Rudy Gobert wins Defensive Player of the Year

Written by: Miles Jordan

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Rudy Gobert wins Defensive Player of the Year

Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert was awarded the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award Tuesday, May 7, to capture a piece of NBA history, becoming one of the only players to win the award four times.

Gobert won Defensive Player of the Year in 2018, 2019, and 2021, all with the Utah Jazz. In his second year with the Minnesota Timberwolves, it seems Gobert has found his rhythm again and is back capturing accolades. Gobert joins Hall of Fame centers Dikembe Mutumbo and Ben Wallace as the only three players in NBA history to win this award four times.

In the 2023-2024 NBA season, Gobert averaged 12.9 rebounds a game, with 9.2 rebounds coming on the defensive end. Gobert also averaged 2.1 blocks and 0.7 steals per game to add to his impressive defensive resume. However, Gobert's statistics are not the only thing that defines his defensive impact, but his presence on the court.

He has held opponents to 56.6% shooting on layup or dunk attempts, which is the lowest rate in the NBA. When Gobert is on the bench, the percentage of opponents' shots in the restricted area increases from 21.6% to 26.7%. Gobert has held his own against NBA superstars and is currently doing so in the Western Conference Semi-Finals, where the Timberwolves have a 2-0 lead over Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets.

Gobert has been a major part of the Timberwolves' success this season. They finished third in the West, Swept the Phoneix Suns, and are currently undefeated against the Nuggets. While many are focused on Anthony Edwards and his scoring ability, Gobert's efforts on the defensive end have not gone unnoticed.