Rudy Gobert has been tremendous for the Utah Jazz this season, helping guide them to a 32-19 record and the 4th seed in the Western Conference. This is a much-improved record from last year where a very similar Jazz team missed the playoffs, only winning 40 games all of last season.
The improvement of this team as a whole has been outrageous. The reason the Utah Jazz are such a good team is their defense and who is the anchor of that defence? Rudy Gobert.
Utah’s team defense ranks 1st in opponent’s points per game with 95.4 (averaging 3.5 points less than the team in second), 3rd in defensive efficiency and 4th in opponents field goal percentage, holding them to 47.6% from the floor. Now, these stats are very convincing to show that they are good as a team, and in previous years, players have won DPOY by being an anchor on the league’s best defense, such as Marc Gasol in 2012-13. That being said, Gobert has the individual stats to back up his argument as well; leading the NBA in blocks with 2.53 per game and also adding 12.6 rebounds per game (5th in the league).
— NBA (@NBA) February 6, 2017
The only other player to be top 5 in both of those categories is Hassan Whiteside, who has often been criticized for his lack of team defense ability (things such as help defense while focusing too much on blocking shots). Gobert on the other hand is clearly a great team defender proven by the statistics above.
Gobert has been the main reason of the team’s success this season being the anchor of that defense as previously stated. The Jazz are a defensive minded team and although Gordon Hayward may be an All-Star, their MVP is Rudy Gobert.
Should a player’s offensive ability factor into DPOY consideration?
— theScore (@theScore) January 23, 2017
Rudy continues to show improvement on both sides of the ball also being second in field goal percentage, only behind DeAndre Jordan (who seems to run away with it every year). Gobert looks to be a huge part of Utah’s future especially considering the man is only 24 years old.
Utah now has possibly the league’s best defense and Gobert has a lot to do with that, his stats individually and as a team are very hard to argue against. He also passes the eye test so not only do the analytics back him up, so do the old-school fans. Hopefully, the voters have payed close attention to this man, because a DPOY award would be a great accolade for the young Gobert to be awarded with.