NBA Awards Rankings: Rudy Gobert still No. 1 in Defensive Player of the Year race

The 2023 NBA Defensive Player of the Year race is turning into a phenomenal contest.

Minnesota Timberwolves v Memphis Grizzlies
Minnesota Timberwolves v Memphis Grizzlies / Justin Ford/GettyImages
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. . Rudy Gobert. . player. R. Center | Timberwolves. Rudy Gobert. 1. 86

Rudy Gobert is currently on pace to join some very historic defensive company. Dikemebe Mutombo and Ben Wallace are the only players to win the Defensive Player of the Year four times. Gobert has won three and right now is on pace to win his fourth this season.

Gobert has been one of the best defensive players in the NBA since 2017 and he's done that by protecting the rim. This season he's averaging 2.4 blocks per game ranking fourth in the NBA and his combined three steals plus blocks per game is ninth in the NBA.

The Minnesota Timberwolves are currently the best defensive team in basketball. This is a team that has struggled defensively the past few seasons, especially near the rim, and Gobert has fixed that. Since 2017, the team that Gobert has been on has not only been a top seed in the Western Conference but has had a top-10 defense. In four seasons, his team had a top-three defense. 

All of these reasons from performing well in the defensive stats but also checking every single intangible box that a defender has, Gobert remains at the top of the DPOY rankings. 

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