Rudy Gobert Wins NBA Defensive Player of Year Award over Giannis, Paul George

Megan ArmstrongCorrespondent IIIJune 25, 2019

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - APRIL 22: Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz complains about a foul in Game Four during the first round of the 2019 NBA Western Conference Playoffs against the Houston Rockets at Vivint Smart Home Arena on April 22, 2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)
Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert retained his NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award by claiming the 2018-19 honor on Monday.

The 26-year-old averaged 2.3 blocks per game, same as 2017-18, in the regular season while also averaging a career-high 9.0 defensive rebounds. Gobert appeared in 81 games for Utah, up from just 56 last season. 

While Gobert's blocks have decreased since he led the league with 2.6 per game in 2016-17, Jason S. Walker of SB Nation's SLC Dunk made an argument for this season as Gobert's best: 

"No player analysis would be complete without telling you how many other players have matched or exceeded each of those stats Gobert has put up. The answer is 12. And the only player on that list that isn't a Hall of Famer (or well on their way) is Chris Webber.

"Throw in a final qualification of having less than 2.5 turnovers per game and that short, 13-player list is whittled down to one player: Rudy Gobert."

The only others in NBA history to earn back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year awards are Kawhi Leonard, Dwight Howard, Ben Wallace, Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo, Hakeem Olajuwon, Dennis Rodman and Sidney Moncrief.

The Jazz saw their season end in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs against the Houston Rockets.

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