teams from 2017 to 2019. Gobert was also named the 2018 Defensive Player of the Year in 2018. At 7’1 and 255 lbs with a 7’8 wingspan and a standing reach of 9’7, there is no wonder why he earned the NBA’s blocks leader title in 2017 as he has the length and athletic ability to do so. Gobert recorded an average of 2.3 blocks per game in 2019.
Now that the 2018-19 NBA season and 2019 NBA Playoffs are completed, the NBA Awards and draft are next. Rudy Gobert is in consideration for the Defensive Player of the Year award and here are three reasons he should receive the award for the second time:
#1 Positive Impact on the Utah Jazz
Shortly before Gobert as snubbed for selection to the All-Star teams in 2019, team president Steve Starks stated:
“We feel strongly that Rudy deserves to be an All-Star. The stats, the box score, his impact on the game speaks for itself.”
Utah head coach Quin Synder also stated:
“So much of what Rudy does I won’t say is thankless, but you have to look for it. You see it and you think, ‘I have to thank him again,’ because he is giving himself to the team.”
Both men would be correct. While the Jazz were 17th in the NBA in scoring at 111.6 ppg, they were 4th in points given up at 106.5 ppg. Whether you point to just Gobert’s 3.8 offensive rebounds per game or his 2.3 bpg, he singlehandedly can be credited with why the Jazz score on 2-3 more possessions than their opponents in the just completed 2018-19 season.
While Gobert did not get a 2019 All-Star selection, it is clear his franchise appreciates his defensive contributions to the team. He is a very credible defender on the perimeter and not a liability as many 7 footers are. While opposing shooters average 34.4% on 3-point shot attempts with Gobert as the primary defender, their efficiency drops against Gobert in the mid-range areas as they connect on only 36.3% from 15 feet away or more against Gobert.