Boston Celtics goalkeeper Marcus Smart On Monday, the League announced that it had been named the best defensive player in the NBA.
It’s Smart’s first DPOY award, and he’s the first base guard to take that honor since Gary Payton In the 1995-96 season.
Smart received 257 points (37 first-place votes) to take first place in the voting. straight ahead Michael Bridges From the Phoenix Suns (202 points, 22 votes for 1st) and middle Rudy Gobert The Utah Jazz (136 points, 12 first place votes) ended up in second and third place, respectively, in voting from a panel of 100 sports writers and broadcasters.
Smart finished the season seventh in the NBA in stealing per game (1.68) for the Celtics who led the league in defensive rating (106.2) and points allowed per game (104.5). He also ranked fifth among all NBA guards with a defensive rating of 105.2, and was the first in the league with 1.1 loose balls recovered per game.
Smart, who started all of 71 regular season games he played, also finished 10th in deflectors (106) and tiebreakers (16) and earned a 3.2-higher defensive rebound per game.
The Eighth Player of the Year is the second Celtic player to ever win a DPOY, joining Kevin Garnett (2007-08).
Big men have dominated the award since its inception in 1982. Smart and Peyton are the only ones to have won the award. Shooting guards have won the title five more times, but none since Michael Jordan in 1988. The middlemen and strikers have won all the rest, including Joubert in 2018, 2019 and 2021.
Speaking last month, Smart said the guards deserve more respect in the vote.
“I don’t take anything from the big companies,” he told ESPN. “A vital part of the game is protecting the paint. But, as guards, we’ve done a lot before [our man] Get the paint. …run the three, intercept the pull-ups, and make sure he doesn’t reach his positions.”
Information from Tim Bontemps of ESPN and The Associated Press was used in this report.
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