Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert has been named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team for the fifth time in his illustrious career.
The league honored its top defenders at each position Monday, just days after Gobert was named the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year.
Also named to the All-Defensive First Team were:
• Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
• Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors
• Jrue Holiday, Milwaukee Bucks
• Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers
Gobert first made an All-Defensive team in 2017 and has continued to hone his skills, improving in different ways each season.
“The identity of our team, if you compare it to two years ago or even last year earlier in the year, we play differently,” Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said recently. “The biggest constant is when you have Rudy, you have defense. So Rudy makes us all look good defensively.”
Gobert enjoyed one of the most statistically dominant regular seasons ever by a center, leading the league in a multitude of statistical categories. The All-Star center ranked:
No. 1 in total rebounds (960)
No. 1 in defensive rebounds (720)
No. 1 in blocks (190)
No. 1 in defensive win shares (5.2)
No. 1 in defensive rating (100.6)
So what stands out most about Gobert?
“His versatility,” Snyder said. “He’s been stretched defensively and he’s embraced that. It’s something that he takes a lot of pride in and I think it has something to do with the way the game has evolved offensively. His ability to evolve with the game, I think, is something that is unique, particularly for someone of that size.