Rudy Gobert Named to NBA All-Defensive First Team
Jazz center earns All-Defensive honors for first time
The NBA today announced that Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert has been named to the 2016-17 NBA All-Defensive First Team, marking the first selection of his career. Receiving 196 total points (97 First Team votes), he was the second-leading vote getter and an overwhelming selection, as chosen by a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters. He becomes the first Jazz player since 2005-06 (Andrei Kirilenko) to be named to an All-NBA Defensive Team. He is also a finalist for both NBA Defensive Player of the Year and Most Improved Player, which will be awarded tonight as part of the inaugural NBA Awards show live on TNT (7 p.m. MT).
Gobert was also named to the All-NBA Second Team in May. Appearing in 81 games (all starts), Gobert averaged career highs of 14.0 points, 12.8 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game while posting career-bests in field goal percentage (.662) and free throw percentage (.653) while helping the Jazz to their first 50-win season since 2009-10. He led the NBA in total blocks (214), blocks per game (2.6), block percentage (6.4), defensive win shares (6.0), defensive real plus/minus (6.03), true shooting percentage (.683) and points per shot (1.82). He finished third in offensive rating (129.0) and defensive rating (99.2), the only player in the NBA to finish in the top-five in both categories. His .662 mark from the field is the best for a single-season in franchise history and ranked second in the NBA this year.
The fourth-year center became the first player in franchise history and the first NBA player since 2009-10 to compile 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 200 blocks in a single season. In addition, he now ranks seventh on the Jazz all-time blocks list (579). Gobert recorded a league-best 42 consecutive games with at least one block and led the league with four games of at least six blocks, eight games with five blocks, 18 games with four blocks, 42 games with three blocks, 63 games with two blocks and 77 games with one block. He anchored a Jazz defense that led the league in opponent points per game (96.8), finished second in opponent field goal percentage (.443) and third in defensive rating (102.7).
Gobert becomes the fifth different Jazz player to make First Team and ninth total selection, joining Mark Eaton (three selections), Karl Malone (three selections), E.C. Coleman (one selection) and Andrei Kirilenko (one selection). John Stockton was a Second Team selection five times as the only other Jazz player to make either All-Defensive Team. Eaton (two selections), Kirilenko (two selections) and Malone (one selection) also earned Second Team honors.
Players were awarded two points for each First Team vote and one point for each Second Team vote. Voters were asked to select two guards, two forwards and one center for each team, choosing players at the position they play regularly. Players who received votes at multiple positions were slotted at the position where they received the most votes.