T-Wolves center Rudy wins NBA Defensive Player of the Year award

Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert has been named the NBA’sDefensive Player of the Year award for a record equaling fourth time.

Gobert, who previously won the award in 2018, 2019 and 2021 while as a member of the Utah Jazz, joins hall of fame centers Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace as the only four-time winners.

It comes after a season where the 31 year old anchored Minnesota’s top-ranked defense, finished 4th in defensive rebounds (9.2 per game), ranked sixth in blocked shots (2.1), while limiting opponents to a 45.2 effective field goal percentage – the lowest among 38 players to contest at least 1000 shots.

His 7-foot-1 presence also served as a major deterrent with opponents attempting only 21.6% of their shots from inside the restricted area when he was on the court, which would have ranked the lowest among any team this season. That increased to 26.7% when he was off the floor, which would have rated as the sixth highest among teams.

The Timberwolves held opponents to 56.6% shooting on dunk and layup attempts, the lowest rate in the NBA.

Gobert in being named Defensive Player of the Year, finished ahead of San Antonio Spurs center Victor Wembanyama, who was named Rookie of the Year on Monday and Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo who was third in the voting.


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