The great man of jazz is the best defenseman in the NBA on almost every level. This should earn him the 3rd Defensive Player of the Year award this summer.
Is Rudy Gobert’s 2020-21 season the best defensive season in modern NBA history?
This is the argument put forward by the writer Ben Dowsett at FiveThirtyEight; it is a statistical argument, but a convincing one. Essentially, Dowsett compiled the main metrics used by public analysts to assess defense. And while there is a significant disagreement between the lists, there is one thing they agree on: Gobert at # 1.
In the 538 defensive RAPTOR, which dates back to 1977, Gobert’s season is the first, ahead of Ben Wallace’s 2003-04 season. In ESPN’s Defensive Real Plus-Minus, which dates back to 1996, Gobert finished ahead of Dikembe Mutombo’s 1996-98 seasons. In BBallIndex’s D-LEBRON statistic, he finished first in Dwight Howard’s 2010-11 season.
Yes, that’s a lot of alphabet soup. Then maybe Gobert’s defensive season comes down better What Athletic’s John Hollinger wrote on his defensive player of the year ballot:
âOther players have been very good in defense this year … but Gobert allowed a team with four undersized players initially in attack around him to finish fourth in defensive efficiency. He’s an all-time great defenseman having his best season ever, and the eye test is more than clear enough in this case.
Or maybe you’d rather listen to Jazz striker Georges Niang’s explanation of his teammate’s worth:
âThe seriousness that Rudy has as a defender in keeping guys out of the paint is one that I’ve never seen,â Niang said. âThe way we play defense, if your guy beats you just keep standing on his hip and good luck. I mean Rudy’s 7-2 and he’s a skilled shot blocker. He’s not only tall, but he’s skillful and has great ability if he doesn’t want to block the shot just to mess up the guys.
This is a case that voters have agreed to so far. Twitter user Max Croes compiles all 100 NBA media ballots posted to a public spreadsheet as they reveal them – on Twitter, in podcasts, or in articles for publication. . Of the 12 ballots revealed so far, 100% voted for Gobert for DPOY. In fact, all of them had Gobert as a fully NBA center, whether in the second team or the third team.
Perhaps this is due to the league-leading impact that Gobert has at the center. Gobert leads the league by a huge plus-minus margin; the Jazz have beaten their opponents by 728 points this season while on the court. The second highest number is Mike Conley’s +548 – he spent most of his minutes with Gobert in the field. And the next highest non-jazz member is Kawhi Leonard’s +448.
âI don’t know if it’s a useless statistic or not – it’s for the Twitter world to have a conversation about it,â said Joe Ingles when asked about the positive-negative impact of Gobert and Conley. “But, I mean, if you tell me something like that and the number that is, that’s a pretty ridiculously high number, so it shows the impact of these guys for sure.”
Gobert was shy when asked about the price; he essentially passes on those who are curious about who should win the award to the advanced measures he knows he’s leading. It’s a different approach than his biggest competition for the prize, Ben Simmons of Philadelphia, who loudly and Many times promoted his candidacy.
But voters don’t seem to be buying. As Hollinger joked on his DPOY ballot, it was his vote: â1. Rudy Gobert, Utah, 2. Rudy Gobert, Utah, 3. Rudy Gobert, Utah. “
âIt wasn’t even a competition,â he continued. “Any ballot paper which does not place Gobert in the first place is immediately suspect.”
After an elite season, it looks like Gobert’s value to the Jazz will be recognized with a Defensive Player of the Year trophy – his third – and a berth in the All-NBA ranks – his fourth.