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Rudy Gobert wins NBA DPOY for the third time

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert has won the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award for the third time. Gobert becomes the fourth player in Association history to win the award three separate times, joining Dikembe Mutombo, Ben Wallace and Dwight Howard. Gobert has won DPOY in 3 of the last 4 seasons.

Gobert received 84 first-place votes and earned 464 points from a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters.  Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons finished in second place with 287 points (15 first-place votes).  Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, the 2016-17 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year, finished in third place with 76 points.  Players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote.

In his eighth NBA season, Gobert led the league in defensive rebounds per game (10.1), total defensive rebounds (720) and total blocked shots (190) and ranked second in blocked shots per game (2.70).  He recorded six games with least 15 defensive rebounds and eight games with five or more blocks.  Gobert grabbed a season-high 20 defensive rebounds against the Warriors on March 14 and blocked a career-high nine shots against the Chicago Bulls on March 22.

According to NBA Advanced Stats, Gobert ranked second in the NBA in defensive win shares, which measures a player’s defensive impact on winning.  He defended the most field goal attempts at the rim in the NBA (549) and held opponents to 50.1 percent shooting on those shots, the third-lowest mark among the 27 players who defended at least 300 shots at the rim this season.

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