For the third straight season in a row, the Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert has been named to the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team. Rudy Gobert once again anchored what was one of the NBA’s best defenses and he did so when the Utah Jazz were without Ricky Rubio, Raul Neto, and Dante Exum for extended stretches during the season.
Other Utah Jazz players who received votes were Ricky Rubio, Donovan Mitchell, Joe Ingles, and Derrick Favors.
Rudy Gobert Selected to NBA All-Defensive First Team pic.twitter.com/WR5RRSPwhm— Utah Jazz PR (@UtahJazzPR) May 22, 2019
Rudy Gobert was named to the NBA's All-Defense First Team today, getting 97 out 100 possible first-team votes at center.— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) May 22, 2019
Rudy Gobert is the first Jazz player since Andrei Kirilenko (2003-2006) to be named to either First or Second All-Defensive Team and the first player since Karl Malone (1996-1999) to be named to just the First All-Defensive Team for three straight seasons. No Utah Jazz player has been selected to four straight First Team All-Defensive teams in franchise history. Rudy Gobert joins Karl Malone and Mark Eaton as the only Jazz players to have a total of three All-Defensive First Team selections.
Rudy Gobert was a beast once again this season challenging on average 27 shots per 100 possessions compared to Giannis Antetokounmpo and Paul George who averaged 15.5 per 100 possessions. As Zach Lowe once said, he’s a one man defensive architecture. While George and Giannis can put an offensive player on an island like a good cornerback, Rudy Gobert is a defense all unto himself. Offensive players even when they are not being guarded by Gobert have to keep an eye out for the Stifle Tower at all times. His mere presence on the court affects all five players for the other team. According to ESPN’s Real Plus Minus he had a defensive Real Plus Minus of +4.5 compared to George and Giannis who tied at +2.85.
For being named All-Defensive First Team, Rudy Gobert has earned a $500K bonus. The bonus was considered likely and the cap hit for the Utah center in 2019-20 will remain at $25M.— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) May 22, 2019
Rudy Gobert has already been selected as a finalist for the Defensive Player of the Year trophy which he should be the favorite for with his insane numbers. If Rudy Gobert wins the DPOY trophy for the second year in a row he will become one of only a select few that have won the award two years in a row. Those players are Sidney Moncrief, Dennis Rodman, Hakeem Olajuwon, Dikembe Mutombo, Alonzo Mourning, Ben Wallace, Dwight Howard and Kawhi Leonard.
The awards show for MVP, Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, and the rest will be on June 24th, 2019 at 9PM ET on TNT.