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Rudy Gobert Won the NBA's Fourth Defensive Player of the Year Award

Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert won his fourth NBA Defensive Player of the Year award on Tuesday, joining Hall of Famers Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace in league history.

Gobert, 31, received an astounding 72 first-place votes, 24 second-place votes, and one third-place vote. The 11-year veteran also earned honors in 2018, 2019, and 2021 with the Utah Jazz.

The 7-foot-1 big man led the Wolves' top defense this season. Minnesota allowed 108.4 points per 100 possessions, 2.2 fewer than the second-ranked Boston Celtics.

According to NBA betting sites, the Timberwolves now hold second championship odds behind the Celtics. Sportsbooks still show good odds for the Oklahoma City Thunder and New York Knicks.

“It's a good synergy,” Gobert told TNT NBA tip on tuesday. “We like to get individual awards and all these things, and it's great, but you can't do it alone. I'm so thankful … all my teammates for believing in me, allowing me to do what I do best every day and just try to change the culture here in Minnesota. Good for the boys for shopping.”

San Antonio Spurs midfielder Victor Wembanyama, who was named the best player in the league on Monday, finished second in the voting. The rookie still hasn't won the Defensive Player of the Year award. Wemby received 19 first place votes, 44 second place votes, and 18 third place votes.

Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo was third, his best finish in the voting. He received three first place votes, 15 second place votes, and 31 third place votes.

Gobert missed Game 2 of the Western Conference second-round playoff series against the Denver Nuggets on Monday following the birth of his son. The Timberwolves hold a 2-0 series lead over Denver.

Rudy Gobert won his fourth NBA Defensive Player of the Year award after leading the league in defensive scoring, rating

During the regular season, the three-time All-Star led the league in defensive win shares (5.8) and defensive rating (104.5). He also finished second in total rebounds (982), fifth in blocks (162), sixth in blocks per game (2.1), and eighth in block percentage (5.5).

According to Stathead, the Timberwolves held opponents to 56.6% shooting on dunk and layup attempts, the lowest rate in the NBA. It was the first season Karl-Anthony Towns and Gobert played at least 60 games on the court together as teammates.

Gobert limited opponents to an effective field goal percentage of 45.2%, the lowest among the 38 players to contest at least 1,000 shots, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Opponents only attempted 21.6% of their shots inside the restricted area when Gobert was on the court, according to Second Spectrum. That would be the team's lowest ranking this season. The percentage increased to 26.7% during his absence.

“This year, training camp, we came in on Day 1 and said we want to be the top defender in the league,” Gobert said. “Everyone has bought. Everyone has put in the work day in and day out, and now we are here with one goal in mind to try and get this title.

“… Good things take time. You all know that victory is not something that happens overnight. You have to overcome difficulties, you have to go through good and bad as a team.”

Gobert has also been able to elevate his play off the key. He excelled in changing situations, allowing the fewest points of direct isolation between players to secure at least 175 isolations, according to Second Spectrum.

According to ESPN's Tim MacMahon, he allowed the fewest third downs on direct picks among screen defenders to defend at least 1,000 picks.

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