Beverley, who takes a lot of pride in his defense, has been a menace for years. He is known to guard the best players on the opposition team and believes that the defensive player of the year should be someone who fulfills that role.
Rudy Gobert, who is known for his rim protection, has been doing great this season. His ability to rebound and presence in the paint makes things extremely difficult for the opponents.
The Utah Jazz are currently the 6th best defensive unit in the league and a huge credit to that goes to Rudy Gobert. However, Patrick Beverley is not too impressed by the Frenchman. Speaking about him in his post-game interview, the veteran guard said:
"If I’m defensive player of the year, I’m always guarding the best player no matter what, I’m not roaming, It’s no discredit to Royce O’Neale or any of the others on their team, but if I’m defensive player of the year, I’m not guarding Royce O’Neale."
"I’m guarding Mike Conley, I’m guarding Donovan Mitchell, I’m guarding (Bojan) Bogdanovic. You got Rudy Gobert out there guarding (Jarred) Vanderbilt. And every time I hear he’s defensive player of the year. So, uh, whatever.”
Despite remarks from Patrick Beverley, Rudy Gobert and the Utah Jazz managed to hand the Minnesota Timberwolves a heavy 136-104 loss on the night. Donovan Mitchell scored 36 points to lead the way from the front in this win. Utah completely took over the game in the second half as they scored 76 points in the second half and contained the Timberwolves to only 45.
Can Rudy Gobert win the Defensive Player of the Year award this season?
Rudy Gobert is arguably one of the best European talents in the NBA. He has proven to be a stalwart for the Utah team and has helped the franchise reach newer heights every season. The Frenchman's ability to protect the rim and anchor the whole defense has helped him win praise from many in the league.
Rudy Gobert won his third DPOY trophy last season as he led the team to a first seed finish. He looks determined to win the award again this year. The 29-year-old is averaging 14.8 PPG, 14.5 RPG and 2.2 BPG through the 24 games he has played this season. He is ranked fifth in the league in efficiency, only behind the likes of Nikola Jokic, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Anthony Davis.
With Utah once again looking to make a deep run into the playoffs, Rudy Gobert will have to continue putting up terrific performances. The team is great offensively. But if they are to succeed in the playoffs, their defense needs to be equally good.
Rudy Gobert will certainly be a big part of making that happen. If he continues to put in the hard work and the Jazz keep firing, the center definitely has every chance of equalling Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace by getting to his fourth DPOY trophy.