The NBA announced today that Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert was selected to the 2018 NBA All-Defensive First Team. It marks the second-straight season the 7-1 center has earned NBA All-Defensive First Team honors.
After missing 15 games from Dec. 16 to Jan. 17 with injury, Gobert returned to the lineup on Jan. 19, playing in every game to finish the season. After Gobert’s late January return, the Jazz posted the second best record in the NBA (30-8), the best defensive rating in the NBA (97.5), the best net rating (10.8), the lowest opponent scoring average (97.4) and were tied for the lowest opponent field goal percentage during that stretch (.431). The 7-1 center averaged the most contested shots (15.0) on the year and had the second-most blocked shots in the NBA after the All-Star break (55).
Led by Gobert for the second-straight season, the Jazz had a top-five defense with a defensive rating of 101.6, the second best rating in the NBA and had the fifth-best net rating in the NBA (4.6) in 2017-18.
Gobert becomes the third Jazz player ever to earn multiple All-Defensive First Team recognition, alongside Karl Malone (1997, 1998 and 1999) and Mark Eaton (1985, 1986 and 1989).
The native of France was announced as a top-three finalist for the NBA’s 2018 Defensive Player of the Year Award on May 16. Other finalists include New Orleans’ Anthony Davis and Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid. The winners will be announced at the 2018 NBA Awards on June 25 on TNT at 7 p.m. (MST).