The NBA announced today that Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert has been named to the All-Defensive First Team. This is the fifth-straight year that Gobert has received this honor.
Congratulations to the 2020-21 All-Defensive First Team!— NBA TV (@NBATV) June 14, 2021
Giannis Antetokounmpo pic.twitter.com/NtUhdq70Bf
Rudy Gobert put together a dominant defensive season for the Utah Jazz helping lead them to the best record in the NBA. He led the NBA among qualified players in defensive rating, defensive win shares, defensive rebounds and was second in blocks per game for the season.
Those stats on paper are the evidence of the impact, but the impact is seen every time Gobert is on the floor. There isn’t a statistic for every time a player drives to the rim only to retreat back or pass out to avoid a blocked shot. They don’t record the amount of pump fakes a player does trying to get Gobert off balance so they can get a shot off. Things like that don’t show up in a stat sheet but they do shot up in things like net ratings and wins, things Gobert led the league in.
With the Jazz advancing in the playoffs Gobert is getting more and more recognition for his impact on the floor and his contract with the Jazz looks like more of a bargain every night.
The Jazz have been able to make a lot of personnel decisions based off of Gobert’s dominance as well. Conceding defensive ability at times for shooting, Gobert has giving Justin Zanik and Quin Snyder the freedom to build a team of elite shooters and creators while keeping a top ten defense in the league. Gobert is truly a defensive system unto himself and it allows the other players do things like run players off the three point line knowing that Gobert is behind them as an anchor. It’s a luxury that no other team can match.
This is just another feather in the cap for Rudy Gobert who will undoubtedly be getting more and more as the years go by.